Country Living Series

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Preparing for the wood cookstove

We finally took down our Christmas tree yesterday. The tree was a lovely thing to behold, but we needed the space it was occupying.


That's because we have a wood cookstove to install!


If you remember, on December 9 we took possession of a beautiful new Baker's Choice cookstove. It's been stored in the barn, patiently waiting for Christmas to be over before we could move things around to accommodate it.


The stove will go in the exact spot where the hoosier hutch is, so we emptied the hoosier of everything...


... and moved it to the other side of the window against the boot unit by the door.


Needless to say it was filthy behind the hoosier -- it hasn't been moved in twelve years -- but we cleaned and swept and now the spot is ready for the next step, which is to cut away the carpet and pour a concrete pad. Little by little, step by step, and soon we'll have a working cookstove!

21 comments:

  1. Can't wait to see it installed. I have just found a 1908 cookstove with pots included for $1.200. It's supposedly in good condition, do you think I should pursue?

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    1. I honestly couldn't tell you since I don't know enough about cookstoves. Your best bet is to find a knowledgeable person in your area (i.e. someone who's cooked on a cookstove for many years) to look it over.

      - Patrice

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    2. The fine folks at the Stove Hospital advise against buying an old stove, hooking it up and lighting a fire in it. Most old stoves have rust or other condition issues that will need attention before you can safely light a fire. Their website is full of good advice and beautiful stoves; it's well worth heading over there and benefiting from their experience.
      http://stovehospital.com

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  2. Oh, lucky you! We're hoping to have our cookstove by spring. It will be a J.A. Robie from Quebec.

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  3. Patrice,
    I hope you're not intending to install the cook stove on carpeting. You need non-combustibles all around the cook stove. That means Floors, walls and into the attic space too. Improper installation can be a problem with insurance companies.
    I have the same cook stove, but have not yet installed it, (house is still under construction). Now, I wish I had purchased the one that Enola Gay has because of the larger oven.
    Redrock

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  4. Patrice,

    Enjoy your new stove!!! I can see you making plenty of meals, and heat your home with this stove.

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  5. We do expect a full report on your experience. Trying to justify that model. Currently using a Mama Bear and an older cookstove. Both work just fine but its the feeding of both with the different sized wood that becomes an issue.

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  6. Jealous, jealous, jealous.

    Someday... :-)

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  7. Oh how exciting! Love your Hoosier hutch too. My mom had a very similar one. Looking forward to seeing the progress!
    Julie

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  8. You're going to cook in the livingroom? Seems very impractical really. Not only will the carpet surrounding the concrete pad soon be ruined but the path between the stove and the kitchen will be a worn, drippy mess after a few months. Think what your kitchen floor looks like in a week or two (mine as well... anyone's kitchen needs mopping regularly.) Also, how tall will this pad be? I wouldn't want to cook at a stove that was raised if I had to stand below. But then again, I wouldn't want to step up and down carrying heavy items to and from the stove either. Sorry to sound so negative. Perhaps you've thought of all this. I realize the stove is probably a "just in case" item, but if it should ever become your main cook stove it seems a difficult location.

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    1. Hi Anon. Actually we won't be cooking in the living room. Think of it more as expanding the kitchen. As an example, the distance from the fridge to our current propane cook stove is about 15 feet. The distance from the fridge to the new wood stove is about 10 feet. Our home has a concrete floor. I could place the wood stove directly on it. But since we plan on replacing the current old and yucky carpet with flooring, it would make the wood stove sit in a "well". The new pad I will pour for the stove will be about 2 inches thick. It will actually raise the stove top to a level equal to the top of our current stove. The pad will not extend beyond the feet of the stove, so no danger of stepping up onto it or tripping. When we finally get around to doing the flooring for the kitchen and living room, after placing leveling OSB sheets and the flooring, the new floor will sit roughly 1 inch higher than it currently does. We'll match this around the wood stove with an underlayment of cement board and tile. So not only am I putting in my beloveds dream wood stove, I will also be installing a hardwood-esk floor AND expanding her kitchen. (Pat self on back. Good husband.) :)

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    2. Sounds well under control!

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    3. Hi, Don.

      I'm not Anon, but I bought a Pioneer Princess two Octobers ago and got installed in our living area.

      We have a slab floor on which are 1-foot-square stone tiles, arrayed 5 deep and 6 across. Similarly, the back wall has the same kind of stone tiles arrayed 5 high and 6 across. A black metal sheet extends almost an inch from the back wall tiles using spacers, creating an air space between the tiles and the metal, all acting as additional insulation from the stove's heat, The stove's back edge is about 1.5 feet forward from the back wall and its front edge is about 1.5 feet back from the front edge of the front tiles. Our wood floor is outside the floor tiles. Stone tiles also extend up to the ceiling 2 feet wide behind the stack. The stack is about 7 inches forward from those tiles. I can e-mail you photos if you like.

      We do cook on and bake in this stove in addition to it heating the house. According to the weather (Idaho, north of you), we cook on our kitchen propane stove from about Apr-Oct and on our wood cookstove from about Oct-Apr.

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  9. This is so cool.

    Patrice, do you have any old time cookbooks from back in the woodfire day? I have one or two, and they're quite eye opening to read.

    It's really easy to take our modern, clean, easy-to-use temperature-controlled stoves for granted.

    Your chosen lifestyle already in puts you in a relatively small minority, and cooking on a wood cook stove will only make you and even rarer gem of an American.

    Can't wait for the next chapter!

    A. McSp


    The recipes call for 'a brisk oven' or ' a slow oven' and so forth.

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  10. Some how, make the top of your cement pad level with the rest of
    the floor. Your hip and knee joints will thank you as you get older.
    Just having to step up and down a few inches begins to hurt over time. Been there and done that.

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  11. My wood cook stove was a bit easier. It involved an old truck rim some rebar and an old oven rack. Of course I can't use it indoors... ; )

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  12. You are going to have a great time using your new cookstove. We moved to town last summer and alas my grandma's cookstove couldn't come with-no place in the kitchen. I do miss using the stove as some of the best bread, cookies, and ham I ever made came out of that oven. Yes, there's a learning curve, but that is part of the fun!

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  13. Please continue to post as you go! I have been looking at cookstobes for awhile,and am down to the Baker's Choice or the Pioneer Princess, and will order this spring. And it will be going right in the middle of our dining room/living/kitchen space. Any hints as you go will be so appreciated!

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  14. I'd love to read any posts you're willing to write about learning to cook on your woodstove. I have one I haven't used yet and would benefit greatly from your experiences. Congratulations on the new stove and the willing husband!

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  15. I am so happy for you. We just got rid of the pellet stove and put in a wood heater and I love it. Even if all I can do is heat a bit of water on it, or reheat leftovers, its a thousand times better than what we had.

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