A wood-burning stove is an efficient way to heat your home and a viable alternative to gas and electric heaters. The radiant heat that a wood stove gives off through the top and sides is enough to heat your room and provide additional uses for cooking or boiling water. There are several different types of pots you can use on wood-burning stove.
Three main types of wood stoves are available: airtight stove, box and pellet. An airtight stove offers circulating heat that comes from inside a sealed firebox. Airtight stoves are not always recommended for cooking or holding pots and often do not have a space for this. Box stoves offer a more open design and you can easily use your favorite pot on this type of stove. A pellet-fed stove varies in design but often has a flat surface on top where you can use a pot and heat food or water. Old-fashioned wood burning ovens or kitchen stoves have burners directly above the firebox that is used as a cooking surface. Some of the more common types of pots used on a wood-burning stove include cast iron, copper, aluminum and stainless steel.
You can use a variety of pot styles on your wood burning stove. A Dutch oven pot is a useful design because it is deep and can hold a large amount of liquid -- up to 8 quarts or more. Cast iron Dutch ovens are recommended because of their durability and heat retention. Some cast iron Dutch ovens have small legs at the bottom, which are beneficial at preventing scorching if cooking meals for long periods of time. Sauce pans made from aluminum can also be used on the stove and offer the convenience of heating the contents up very quickly. Stock pots are taller than Dutch ovens and often times deeper. Roasting pans, woks and coffee kettles can also be used on wood burning stoves.
Pots are often used for cooking on wood burning stoves. If you are low on cooking space, want to conserve electricity or want to cook on a cast iron surface, a wood burning cook top is an option. Food that you can cook on a wood-burning stove in stock pots include soup, beef stock recipes, stew and chili. For recipes that need to be boiled, such as pasta and rice, sauce pans are recommended. Copper pots are appropriate for simmering your favorite sauce because they maintain and hold a consistent temperature. You can also use your stove as a humidifier to add moisture to the air by filling a Dutch oven with water and allowing it to boil and steam.
Wood-burning stoves get very hot, with surface temperatures over 400 degrees. They have excess heat that radiates from several locations, so you need to avoid contact with its surface when working around the stove. In some cases, flames and sparks can occur in and around the stove; use caution when approaching the stove at its highest temperature. Always use heat-resistant mitts when handing pots on the stove to prevent burning your skin.
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