Cooking on a wood stove. Nothing quite conjures up images of a serene country life and great country cooking like the though of one.
This is part of a series that I came across that I thought would help others. We don't have a wood stove yet (but plan on it in the future). I have heard similar advice before, so I wanted to pass it on. This is part one of a series that I'll be posting. I hope that it's of help.
BUILDING THE FIRE
good modern range is designed to get the greatest cooking and heating
value out of the flue used. When the range and chimney draft are right,
a properly controlled fire will do all the work required, without
It is therefore necessary to bear in mind that the
first problem of better baking is an understanding of the fire. If a
match is lighted, the flame shoots upward. The hot blaze causes a
DRAFT, drawing fresh air from below and supplying the oxygen necessary
for combustion. The range simply makes use of this basic principle on a
To start the fire, then, have on hand
plenty of free-burning fuel-dry paper and wood that is cut small. A
folded newspaper will not burn freely, but a few sheets lightly twisted
make a good first layer. Then a moderate supply of kindling wood, lay
Before lighting, open the door or slide
under the fire, also the direct draft to the chimney (over the oven) and
the check slide at the base of smoke pipe and also the damper in the
smoke pipe. The purpose is to promote a free passage of air up through
the firebox to the chimney by the most direct route.
that no stove has a draft of itself. The draft is furnished by the
chimney through the stovepipe, which obviously must be tight in all its
joints. Light the fire from below and allow it to get a good start. If
it burns too slowly, it needs more oxygen, supplied by opening the
door wide under the fire. If it burns too fast, it will produce more
smoke than the chimney can draw off and the excess will be thrown out
into the room. Partly closing the door under the fire will retard it.
(The first fire in a new range usually causes a little surface smoke
and oily odor. This is harmless and soon passes off).
If using coal...
applying coal, add a little more kindling. The grate should be well
covered with a brisk fire, both to support and ignite the coal evenly
and to prevent waste through the grate.
Never use kerosene to quicken a slow fire.
When the coal fire has a good start the oven damper may be closed.
process of keeping up a good coal fire is merely one of adding more
fuel, and occasionally "shaking down” to remove the ashes under the
Do not allow ashes to collect close up under the grate. In fact, this is about the only way a grate is damaged in ordinary use.
housekeepers, who depend upon the kitchen heating adjoining rooms or
for continuous hot water, maintain the same coal fire for months at a
When not in use for cooking, the oven door may to help heat the adjoining rooms.
CHECKING THE FIRE
the draft of air through the firebox continues unchecked, the fuel
soon burns out, and the top of the range gets red hot-a bad thing for
This may be accomplished in various ways-by
closing tight the door and slide under the fire-by partially closing
the damper in the stovepipe or pushing in the slide near the stove pipe
collar on top of the range-by opening the slide in the broiler door at
the end of the range over the fire- or by tipping the lids or covers
over the fire. The chimney keeps pulling for air and reducing the amount
of chimney allowing the air to rush in over the fire, instead of
through it checks the fire.
Closing the damper over the
oven also checks the degree, but the real purpose of this damper is to
send the heat around the oven on its way to the chimney.