Friday, February 1, 2013
WOOD-BURNING STOVE COOKING & BAKING
Once the stove has the fire going, you must realize that the stove is hotter in some places and cooler in others. You will eventually find where the hot spots and cooler spots are by using the stove.
When starting, I would use the stove top first. You have lots of room on the stove top as the entire stove top is hot. The hottest is over the firebox. Next warmer would be the center. The coolest would be on the opposite side of the firebox. Using a perculator coffee pot, you could make coffee over the firebox and stays warm across the stove top. The top should be easiest to use.
Almost any baking recipe you use on a gas or electric stove - you can use on a wood-burning stove. You don't have to change the recipe as far as ingredients-it's baking that you have to watch. You can't just set the oven at 350 degrees and go leave. You must keep enough wood in the stove so it will burn quickly and offer more heat. When I have something baking in the oven, I turn it 180 degrees halfway through the baking. I have the thermometer in the oven so I know how hot or cold it is. To know if the stove needs more wood or open the oven door-very shortly-if it is too hot.
After using the oven for a while, you will get use to it and know what to do. Sometimes moving something from one side to the other helps. Also remember, that your wood - stove does not shut off like an electric or gas. As long as the wood is warm, it is working.
Baking or cooking in cast iron does not change the recipe. I have no special receipes for cast iron pots and pans or wood-burning stove. As I said, you have to watch them when baking. Cast iron keeps food warmer, longer than other things like stainless steel.
When cleaning the stove and oven-make sure it is completely cold. Using warm water and wiping it with a soft towel right after you cleaned it. For baked on items, a non-abrasive cleaner would work.
For my first baking, I would start on something easy that you have baked before. It will help you get the feeling of the stove and would be easier if it is something you have made several times before in your gas or electric stove.
Another advantage of the stove is that it will keep the room warm. If you are cooking or baking, it will keep the kitchen real warm. I am not suggesting using the stove strickly for heat, but it sure will keep you warm while in use, which may be very important if your heat is off. So not only does it bake, and cook-it can keep your warm.
Right now I am teaching my daughter-in-law-David, Jean's husband's Mother how to use the wood-burning stove that is in her kitchen. She is doing very well.
When I was a child, we use to have metal irons. You would heat them on the top of the stove while it was baking. Then you would wrap a towel around the handle and iron the clothes with them. We had two or three irons so two were heating while you were using one. When the one you were using got cold, you would put it back on the top of the stove and use another of the heated ones. I believe that some of the Amish still iron their clothes that way today.
If you have any questions, please ask, I will try to answer them.