Before we moved to Alaska, I had cooked on a wood stove once, for practice. And it wasn’t even good practice either! Our wood stove in Washington was more decorative than for heating or cooking. Coming to Alaska was a huge change, as nearly everything we cook out here is done on the wood stove. We do have a propane stove that gets used occasionally, but I’m not particularly keen on cooking outside in negative temperatures. I’m also a relatively lazy cook. I used to be the queen of ‘lets go out!’ rather than cooking dinner. Because of that I love any fast and easy recipes and love one pot meals. I cook quite a few things in just a 10″ cast iron skillet. I thought I’d throw together some tips and tricks I use for cooking on a wood stove.
Tips For Cooking On A Wood Stove
- Use small pieces of wood when building a fire for cooking. It’s easier to control the temperature that way. Small pieces will light faster, raising the temperature.
- Adjust the dampener to quickly change the temperature. Close it down to cool the stove, and open up fully for quick heat.
- Keep the fire evenly spread through the stove. That way there won’t be hot and cold spots in the skillet.
- Speaking of skillets, use cast iron! Cast iron transfers heat really well, so the food will cook evenly.
- Pre-heat pans with a little oil in them to help speed the cooking process, as well as avoid sticking.
- Start cooking before hunger sets in. Cooking meals on a wood stove is not a 5 minute task. Waiting until hungry usually means being hungry for another half hour to hour. There is always the possibility of eating while cooking, but that doesn’t work for every meal.
- Rotate the pan and/or make sure to stir meals regularly to avoid uneven cooking.
- The hotter a fire is, the faster the food will cook.
- Use something similar to a Coleman Camp Oven for baking on top of the wood stove. Or create an oven with a trivet and clay cover.
- Make sure to have heat resistant oven mitts/gloves for cooking on a wood stove. Pans can get much hotter on the stove than a conventional oven.
Looking for more help cooking on a wood stove? Purchase my new eBook! It’s full of recipes, tips and tricks all for cooking on a wood stove!