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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so after much research and a lot of advice from people on this forum, we have decided to go the route of a wood stove, as opposed to a fireplace or insert. This is a very big investment for us so I want to make the right decision before just going out and getting one.

Now the question is this, which wood stove do we get?? I have done many hours of research online, read threads on this forum and many others, and still am not “sold” on any particular unit. The model we choose must meet the following requirements:

1. Has to be able to heat a 900 square foot home. (There are no long hallways or anything, and house is decently insulated, so most stoves should meet this requirement).

2. Must be able to cook on it, and boil water in a reasonable amount of time. THIS IS HUGE FOR US. We don't want a kitchen style wood cook stove, but a wood heating stove that has the capability to cook/boil on. I want to be able to boil water on top, as well as cook meat and heat up foods. I understand there is a learning curve for cooking on a wood stove, but the stove must get hot enough on top to do these activities or it is a deal breaker for us. THIS IS WHERE I AM REALLY HOPING TO HEAR SOME FIRST HAND REVIEWS/COMMENTS ABOUT YOU ACTUALLY BEING ABLE TO COOK ON YOUR STOVE, NOT JUST MANUFACTURERS SAYING YOU CAN BUT ACTUAL HANDS ON EXPERIENCE.

3. Must be somewhat efficient (Can’t be adding new wood every 2-3 hours, again I think most newer stoves would meet this requirement.

I really like the concept of this one but can only find like 2 real reviews on the entire WWW, which scares me a bit. Anyone have this one and can attest to its capability? http://www.vermontwoodstove.com/vermontbunbaker.htm

Here is another one that “says” it can do what I am looking for, again looking for actual owners to chime in: http://www.lopistoves.com/product-detail.aspx?model=242

If you have or had a wood stove that you have had success on cooking with, boiling water with, and can put off some decent heat somewhat efficiently I would love to hear your feedback. THANKS!! :thumb:
 

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Problem with one size fits all is generally that one size fits poorly most. I have a Drolet Savanah that is 83% efficient. (Incidentally iI see it is on sale must be because of the middle of Winter is near the end of heating season) http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200307393_200307393


It meets many of your requirements but it is not a great stove to cook on though I have and do some cooking with it. The reason it is not great for cooking is it does not get hot enough to do much more than boil water.

However when you go less efficient to get more heat you are going to pay for that in terms of amount of wood you burn and how often you need to refill.

At any rate I have had my Drolet for 4 Winters now and it is quite adequate for my small place and my location. If you live in a especially cold area I am not sure it would be able to keep up. That is my experience with a particular wood stove.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Problem with one size fits all is generally that one size fits poorly most. I have a Drolet Savanah that is 83% efficient. (Incidentally iI see it is on sale must be because of the middle of Winter is near the end of heating season) http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200307393_200307393


It meets many of your requirements but it is not a great stove to cook on though I have and do some cooking with it. The reason it is not great for cooking is it does not get hot enough to do much more than boil water.

However when you go less efficient to get more heat you are going to pay for that in terms of amount of wood you burn and how often you need to refill.

At any rate I have had my Drolet for 4 Winters now and it is quite adequate for my small place and my location. If you live in a especially cold area I am not sure it would be able to keep up. That is my experience with a particular wood stove.
Matt,

Thanks so much, and I do understand that ideally a wood stove for heat and a separate wood stove for cooking is ultimate, but that's just not an option for us. If I can heat the home enough to survive a cold winter without electricity and boil some bath water in the meantime while cooking a small meal, I will be more than happy.

Do you mind my asking how many Sq. feet you are heating approximately? Also can you fit more than 1 pot/pan on top at a time? For like a medium pot of water, how long are we talking for boiling water, like 20 minutes, an hour, 2 hours? Also can you share more of what you have successfully cooked on it?

Sorry for all the questions, but this is a really big investment for us and I want to make sure I don't regret the model I purchase. Thanks!
 

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Buck makes a nice stove. I built a replica of a large one that easily heated our old two story. Will be putting it on the patio soon and ducting it into the basement system. We put an air jacket around it and added a half dozen pipes through the fire chamber below the baffle. A squirrel cage fan put plenty of air out and you could not stand directly in front of it. If you are close to NC/SC I have a nice stove for sale with thermo fan, glass doors, flat top for cooking for $150.
 

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Matt,

Thanks so much, and I do understand that ideally a wood stove for heat and a separate wood stove for cooking is ultimate, but that's just not an option for us. If I can heat the home enough to survive a cold winter without electricity and boil some bath water in the meantime while cooking a small meal, I will be more than happy.

Do you mind my asking how many Sq. feet you are heating approximately? Also can you fit more than 1 pot/pan on top at a time? For like a medium pot of water, how long are we talking for boiling water, like 20 minutes, an hour, 2 hours? Also can you share more of what you have successfully cooked on it?

Sorry for all the questions, but this is a really big investment for us and I want to make sure I don't regret the model I purchase. Thanks!
I can fit a lot of pots and pans on my stove. As to how long for water to boil it is a variable. When I run the stove full out and the draft is good (sometimes the draft is not the best due to climate conditions) I figure it can boil about a quart of water in under 10 minutes. Than there are times when water just barely reaches a boiling temperature after hours of setting on the stove. Those times are when I have the stove at minimum so that I don't drive myself out of the place from the heat. That works great for soup making or using several hours to warm food gradually.

My place is only about 700 sq feet. The stove works fine for this (actually too warm many days even at lowest draft settings) unless outside temps drops into low single digits and stays there.

Little tricks I do is using the stove as a means to pre warm water and than transfer to the electric range for actual cooking. Warming up left overs and all day soup. Things like spaghetti sauce simmering for hours is great and uses no electricity to accomplish. Though sometime I do need a metal trivet between the pot and stove top to prevent burning the food.

ETA: Cooking with a wood stove is a bit of experimenting until you find out what you can accomplish. Years ago (when I lived in Montana) I had a Blaze King stove that could be set so high that it turned cherry red from heat. I did not use it for cooking though because in the kitchen I had a Old Majestic coal/wood cookstove that I had payed to be fully restored, it was made in the early 1900's. Cooking with it was a lot of fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can fit a lot of pots and pans on my stove. As to how long for water to boil it is a variable. When I run the stove full out and the draft is good (sometimes the draft is not the best due to climate conditions) I figure it can boil about a quart of water in under 10 minutes. Than there are times when water just barely reaches a boiling temperature after hours of setting on the stove. Those times are when I have the stove at minimum so that I don't drive myself out of the place from the heat. That works great for soup making or using several hours to warm food gradually.

My place is only about 700 sq feet. The stove works fine for this (actually too warm many days even at lowest draft settings) unless outside temps drops into low single digits and stays there.

Little tricks I do is using the stove as a means to pre warm water and than transfer to the electric range for actual cooking. Warming up left overs and all day soup. Things like spaghetti sauce simmering for hours is great and uses no electricity to accomplish. Though sometime I do need a metal trivet between the pot and stove top to prevent burning the food.

ETA: Cooking with a wood stove is a bit of experimenting until you find out what you can accomplish. Years ago (when I lived in Montana) I had a Blaze King stove that could be set so high that it turned cherry red from heat. I did not use it for cooking though because in the kitchen I had a Old Majestic coal/wood cookstove that I had payed to be fully restored, it was made in the early 1900's. Cooking with it was a lot of fun.
Great info, thanks! Let me ask you this, have you ever been able to fry something on it in a skillet, like enough to cook piece of meat? Also, in 20-40 degree weather, how often would you say you reload the firebox? Once full and closed how long will it last in cold temps that are above 0? I know it would vary time to time, but just getting an idea if it would burn through a night without filling. Thanks again.
 

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I didn't know there were wood stoves that you didn't have to add wood to every two or three hours. :eek: I love my little wood stove and it will heat pretty much my whole 2600+ sq. foot house within a couple of hours, but I definitely have to add wood every couple of hours.

Sadly it isn't large enough for more than one skillet, so while I probably could cook on it, it would have to be one skillet meals. I would suggest getting one that is at least large enough for one of those portable oven toppers to fit onto.
 

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Great info, thanks! Let me ask you this, have you ever been able to fry something on it in a skillet, like enough to cook piece of meat? Also, in 20-40 degree weather, how often would you say you reload the firebox? Once full and closed how long will it last in cold temps that are above 0? I know it would vary time to time, but just getting an idea if it would burn through a night without filling. Thanks again.
I have not fried on it for two reasons. One it often is not hot enough and two you have grease splatter to contend with.

I regular put a piece or two of wood into the stove at night when I go to bed (9pm) and have enough coals to re-fire in the morning (6-7am). In the morning I take out several scoops of ash and exposed what coals are left. Than I add wood. Though sometimes small wood chips are needed to help. Sometimes I goose it with a self igniter propane torch I keep handy. I think I have had the fire going like this for several weeks without having to do a full restart.

Last night the temp reached 11F outdoors. The house was 75F inside when I fell asleep, it was 59F (brrr) this morning. It is back up to 70F now. I should mention I always shut the draft all the way down at night and it rarely is that cold here in Northern Arkansas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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My daughter has been off the grid for about 3 years and has a propane stove but also has a wood stove in the kitchen and heats water in a 5 gallon stainless steel pot on top of the stove. Has a spigot on the bottom side to get the hot water. I made her a oven that sets on the top of the stove that she bakes in. Has a thermostat, and a air valve to regulated the temp. She uses the propane stove so little a 100 lbs bottle of propane will last almost a year. Mostly for canning. The wood stove also heats the 1000 sq ft house. The house walls are 10" thick with lots of insulation. Warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My daughter has been off the grid for about 3 years and has a propane stove but also has a wood stove in the kitchen and heats water in a 5 gallon stainless steel pot on top of the stove. Has a spigot on the bottom side to get the hot water. I made her a oven that sets on the top of the stove that she bakes in. Has a thermostat, and a air valve to regulated the temp. She uses the propane stove so little a 100 lbs bottle of propane will last almost a year. Mostly for canning. The wood stove also heats the 1000 sq ft house. The house walls are 10" thick with lots of insulation. Warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Sounds great, so what kind of woodstove is it?? I'm trying to choose one to purchase, so if you knew the make, model, etc. that would be helpful. :)
 

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Sounds great, so what kind of woodstove is it?? I'm trying to choose one to purchase, so if you knew the make, model, etc. that would be helpful. :)
I don't know. Has no label. At first she had a smaller stove with a firebox so small you couldn't get a normal stick of firewall in and was to small for cooking or heating. This stove was given to her along with all new stainless pipe.

I have a wood stove in my 50' X60' hanger/workshop. Does a good job of heating the building and a nice big top for cooking. Got it at Tractor Supply store about 10-12 years ago, don't know if the still carry this model.
Pops.
 

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Do people leave wood stoves burning all night? I remember as a kid my parents always closed it down (shut the little air holes) right before they went to bed, so that the fire would not be unattended. There were enough coals to start it up again in the morning if we wished.

However, down here it doesn't get that cold, so that may have had something to do with it. :D:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Do people leave wood stoves burning all night? I remember as a kid my parents always closed it down (shut the little air holes) right before they went to bed, so that the fire would not be unattended. There were enough coals to start it up again in the morning if we wished.

However, down here it doesn't get that cold, so that may have had something to do with it. :D:
All the time. Not much choice if you live in a cold climate and have no other heat source. If your set-up is safe and done correct it is no less safe than having you furnace which has flames in it running all night. :thumb:
 
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