My Cookstove

Today I am going to tell you about the cookstove in my kitchen.
It's one of my favorite things and I will share with you some of the things I tell guests who visit.

So grab a cup of something hot and stay a while.
My cookstove is a Pioneer Maid steel stove that I have had since 1999.  When we first moved to this house, we installed it in our old, smaller kitchen.  That was pretty unbearable because it puts off a lot of heat (like melt-the-butter-from-across-the-room hot). When we removed the old kitchen and built the new large kitchen addition on the back of the house, we planned around my cookstove and made the perfect spot for it.  Now it is quite comfortable to live with and in addition to cooking, we use it for heating the back half of our house the whole winter long.  And we are warm.

There are lots of beautiful stoves out there, like the Enterprise Monarch (...drool...) or the Heartland Oval (be still my heart...those things are just dreamy!) but what we were looking for in a stove is a really big firebox (the place where the wood burns), a really good sized oven, and enough money left over to still eat and keep the house.  (In case you didn't look, the Oval alone is over $5,000! --cha ching!)

Enter my Pioneer MaidShe's not as fancy but she sure does a great job doing what she was designed for.  First, she heats about 1500 square feet. Easily. 

And second, she cooks.  The top is great for cooking and simmering.  I love itSeriously.  You can use large pans and there are no hot spots in the middle to scorch foods.  I have a huge cast iron skillet that works great on the cooking surface.  You can push the pans over to the side to keep things warm while, say, you're finishing up the gravy or maybe the guys haven't come in from outside yet.  
The oven works great and is really pretty big.  Unlike in a normal kitchen stove, the oven is deeper than it is wide.  You get used to working with it after a while and you learn what is easy to cook with the oven.  Things that roast or cook slowly are great...turkeys, ham, stews, etc.  You have to plan for more exact things like cookies, but actually, that is as much knowing your wood as it is knowing your stove.  It all becomes second nature after a while.
a big roaster full of apple crisp...

some Friday night tuna patties in the big skillet...

just a lift of the lid reveals the deep firebox...
The high-heat side is on the left, over the firebox, and the warm side is on the right. The stove also has a water reservoir.

On the top is a warming oven, which is handy for things you're waiting to serve or if you're my kids, you put your mittens up there.

There is always a dog or two camping out near the stove in the colder months. (which, for the chihauhaus, is any month other than maybe July or August)
Our old dog, Woody.
I can't say enough good things about my stove.  It has been a blessing to have during all of the cold winters in the past decade.   I could go on and on, sharing what I've learned about living with and cooking with wood, but I'll stop here. :-)  

If you ever have any questions about living with a cookstove, please feel free to email me.

But for now, I'm going to check on my pot of chili. 


Savvy Southern Style : Wow Us Wednesdays
No Minimalist Here : Open House Party
My Romantic Home : Show and Tell Friday


Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

Congratulations on having this beauty and knowing how to use make it sound so easy but I'm pretty sure it has a steep learning curve....Have a beautiful "warm" day!!!

Donna said...

You do make it sound easy! Reminds me of my grandparent's stove they had in their kitchen years ago. The warmth in the room must be wonderful. It's a beautiful stove!

Our Country Bungalow said...

It is pretty easy. Not exactly hi-tech. It's not push button but it's quite manageable. It's all about getting used to types of wood, etc. It's always warm, which is really nice.
Thanks for your comments!

Babs said...

How exciting to have a wood cooking stove. I remember my grandmother cooking on one and it was lovely. I can't imagine how much work it is to cut all that wood and keep the fire just right for cooking. How you bake a cake on one is beyond me.
I'll bet you really enjoy it in the winter.
Thanks for letting us visit.

Kelley said...

She's a beaut'!

Peggy said...

I am drooling! I have wanted one of those for years. Love cooking on woodstoves as my grandma taught me when I was a little girl. Food taste so much better. One day I will have one but until then I will just drool and dream over yours. LOL

camp and cottage living said...

Your stove sounds perfect for my 1200 sq. ft. home. But I would definitely need lessons!
There is something about a wood cookstove that transports one back to a simplier time in life!

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

so makes me miss our old farm...


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