Still Cooking With Fire

Fuel Stove still strong after 20 years

Our Fuel Stove is our very cozy domestic heater and a great cooktop. The beauty of this heating system is it is free to run, simple to operate, reliable, and very efficient.  After being moved 3 times, subjected to a period of poor installation with a new but leaking roof, damage to glass by misuse, aging of fire rope, and mishandled by many enthusiastic novices, it is still heating our home and cooking our food. Here is a picture showing some of the features of our main wood stove.

our fuel stove

One of the most important skills developed for our family was learning how to reduce effort required to provide the fuel. These days, we cut and stack the wood only once. We cut the branches with an electric chainsaw (we use our 100% green electricity. We have grid connected solar power) and mostly we use a drop saw to cut it up. We position our bins so the fallen piece falls directly into metal bins. When the bin is full, we place a lid on top and when we required we dust down the bin, and trolley it directly beside the fire. It costs us in human labour about 30mins per nightly burn. (This is average time required to clean out ashes every second burn, set the fire ready for next burn, chop branches, cut wood to size, organise/dust off bins, trolley them into the home).  Twice now, when we were been busy working or travelling we bought a load of cut timber from a demolition yard. (This outsources the labour and recycles damaged old timbers not suitable as building timber).

We use old decorative copper fire covers to cover the ‘ugly’ metal bins. This method ensures that we stack the wood only once. We have bought metal bins whenever we have found them at recycled shops. Be aware that some cheap steel bins need to be stored under cover to reduce the wastage due to rust.

We use the ash and charcoal pieces in the garden and poultry houses to reduce any pests. We also use the ash to cover our garden beds. Tomatoes grown on the edges of the paths can benefit from the extra calcium from the wood ash.

We regularly cook dinner (sometimes the morning porridge) on our fuel stove. We keep a glass pyrex jug full of water to maintain room humidity and give us constant hot water for hot drinks. We cook in the oven and can have as many as 5 pots cooking on the top.  We an old trivet under a pot if the stove is too hot. Cooking on this stove has a lot less cleaning up than an electric stove top because any spills simply burn off.  We can Clean glass fireplace doors. A damp sponge dipped in the ash can be used to scrub away sooty residue.

Thank you Nectar for making a great stove.

bananas-ripening-indoors ripening in the living room which is heated by wood-fuel stove
bananas-ripening-indoors ripening in the living room which is heated by wood-fuel stove