#1

Member
SE NH
We have an Elmira Sweetheart cookstove in the basement that I fire up when it gets cold out.

This morning I made breakfast on it.

I keep all types of wood to help regulate the temperature. The small boards were from a pallet. In the tin are pine cones we collect in the fall. Either will jumpstart a sluggish fire.
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The stove has lots of air dampers to control the burn which controls the temperature.
The dampers are half spheres that you screw down to control airflow. There is one at the bottom under the firebox. I can also prop open the shaker grate door if a need lots of air such as when starting the fire.
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These are the side dampers
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I put a cast iron griddle on to heat up. I put sausage and scrapple on to cook. The plates are warming on the warming shelf. I also use all metal utensils. Plastic handles on utensils and pots can melt. The one on the tea kettle is protected by the kettle it's self.
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Now the sausage is warming on the plates freeing up enough griddle space to pour some pancakes.
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When all the pancakes are finished we dine. I move the kettle directly over the firebox to bring it to a boil to make tea and coffee for after the meal.
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Baking in the oven requres more effort. Once the fire is hot I slide a damper that allows flue gas to travel around the oven portion heating it up.
After the oven temp is okay I put in my items to be baked. But this is not set it and forget it. I set a time for 5 minutes and check to make sure everything is okay. I add wood, open dampers or rotate the baking dish as need. I have my time go off every 10 minutes and repeat any of those steps as needed. That is were the small wood and pinecones come in handy. A burst of heat to raise the oven temp.

It is not as hard as I am making it sound. I actually find the whole process quite relaxing. Thursday I simmered a big pot of turkey soup on the stove and baked biscuits in the oven. It was yummy but I did not get any pics of the baking process.
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#2

Super Moderator
(This post was last modified: 12-31-2017, 06:30 PM by Marko.)
Thats pretty cool PhilNH5 , it sounds like a lot of fiddling around but I'm guessing that once you get the hang of it it comes naturally. I think there is something primal in our souls that makes tending a fire for cooking a very meaningful and enjoyable activity. Just the satisfaction in getting a proper fire going is great. In the summer I smoke meat in a charcoal fired water smoker (weber SMC) and I enjoy being up at the crack of dawn (or earlier) to start the fire for a long smoke and then its a lot of tending and fiddling with dampers to maintain a reasonably precise temperature as your fuel decreases, adding charcoal and then of course the serving to family and friends and eating part is good too.
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#3

Merchant
Central Maine
I would love to have a wood cook stove, but there just isn't room for one. I fry and boil things on the top of our wood stove. It's a kludge, but it works. I made sure that when we got a new stove that the top could be cooked on. I always have a few gallons of water in kettles on the top.

The best beans ever are made on the wood stove. I have no idea why that is, but no other form of cooking heat works as good. Yeah, it makes no sense.

Phil, do you have a water heater on the side of the Elmira? Was one ever available for that stove? Just curious.
Brian. Lover of SE razors. Maker of Krampert's Finest Products.
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#4

Member
SE NH
(12-30-2017, 08:46 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Phil, do you have a water heater on the side of the Elmira? Was one ever available for that stove? Just curious.

Brian,
It does not have a water reservoir We picked up this stove as NOS. An engineer and his wife bought it for their lake house. The legs poked holes in the floor. They put it in their garage intending to eventually install it.

Fast forward 20 years and they are retiring to the lake house. They need the garage space so they put a want ad in the paper. The price was great and we went to look at it. It was new never used. He had saved every thing. Extra screws, packing materials, posidriver to put it together. And the price was 1/10 a new one. I told him that and offered him twice his asking price. He said he admired our integrity but really he was just glad to see it go to a good home.

It was the best purchase we have ever made. We have had it since 1999.

They are now made by Heartland
I had to call them to order a flue adapter. The Sweetheart has a 6" oval flue pipe. I need an adapter to make that fit a 6" round chimney pipe.
They were a great company to deal with.

I have considered ordering the warming cupboard to replace the simple shelf I have.

I love having it. For warmth and for utility. Baked goods come out the best whether it be yeast breads, quick breads or biscuits. Like your beans I have no idea why this is so but it is.

I have cast iron cookware for it including a bread pan. Don't now where but my daughter found that for me.
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#5

Member
SE NH
(12-30-2017, 07:21 PM)Marko Wrote: Thats pretty cool PhilNH5 , it sounds like a lot of fiddling around but I'm guessing that once you get the hang of it it comes naturally.  I think there is something primal in our souls that makes tending a fire for cooking a very meaningful and enjoyable activity.  Just the satisfaction in getting a proper fire going is great.  In the summer I smoke meat in a charcoal fired water smoker (weber SMC) and I enjoy being up at the crack of dawn (or earlier) to start the fire for a long smoke and then its  al to of tending and fiddling with dampers to maintain a reasonably precise temperature as your fuel decreases, adding charcoal and then of course the serving to family and friends and eating part is good too.

Marko,
It is easy once you get the hang of it. My wife bought some out of print woodstove cook books for me as I was a little intimidated. I read the books and quickly realized the knowledge I need was not in print. It was to be gained through experience so I jumped in.

Other than babysitting the stove it is not hard. And as you mention there is immense satisfaction in cooking this way. I do not see it as a chore. If it was I would simply use our conventional oven. I enjoy the whole process and look forawrd to cold weather so i can fire it up.

No smoking foods - THAT really intimidates me.
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#6

Merchant
Central Maine
Phil, that was a sweet deal, but things like that fall into the right folks lap in my experience. It was meant to be.

Don't let smoked foods intimidate you. It's easy with the right gear, more difficult (for great results) with other gear. I smoke some foods for the local community and it's something I almost wish I had never started to do. Now I do a batch for others, then I do a batch for myself. It started out being "my" batch with others adding to it. :-) But one hand washes the other and they do things for me.
Brian. Lover of SE razors. Maker of Krampert's Finest Products.
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