One of my favorite things about winter is cooking meals on my wood stove. It saves money because I’m not running propane in my regular stove and, somehow, it just tastes better! If you’ve never had bacon fried on a wood stove – you’re missing out!
If you’ve never cooked on your wood stove, you might be wondering what you can actually cook on it. Here are a few ideas to help you experiment with wood stove cooking plus some tips to help you along the way.
Probably the easiest meal you can make on the wood stove is soup. It can simmer on the stove all afternoon and make your house smell incredible!
Some of my favorite soups to make on the wood stove are:
- Chicken Soup
- Beef Stew
- Potato Soup
- Tuscan Zuppa
- Ham and Bean Soup
The list goes on and on. You can use just about any soup recipe and cook it on your wood stove.
DINNER BEYOND SOUP:
Once you’ve mastered soup and feel more comfortable cooking on your wood stove, the options are nearly limitless.
One of my favorite things to cook this way is chicken and veggies. I just put a couple of pats of butter on the bottom of my Dutch oven then layer some onions, carrots, potatoes, and whatever other veggies I have on hand. I sprinkle the veggies with some salt and dried rosemary. Then I lay the chicken pieces on top of the veggies. Season the chicken, put the lid on, and let it roast all day long. Your stove works similar to a slow cooker so this meal will take most of the day.
TIP: It is good to know the hotter (and cooler) spots on your stove. If it seems like your stove is a bit too hot, you can either put a metal trivet or a few canning rings under your pot to get it away from the heat slightly.
Pot roast is also fabulous when cooked low and slow on the wood stove. Stick a couple of apples in with the potatoes and your house will smell like a fall wonderland all day long!
A few other favorite dinner dishes that are simple and tasty cooked on the wood stove are shepherd’s pie topped with mashed potatoes and chicken pot pie with biscuits on top rather than a pie crust. For me, a biscuit top seems to cook better than a pie crust on the wood stove.
You can cook just about any breakfast food on the wood stove, but I have a few favorites that are super simple.
One thing about cooking breakfast on the wood stove is that in most houses, you crank it up in the mornings to ward off the chill in the house. This is the perfect time for frying and fast cooking foods like bacon and sausage. (Did I mention that bacon is the very BEST when it’s cooked on a wood stove?) I will never forget waking up to my Grannie frying bacon on her wood cookstove when I was a little girl. Every Saturday morning, she would fry up bacon and eggs for breakfast. I’ve never had a wood cookstove, but when I tried it on the wood stove, it turned out just as good!
Pancakes cook up fast and easy, as do eggs. You can also simmer a pot of oatmeal or another hot cereal. Biscuits cook up really well but you do need to flip them unless they are cooked in a Dutch oven.
Ooey, gooey grilled cheese (with a slice of tomato, of course) is pure perfection when cooked on the wood stove. The crust gets nice and crunchy while the inside stays perfectly soft and the cheese is perfectly melted. SOO good! Warm up a bit of soup on the side and you’ve got a lunch fit for a king!
HOLIDAY DINNER ANYONE?
Although I’d never attempt making a turkey on the top of my stove, I have made ham on it several times. We have an old fashioned family recipe where we take a smoked pork butt ham and boil it all day long. It comes out with a completely different texture and the flavor is out of this world. It’s the only way most of us like ham now that we’ve had it that way.
Besides the ham, you can make creamed peas, gravy, mashed potatoes, cornbread or biscuits, stuffing, and you can even boil the eggs for deviled eggs! You can even make rolls in a Dutch oven. Although I doubt your stove is large enough to hold all of that, you can sure use it for part of your meal.
It’s also really good for keeping foods and drinks warm like hot cocoa, hot apple cider, and even appetizers.
WHAT ABOUT DESSERT?
One of my favorite foods to make in the fall is baked apples. It’s like apple pie without all the trouble! They cook up perfectly on the wood stove. Puddings and cookies also cook up really well.
You can also make things like potatoes in the coals of your stove as long as you wrap them in aluminum foil.
BEYOND THE STOVE:
Don’t just limit yourself to the stove top or even the coals. If you have a mantle it’s a great place to put bread to rise, soften butter, and revive sourdough starter that’s been in the fridge.
Speaking of sourdough – you can also make sourdough bread on your stove top! I haven’t quite perfected it yet but it’s not half bad!
Although this is in no way an exhaustive list, I hope it inspires you to cook on your wood stove, even just once per week! I think once you start, you’ll love it so much you’ll want to get creative and do it more and more!
In our house, there is always bone broth simmering on the stove alongside the teapot for water to make coffee and often the Dutch oven with dinner is on there as well! It’s one of my favorite things about winter!