The Switch: Trading Out Our Woodstoves


| 11/21/2013 8:33:00 AM


Tags: cooking with wood, New Hampshire, Bethann Weick,

As the end of November neared, Ryan and I were beginning to feel a chill inside the cabin. Early mornings and late afternoons left the cabin feeling cool.   While it was warmer inside than out, our sweaters, hats, and booties were becoming a must.cozy inside with wood heat

Through Spring, Summer, and into Autumn, we use our Sweetheart cookstove. With six “burners,” and an oven beside the firebox, it is quite the satisfying cooking experience. We split our wood small and a hot fire is reliable – the size and location of the fire within the firebox is determined by how many pots and pans sit atop the cooktop. In this manner, it is easy to cook precisely - and even extravagantly – all with the convenience of wood. In the hottest weeks of July or August, the loft can be a tad too warm after dinner is cooked, but by and large the cookstove keeps the cabin comfortable: warm when it’s cool outside during the shoulder seasons, and not too hot in the peak of summer. And as an added bonus, as the stove cools down at the conclusion of a meal, the oven becomes an excellent location to slowly dry herbs and flowers.

However, as the full moon waxed large in November, we were building larger and larger fires to cook meals that were no more involved than they had previously been – and putting an extra log in before climbing the wooden rungs of the ladder to our bed in the loft.

It was getting cold.

And so, it became time for The Switch. That is, disconnecting the cookstove from the flue and moving our Resolute woodstove into place. It is a mildly daunting task, partly for the inherent mess, partially for the sheer weight of these stoves. They don’t move easily. Nonetheless, we could put it off no longer.

The process begins by sweeping the chimney.   Ryan deftly scrambles to the peak of the cabin’s roof via our hodgepodge collection of ladders. He passes down the cap, which I scrub with a wire brush.   Meanwhile, he runs the long-handled chimney brush up and down the pipe.


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11/24/2013 3:08:15 AM

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thermop57
11/22/2013 2:04:54 PM

Hey Bethann, Superb article, you are a wonderful writer! Your prose takes the reader right into what you are doing and where you are doing it! I did want to ask you to publicly comment (for the benefit of other readers) on the EPA's new stringent woodstove requirements. Thanks.




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