Country Lore: Readers' Wood Cookstove Favorites

These MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers love their cokestoves!

| December 2004/January 2005

From Junkyard Gem to the Stanley

I’ve been cooking on a wood cookstove for close to 30 years — mostly the same stove, made in 1909, that I bought for $25 at a junkyard in Colorado.

I roasted my first Thanksgiving turkey in that stove, and over the years it has turned out many more birds, loaves of bread, pies, pans of biscuits, etc. — not always to perfection, but everything that came out of that oven seemed to taste extraordinarily good.

I brought it with me when we moved to Oregon, and we installed it in the house we started building in 1980, and finally replaced it when, late last winter, my husband got my (reluctant) consent to buy a new stove — a Waterford Stanley. I loved my old stove and was so used to its ways, but once we fired up the Stanley, I never looked back.

The Stanley can be installed closer to wall surfaces and gives us more floor space than the old stove did.

We don’t have the stove hooked up to a water system, but I keep a couple of kettles going, so there’s always enough hot water for a cup of tea or to wash a few dishes. Coffee cups preheat in the warming oven.

The advantages of a cookstove are myriad. The stove works no matter what the weather or if the power is on or off. The Stanley is set up on legs and one of our cats — Stanli by name (pure coincidence) has claimed the floor space underneath as her own private heat sink, sprawled out in the most abandoned fashion at times.

3/29/2014 7:53:38 PM

We bought a log home last year and with it came a beautiful Baker's Choice wood cook stove. I don't think the stove was ever cleaned and it looks like there's a lot of built on grease and food on the stove top and "back splash" area. Does anyone know what I can use that will disolve this mess without ruining the stove. I believe the stove top is made out of polished steel but I'm not sure what the "back splash" is made out of.

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