Friday, August 26, 2011

Keep the Home Fires Burning

It may seem a bit odd to be thinking about fires and wood-burning ovens this time of year, but late August is exactly when we start heating our family cabin (in the Coquihala Valley of British Columbia).  A late night fire in the oven is required to take the chill out of the morning air ... or night air for those midnight visits to the "facilities".

The oven we use is a relic ... circa 1950 ... but it does the job.  And when we're just heating the room, we have a smaller pot-bellied stove (seen to the left of the white cook stove) that heats the room in a heartbeat and burns for hours on a single piece of alder.  The side benefit is being able to cook up breakfast on the wood stove in the morning.  Overly nostalgic?  Perhaps.  But I maintain that there's nothing better than a cup of coffee perked on a wood burning stove.

As a designer, my only complaint about the oven is that it's kinda ... well ... ugly.  Not that the rest of the room is a designer's dream mind you, but a little bit of style wouldn't hurt would it?  A little bit of research unearthed a number of much better looking options that would do the trick.

This is the most ridiculously modern version of the same type of stove we have in our cabin.  It's called the CookCook and it combines the benefits of heating with wood with the benefits of cooking over a wood burning fire.   The stove uses a ceramic cooktop to harness the heat from the fire and create a uniform heat source.  Or for those who like to cook cowboy style, a simple grate is available.
Iron Dog from Germany has a beautifully rugged series of wood burning stoves that would fit into any ski chalet or summer cottage.  They're cast iron so they'll last forever ... proven by the fact that the same family has been making them for 3 generations.  And they're not just attractive, these stoves are engineered to throw a lot of heat from a very small fire.
The Stack stove is almost to cute to be thought of as a stove.  They're available in square or round models, and can burn either wood or pellets.  Their ceramic construction means they're terrific conductors of heat, but also that you can find them in a wide variety of colour.

As with any appliance, be sure to check with the manufacturer for installation specifications, and with your local building code to determine how and if these wood burning ovens are suitable for you.


The Fine Life said...

You start stoking the fire in August? It is about the time I start craving the crispness of fall air, but I open my doors and the heat just pours in. It's nearly 9:00 AM here, and it's time to shut them already. The stoves you featured are lovely, but I think I like your version best!

Arne Salvesen said...

Well, we are in the Great White North after all. It's not always the case, but the cabin sits deep in a valley and towards the end of August we lose a lot of daylight. Even if it's warm during the day the evening temperatures really drop off.

As to the stoves ... I am severely coveting the CookCook. So sleek!

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