Wood Stove Buying Guide
Wood fired ovens are not just for cooking pizzas and they don’t all have to be outdoors. If you’re after a rustic, earthen, full-bodied flavour in your food, like grandma used to make it – invest in your very own wood stove and you’ll skip the gas and electricity bill too. Here are some tips on how to select the right wood stove for your home!
What’s your cooking style?
Wood stoves are what our grandparents used to cook with and it’s not surprising they’ve made a bit of a comeback with many people craving a fuller flavour at a more cost effective and more environmentally friendly approach. But if you’re going to be using a wood stove to its full potential, it needs to fit with your cooking style. You’ll need to think about the size of the oven and cooker, how many oven boxes you want, one or multiple and aesthetically, how you want it to fit within your kitchen.
Heat output and efficiency considerations
There’s no denying wood burning stoves are better for the environment than oil, gas or electric heaters and ovens, however, you still want to be assured of its efficiency and heat output for making the change. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) efficiency standards state that a wood stove should deliver over 60 per cent of the fuel’s potential heat to the house in order to be efficient. Many can get up to around 85 per cent. So it’s important to consider the efficiency rating on your wood stove before you purchase it.
What is it made out of?
Wood stoves can be made out of cast iron or welded stainless steel. The stainless steel option is generally cheaper and aesthetically are plainer with a modern design, while the cast iron material makes for a more ornate vintage style appliance. In terms of heating and cooking, the two materials are not distinguishably different. However, cast iron wood stoves do need to be rebuilt every few years to ensure the joins are sealed so air flow doesn’t change the heat control. The stainless steel varieties usually require less maintenance.
Both catalytic and non-catalytic combustion systems enable effective wood stove heaters/cookers. So really it comes down to your needs when choosing which technology you go with. Catalytic systems have a ceramic honeycomb type filter which is catalyst-coated – this sucks up the exhaust gases and smoke. They also have a lever-operated catalyst bypass damper which you can open while loading the fire box and when starting the fire.
These elements may degrade overtime and need to be replaced but that depends how often you use it and at what heat. The non-catalytic systems have insulated fireboxes, a baffle to divert gas flow and the added element of small holes around the top of the fire box to stimulate preheated combustion air. The baffle will also need to be replaced over time. So which do you go with? It’s entirely up to you and the make of the oven you’re after. Catalytic systems have a more steady heat output while non-catalytic systems offer a more gradual heat with a peak temperature.
Whatever style you are after Gourmet Wood Fired Ovens has the right oven for you to become a more conscious, in control and flavoursome home cook. Check out the great range of wood stoves or contact Gourmet Wood Fired Ovens on 08 9471 9389 today.