Nectre Stove & Oven | How to Use a Wood Burning Cook Stove
Nectre brings heating together with a traditional wood-burning fireplace, an oven and, stove cooking – through these versatile and powerful radiant wood heaters that can warm up large living space and your tummy at the same time.
If you are looking for a wood-burning stove you can cook on, these products from Nectre are highly recommended:
Nectre Big Bakers Oven & Fireplace (Nectre N550)
Click here to see more specifications of the Nectre 550 Wood Fired Oven
Nectre Bakers Oven & Fireplace (Nectre N350)
Click here to see more specifications of the Nectre N350 Wood Fired Oven
The firebox body is built of 1/4" steel and surrounded by a 1/8" steel outer casing to ensure efficient heat output while the doors are built with durable and long-lasting cast iron. They also feature side sacrificial plates hanging in position with no mechanical fixings.
The basic steps for using the Nectre appliances as a wood-burning oven and cookstove are outlined below.
Step 1: Starting and Getting the Fire Going
The first step is to keep a steady fire going in your Nectre. The upper firebox will store your wood, the flat surface above the firebox is your stovetop, while the bottom firebox is your oven. Keep in mind that building a fire in the Nectre wood stove differs from igniting a campfire outside because it is an airtight wood-burning stove.
Use hardwood logs of various sizes, including large, medium, split logs, and kindling logs. Oak, maple, and apple are all excellent choices. Make sure that the wood is thoroughly dry or with a moisture content of less than 20%.
- To get the air you need for combustion, stack the woods in this order – larger logs at the bottom, split logs and smaller logs in the middle, and kindling on top. The large logs at the bottom create a stable woodpile, while the kindling placed closer to the air supply helps start the fire.
Once you've got the fire going, make sure you have enough air drafting into the firebox to establish a good burn. You can do this by opening the damper, the air adjustment valve, and the air spindle control on the door. You can close all of these valves once the flames have reached a high level, allowing your wood to burn longer.
Step 2: Cooking on a Wood-Burning Cook Stove Top
The surface at the top of the firebox can be used to cook anything you normally cook on an electric or gas range. Since there are no knobs to control the flames, you'll need to figure out other techniques to manage the temperature, such as using more heat to fry something in a skillet or less heat to simmer or slow boil in a pot.
Find the hottest spot and slow cooking spot. The removable cook rings where the heat used to rise out of the stove is the hottest spot. If the fire is hot enough, anything you put on that spot can be boiled or fried, whereas anything placed farther away from that spot will take slowly to cook. If you want to warm your food without overcooking it, simply cover the cook rings or place it away from them.
- Increasing the Temperature of the Fire – If you want to cook faster, create a hotter fire by using multiple thinner thin logs (3-4" in diameter) in the firebox instead of a single large log to increase the temperature and heat the stove as quickly as possible. Thinner logs burn more quickly and provide more heat.
- Preheating Pans – Another way to speed up the cooking process is to first preheat the empty pan. You may use any of your regular pots and pans. Simply position it above the stove to do so. This way, the food will heat up faster. Cast iron is the best option, however, enamel and stainless steel are also great. Thinner-walled pans, such as enamel, heat up faster and cook food quickly.
- Make use of Tight-Fitting Cover – The tight-fitting lid traps the heat inside to help food cook faster.
- Rotate the Food Frequently for Even Cooking – The wood stove might heat the food unevenly, so to ensure that everything is cooked properly, stir frequently or rotate the pan regularly.
- Keep an Eye on your Cooking – You can't always rely on a recipe's cooking time or expect that it will take the same amount of time you cooked it on a regular cooking burner. It could take longer or burn quickly. Until you've become used to how your wood stove works, keep a closer eye on your food while it cooks. You can always smell and taste the food to see if it's ready to eat.
Step 3: Baking in a Wood Cook Stove
Next is preheating the oven. The firebox is nearly full, allowing you to evenly heat the oven or let it drop to the exact temperature you want. The oven comes with a built-in thermometer to help you with your cooking or baking.
Here’s a guide that outlines which temperature is ideal for each type of cooking or baking.
325° – 350°F: This is most likely the temperature range you use the most. This is ideal for braises and slow roasts to produce juicer results, as well as baking cakes, rolls, some pastries, and roasting nuts.
375° – 400°F: If you’re baking or roasting for a shorter period of time, this is the preferred temperature to achieve that toasty crisp border on cookies, bubbling cheese, golden crispy skin on poultry, and roasting large cuts of meat like beef, lamb, and pork. The risk of burning increases as the temperature rises, so keep an eye on what’s cooking.
425° – 450°F: This is the ideal temperature to use for short-term baking and roasting. You’ll get a quick burst of high heat and achieve a golden roast color without having to leave the over for too long. This is perfect for roasted vegetables, baked dishes, puffy pastries, and reheating food. High-heat roasting also works for quickly cooking small meats and tender cuts like tenderloins.
475° – 500°F: Setting the oven to the highest setting possible is best for pizza and bread. Pre-heat the oven to around 475°- 500°F after removing the dough from the refrigerator. The dough rises and cooks before the gluten has a chance to set at this temperature range.
- Utilize the Stovetop – Since wood-fired ovens cook a little bit faster, there will be instances where the top will be thoroughly baked but the bottoms will take a little longer. To solve this problem, set the food on top of the oven to allow the bottoms to catch up.
- Rotate the Food during Baking – Wood-burning ovens only have one source of heat, so uneven heating is inevitable. Rotating the food to prevent it from burning or being undercooked on one side is the key.
- Take Extra Precautions – Cooking with a wood-burning oven is riskier, unlike traditional and modern gas ovens. If you bump into it, you will burn yourself. Make sure to wear protective gloves and be extra careful.
Cooking on a wood stove takes a little patience and practice at first, but the rewards are wonderfully worthwhile.
The Nectre Oven & Fireplace has been renowned for a long time because of its heating and cooking capabilities. It's a versatile wood-fired oven that may be used not only as a primary or emergency backup heat source, but also to cook and bake your meals!