EcoDIY sub-urban self-reliance

Our wood fired range cooker

We have installed an wood burning cooker in the kitchen.  We installed it in mid December 2008 and have been delighted with its performance.  It has replaced the Electric hob and oven, electric kettle and toaster and thereby reduced our electricity use considerably.


The cooker we chose (after long, often frustrating research on the web) was a KVS 9103 from Eurostoves made in the Czech Republic it cost us about £1400 (now costs more I believe).  We chose it because it seemed to have a better way of distributing the heat to the oven, i.e. a lever which changed the flame between the top of the stove and going down around the oven.


The stove is mostly steel (not cast iron) with a thin steel enamelled oven and outer shell and a thick steel top plate.  The advantage of this construction is that it heats up very quickly, we can boil a kettle about 10 minutes after lighting it.  The down side may be that it may not last as long as a cast iron cooker.


We have had some problems getting the oven hot enough. We find the top of the oven is easy to get hot and have put a steel shelf half way up the oven to make the top half hotter (good enough for bread etc.  To get the whole oven really hot means burning the stove for at least an hour at full heat, the top plate gives out lots of heat if you do that. 


At the moment we are burning about a wheelbarrow load of dry wood (a mixture of pallet and recycled building timber and logs) a day (in the winter).   The ash is going on the garden via the compost bins and around the onion sets (they like the potash).   We are separating a lot of iron (nails etc) from the ash and recycling that separately