How wood burning cookers work

The wood burning cooker is one of the most traditional means of cooking food. These cookers are more than a means of creating delicious meals – many are capable of warming your whole home.

Although some may view the wood burning cooker as an archaic tool, the inner workings of these cookers prove the reliability, simplicity and durability that has sustained centuries.

La Nordica Suprema Grande wood burning cooker
La Nordica Suprema Grande wood burning cooker

A popular misconception is that cooking with a wood burning range cooker gives your food a smokey taste. This isn’t the case, because if you could taste smoke then there is a strong chance of a leak – which is bad news. If you want a smokey tasting dish, try cooking on a barbecue.

In wood burning cookers however, the firebox is a well-sealed area within the cooker. This not only ensures the maximum efficiency of heat reaching your food, it also allows absolute control over the fire. The ability to control the fire is an absolute must – it is the difference between a succulent, steaming roast chicken and a burnt offering.

With the fire within the combustion chamber under control, heat is then spread across the cooker, providing hob-top cooking. Many cookers have an oven bypass lever which allows you to direct the gases from the fire directly to the multi-ring hotspot on the top of the cooker or round the oven chamber.

To heat the oven, the super-hot gases from the fire are piped around the sides of the oven chamber, which is also heated by the nearby firebox. The gases never come into contact with the food: the oven is a completely sealed area of the cooker.

La Nordica Padova built-in wood burning cooker
La Nordica Padova built-in wood burning cooker

Some other types of range cookers use electricity, oil or gas and can take up to six hours to get it up to temperature and are therefore ‘always on’. With a wood burning cooker this is not necessary. Simply fire up the cooker, get it up to temperature and begin cooking.

Multiple ovens in a wood burning cooker allows you to move food from various heat intensities, and many have plate warming cupboards.

Naturally, the super-hot gases that have warmed your cooker need to leave through a chimney, so it is necessary to consider this when planning for to purchase one.

A wood burning cooker insist on a slower pace of life; you can’t expect to start cooking with it right away when you get in from work. By handling fire, you must learn ways of feeding and controlling it.

If this sounds like a lifestyle not suited to you, then perhaps you should look at our gas, electric, oil, pellet or dual fuel cookers. However, if this sounds perfect for you, then take a look at our broad range of wood burning cookers.

Featured image: ESSE 905 WN wood burning boiler cooker.

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