Wood-fired cooker troubleshooting

We recently helped a customer who was struggling to get their wood-fired boiler cooker up to temperature, so we thought we’d put together a quick blog to help anyone else who may be having issues. Here’s what you should check if you can’t get your wood-fired boiler cooker up to temperature.


The first thing you should check is your fuel. It is absolutely imperative you use wood with a moisture content of less than 20%. Use a moisture meter to find this out. Particularly if you’re using hardwood, make sure you check the moisture content in the centre of the wood by splitting it. We have encountered issues where the moisture meter said the wood had a very low amount of moisture in it on the outer part of the wood, but when we split it, the moisture content was over 40%.

Moist fuel will cause you issues because the energy of the fire is spent boiling the water out of the wood and not heating your cooker. This can also cause creosote issues in your flue over time. Use our kiln dried hardwood for best results.

chopping wood


Okay, so it sounds patronising but please read the instructions. The manufacturer will tell you exactly how much wood is needed per hour (called a charge), and you should follow this religiously, until at least you have a better understanding of your wood-fired cooker.

La Nordica Thermo Suprema Compact 18.5 DSA Wood Boiler Cooker


Check your flue pressure. To heat up the oven, boiler, hot plates and more, the heat is circulated throughout the wood-fired cooker. Therefore it is vitally important that you have good pressure in your flue and that it draws well. If the heat isn’t being moved through the cooker than you may find some areas are hotter than others. To rectify this buy a draught booster or change your cowl.

It is also important to make sure the flue is unobstructed, so should be swept regularly. Again, any obstructions will affect your flue’s draw and not pull the heat around the cooker.

cowl draught booster wood-fired cooker

Air supply to your wood-fired cooker

Fire needs plenty of air. Check that the air controls on the wood-fired cooker are unobstructed and open fully. If you are unable to get it to temperature still, consider opening a window. Then check to see if enough is getting into the firebox. You may need to open a window to test this. If this works, it would indicate that you need to install an air vent into your room. Read this blog post on how air is supplied to a stove (the principle remains the same).

fire-orange-emergency-burning wood-fired cooker

Heat diversion levers

Correctly positioning the heat diversion levers is essential. They will either divert heat to the boiler or to the oven, in which case you could find one is hotter than the other. You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

A wood fired cooker takes a some effort to learn but becoming familiar with will ensure you enjoy the delicious flavours of a meal cooked by real fire in no time.

If your problems persist please get in touch with our trained team and we’ll endeavour to get to the bottom of it.

tea warm hands

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