Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cooking in the 1800s

Rishona asked a question about how Andi's family does their cooking. Great question, Rishonna!

An example of a wood cook stove like Andi would see.
Andi's family (her mother and the cook and whoever else is using the stove at the time) used a wood cook stove. Most were black but some were fancier. To the left is an example of a wood cook stove. Believe it or not, a lot of modern folks with the "homesteading" spirit prefer to use a wood cook stove even today! You can buy them off the internet.

A lot of the cook stoves had a warming tank alongside the stove top, where one could always find hot water ready to go for dishes or other needs. The wood was cut into stove-ready lengths and inserted into the small firebox. There was even an oven, where loaves of bread and roasts and everything else was cooked. The smoke went out the back and up and into a chimney or stovepipe, like any other wood stove. The wood cook stove was a state-of-the art piece of 1800s technology. The women who cooked on it could regulate the oven and stove-top temperature to a precise degree by adding and controlling the fire. They knew their stoves as well as modern women know theirs.

Mrs. M's wood stove, with bread rising on it.
Right now, my husband and I heat with a wood stove. During the winter I raise bread on it, but then I cook the bread in my electric oven. Our wood stove is only for heat, but a cast-iron wood cook stove served both as heat and for cooking in the 1800s. When we bought our A-frame cabin, what do you suppose we found inside? An old, true, black wood cook stove. Unfortunately, it was not in operating condition so we cut it apart and buried it. We replaced it with an electric range. I don't think I would be so good at keeping the heat "just right" on one of those things!  



  1. We had a wood stove where we lived for a couple years. It was great fun to cook on it!

  2. Cool!!!! We have a real fireplace in our home. We're always chopping wood for it!

  3. I've always wanted a stove like that. :)
    They're so neat!! :D

  4. I don't think I'd do so well cooking on a wood stove, though it would be fun to have one. :)

  5. Our family's house is 100 years old, so we have two wood cook stoves. (one was used for warmth, another for actual cooking) sometimes if the power is out or we have an especially cold snow storm, my dad gets the stove up and going and we make hot chocolate on the top of it. Ahhh, good memories! :)

  6. Thanks for the post Mrs. M!!

  7. I wish sometimes we had a real fireplace. Mine is a gas one. It's pretty easy to turn on! lol


Let Andi know what you think!