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Using An Everhot Wood Stove
"After searching for information on the Everhot combustion cooker, I stumbled on your website. We have just purchased a property which has one of these cookers installed but theres no operating manual. I was wondering if you could point us in the right direction to seek operating information and in particular some recipes."
We simply started using our stove. Our first one cost a couple of hundred dollars at a clearing sale and needed quite a bit of cleaning :-)
Does yours have a wet back for heating water? Ours is actually in the side... It's fantastic. All of our hot water (on the cloudy days, if it's sunny we get a little heat through the solar heater) in winter comes from the stove. Because Yankalilla never really gets that cold - we don't have frosts here, being close to the beach - we light the fire at around 4pm and by 7 the water is hot enough for showers.
If you have any technical questions, I'll get Robin to answer them, as he's the one that's pulled the stove apart, replaced bits and pieces, etc.
There were two different models with different controls. Ours is the big one...
- To heat the oven, push the bottom left lever in the up position.
- To heat the water on high, push the top left lever in the up position.
- To open up the damper (air vent) to make the fire burn bright push the bottom right lever in the up position. To close the air vent, push it down.
- Close the damper (bottom right lever) when lighting the fire or when opening the door to feed the fire to reduce the incidence of smoke in the room.
We leave the oven door open in winter as a room heater. The everhot keeps our house toasty in the evening - we heat a 10m by 8m room with loads of windows and no drapes, plus we leave adjoining doors to bedrooms open. It's very economical on wood. We use a mix of seasoned wood - soft and hardwoods. Using only softwoods will cause the flue to block with creosote over time which can cause flue fires. We only light the fire after the bush fire season has passed to avoid any chance of sparks escaping from the flue (a tiny, almost non-existent possibility but I'm terrified of bush fires).
As to recipes, I simply used any old recipe and worked out the nuances of the stove by trial and method. I found that burning a dense, oil rich wood such as olive created a very hot oven quickly - good for scones. Take things slowly and when cooking keep a closer eye on what you are cooking and record the time it takes in your favourite recipe book (you could note what wood you used). It will take some time to get the hang of keeping the oven at an even temperature. Don't put wet or unseasoned wood into the fire box if you are baking - it drops the temperature quickly. Get the oven up to temperature and try to rely on the coals for cooking the food. I tended to bake on the middle tray. The stove top is great for boiling water (keep a kettle on the go - try to buy a stainless steel flat bottomed kettle if you can), and cooking vegies, etc on.
In summer I use the stove as another bench top and the over as a mouse/fly proof cupboard!
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