Saturday, December 6, 2008

How do you start a Fire?
With an fu,fu,fuh, for F!!!

When asked how do you start a fire, the Swedgirl, who is into sounding words out, says 'with an Fuh, fuh, F!!!'
One of the things that gives our new house so much character is the Tulikivi soapstone wood cook top stove. We had not fired it up this season, because we needed to do some research on how to do it properly. But this weekend we got out the firewood, and started things up!
The Tulikivi stoves are made from soapstone from a big quarry in Finland. Soapstone is ideal for masonry stoves because of it's ability to hold heat. The stove gets heated up with the fire, then radiates a slow heat all day. It never gets too hot to touch like a cast iron stove, so its very safe to have near children. You make a fire just once or twice a day, and the stone absorbs and radiates the heat. It is a very fuel efficient way to heat, and the Tulikivi stoves have the best air quality/ lowest emission standards for wood burning stoves. To fire up the stove for the first time, we started with a series of small fires to get the stones warm for the season. Once the stove has been heated slowly, we can really get cooking. So this weekend we primed it.
I look forward to trying to actually prepare food with it. I think it's pretty great to be able to cook your food with the same energy you use to heat your home! You cook in the oven by building a fire in the main oven, letting it burn out, then raking the coals into the ash box below through the opening in the stove. The oven gets to be very hot, and when it's at its peak temperature it is ideal for cooking pizzas, which do well in a super hot 475 F' oven. Then as it cools slowly over the course of hours, or as you vent it, you can cook whatever you would cook in a regular oven inside the stoneoven in the lower temperature. The stones will keep radiating heat to the house, and the oven compartment will do the cooking/ baking. It is supposed to be good for allowing a steady, even heat which makes the specifics of the temperature less important (like if its not exactly 375 F' that is ok). I found some recipes online, and pulled out some old cookbooks that presume you are cooking on a wood stove, so I am in good shape with instructions on building cooking fires and how to use the oven! The stovetop is cast iron and is warmed by using the fire box on the side. I have to do a bit more research for this, as it requires a fire in a new part we have not used yet. But from what I can tell, you adjust the heat by moving the pans away from the prime source of heat- there is a lot of area on the stove top. It has removable burner plates, so you can actually just stick your cast iron pot in the hole and leave it there as a slow cooker over the day.
Our first fire!


Kangaroo said...

congratulations...i know how much you loved that stove when you found the house. how lovely. iris's smile crosses oceans, it's so bright.

Karen said...

that stove is soooo cool! I loved it when we lived in Northern CA, and had a wood burning stove (though not anywhere as cool as yours!)