I would never replace my conventional stove in my house as the liability of that is too high. My homeowners insurance is already high enough, and I doubt they would allow a solid fuel appliance in the house even if I could afford it.
But someday I do hope to build a summer kitchen at a pavilion down by the river. That makes sense as its a soothing place to relax, and to cook in the summer with the heat outside is a great idea. Naturally a rocket stove would be the best build. I used to teach students to build them back in my teaching days.
I utterly despise electric stoves. I also utterly despise glass topped stoves. Guess what we have. And, we've now functioned without it for about 9 months, because the glass top broke, during canning, and replacing it has not been an option. During the winter, I often cooked in the living room, on top of the new wood stove (which took priority over replacing the kitchen stove, because it gets much colder in the Ozarks than one might think), or on a propane camp stove that we set on top of the #$%@!! electric stove. But, it's spring, and we're not running the woodstove, so we've had to get creative, and use the camp stove almost exclusively, occasionally using an induction burner - but that's not compatible with most of our cookware. The house is not plumbed for gas, other than the water heater. If I had my druthers, which I don't, I'd rip out the kitchen, rearrange the appliances, and put the stove in a better location for that gas plumbing (AND drastically improve the cabinetry!) - but I'd also incorporate a Walker for winter use. Instead, we plan to build an outdoor kitchen, with that Walker, as well as a smoker and large rocket oven. (We both REALLY LOVE Thomas's black&white one!)
When I was 20 or 30 years younger, I wouldn't have hesitated to go all wood. But, not now. Even if we buy the wood instead of cutting it, to save our declining bodies, we'd still have to split it much smaller, haul it in, and start/maintain that fire. As a baker who can no longer tolerate conventionally grown wheat, & has also gone (mostly) Keto, I need consistent, reliable temps, for baking. We also like both roasting and braising, which can of course be done in a wood oven, but it must be watched and fiddled with, substantially more. I could still do it, for now, but with livestock and no one to help out, even now, I can rarely just hang out in the kitchen all day. As we humans get older, &/or our bodies stop cooperating, &/or we find ourselves extremely shorthanded, many of the things we used to see as mere conveniences, become absolute necessities in keeping our independence - and often even in keeping our homes, land... lifestyle.
Another amazing, generally well-prepared permie unexpectedly became deathly sick, this past winter, and being alone in a remote area, barely managed to survive, even as able-bodied as she normally is. So, while you're thinking about how to do things, it's wise to also prepare for not only aging, but for the unexpected. If you are injured or sick, are you always going to be able to split, stack, & haul in wood? Tough to do on crutches, a walker, in a wheelchair, or while you're busy heaving your guts out, stuck on the toilet, or laid up, in bed - especially if it stretches out for weeks or months. I'd DEARLY love that Walker stove in my kitchen - but not as my only stove.
I just bought the rocket oven package (video and plans). We'll probably build one outdoors first, but I would like to also have one in the house, especially if it would help heat the house in the winter. I would not want one as my only cooking appliance in the house, but as long as electricity is available, that's not an issue. If things get to where we no longer have electricity for cooking, then we'll do our warm-weather cooking outside. (South-central Kentucky, with hot, humid summers.)
I also have the plans for the Walker, but am not sure about building one of those in this old wood-floored house because of the weight. I think we could make the rocket oven work, as long as it's safe for indoor use.
A few years back, Travis Johnson comments on some negatives, and one of the things he said was that cutting wood takes time that could be better spent gardening and etc. But cutting firewood ought to be a winter chore, done when the garden is put to bed. There are several homestead jobs that are best done in winter -- pruning the fruit trees is one (except for the size-limiting pruning, which should be done in mid-summer), and getting your firewood is another.
Kathleen Sanderson wrote:But cutting firewood ought to be a winter chore, done when the garden is put to bed.
That is one of those things that is very location specific. Here, many, many people here have wood heat. I'm in a rural area with lots of woods. Cutting wood here has to be done in seasons other than winter. In winter, it's nearly impossible many places. We have far too much snow many years and the years we don't, the ground is still frozen and makes cutting and getting firewood out of the woods too risky. If you did cut wood n the winter, you would have to carry it out an armload at a time through snow above your knees :) I think that's what Travis meant. In Kentucky, I can see winter being the best time.
I disagree with Travis on whether cutting wood is worth it though. I cut wood and use it to heat our home. I wouldn't need to. We have a well insulated house and gas heat, but I still think it's worthwhile. Like you, I would love to have an outdoor rocket oven, but I will never have one indoors.
I do live in Kentucky now, but spent 12 years in central NH, and before that lived in the Interior of Alaska. We always cut our wood in the winter, snow or not, and sometimes at thirty below zero! Especially when we were in Alaska, we simply didn't have time to cut it during the summer (seasonal jobs -- we were off work in the winter).
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