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Cooking on a wood burning stove with cooking disks that are not removable (US Stove Co. stove)?

 
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Does anyone have any good information on cooking on a wood burning stove?  We will be using our US Stove this winter and I want to cook on it.  However, the stove has the cooking disks, but they are not removable.  And the stove was sent with a wool pad to put above air baffle, but below the cook surface.  I am afraid that the stove top will not get hot enough to cook on with this wool pad between baffle and cook top.  My plans are to leave it off.  We have carbon monoxide alarms, so I really don't think it is needed.  I want to use my cast iron skillets to cook on the wood stove.  This is something I have never done and will be new for me.  Years ago I did cook a pot of beans in a stew pot, I think it was aluminum, on a wood stove and they cooked on a small wood stove that didn't have the cooking disks, with only just the flat top of the stove, and they cooked up just fine, although with beans it is slow going and it took probably 3 or 4 hours (from soaked dry beans).

Any thoughts, advice, or comments are much appreciated.

M. A. Carey
 
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I find the top of our woodstove gets too hot for low temperature or slow cooking, so I need to use a trivet for things like rice or stew.  Ordinarily I saute or boil things with stainless steel pans, I haven't used cast iron yet. The temperature varies around the top of the stove, being hottest right by the stove pipe.  This stove just has a flat metal top, no cook holes.
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