Heating and cooking with the Ironheart woodstove

I wrote earlier this winter about our decision to buy an Esse Ironheart for our new house and started to document our plans and experiences of cooking in / on it.

The Ironheart as a heat source for the house has proved itself well beyond our expectations; we’re realizing that we probably could have gone without a conventional furnace altogether. On a typically cold winter’s day the Ironheart makes our main floor incredibly warm (glorious t-shirt weather or about 28 degrees celsius); overnight, our lower level (the house is an ICF bungalow with a walk-out basement nestled below grade) only dipped as low as 17 degrees celcius when we ran a two-day experiment with no supplemental heating from the furnace. We can heat the house in this way on just four or five mid-sized logs a day; we knew it was supposed to be incredibly efficient, but the tests we have run this winter have been extremely exciting. The Ironheart was our splurge, but the potential for saving money and energy in the long run is extremely significant.

We’ve had fun cooking on the Ironheart and were sad in a way to see the spring advancing as it will become too warm to use it for cooking at this time of year (we have plans to build an outdoor oven). Last night’s dip in temperatures (and snow!) meant that firing it up today made sense and today I’m slow cooking a soup in the woodstove. My husband also made himself fried eggs and I have to say they live up to their claims of being the best fried eggs known to man! We shouldn’t need to use electricity for cooking at all today, which always feels nice.

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