Cooking Beans on the Wood Stove

Wood Stove

Cooking beans on the wood stove instead of the electric stove fulfills four of my heart’s desires:

  • To never use electricity from the grid ever again (I’m not there YET but it feels good to minimize usage).
  • To be extra frugal.  Using the wood stove to heat the house and to cook – the wood fuel performs double duty!
  • To minimize eating foods from cans.  I don’t mean the foods that caring homemakers lovingly can in GLASS jars.  I mean store-bought cans that are lined with that evil substance we call BPA.
  • To eat a whole-foods plant-based diet and stay healthy and strong.

Cooking times

Everyone’s wood stove is different and heats up at a different speed and produces different temperatures but I’ll share how long it took on my stove.

Two types of dried beans, kidney and pinto, were soaked overnight and all the next day.

The fire in the woodstove was lit at 4:30pm.  By 4:50pm the top of the stove was hot and the bean pots were placed on it.  By 5:25pm the water in the pots began to simmer but it never reached a rolling boil.  By 6:30pm the kidney beans were done.  By 7:10 the pinto beans were done.

Total Cooking Times:

  • Kidney beans:  1 hour and 40 minutes
  • Pinto beans:  2 hours and 20 minutes

I suspect the pinto beans were older and that’s why they took longer.

Wood Stove

Tips for cooking on a wood stove

  • Make sure the pot handles aren’t hovering over the stove.  The handles should be facing outward so they don’t melt or get too hot.  Handles still must be picked up using oven mitts.
  • Move the pots around about every 15 minutes to make sure the bottoms aren’t sticking to the stove for any reason (stray liquids or crumbs or soot).
  • Stir the pots often to prevent the food from sticking.  Because the bottom surface of the pot is directly on the high heat, food tends to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Give yourself extra time because wood stove temperatures will fluctuate.
  • Make sure you are able to monitor the cooking so it doesn’t burn.