Different Ways To Use Your Stovetop
You can use your stovetop as a fantastic source of heat, and this means that it can provide you with a number of other benefits! In this article and in the video below, we’ll show you how you can liberate the top of your small wood burning stove. We’ll also discuss a wide range of different ways that you can use your stovetop, so that you can get the most out of your tiny wood burner!
How To Use Your Stovetop – Liberating The Top Of Your Small Wood Burning Stove
To get the most out of your small wood stove, ideally, you’re going to need to have your flue setup at the rear of the stove, so that you have all of the stovetop to play with. Our little Hobbit stove can be configured with a top or rear flue exit, so it can be set up whichever way you like. There’s a collar and a blanking plate which can be easily swapped around, so if you already have one of our stoves, then you could do this yourself! If you let us know whether you would like your flue to exit from the top or the rear of your stove, then we will configure your tiny wood burner accordingly before it gets dispatched.
Having your flue system at the back of your stove will give you a lot more freedom when it comes to customising your small wood burning stove. For example, you will be able to equip your Hobbit stove or Hobbit SE with a stainless steel cooktop, a brass gallery rail, a silver gallery rail, or our decorative cast iron hat. We also offer a lot more options in our stove extras section!
With a rear setup, you normally have a 90 degree T and cap, or a rear exit kit at the back of your small wood burning stove. This adds about 170mm onto the depth of your stove, which is measured from the back of the stove to the back of the flue pipe.
We’ve now designed a rear flue wedge, which reduces this distance by 50mm. This only takes up 120mm of space at the back of your stove, which allows you to have a top flue setup whilst liberating the entirety of your stovetop, enabling your stove to be safely installed into an even smaller space!
The diagram below clearly illustrates the different setups you could have, and how much space each one needs. You can also download the document here.
The Benefits Of A Cast Iron Trivet
After liberating the top of your stove, you’ll have a lot more space to do some cooking on your stovetop! The first thing you should really consider getting is a high quality cast iron trivet, such as the one which is included in our cast iron enamelled cookware set.
The trivet will sit on top of your small wood burner, and it allows you to place your kettle or a pan just off your stovetop. A cast iron trivet will absorb some of the heat that’s radiated by your stove, so it will give you a lot more control over the temperature of your stovetop. Placing a pan or a kettle on top of your trivet will now enable you to cook at a slightly lower temperature, which is great for keeping a pan at a simmer, or if you want to gently fry something. It will also help to prevent your kettle from boiling dry if you happen to leave it on your stovetop and forget about it!
You can also get trivets in varying heights, or you could stack two or more trivets on top of each other to achieve your desired cooking temperature. If your stove is too hot to bring a pan to a gentle simmer, then adding a trivet will instantaneously give you a lot more control over the temperature of your stovetop! A trivet will also come in handy when you go to serve your food, as you’ll be able to put your hot pans on a table without marking your surfaces.
Choosing A Stovetop Kettle
After you’ve got yourself a trivet, we would recommend getting your hands on a stovetop kettle for your small wood stove – then you can make a lovely cup of tea or coffee, right on your stovetop!
It’s best to use a stovetop kettle which has a large, wide, flat base, as this will make good surface contact with your tiny wood burner. That way, you’ll be able to boil water a lot faster! Purchasing a stovetop kettle with a whistle is also a good idea, so that you can get any jobs done or spend some time relaxing without your kettle boiling dry. The whistle also helps to prevent the kettle from boiling over if you forget about it!
We stock a wide range of Alessi stovetop kettles, which are made from high quality stainless steel. An Alessi stovetop kettle is the crowning glory to your stove, and they’re a great decorative object to really change up the look of your small wood burner! A fancy stovetop kettle can look fabulous on top of your small wood stove, as well as supplying you with hot water.
Another great way to get your hands on a lovely stovetop kettle is by visiting your local charity shops or some car boot sales! This can be a bit more time-consuming, but it pays off if you happen to come across a bargain. One of the gorgeous stovetop kettles in our video was just £3.00 from a local charity shop!
Top Tip: Before you purchase a small wood burning stove, make sure you also enquire as to whether or not you can boil water on the stovetop. Being able to boil water on your stovetop is incredibly useful for cooking, and it’s essential if you’d like to be able to make a hot cup of tea or coffee on your stovetop, which you can enjoy right in front of your fireplace.
If the stove that you’re interested in is not able to boil water on the stovetop, then we would recommend choosing a different stove altogether. Our Hobbit stove or Little Range Cook Stove will have no problem whatsoever at kicking out enough heat for you to be able to boil water or fry some food on your stovetop.
The top of your small wood burning stove is a hugely important element, because you can also use your stovetop for cooking! If you’ve got a kettle for your small wood stove, then the next thing you’ll need is some cookware, so that you can get stuck into some wood-fired cooking on the top of your tiny log burner.
We stock a high quality cast iron enamelled cookware set, which is the perfect cookware accessory for your small stove. Our cookpot is great for stews, soups and broths etc. and you can also fry onions off at the bottom of the pan, for example. The enameled interior of the pan will also help prevent ingredients from sticking and burning to the bottom of it when you’re cooking at high temperatures. If you have a Little Range Cook Stove, then you can even put it straight into the oven for some slow cooking. A good cast iron pot is really a must-have when it comes to cooking on your small wood burning stove.
We’ve cooked on our stove using a variety of different pans, and heavy-bottomed stainless steel pans also work really well. We stock a cast iron enamelled griddle pan, which fits neatly on the top of our Hobbit stove, and it’s fantastic for making a fried breakfast. If you’ve got a nice little space outside, then you can always take your Hobbit stove outside and set it up in your garden, so that you can cook in the sunshine.
You can also get some great retro pans, like our Catherineholm pan by the Norwegian designer Grete Prytz Kittelsen. She was one of the most well-known Norwegians in the Scandinavian Design movement, and we absolutely love the designs!
Using a few nice pans on your stovetop makes it even more of a joy to cook on your small wood burning stove. You could even dress a few nice pans around your small wood stove to turn it into a little kitchen area! Plus, our Little Range Cook Stove gives you the option of adding a full-size enamelled splash back, which comes with a rail and cast iron brackets, so that you can keep all of your kitchen utensils organised in one place.
You can take a look through our cookbook for some inspiration, which has lots of delicious stovetop recipes, and you can visit the cooking section of our blog for even more wood-fired cooking ideas! So why not liberate your stovetop, get your pans out, and get cooking!
The T1000 Stovetop Toasting Fork
We have also designed a separate stovetop accessory to go with our Hobbit stove or Little Range – the T1000! The T1000 is an adjustable small stove toasting fork, which works perfectly on almost any stovetop or hearth, and you can also use it in front of a campfire or a chiminea.
It has a fully adjustable 316 grade stainless steel arm, which is cool to the touch. It also has an enamelled cast iron base, which comes in a range of different colours, and it’s emblazoned with a shiny T1000 badge.
The T1000 is a modern toasting fork that enables you to toast a wide range of food completely hands-free! It sits securely on your stovetop or hearth, and it can be firmly adjusted to a wide range of different positions. This enables you to toast your bread, crumpets, waffles, muffins, sausages or pasties until your heart’s content. What could be better than toasting 4 marshmallows at once… and doing it hands-free!? You can check out the T1000 product page to find out more.
Another brilliant way to use your stovetop is for some stovetop aromatherapy! We love to add a few drops of some essential oils and some herbs into a cast iron kettle, before placing it on top of our Hobbit stove. Once your small wood stove starts to get hot, your stovetop will gently heat the mixture and release a wonderful scent into your room, which you can sit and enjoy whilst you watch the fire gently flickering away.
This type of set up is perfect for yoga retreats, other healing and wellness spaces (such as meditation spaces, massage rooms, Reiki etc.), a relaxing getaway or an Airbnb, or even if you just want to enjoy it in your own home. You can check out our case studies to see where other people have decided to install their little Hobbit stove.
Earlier stove designs often incorporated a goblet shaped vessel at the top of the stove, which you could fill with water to increase the humidity of your room. By placing a cast iron kettle on your stovetop, you can use it as a room scenter, and you can use it to humidify your room at the same time, which is particularly useful if your climate has quite dry air, for example. We also found this great stovetop room scent recipe which you might find useful!
Although the idea of using your stovetop to create a scented atmosphere is not a unique idea, we felt that there was very little out there to choose from in this regard. So, we took the idea of stovetop aromatherapy one step further, and we commissioned a room scenting stovetop goddess to be made by Tati Dennehy, an amazingly talented local artist who’s based a few hills away on the edge of Dartmoor.
We wanted to make the sculpture as decorative as possible, but for it to still be functional, and we felt that a sculptural, natural-looking figure holding a small oil bowl would look great. So, we discussed some different ideas with Tati, such as what clay would be best, and which glaze we should pick. After finalising some of the extra little details that were to be part of the design, the first ever ‘stovetop room scenting goddess’ was created!
The goddess needed to look part of our small Hobbit stove, so we selected a glaze that had a similar texture and appearance to cast iron. The oil bowl is also removable, which makes it much easier to fill or to clean, and there’s a lustrous, metallic-based glaze inside it. You simply add a few drops of essential oils to the removable bowl, and as the goddess heats up, the oils will begin to evaporate, scenting your room.
If you decide to try out some stovetop aromatherapy, then you can mix different amounts of any essential oils you like. This means that you can create an endless number of combinations, which gives you plenty of time to experiment and to find the exact scent that you enjoy the most!
Tati has been delighting people for many years with her range of wondrously proportioned goddess figures, and she’s designed a huge variety of other sculptures too. Make sure you check out her portfolio to see the rest of her work.
Our New Decorative Cast Iron Hat
This ornate cast iron cover adds charm and character to your small wood burning stove, and it gives the Hobbit stove a much more traditional look. This is perfect if you’re looking to install your tiny wood burner into an old fireplace, as the cast iron hat will effortlessly compliment the period features of your antique fireplace or fire surround.
Our decorative cast iron hat can be taken on and off the top of your stove, and it has a wide range of uses. You can place a small baking dish inside the hat, which is great for heating up some food or for keeping it warm. You could also place a small tray of water underneath the hat to humidify your room, and you could even try mixing in a few drops of essential oils for some stovetop aromatherapy!
The cast iron hat also adds approximately 10kg of thermal mass to the Hobbit stove. As your small wood burning stove heats up, the hat will get hot too, radiating even more heat into the room long after your fire has gone out. You can find out more about this new stove option here. This price is an early bird special! The first 25 orders benefit from a £30 discount, which has already been applied.
How To Use Your Stovetop – Summary
As you can see, a small wood burning stove doesn’t just have to be for heating the room. If you liberate the top of your stove with a rear exit kit or our rear flue wedge, then you’ll be able to use your stovetop to its maximum potential. This will give you a lot more space for:
- A trivet – to instantly control the temperature of your stovetop.
- A stovetop kettle – so that you can make a nice cup of tea or coffee in front of your fireplace (or a cosy hot water bottle before bed)
- Cookware – for some wood-fired cooking.
- Stovetop aromatherapy – so you can enjoy the relaxing effects of your fire even more.
- A decorative cast iron hat – gives your stove a more traditional look and adds 10kg off portable thermal mass to your small wood stove. You can also place some dishes or a tray of water inside it.
You’ll still be able to use the T1000 toasting fork even if you don’t liberate the top of your stove, as it takes up a minimal amount of space on your stovetop, and you can also use it on your hearth.
The Hobbit stove is incredibly versatile, and how you use your stovetop can be a little bit about the aesthetic too. You can make a feature out of your small wood burning stove by getting some nice stovetop kettles and cookware to transform it into a wonderful little kitchen area. As you sit by the fire, you can also use your stovetop for some relaxing aromatherapy!