Wood and Heat Cookstoves
This is one of the few articles in this series where I haven’t yet reviewed the product, but I plan to follow it up with a review in the future because I bought one. My intention in posting this today is to give the regular readers of this column a official heads up on a heavily discounted and apparently high quality product that may be a priority for you in your prepping supplies. For many years I have been looking at wood cook stoves. If you have never seen one (and I actually haven’t in person), these are not regular woodstoves. Wood cookstoves were popular in the US between the 1880s and 1930s. They look like a regular stove, with an oven and burners, but they run on wood and have no electric or gas components. Outdated technology yes and no though. There are a number of manufacturers of wood cookstoves today in the US and Canada, and they sell from about $1,700 to $7,000ish, plus freight shipping (and these badboys are heavy). In Alaska and many places in offgrid America, wood cookstoves are still popular and the market generally has a waiting period. This stove is $998 including shipping to the lower 48 until April 30th.
There is no way I can endorse buying this stove at all, because like everything else online, it is a gamble. I’m taking a leap of faith in buying one sight unseen, but it isn’t entirely without research. The company has an Ebay account selling these stoves and some other products that they produce, and there are over 400 feedbacks with 100% positive. The Ebay price is $1,295 plus $235 shipping to mcte in Florida.
Until I found this direct sale deal from WoodandHeat.com, the cheapest cookstove I have found is from Lehmans. They are selling a stove made in Canada for $1,799 with a water reservoir pre-installed. That same stove is sold by the company direct for more, and the cheapest price I can find for it is at Badiahs Woodstoves. The other low priced cookstoves from those same suppliers are in the $2,400 range.
Compare that to stoves made for the wealthy Amish, Alaska hobby living and no budget preppers. They start at about $4,700 and fly all the way up to $7,000+. Stoves that look like our little $998 wonder here are in that range, and from what I can tell, the differences in the stoves at the higher prices are mostly about size, fit and finish, and much less about the actual use of the stove. The most expensive brand of the high end is Heartland, and their Artisan stove is $8,400. The Heartland Sweetheart is the closest looking I have found to this $998 stove, and it is…just north of $6,000 with the same features. I can only guess as to what would make a 500% increase in the quality of such a thing, but as a simple prepper on a budget, I’m willing to take a chance on the WoodandHeat.com stove.
The only caveat to all of this, especially if you are on a tight budget, is that you might be able to score a cheap stove on Ebay that is local to you. If I was local to Fayettville, PA, there was a stove that popped last week for $50! For sure I would have bought it. As I said, I’ve been researching this for some time, and those deals are not unusual if you hit them right. Great condition stoves from the late 1800s are collectible, but none of the stoves from 1910 forward have much value at all. Most have been sold for scrap, and if metals were still at the high price they were only a few years ago, we wouldn’t even be seeing these stoves on Ebay at all. As a rule I’ve seen that anything on Ebay that is marked “local pickup only” goes for less than what would be normal value, and these wood cookstoves are almost always local pickup only. Now that Ebay has a “people who looked at this also looked at…” list (something GunsAmerica is sorely lacking still), finding them is easy. Just search on “wood cook stove” and you’ll find a few, then dozens of others will come up in that list.
A wood cookstove obviously isn’t for the family that is just getting started in prepping. If you don’t have a practical quantity of long lasting food put away, an ample clean way to get water year round and basic toiletries and self defense needs covered, start there, and you will find some great articles at the beginning of this series to help you. We have also covered what is called the “rocket stove.” It works great, allowing you to cook food, boil water and as you will see in a future installment of this series, even can food for later use with a pressure canner. But what the rocket stove is sorely lacking is an oven, and I have yet to find a solution to that. A rocket stove also can’t be used indoors, even though there is one manufacturer who claims that you can with theirs. A review on that will be coming soon, but it isn’t all its cracked up to be. A wood cookstove can heat a small space, less than 2,000 square feet, and it is obviously optimized for cooking, warming, pasteurizing, all with one load of fuel at one time. If you can afford a wood cook stove, I’d grab this $998 deal.