Antique kitchen wood stoves cook food on the stovetop or in the oven using wood as the fuel. Cooking temperature is set using dampers on the side of the stove that control the amount of air entering the stove and a damper in the stovepipe to control the draft.
Most wood stoves have the firebox located on the left of the stove, an oven in the center and a water heater on the right. The four lids on top are not burners, but openings for cleaning ashes when the stove is not in operation. The entire top of the stove is a cooking surface, and the cook learns where to place pans for the correct cooking temperature.
Cooking with a wood stove takes longer than cooking with a gas or electric range. It takes an hour to get the fire to the right temperature for cooking on top and up to 45 more minutes to bring the oven to temperature. Ovens often have hot spots near the firebox and are cooler near the water heater. Experienced cooks often place a pan of water in the oven below the rack to help even the temperature when working with delicate baked goods. Most cooks prefer using slow-burning hard woods that provide steady, even heat rather than soft woods that create a fast, hot fire.