How to Cook on a 1928 Home Comfort Wood Cooking Stove
Wrought Iron Range Company of St. Louis began making Home Comfort wood cook stoves in the late 1800s and continued the line until the 1940s. These cook stoves revolutionized the way women cooked, as homemakers no longer had to bend over a hearth to prepare the family meal. The stoves, made of cast iron and coated with enamel, also helped to heat the home and provide hot water.
Lighting the Stove
Insert the lid lifter into the openings on the round cooking plates on the top of the stove, lift the lids and remove them from the holes.
Lift the rectangular stove plate into the upward position. This is located on the left side of the stove above the wood box.
Place several sheets of crumbled up newspaper into the fire box. Add two or three sticks of stove wood to the box and light the paper on fire using a match. Stove wood should be approximately 12 inches long and no more than 3 to 4 inches in diameter or width, if using split wood. Once the fire has caught, add more wood to fill the firebox. Hickory, maple or oak are good woods to burn.
Lower the stove plate back into position and return the cooking plates to their proper holes in the stovetop.
Allow the fire to burn, heating up the stove. Adjust the draft for the fire using the sliding rod on the draft door just below the firebox. Closing the draft slide helps to keep the heat inside the stove.
Fill the water reservoir on the far left of the oven with water for a steady supply of hot water. Not all models of the 1928 Home Comfort range included the reservoir.
Cooking on the Stove
Place food to be cooked in a heavy pot, pan or skillet.
Set the pot on the stove, matching the bottom of the pot to the stove rings on the stovetop.
Cook the food, much as you would on a gas or electric stove. Cooking times may vary quite a bit, as the heat from a wood cook stove is not always even.
Bake breads, cakes and other dishes in the oven by closing the damper on the stove so the hot air will circulate around the oven.
Keep foods warm by placing them in the warmer oven above the cook stove.
- "Foxfire's Book of Woodstove Cookery"; Foxfire Fund; 1982
- "Woodstove Cookery"; Jane Cooper; 1983
- For long cooking foods, such as stews or soups, you will have to stoke the fire several times until the food is done.
- If using the 1928 Home Comfort for heating also, be sure to empty the ash pan on the bottom left of the oven several times per day. If you are using the stove for cooking only, you will need to empty the pan once daily.
- The 1928 Home Comfort range was originally gray and white enamel and included a towel rack on the right side.
- All parts of a wood-fired cook stove are hot when a fire is burning. Keep animals and children away from the stove and use caution when cooking.