Wood Burning Stoves Blog

Posted on: 11/09/2015 - 10:47 | Comments:0

Like it or not, the cold, winter months are fast approaching. With the rising detriment of staying warm, both to the environment and our bank balance, it seems our ancestors had the right idea swearing by an open fire.


Now we’re not suggesting you go totally primitive with two tree branches and lots of elbow grease – instead we propose a 21st century upgrade: Wood Burning Stoves are about to become all the rage.


A Wood Burning Stove conjures up images of great warmth, dancing flames and quintessentially British style. Not just aesthetically valuable, cosy and intimate, these stoves are also a friend to the environment; wood is co2 neutral, renewable and free to the forager.

And we’ve saved the best until last. As if you needed another reason to invest, wood burning stoves are a foodie’s dream, adding an effortless twist to a variety of tasty mealtime favourites. 
Yes, you read that right. Form an orderly queue…

 

Jacket Potato

The original comfort food, a baked potato is the perfect, simple dinner to warm you up on a winter’s weeknight.


Wrap your potato in two layers of tin foil and then, using a long handled toasting fork place it in a corner inside your wood burning stove. Move the hot wood and ash slightly to the side and go and occupy yourself elsewhere for an hour – (preferably in the stove’s close vicinity – the aroma from a cooking potato is not to be missed).


When time’s up, remove your potato from the wood burner and unwrap the foil to reveal the perfect jacket – crisp, earthy skin encasing light, fluffy potato - with a distinct taste you can only get from a real, open fire. The added smoky flavour goes well with the simple addition of butter, salt and a little pepper. Lunch is served!

 

 

Wood Fired Pizza

If you’ve ever been to Italy, you’ll understand the significance of an authentic, wood fired pizza and why the Italians are so passionate about them. The taste is worlds apart from the Chicago Town pizzas you find in the Tesco freezer aisle.


So why not give yourself an authentic Italian treat and cook your pizza the way it was meant to be cooked – over wood fired flames.


If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make the dough yourself, but for a quick and simple dinner time treat, buying it readymade is just as delicious.


Prepare the sauce using Italian staple ingredients: fresh vine tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and basil. Peel and finely slice the garlic, then fry in a good amount of olive oil until lightly coloured. Tear up a handful of basil leaves, and add them to the pan, along with your tomatoes. Use the back of a wooden spoon to mash up and squash the tomatoes as much as you can. Finally, add lashings of salt and pepper.


When your sauce comes to the boil, immediately remove the pan from the heat. Using a sieve, strain the sauce into a bowl – then put your smooth, tomato mixture back into the pan, bring it to boil, then simmer until it’s the perfect consistency for spreading on a pizza base.


Add whichever toppings take your fancy - (at the moment we’re loving broccoli, fennel, sausage meatballs and heaps of mozzarella).

 

 

Full English Fry Up

For a refined twist on the English classic, substitute gas for something a whole lot more authentic.

The traditional cooked breakfast is taken to new heights when cooked using real fire and solid fuel heat.

Simply place a pan on top of the wood burning stove and get frying for a Sunday brunch you’ll never forget.

 

Mulled Wine

 

Why stop at food? For a Christmassy take on stove gastronomy, fill a cast iron kettle with dry red wine, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, allspice, orange rind and sugar (or sweetener if you’re prepping for Christmas party dress season).

Let the delicious mixture simmer away, all the while filling your home with the sweet scent of Christmas.

 

 

Smores

These American favourites are classics for a reason – they’re pretty damn irresistible.

Pop a marshmallow on the end of a wooden skewer and hold briefly inside your wood burning stove, until nice and gooey.

Sandwich your melting marshmallow between two graham crackers (digestive biscuits work just as well) and add a piece of chocolate of your choice – heavenly doesn’t cover it.

 


Bread

Last, but by no means least, this cupboard staple tastes sensational when toasted by a real open flame!

Simply place your bread on the end of a long handled fork and toast to desired level of crunchiness. Spread with butter or jam and enjoy while still piping hot.

 

Have a recipe you think would work well cooked on an open flame? Share it in the comments section below!

Posted on: 22/07/2015 - 15:38 | Comments:0

jolly fisherman

1. Excellent availability of all stoves including popular models like the Charnwood C-range. Even some Scandinavian stoves that can take 3 to 4 weeks to order could still be fitted before the start of the heating season. So no need to compromise on stove choice or colour.

2. Excellent availability of installation slots. With the best will in the world come mid-September through to Christmas slots just disappear fast. The reality is that if you can get an installer to fit a stove quickly in the middle of the heating season then they're probably not very experienced or very good (or possibly not even Hetas registered). Good installers, like good brickies or joiners, are hard to come by.

3. Excellent availability of chimney sweeps. You should always have your chimney swept before your stove installation. In addition, for safety reasons most people wisely kick-start re-using their stove or open fire by getting their chimney swept. So, again like stove installation, convenient slots go out the window the further we get into the heating season.  

4. Time to organise any remedial building work. If your chimney sweep or installation survey identifies a problem with your chimney or chimney stack, for example because you're re-opening it after many years of neglect, then you've still got time to undertake any remedial work and at a competitive price and at a time convenient to you.

5. Last, but not least – there are always some great out of season stove bargains available in the Summer – just think of it like buying a new car just before the registration number changes. All of our stoves are discounted anyway, but this time of year we have ex-display, discontinued models, over-stocks and internet returns that all need to go to make way for new stock.

Having your new stove up and running in September means you can start saving on your central heating costs from day-1. So if you're going to buy a stove anyway, what are you waiting for?
 

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 12:58 | Comments:0

How to Choose the Right Size Wood Burning Stove?

When choosing the right size wood burning stove, you should consider much more than just the size of the room. Factors such as window areas, insulation and your climate also play an important role in how well the room will be heated. So when you are using stove heat output calculators, make sure that they include the insulation factor as well. You are highly recommended to avoid the temptation to (just in case ) buy a larger stove because you will not be able to operate it energy nor cost efficiently. Also, keep in mind that the logs you burn matter as well in both heat output and cost efficiency of the stove. You are recommended to burn only fully seasoned hardwood logs.

What is ‘Exempt’ Wood Burning Stove?

If you live in Smoke Control Area, you will be recommended to look for an ‘exempt’ wood burning stove. ‘Exempt’ refers to the DEFRA ‘authorised’ stoves that have been tested and approved for Smoke Control Areas. You can find ‘exempt’ stoves on the DEFRA website or ask your retailer for an advice in the selection of appropriate stove. It is highly important to keep in mind that within Smoke Control Area, you are not allowed to use any smoke producing appliances including wood burning stoves with the exception of those that are determined by the DEFRA as ‘exempt’.

Are Wood Burning Stoves Cheaper Online?

Not necessarily but it is often possible to find high quality stoves at considerably lower prices online. This is due to the fact that online retailers have considerably less expenses with their stores than their offline counterparts who need to buy/rent appropriate place on a buyer attractive location, keep employees and the store open regardless of how many or little potential buyer visit it. Therefore they cannot afford to keep their prices as low as those who run online stores with a compact team and sell their products literally 24/7 at no additional costs. They also do not need large showrooms to display their products. This is why they can generate more profit even if they sell their products at lower prices.

How Much Money Will I Save with a Wood Burning Stove?

This depends on the size of your home, efficiency of the chosen stove and efficiency of wood you burn, and the type of heating you are currently using. However, if we know that 1 kilowatt hour (kWh) of heat produced by wood burning costs about one fifth of the same amount of heat produced by electricity and about one third of that produced by gas and oil, you can easily calculate how much money you will save by switching to wood burning stove. Please note that the calculation above counts only for the most efficient stoves that are burned with fully seasoned, quality hardwood logs.

Where to Look for Licensed Installers with Reasonable Fees?

Ask your friends, colleagues or co-workers if they can recommend you a professional to install your new wood burning stove or ask your retailer for an advice. Stores that are specialised in wood burning stoves and equipment typically know which installers will get the job done professionally without leaving you with an empty pocket.

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 12:48 | Comments:0

Hi-Flame Alpha Multi-fuel burning stoveOver the past few years, sales of wood-burning stoves have been on the rise. Once seen as a quaint, old-fashioned way of heating a home, today they are one of the most desirable items to have, with both the National Association of Chimney Sweeps and the British Solid Fuel Foundation reporting an increase in business between 20% and 40%. So, why have wood-burning stoves become so popular again?

The extraordinary rise in gas prices

According to price comparison website Uswitch, gas bills have more than doubled in the last ten years, whilst most people's wages have hardly increased at all in comparison. There's worse to come. With the rapidly decreasing reserves of natural gas in the North Sea, the UK will be forced to import 70% of its gas by 2020, which will see prices continue to rise sharply according to the parent company of British Gas, Centrica.

Wood-burning stoves therefore make a cost-effective solution. With a relatively small upfront investment in the stove itself, it is possible to fuel the stove largely for free. Many people strike up a relationship with their local joinery company, who will have large amounts of wood that they simply throw away every month, and it's amazing once you have a wood-burning stove just how many dead trees you can come across on public land. Just remember to keep a saw in the car! Even if you choose to buy logs for the fire, it still can work out much more cost-effective than a conventional heater, and there is a certain amount of satisfaction that you are not lining the pockets of the large multinational gas companies.

Owning a wood-burning stove can get you fit

If you want a completely hassle-free experience with a wood-burner, then it is certainly possible, simply by purchasing ready-to-burn logs from a local supplier, delivered to your door. But for many, there is a certain satisfaction in getting their own wood and one of the results of this is that it can get you fit. As mentioned earlier, this may be from a local joinery or a local public woodland, either way, if the pieces don't fit into your stove, you're going to have to get sawing, and this certainly can keep you fit! In reality, most people go for a happy medium of sourcing their own wood and purchasing some from a supplier. This still results in substantial long-term savings compared to a gas-fire.

Wood-burning stoves are environmentally friendly

Wood is one of the most sustainable materials on the planet, it being a 100% renewable product that is in effect grown by solar power. Most wood that is sold in the UK is from sustainable sources, which means that for every tree that is felled, another is planted, the new tree in effect absorbing the carbon dioxide that is released when burning the old tree. Even using the excess wood from a local joinery or kitchen-fitters is environmentally friendly, as you're using wood that would have just ended up rotting in a landfill site.

There's nothing like the feel of a real wood-burner

This is perhaps the best reason for wood-burning stoves popularity. As the wind howls, the rain lashes and the frost begins to bite outside, there's nothing cosier or comfier than curling up with a roaring stove burning away. Comparable gas and electric fires simply pale away in comparison. They may look as nice as a wood-burning stove, but they certainly don't feel as nice on a freezing winter's evening.

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 12:46 | Comments:0

Wood burning stoves are currently the least expensive way to heat your home. Unfortunately, they can't be installed just about everywhere. Obviously, you need a chimney and if you live in a multi-unit building such as an apartment or a condo, building one is everything but easy. Then, you need a storage space for the logs. And in the end, you have to load the stove (quite frequently) if you want to keep your home comfortably warm. A gas stove is a great alternative to a wood burning stove if you can't install it for one reason or the other or if you simply prefer convenience.

Advantages of Gas Stoves

In comparison to wood burning stoves, those fired by gas are much more convenient. You don't have to refill it every couple of hours and you can adjust the temperature with an optional remote control from the comfort of your sofa. Also, they require minimal maintenance and cleaning as there is no soot or ash. In addition, some don't even require a chimney. Lastly, many feature a burning wood or coal effect, creating just as inviting atmosphere as their wood/multifuel counterparts.

Flue or Flueless

Gas stoves can be divided into flue and flueless models with the latter not requiring a chimney. So if you don't have a chimney, you can still install a gas stove and cut those electricity bills. Although gas prices are rising as well, they are still lower than electricity prices. Much lower. Not on the gas main? Not a problem either. Gas stoves work perfectly on both natural gas and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas).

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Gas Stove

When purchasing a new gas stove, there are three things to consider:

The first thing to decide is where you want to install the stove. If you want it in the centre of the room, then you will need a freestanding model. These models vary from single- to four-sided. Maybe you have a fireplace. In this case, you may want to fit it in the fireplace and save space at the same time. Think about your preferences and the existing interior décor when deciding between the many options available.

The second thing to consider is whether you prefer some kind of flame effect. It is worth to spend a few pounds extra because the effect of a burning fire creates a very inviting and relaxing atmosphere. You can choose between the effect of burning wood or coal.

Thirdly, don't forget about safety. There is no need to worry about the gas leaking or exploding because modern gas stoves are made with a great deal of attention to safety. Nevertheless, it is worth to consider buying a stove featuring the oxygen depletion sensor. The latter works by measuring the oxygen levels in the room and if detecting below normal levels of oxygen, it shuts down the stove.