Bringing Back the Cookstove
The Esse Ironheart wood-fired stove is a space heater, cooktop, and oven all rolled into one.
Although far from practical by modern perspectives, the Esse Ironheart Wood Fired Cook Stove follows the long-forgotten tradition of combining room heating and cooking utility into a single appliance. Although sized to fit the space of a 36-in.- wide countertop-depth range, this beastly, 800-lb. cookstove is also elegant enough to stand alone against a wall.
The brick-lined firebox on the left side of the stove accommodates 18-in. wood oriented lengthwise and has a large pane of glass for viewing the fire. The 13-in.-sq. oven on the right is 17 in. deep and has a pair of adjustable grates, and the manufacturer says it will go from cold to cooking temperature in 60 minutes.
The top of the appliance has a traditional dog-bone hotplate layout, each side with a satin-steel cover. A heat guard can also be hung from the front rail of the unit, allowing the cook to stand close enough to comfortably man the pans. At about $6000, the stove is certainly an expensive path to a modest means of heating and cooking, but at least I can take comfort in the fact that it looks sturdy enough to pass down from generation to generation.
—Justin Fink, editorial director
From Fine Homebuilding #287