Testing the temperature on top of the wood stove
When I mentioned our goal
of making a small oven on top of the wood stove,
Roland pointed out that it's essential to do some basic tests first and
make sure the stove top temperature is within baking range.
Purchasing an oven thermometer in order to make those tests was the
real reason we
were in the kitchen section of Wal-mart to pick up my meat
thermometer turned soil thermometer.
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I compared three
different permutations to get an idea of stove top
temperatures while the wood stove was running at medium to high
heat. First, I just put the oven thermometer on a fire brick on
the hot-plate section of the wood stove top and got a reading of 210
degrees Fahrenheit --- not that hot. But when I upending the
basin Mark had
bought for the purpose over top of the whole wood stove, the addition
internal temperature to 525 degrees. (You don't see the fire
brick in the photo because I actually did a test without it the
first time around, but figured the off-the-chart reading just couldn't
The fire brick didn't quite
fit into the Dutch oven, so I first tested with the thermometer set on
the bottom of the cast iron pot and got a reading of 475 degrees.
Figuring a lot of heat was getting conducted from the metal of the pan
to the metal of the thermometer, but unable to add in a fire brick
because it was too large, I set a pot holder on the bottom of the oven
with the thermometer on top. Ten minutes later, a foul stench
filled the trailer --- the pot holder had spontaneously
combusted. So, unfortunately, I can't tell you whether Mark's
idea of cutting down the sides of a 6-pack muffin tin so that it sits
on a fire brick inside the Dutch oven will give me temperatures
sufficient to bake his favorite sweet treat. Clearly, more
experiments are required.