For years we have relied on a woodstove to heat our home. After several years of using a functional, but not great woodstove in our Oregon rental cabin, in 2006 we invested in a Jotul woodstove (I believe it’s an older version of this model). Not only did our Jotul burn wood more efficiently, but its top could be used as a cooking surface. We were in heaven! Soups, stews, and kettles of water firmly took their place on the woodstove.
When we moved into our tiny house here in Missouri, our woodstove took on a whole new level of importance as we rely on the stove for:
- Winter cooking
- Stovetop bakes
- To heat water for dishwashing and bathing
- To thaw icy pond water for animal watering
Our woodstove was getting crowded!
We realized that while most of the time we used the woodstove surface for cooking, sometimes we just needed it for warming. We could set a pot of icy water near the woodstove to thaw slowly, or set a dish near the woodstove to keep warm for dinner.
The answer was a warming shelf.
Brian found an old rusty, bent piece of 1/8″ diamond plate steel in a neighbor’s scrap pile. He cut it to shape with a cut-off blade on a Skilsaw, and wire brushed it to remove the rust. One section became a heat shield for behind the stovepipe, and another piece was custom cut to become a warming shelf.
Since we’ve installed the warming shelf, it has gotten LOTS of use. We keep a very large pot of water on the shelf at all times, dipping into it for washing or animal watering. We also use it to keep our morning chai or coffee warm. One reader even recommended using it to proof rising bread, which I’m very eager to try!