Gary & Carla Goldberg on thu 8 jul 99
Hi Everyone - I have a question for the "experts" out there. I live in
Alaska and we have lots of people concerned about Y2K issues up here.
In addition, many people have wood stoves as a back up heat source for
normal winter power outages.
My question: Can pottery be put on a wood stove and used to cook with?
I have a wood stove and the thermostat on the outside goes up to 1,700
F. Obviously, I hope it never gets that hot because the whole thing
would be burning red. I just moved into the house and haven't had a
chance to use the stove in the winter. Do you think if I had a pot
unglazed, terra cotta type, that it would be okay to use? Normally cast
iron is used on wood stoves. Any ideas?
If it works, I know what I am giving some people for Christmas.
Carla in Alaska - Today it was about 72 and hard to believe it can get
to -30 in January.
Carolynn Palmer on fri 9 jul 99
I live in Southeast Michigan and have cooked on a wood-burning cook stove
nearly all my life. Right now I use mine only during the winter months
because it heats up the kitchen too much. My mother always had her
wood-burning cook stove in a separate room just off of her modern
well-equipped kitchen and she used it year round. It was always my favorite
place to be during cold weather, but not when she was canning tomatoes on it
and the weather outside was 90 degrees!
Anyway, she always used my pottery on top of and in the oven of her stove. I
have never been brave enough myself, to actually cook in it on top surface of
the stove. Often, though, we warm up food, or keep food warm in my pottery
on the part of the cast iron surface furthest from the firebox. I think
Mom's secret was that she always warmed up the pot slowly before introducing
it to the hotter areas. And I used to work in lower fired terra cotta that
she just loved cooking in.
I have always been afraid that the part of the pot touching the hot surface
of the stove would be expanding faster than the cooler upper part of the pot
that is not - and then I'd have food all over the hot surface of the stove.
Proceed with caution and experiment with it yourself before making and giving
stovetop pottery as gifts, is my advice.
Carolynn Palmer, Somerset Center, Michigan
Michael Banks on fri 9 jul 99
It is not too technically difficult to make thermal shock resistant,
stove-top pottery items and commercial potteries in Europe have produced
these in the past. You just have to use low expansion materials. Basically
this means avoiding free- silica, soda, potash and lime-bearing minerals. A
practical body can be made of about 50:50 silica-free ball clay and petalite
(or spodumene) plus added bentonite or hectorite to increase plasticity (as
However there are real problems with such ware. The pots have poor thermal
conductivity, meaning they get very hot at the point of contact with the
heating surface, but do not transfer this heat efficiently around the sides
or up into the contents.
And, the big one, which puts-off most potters/manufacturers, is the
liability issue. If you sell this stuff (particularly in the U.S.) you are
vulnerable to damages litigation if the ware fails and burns someone. The
ware may well be excellent, but if some plonker continues to use it after it
has been dropped and cracked, you may wear the cost. Remember the famous
case (possibly apocryphal), where some twit got millions out of a fast-food
company, when he/she/it spilt hot coffee on herself/himself/itself from a
styrofoam cup parked between their thighs in their car :)
----- Original Message -----
> ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
> Hi Everyone - I have a question for the "experts" out there. I live in
> Alaska and we have lots of people concerned about Y2K issues up here.
> In addition, many people have wood stoves as a back up heat source for
> normal winter power outages.
> My question: Can pottery be put on a wood stove and used to cook
> Carla in
Don & Isao Morrill on sat 10 jul 99
At 08:24 7/8/99 EDT, you wrote:
hi Carla, We have used our teapots and other pottery,both stoneware and
terra cotta,on our woodstove over the years,with only one unfortunate
breakage and that was a large,flat dish of paella. The only real
difficulties are knowing that any pots let on a hot/warm,stove for extended
periods have non-toxic glazes. Even then,glazes may have micro-pores which
allow food to seep into the ware-body. However,we have seen and used pots
black with age>and filled with old grease,hold food quite well. Unless the
design of the body is such that it is guaranteed thermal-resistant,there is
always a risk a risk of breakage. In any case,never use over direct heat.
Beware! Beware! beware!Don M.