The Wood Burning Stove: Iconic, Timeless, & Effective July 31 2013

The Wood Burning Stove: Iconic, Timeless, & Effective The wood burning stove has been around for centuries but more recently the efficiency and popularity of wood burning stoves is on the rise. The EcoZoom Plancha incorporates the iconic style of the wood burning stove into a dual-burner rocket stove with a large cast iron griddle cooking surface. Take a look at a US five-dollar bill and you will see the face of not only one of America’s founding fathers but also one of the pioneers of the wood burning stove. Today the term “Franklin stove” is still used by many when describing wood burning stoves due to the innovative design that Benjamin Franklin brought to the masses. His design was a solution for fireplaces within homes that were resulting in excess smoke while not providing ample amount of heat. His design incorporated an air duct located under the floor to help draft air through the back of the stove and through baffles before escaping through a chimney. The result was a stove that provided warmth with less smoke.

Franklin Stove

Diagram of the the Franklin design

As time passed so did the iterations of wood burning stove designs, ultimately leading to improvements in efficiency, heat radiation, cooking, and smoke removal. The “pot-belly” stove came to prominence in the latter half of the 19th century. Built of cast-iron, the bulging pot-belly combustion chamber led to the descriptive nature of the name. The flat top of the stove allowed people to cook on top of the stove or boil water while also radiating heat to an inside space. While the design was worthy of adoption, the smoke output and inefficient nature of the stove led to further design improvements. The Findlay design of wood burning stoves became popular for its dual-function of cooking and heating and more closely resembled gas ranges of today with individual burners. This model as well as the classic airtight design rose to prominence in the mid-to-late 20th century, and saw spikes in popularity during the oil embargo of 1973. With the rise in popularity came a need for regulating emissions from wood burning stoves to ensure proper air quality both indoors and outdoors. While the wood burning stove design evolved over time, there were many features that each design had in common and still do today. Cast iron construction is still prominent among wood burning stoves do to its ability to radiate heat, serve as a cooking surface, and hold up over years of use. Companies like Vermont Castings continue the legacy of building iconic wood stoves to be used indoors while holding true to the traditional look and feel of the Franklin design. The EcoZoom Plancha follows in the footsteps of traditional wood stove designs by incorporating a large cast iron cooking surface fuelled by two wood or charcoal burning combustion chambers that are efficient and powerful. The underside of the cast iron top is baffled to allow for smoke from the combustion chamber to rout through the chimney. While the stove does put out a good amount of heat from the cast iron top, it was designed to serve primarily as a cook stove rather than a heating unit. That being said, depending on the size of the living space, the EcoZoom Plancha could serve a secondary or even primary heating source. Because it is a wood burning stove and smoke will be present when lighting, it is best to use indoors only if you have proper ventilation. Otherwise, the Plancha swerves a great outdoor cooking unit within an outdoor kitchen or homestead. Recently, customers asked if we had any other color options outside of our original blue model. Due to the demand for black, we now offer the Plancha model in black as our homage to the classic and iconic wood burning stove that many have come to love. Visit or store to shop the EcoZoom Plancha.

Zoom Plancha Black 2

EcoZoom Plancha Stove

About the Author: is an EcoZoom employee and likes to cook outdoors with his EcoZoom stove on camping trips or sunny days. You can email him directly at tom@ecozoomstove.com.