January 13, 2012

New Oven, Old Pans

My Sweetheart wood cookstove has a nice deep, but narrow oven. I was concerned about whether or not my favorite bakeware would fit, so I got it all out to see. My favorite cookie sheets failed the test.

Favorite cookie sheets 

These are old Air Bakes, which I love because I'm prone to burn cookies on the bottom. Unfortunately, they are a smidge too wide. The cookie sheets I never use, on the other hand, fit fine.

Not-favorite cookie sheets

That means my rectangular cake pan and muffin tins will fit as well, because they are the same width and length. My larger cookie sheet...

Large cookie sheets

... is one I seldom use for cookies, but I do use it a lot roasting vegetables. If it fits, this one ought to as well....

Roasting pan

This is the roasting pan I use once a year for the Thanksgiving turkey. With the rack on the bottom, I think there's plenty of room for that once a year bird.

Covered roasting pan

This smaller covered roasting pan, I use for whole chickens.

Stoneware clay baking dish

The stoneware baking dish above was a thrift store find. It's by Pampered Chef and was apparently never used. It fits nicely as well, but I've never really cooked with clay or stoneware before. Any tips?

Large bread pans, for bread or meatloaf.

My new oven can hold two large bread pans nicely, though I like the next size down better, because they force the dough to rise taller and the slices are a better size for us. The real test though was this....

My beloved pizza stone. Alas.

My beloved and weekly used pizza stone. It doesn't fit!!! The dinky one that came with my old toaster oven and have never used however,

My not loved at all pizza stone. Hmph.

... fits just fine. Rats. This is a dilemma. Since Friday night pizza is mandatory at our house, I think the best solution would be to see if I can order a second oven rack (the stove came with only one.) That way I could bake two smaller pizzas. The part is listed in the owner's manual, so I'll have to see what I can do.


  1. On that favorite cookie sheet that's too big..is it possible to see if you can have it cut down to size? Maybe somewhere there is an iron maker or some sheet metal place..maybe a google would help.. a second rack is ideal get it before they stop making them..

  2. Hmph! Wishing I had your problems; YOU have a wood COOK stove. Oh, well ...

    In our electric oven we have two racks and three places to put them; what I often do is arrange small loaves on a large cookie sheet on the top rack, and place the other large cookie sheet on the bottom rack, thus deflecting direct heat from the heat element below away from the bottoms of the loaves. Does your heat now come from the side, in the direction of the fire box?

  3. I'll second the "rats" exclamation for you, too! We do get attached to our baking equipment, no doubt about it. You'll figure it all out eventually . . . it's just a change you don't want to have to go through. IF you can't get another rack from the stove company, perhaps you can find a rack from a discarded stove or refrigerator at a local "dump." I'll bet Dan could do a little alteration if it you can't find one that fits perfectly. That's what we just did for an outdoor wood burning fire pit.

  4. Oh no! There is nothing like tried and true cookware. Nothing. This calls for creative thinking. Or two new smaller round pizza stones that you will grow to love...

  5. Leigh, so sorry about your favorite pans, I know how that can be, but hopefully you can find another rack that will work. Love your oven and that Friday nights is pizza night...Mmmm!

    Tomorrow we are getting two pygmy does, they are older ones, but they will be perfect....very excited!

    Hugs and good luck with the search!!

  6. Ginny, I hadn't thought of that. Of course, I won't cook with this stove all year long, so maybe I just won't make cookies during the winter, LOL

    Risa, oooohh, I've been properly chastened! :) Yes, the heat mostly comes from the side of the firebox, but when the oven damper is open, hot air and smoke circulate around the oven box. All things to get used to. Your baking ideas are creative and I think I need to see what will work with this oven.

    Mama Pea, that's an excellent idea. I should actually keep the measurements in my pocketbook and check thrift stores as I browse. I haven't had the nerve to contact the company about another oven rack. I'm not sure if I want to know what it costs!

    Susan, you know, so much of it is what we're used to. Two smaller pizzas would actually be fine as we really like different things on them!

    Pam, how exciting about your pygmies! Oh, and Friday night pizza is one of our favorite family traditions. :)

  7. You asked for tips on stoneware... I have several pieces by pampered chef. Number one rule is do not use soap when you wash it. Only use hot water and a scrubbing pad. The soap will soak into the pores of the stone. I also find that when I am cooking it absorbs some of the liquid so recipes seem a little dry (just add a little extra liquid). One last thing, do not go from one temperature extreme to another it will cause the stone to crack. So no going from fridge to oven or vise versa. Hope that helps. Dawn

  8. Considering the unique sizes of some cookstove ovens, it's really not so bad if the only things which don't fit are a pizza stone and a couple of cookie sheets. At least you have one stone which will work and the other can still be used when it's too hot to be burning wood.

    Around here the bakeware available is almost exclusively non-stick, although heavy weight. I haven't seen Air Bakes in years. At least you have decent thrift stores to hopefully find smaller replacements.

  9. Leigh,
    I use my stoneware as much as I do my cast iron. The bowl that you picture is only one part of a set from Pampered Chief. There is a deep dish that goes with it and the bowl can act as a lid. I use the dish as a "Deep Dish Pizza Pan" all the time.
    And Dawn is right about stoneware absorbing absorbing some of the liquid, But that's what makes it non-stick (just like cast iron!) How do I know this? I use to be a Pampered chief consoltant! And stoneware makes a great cookie sheet too!

  10. I read that using 2 of the regular cookie sheets together will work the same as the "air-bake", but I haven't tried it.

  11. Good to know I'm not the only one with assorted baking gear, lol. My stash includes size medium to fit the two ovens in my 1948 Hotpoint, small to fit my wood stove top oven, and like you a huge enameled turkey roaster that will fit a 25 pound bird that I have no oven big enough. Once I year a cart the roaster & bird over to a borrowed oven.
    Good blessing on that new oven.

  12. "Oh rats!" is right and I know that feeling. When we moved into this house almost a year ago I ran into the same dilemma. Not only is this an all electric house and I have to get used to an electric stove (which I detest) my built-in oven is narrower than the one we had in our 40' trailer which really shocked me! But I can tell you that now my daughter has my two favorite cookie sheets and I am getting along just fine. Life does go on. I hope you can get the smaller pizza stones so you can retain your Friday night tradition!

  13. Too bad about some of your pans, but the trade off is worth it, right?

  14. We usually make pizza on Friday nights too!

  15. Nooooooo, not the pizza stone!! I love mine, too. Maybe you need an outdoor cob oven built to fit your favorite pizza stone? Wait a minute...I guess that's just something I want! ;-)

  16. We've got a rectangular pizza stone that we love and a larger circular one like yours. I bet once you get used to having square pizza you'll be fine.
    Too bad about your cookie sheets. I've got small airbake ones that I've had for about forever that would probably fit well. Sadly, I have no idea where I got them. Maybe you can scour the thrift shops for some that would fit better. You can't give up cookies in the winter- that's unnatural!!


  17. Dawn, thank you! My pizza stone is, of course, stoneware, so I'm familiar with the no soap, but not the cooking tips you mention. I'm looking forward to using it.

    Nina, oh my. I avoid non-stick at all costs (almost). I looked around on the internet and discovered that they still make an sell AirBake cookie sheets. They even have different sizes, the medium being 12 x 24, so that would fit! I'm glad I mentioned this, LOL

    Tom, thank you! You're a resource for all kinds of interesting things. I wondered about that bowl, especially if there shouldn't be a lid, but at a thrift store, one often doesn't find all the pieces. I'll use it anyway, probably with a different lid. I do know they don't make and sell this particular bowl anymore.

    Teri, thank you for that! I will definitely give that a try.

    Pelenaka, I think it comes with the baking territory, LOL.

    Janice, I know exactly how you feel! I had a small oven in the rental house we lived in for 9 years, so the larger ones in the next two places were a treat. I still have my electric stove out on the porch, so if needed, I can use that. In fact, tonight I baked our pizza out there. :)

    Candace, definitely worth it.:)

    Neal and Laura, it's a great tradition!

    Judy, the only problem with the small pizza stone is it won't make enough. :) Tonight I discovered that AirBake baking sheets are still available! And in 3 sizes. That was happy news indeed. :)

  18. Or....build an outdoor pizza oven with a big floor.

  19. Leigh, keep your eyes out for a pampered chef rectangular stoneware baking pan. Can't remember what its called right now. It would work fine for pizza as well as for cookies and breads.

    As for the baking bowl, you will need a lid of some sort. If I hadn't already given away the extra deep dish baker, it would be on its way to you.

    Boy, it'll be some fun getting used to the vagaries of cooking with wood!! Good luck.

  20. here's a weird thought...what if you made/bought/found a stove top oven that is big enough for your larger pans. I'm going off the camp ovens you can buy for your propane cook stoves...they are just boxes that you put over the burners...so you could do that on top of your stove (maybe remove the burner cover thingies for more heat if needed) and bake there? I don't know, just the way my tired mind is working right now. I do know that my idea would mean less cook top room, but I'm sure you could work around that too.
    and of course you still have the electric oven.

  21. I also have that problem with my Dover stove. But, still, I wouldn't be without it for anything... LOL

  22. Paula, actually, an outdoor kitchen with grill and oven is on the list! Might not be for awhile however. :)

    FFG, I need to look into pampered chef. I've been given a few gadgets from them as gifts and have really liked what I received. Stoneware (except for my old pizza stone) is something new for me, but folks like it so I was willing to buy it. I'll keep my eyes peeled for some sort of lid.

    Renee, I hadn't thought about anything like that, which might actually work pretty well! It always pays to ask folks's input! We did make our pizza in the I did make our pizza in the electric oven last night. :)

    Dani, I reckon some things we just adapt too in in spite of ourselves!

  23. Oh stinkers! Isn't it funny how we become attached to certain tools in our kitchen? :) Hope you find what works for that pizza, gotta have pizza!

  24. Go for the second rack. I have cooked often using clayware, soak it before use and it will keep most meats wonderfully moist while roasting. You might want to lower your temp a bit as it holds heat quite a bit and of the nice even kind.

  25. Love the looks of the new (old) stove. I am sure you will have the right size pans to keep up with your cooking.

  26. Ah the irony of life! :) I had a similar issue when we moved to our new house last year. It has an induction stove top which is supposed to be very energy efficient (and boils water faster than anything I've ever seen). However, only certain pots will work on it. I ended up being able to use only one of my original pots. Everything else, including my beloved canner, had to find a new home. Enjoy your new stove - once you get past the cookware thing.

  27. Your stove is absolutely beautiful! It makes a wonderful focal point for your kitchen.

    About the pizza stone... I have a rectangular one that my DH found at a restaurant supply store and it fits perfectly in our long, narrow oven (in a 1950s gas range). I think it was a little pricey (he gave it to me as a gift, after I caught our last one on fire - yes, I can burn stone!), so if you don't want to go to the expense of that, you can also use unglazed quarry tiles arranged on the rack to mimic a stone. We use those on the grill for grilling flatbreads.

  28. One more thing to add about the stoneware.I think it works better if it is seasoned with oil or fat. I especially like Pampered Chef's bread pan and I rub a bit of olive oil on the inside before putting in my dough to rise and the bread never sticks. The (electric) ovens in our current home are narrower than our old standard oven--a few pans didn't make the cut, just like you're experiencing.

  29. Gosh I do love that oven - funny how one never thinks of whether the pans will fit. We just moved to our five acres and had to buy appliances and we had a few things we had to part with because the oven was different than our last.

    And you're the first person who has clued me in that I need different bread pans. I've been using the same size/shape for 5 years now and I never liked how the loaves rose. I figured I was doing something wrong - but now I'm thinking I should just look for a pan with different sides! :)

  30. Stephanie, so true. I can actually use my small cookie sheet for pizza in a pinch. We just like the crust the stone gives us. :)

    Theresa, thank you for that about the stoneware! That sounds like an excellent tip considering the others' observations. (2nd rack is on my to-get list!)

    Connie, I just have to make up my mind to adjust. :)

    Green Bean, the induction stove top sounds wonderful but having to give up your canner!?!?!. Oh my. Did you give up canning?

    Kari, what a great idea! Even pricey might be worth it considering how much we use it. The quarry tiles are an excellent idea as well.

    Angie, thank you! I vaguely recall reading that somewhere so I'll have to reserch that further. My pizza stone is so seasoned that it's almost as shiny as glass.

    MamaTea, thank you for your visit! And congratulations on your 5 acres! Funny how ovens are so different. For bread, I have 2 sizes of loaf pans, large which makes about a 9.5 by 5.5 inch loaf, and medium, which is about 8.5 x 4.5. The rise for a regular recipe of bread is much better with the medium size pan.

  31. Isn't it funny how we get attached to certain pieces of cookware like they were old friends? I know you'll get everything worked out and truly enjoy that beautiful stove. P.S. I'm still envious. God Bless

  32. Ok, I have a spare round baking dish that is used for the lid on that PC stoneware baking bowl - I use it for pot roast, baking whole chickens etc. also for fruit cobbler (without the lid) as I like LOTS of fruit and in that pan it doesn't boil over. I'll see if I can't find some recipes that go with that dish. And the rectangular one the other person talked about is the Stoneware Bar Pan - I couldn't get along without mine - I use it for everything - roasting vegies, and always for cookies - you'll NEVER burn a cookie again. (Yes, I did used to sell Pampered Chef - LOve the stuff)

  33. Happy Momma, it's true! And yes, the stove is a blessing. :)

    Tina, I'm only hearing good things about those stoneware pans. Besides it seeming a more natural way to cook, it's the not burning part that has me sold!

  34. The pampered chef stones will work really good in your oven. Now you need to get a good dutch oven also.

  35. Flier, thanks! Happily, I have a cast iron dutch oven, though I've never used used it for baking.


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