Cooking and a JUCA

OK! It's kind of traditional to cook on top of a woodstove! Unfortunately, a JUCA is so different that cooking has to be handled differently, too!

Because a JUCA is so efficient at creating warm air, it just doesn't have the extremely hot surfaces of a normal woodstove! After all, you probably already noticed in the Owners Say entry that CATS like to sleep on top of free-standing JUCAs while they're heating the whole house! And we obviously don't want to prepare cooked cat!

The top of a free-standing JUCA is usually between 100°F and 120°F. That's warm enough to keep a coffeepot warm, but nowhere near hot enough to cook anything.

But have no fear!!! JUCA is here!!!

Most JUCAs have huge fireboxes. Since you can have the door open without materially affecting how it works, you could easily toss aluminum foil wrapped potatoes in the fire, just like you might at a campout bonfire. Same idea for various other foods.

In addition, another concept is available. The first 1,000 JUCAs ever built (back in the middle 70s) included a feature that we called the Bean Pot Arm. It was just a vertical heavy length of pipe welded just inside the hinge side of the door frame, and a bent length of 1/2" thick rod. The rod could swing over the fire and it could also swing out through the door opening, so one could fiddle with it out where there was no fire.

Long ago, we did a survey of owners and discovered that only one or two percent were actually USING this feature, so we officially discontinued it. But it is still available, on request, for $1.00.

Some resourceful owners have experimented with teeing off the warm air duct with a branch duct to a baking oven chamber. They block off the normal air path to the house and disable the blower. Of course, they are disabling almost everything the JUCA was designed for! But by bleeding off just a little air from the oven chamber, the JUCA (which gets REALLY hot during this type of experiment) still creates its huge amount of heat, but most of it winds up in the oven chamber, getting it really hot! By adjusting the escape opening size, it is possible to control the temperature in the oven. Some people even set up a temperature probe IN the oven chamber that controlled the escape opening size, thereby automating the temperature control! There are people who have really bragged about the taste of bread made in this way! But they never sent us any, so we don't really know that!

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Another creative move was made by one of the JUCA pioneers, who welded a round outdoor barbeque stainless grille surface to the top of a Bean Pot Arm. This allowed him to cook burgers and steaks inside his JUCA, and he could swing it out to salt or flip it over. The only down side to this was the meat grease that sometimes dripped onto the hearth before he put a tray on the floor under it.

During extended power outages, when your microwave won't work, the JUCA CAN provide your hot meals!

Finally, since our units are non-airtight, and operate virtually the same with the doors open or closed, you can roast marshmallows or chestnuts or pop popcorn in your JUCA.

The JUCA Home Page is at: juca