3 Ways The Amish Cook Food

In this video, I look at the different ways Amish prepare food (specifically, how they generate the heat for cooking & baking – if you’re looking for things like Amish recipes and food prep techniques, this is not that topic 🙂 ). I go through three main ways they do so:

  • Wood-burning cookstoves – Amish use wood burning cook stoves and ovens for both traditional cooking and baking needs. Some may use coal-burning stoves for cooking
  • Fossil-fuel burning cookstoves – plainer Amish employ kerosene stoves for their cooking, while more progressive groups use propane. These methods have the advantage of being cooler. Some Amish may use both a wood cookstove (winter time) and a fossil fuel-based stove or oven (summer when the excess heat is unwanted).
  • Outdoor methods of cooking (grilling, backyard campfires) – these are more niche and limited, but summer backyard family campfires are a great chance to roast hot dogs and S’mores, mountain pies and other treats. And especially in communities with a level of disposable income, Amish enjoy grilling out on backyard grills and using other outdoor cooking implements.

In addition to these, there may be cases of Amish in more progressive households using other cooking implements (crock pots), powered by a combination of a battery and inverter, though this is not common. Runtime: 3:56.

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    1. Zelda

      Mountain Pie

      What’s a mountain pie that you mentioned?

      1. Those are hot melted sandwiches made over a fire using pie irons. There is a picture and more info at #5 on this list: https://amishamerica.com/5-favorite-amish-foods/

    2. Ways of cooking

      Wonder what the cost between the three ways of cooking with wood, propane, coals. If wood is hard to find or buy. Out west the wood is $350 to $375 for ton. It may of gone up due to inflation. Can they use wood pellets for wood cooking stoves?
      Interesting I never heard of battery operated crock pot. Interesting.
      Also wondering if they have outdoor stove not a barbecue or fire pit? That would be great for the summer.

      1. I’m not able to comment on the various fuel prices which I would also assume would vary some by region. I haven’t seen a lot of outdoor stoves myself but I wouldn’t be surprised if some had them (if I understand what you mean by that). As for the battery – not directly battery-powered (though maybe sth like that exists) but it would be possible using an inverter to convert 12-volt DC battery power to AC. The inverter has an outlet which you can plug electronic implements into, which some Amish do with lights and sometimes other appliances. There’s more on how that works here: https://amishamerica.com/5-types-of-lamps-in-amish-homes/

    3. Jane


      Do you know if the Amish have running water in their homes?

    4. Al in Ky

      I have Amish friends who make and sell a lot of baked goods. One day when I was visiting them, they showed me a new stove they had just bought. It was a huge wood-burning cookstove in which the oven they could bake up to 16 large pies at a time. The biggest one I’ve ever seen!

      The only cooking stove one of our neighbors (non-Amish) had was a wood-burning cookstove. They had adequate money to buy an electric stove, but said they liked the way the wood-burning stove cooked and baked, so used it until the mid-1960’s. One of my aunts had a combination wood-burning/electric cookstove which she used until the late 1960’s and then bought an electric-only stove.

    5. Ann of Ohio

      question about stove in photo

      In the article there is a stove pictured. I know nothing about these. What are the two identical looking dials, one on the lower left and one on the upper panel? Are they some kind of draft adjusters? Is the third dial looking thing on the right of the upper panel a thermometer for the oven? Thanks in advance for any info. I love this website.

      1. On the right that would be the thermometer, and on the left would be the thermostat draft control knob for more even heating, here is a tech outline of how that works: http://www.antiquestoves.com/ashlandstove/images/Fig%204.jpg

        Lower left, I’m not sure, you don’t see that knob on many of the stoves, but perhaps a similar function. The “Ashland New Decade” model has this feature.

    6. Your favorites?

      Hello Erik,
      You might not want to identify the cooks because you don’t want the other cooks mad at you . . . but, can you name your three favorite Amish foods or meals? For bonus points, will you share some of your favorite places to eat Amish food or “Amish inspired” food? “Amish inspired” always makes me laugh.
      Thanks, Jim

      1. Jim I am one step ahead of your first question at least, I wrote up my 5 favorites here: https://amishamerica.com/5-favorite-amish-foods/ I really like the breakfast foods, one on that list is breakfast casserole. Also snitz pie.

        I actually haven’t eaten at a ton of Amish-style restaurants, but I really enjoy Boyd & Wurthmann in Berlin, Ohio. Huge pie selection. Trail bologna sandwich. I actually quite enjoyed the “Amish-inspired” buffet at Bird-in-Hand Smorgasbord. A bit surprising b/c I find the buffets usually are more filler than quality and rarely go to them. But what I had was delicious. Went with some Amish friends this past December.

    7. Pat Clark

      Boyd & Wurthmann

      We have visited this restaurant many times. Always enjoyed breakfast the most. You certainly are correct regarding the pie selections. Seriously how could anyone be disappointed.