Whether you just moved into a new house, or you’re just looking to remodel your kitchen, it’s important to know how where your pantry can and can’t go. In this article, we will go into the various ways you can safely install a pantry next to a stove without it causing issues to the food.
When speaking of stoves, there are 2 types that need to be addressed for sake of our readers. Conventional kitchen stoves, and wood-burning stoves.
For conventional ovens/stoves:
You can easily install a cabinet pantry next to a conventional stove. Most models of stoves don’t leak that much heat from the sides that would affect the food quality in the pantry. Nor are these types of stoves likely to cause the wood next to them to combust.
The basic rule of thumb you should follow is to keep your stove at least 3 inches away from any wood surface. This is especially important for older stoves that do get hot.
With 3 inches of space, you will have enough room for air to pass through, helping disperse the heat. It also allows you enough room to install a heat plate or foil heat shields.
If later on, you find the pantry is getting too warm, either to the touch, or inside as an ambient temperature, then you should consider installing a thermal heat shield like this.
These types of thermal wraps easily adhere to the wood. Thanks to their reflective and insulative properties, they are able to disperse heat effectively. Because of this, the side facing the stove will stay barely warm to the touch. Leaving the back end completely cool.
The downside to having a pantry in the kitchen at all is due to ambient heat. Kitchens tend to get pretty hot, so consider that before installing the pantry here as well. The only way to combat ambient heat is to have some sort of cooling system placed inside the pantry.
Depending on what you intend to store this is a factor as heat wrap and other types of faceplates won’t be able to change ambient room temperature.
For wood-burning stoves:
Wood burning stoves tend to get much hotter than their electric kitchen cousins. Right off the bat, I can tell you keeping your pantry near a wood stove is not a good idea. Wood releases a lot of energy when it’s burned, and all that energy spews out into ambient heat.
That’s why such a small stove can heat such a large area if given enough time. Having a pantry next to this giant heater is a bad idea.
Food could end up spoiling very quickly, even dried goods like beans, rice, and dehydrated meals. These things are best kept at a cooler temperature.
If you are in a cabin, a great alternative would be on the floor. Creating a “hidden” cubby hole in the floor will act more like a cold seller vs a pantry, however, since heat rises it could be an option if you find your food is getting too hot in the pantry you shouldn’t have built next to the woodstove.
There is also a major fire risk here. Wood stoves are meant to be given a wide birth from anything flammable. They even need to sit on a concrete or brick slab surrounded by heat shields.
So having a pantry cabinet here is unwise.
The pantry is really nice to have at arm’s reach when you in the kitchen. If you want to install one next to a conventional stove, It’s absolutely fine to do so. Keep it 3 inches away in all directions, and install a thermal heat wrap if it’s getting too hot.
Keep the pantry away from wood-burning stoves. They get too hot and could cause combustion and food degradation.
What temperature should my pantry be?
If you are only using your pantry to store various dry goods you should keep the pantry temperature around 10-21 celsius.
Dry goods includes things like:
- Canned foods
- Sugars, Salts
- Oils (it’s not dry but this is still the temperature it should stay in)
- Powdered milk
- Most dehydrated foods
- Vegetables (colder the better in most cases)
If you have a refrigerated pantry, temperatures will vary based on what you put in it. In general, you want a refrigerated pantry to be between 1°C and 5°C Celsius.
Cooling pantry down when it get’s too warm
If you find yourself constantly fighting the ambient temperature in your pantry because it’s next to the stove then there are a few things you could do.
Aside from the obvious thermal wraps and metal plates, there are other options to try and keep your pantry cool. A good slab of 50mm stone on the floor of the pantry will retain coolness and continue to release it. It’s a good starter step to keeping the pantry cool.
You could also straight upconvert it to a cold pantry, which is almost like a big fridge. You can do this in multiple ways, but the easiest is to insulate the inside of the pantry walls and ceilings and install an air conditioner with adequate pantry ventilation requirements.
Simply tying in your HVAC system if you have one is probably the easiest way to go about it, as you will have full thermal control over the pantry.
Of course, not everyone is going to have pantry air conditioners laying around, or an entire HVAC system. There are some free and easy ways you can keep your pantry cool too, but involve a bit more manual labor.
One quick and easy way to keep a pantry cool is to simply add ice. By freezing a large block of ice in your deep freeze every night you can continually refresh the block in the pantry every couple of days.
This will work wonders in cooling down the entire ambient temperature of the pantry, especially if you’ve insulated it properly. If you find it’s causing too much moisture to enter the air, you can easily deal with that with a DampRid or other similar product. This will pull dampness and humidity out of the air without heating it up.
Pantry ventilation requirements
Always remember, one of the most important things to controlling the climate of your pantry, even if it is installed next to a stove, Is proper ventilation. Whether that’s a simple air duct with a fan, or an entire HVAC system connection, it’s very important to have proper ventilation.