How to Set Up a Cauldron Hook in a Woodburning Fireplace

What You'll Need
Cast iron cauldron
Cast iron tripod
Cast iron hooks
Cast iron chain (optional)

A woodburning fireplace is a great addition in your home as it produces heat but it can also double as a stove or oven. Cooking inside a woodburning fireplace is a practice that has been around for many centuries. It is cheap to do and fast. In order to cook with this method, you need to use a cauldron—a pot that is made from cast iron. The cast iron cauldron is hung over the fire inside the fireplace. The trick is setting up the cauldron to get the best results possible for your situation. Follow the simple steps below to effectively set up a cauldron in a woodburning fireplace.

Step 1 – Place the Tripod

The tripod is used to as a support structure for the cauldron, and it has to also be made out of cast iron. These types of cauldrons are very heavy and any other type of material can bend. Other heavy metals, like steel, may support the cauldron, but steel can become somewhat flexible. When this happens, the weight of the cauldron can cause the tripod to flex, making the cauldron get close to the fire.

The tripod is always placed in the center, and the wood is then placed between the legs of the tripod. The legs also need to be spread apart completely to avoid the weight of the cauldron causing the legs to slip. If this were left to happen, the cauldron could tip over or splash out its hot contents.

Step 2 – Place the Hook and Chain

Drilling inside the fireplace is not a good idea because of the possibility of creosote buildup. This material is created when you burn wood, and it cakes the chimney areas in a thick, black mix. If this buildup is not taken care ,of it can catch fire and even explode. Installing a hook directly in the woodburning fireplace can create voids that allow the smoke and creosote to buildup in the cracks to become an issue. For this reason, you will use a hook, multiple hooks or a chain and hook combination.

Determine how high you want the cauldron to be, and have the chain cut to half that length. Place one hook in the center of the tripod, and then place the chain on the hook, followed by another hook. You can always use multiple hooks. If the tripod has a metal beam between the legs, then determine the center and file a groove there so the cauldron will not move.

Step 3 – Place the Cauldron

With the hook and chain (or just the hooks) installed, you can then place the cauldron. There is nothing that you need to do other than to rest the handle on the hook. You want the cauldron to be around 8 inches over the fire. You can adjust the height by removing or adding chains, but also by pulling the chain up and hooking it with a hook.