Fireplace cooking is cumbersome. And heats the kitchen (sometimes the whole house) as much in summer as in winter. What felt good in January can drive a person from the room in July.
The cast iron cook stove solved some of these problems. And the companion piece — the parlor or heating stove — solved others. A stove uses less fuel. The flat cooking service accommodated any cast iron or metal pan with a flat bottom. Gone was the hook to hang the kettle. Thanks to a small, but well placed, oven, baking became easier. And what farmer or worker doesn’t appreciate some fresh bread after a day’s labor?