The Vermont Bun Baker, also called the Nectre Bakers Oven, is a premium and popular wood-burning cook stove that comes in two sizes. It’s made in Australia and sold in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and a few other countries.
These wood cook stoves are of excellent quality. We were able to view one in-store recently and it was even better than I expected. Upon inspection, you can immediately tell that it’s well-built. It’s beautifully designed and constructed of heavy-duty cast iron and steel. When you open the doors and check out the features, everything functions so smoothly.
Of course, they’re also multifunctional. They are used primarily for home heating, but they have an oven and cooktop, and can also be used with a “hot water booster option” for heating water. Great for those wanting to be more self-sufficient!
Nectre Bakers Oven Models
The Vermont Bun Baker line-up can be confusing as there are 12 different model names, but it’s actually quite simply.
There are 2 different models – the standard base model (N350) and the XL (N550).
- Vermont Bun Baker N350 | Nectre Bakers Oven
- Vermont Bun Baker XL N550 | Nectre Big Bakers Oven
After this, these two base models can be customized with different amounts of soapstone surrounds. Soapstone is a natural stone that “has excellent heat retaining and conducting properties” which make it perfect for wood stoves and fireplaces (there are many wood stoves with soapstone).
On the far left, you have the base model Vermont Bun Baker and the Vermont Bun Baker XL. It goes without saying that the XL is the bigger wood cook stove. It has a larger stove and cooktop, and it puts out a lot more heat. We’ll cover more of the differences shortly.
Look at the models in the image above from left to right. You’ll see they progressively have additional features.
- The second image has the basic 1 ¼” soapstone surround, the next one also has a base.
- The fourth and fifth buying options have a thicker 2 3/8″ soapstone veneer.
- The final option on the far right has the complete 2 3/8″ soapstone surround, plus the wood storage pedestal underneath.
When you go looking to buy a Vermont Bun Baker wood stove, it feels like there are so many options to choose from, but as you can see, it’s more simple than it initially appears.
There are 2 different sized stoves, but you can buy each in 6 different ways with more or less soapstone. Not all retailers stock all models.
Here’s a table to further demonstrate the differences between the models – compare prices between retailers. You might get a discount code from Lehman’s and/or Fire Pit Surplus (who sometimes sell the Bun Baker) after signing up for their mailing list. Note that things like installation and flu kits will be an additional expense.
Neither of the two Bun Baker ovens is considered a small wood stove, but the N350 version can be suitable for cabins or other small homes.
Specs And Features
|Features||N350 Model||N550 Model|
|Heat Output||30,000 BTUs/hr||65,000 BTUs/hr|
|Residual Heat Output||750-1000 S/F||2000-2500 S/F|
|Weight||350 lbs /160 kgs||550 lbs / 250 kgs|
|Overall Dimensions||21.6″ / 550 mm wide
21.0″ / 535 mm deep
34.0″ / 865 mm high
|27.1″ / 690 mm wide
22.2″ / 565 mm deep
32.5″ / 828 mm high
|Firebox Dimensions||13.4″ / 340 mm wide
11.8″ / 300 mm deep
15″ / 380 mm high
|19.1″ / 485 mm wide
11.6″ / 295 mm deep
11.8″/ 300 mm high
|Construction||Steel 1/4″ & 5/16″||Steel 1/4″ & 5/16″|
|Maximum Log Size||12 inches / 30 cm||17.5 inches / 45 cm|
|Firebox Volume||2.4 cu. ft||2.7 cu. ft|
|Top Flue Size||6″ / 150 mm||6″ / 150 mm|
|5″ Cook Rings||2||2|
Each of the two wood cook stoves can be bought in 6 different ways. That’s the base model with NO soapstone, through to a complete soapstone surround with a pedestal.
The smaller model is suitable for heating an area of 700 – 1000 square feet with a heat output of 30,000 BTUs. The larger model can heat up to 2500 square feet with a heating capacity of 65,000 BTUs.
Both are freestanding radiant wood stoves that do not contain an internal fan or blower, though you can purchase a wood stove fan separately for better heat circulation.
- Cast iron doors with ceramic glass
- Steel and iron construction
- Firebricks for increasing thermal mass and stable temperatures
- Replaceable firebox protection plates
- Built-in oven temperature thermometer (Celsius/Fahrenheit)
- “Stay cool” spring handles
- Removable cook rings
- Oven trays and 3 steel racks
- Bypass damper handle
- Black metallic paint finish
These stoves come with a 10-year limited warranty and can have the optional factory-fitted domestic hot water booster with 2.5 – 3.0kW output.
Vermont Bun Baker Review
Our impression of the Vermont Wood Stove/Nectre Bakers Oven was very good – though we haven’t been able to test it out.
It is extremely well-built and highly functional, and we think it is a good investment. However, let’s hear from people who actually own and use this wood cook stove. These comments come from social media and YouTube.
- “We love Nectre fireplaces in Australia!” – @mh1880
- “I have this stove I really like it. I have made cookies and bread in it. Works well. I have a 500ish square foot cabin. It produces enough heat that sometimes I have to open a window lol.” – @patricke170
- “I live in Prince George. I have owned both the small Baker’s Oven, and now the larger version. Very different stoves, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. That said, I’ve loved both.” – @abeuzer
When I first got my Nectre XL I was worried about the firebox size being smaller than the wood stove it replaced. It doesn’t hold as much wood but is far more efficient than I had expected. A pretty good trade-off. Now I have a custom soap stone surround and an oven to bake in along with friends that come to sit by the fire I’m pretty cozy in SE Minnesota.
In a longer review, @mycharmedunicorn8751 said:
My biggest complaint is no ash box to remove the ash. You have to completely let the fire go out and cool, otherwise you are working with hot hot coals that will burn through most ash cans. My glasses, dirty every time I use it…
I got the larger one when it first came out [in 2015]. If I had to do over again, I would get a different stove… [One that] had an ash box that I could remove the ashes without the fire going totally out. If you’ve never tried to remove hot coals in a burning hot woodstove, you’d understand.
The only thing I’ve baked in mine was Pizza. My thermometer on the glass in the front has never been correct. I cannot get the stove to stay at a certain temperature. It definitely would be awesome if we come into an emergency situation as long as I have one, but it’s complicated and not an easy thing.
It’s very easy getting a fire going in it which I absolutely love. And if you shut the vent on the top left front by the door your glass will be black within 15 minutes.
We live near Ann Arbor and it has been COLD COLD COLD! Our Bun Baker XL has been cranking out the heat with our furnace kicking in to keep us at 62 degrees (usually fires only once over night). Like some of the other comments I get up to pee at 4am every night and toss a few extra logs on the red-hot coals.
The instructions from Nectre indicate a log size of about 10″ so I’ve been cutting mixed stock – about 30% 10″ logs and 70% at 16″. This allows us to place three small pieces perpendicular to the door and then a few longer pieces across the top of those. This helps to get the thing going just for the first fire of the day. From then on this thing is burning HOT!
I built a wood rack just to the side and rear of the unit and got one of those heat-powered fans from Amazon aimed right at the stack of wood. I have two shelves which each hold about a day of wood. That little fan easily finishes drying out my cordwood in about 8 hours! This technique has helped our wood last a little longer, burn a little hotter, and keep the glass fire door nice and clean.
And @calebfuller4731 said:
As an ex-pat Aussie living in Japan, I was able to get a Nectre stove for my home here, and it’s been great. It was the best value option compared to European and American imports and has given well over a decade of reliable service keeping me warm and comfortable through winters anywhere up to -7 C.
Most reviews of the Nectre Bakers Oven are really positive, with only a few having negative comments.
The main downsides or cons are:
- No ashtray/ash pan so you have to wait for the fire to go out before emptying, and some people need to keep it running all the time
- Cooking in and on a wood stove can be tricky and some people can’t get the hang of it
- Some struggle with distributing the heat through their home, though this would likely be a problem with any wood stove in these homes
- Some have found the oven thermometer to be inaccurate
It will take time to learn how to cook in the Vermont Bun Baker wood stoves – the first few times you might have some accidents, but it shouldn’t take long to learn how to use it well. It’s the same with any wood-burning cook stove.
Soapstone Surround Pros And Cons
Is it a good idea to buy the Vermont Bun Baker with the soapstone veneer?
Generally speaking, if it is within your budget, it’s definitely worthwhile. You will receive many benefits from having the soapstone on top and sides at least.
The bottom soapstone layer isn’t as necessary, and neither is the pedestal. The pedestal doesn’t hold a lot of wood, but if your wood was damp or wet, it would dry out extremely quickly in that space.
The lower and/or pedestal option is good for those with the extra money to spend and in whose home it would suit. Also, if you have trouble bending down for whatever reason, having the wood stove higher will also be a benefit.
As for the soapstone width, either the 1 ¼” soapstone surround or the thicker 2 3/8″, it all depends on your budget. The thicker option is obviously much more expensive, but if you can afford it, go for it.
- Fire burns more efficiently
- You will burn less wood
- Won’t need to clean the chimney as often
- The stove will stay hotter for longer
- The stove will put out more radiant heat
- Significantly more expensive
- Significantly heavier
- Requires more space
The Vermont Wood Stove
The Vermont Bun Baker is the perfect option for many who are seeking to bake bread, muffins, roast meats, and everything else in a wood-burning stove. Pizza is another popular meal to make in this baker wood stove (however, check out the Ooni pizza oven range for a dedicated pizza cooker)!
The Vermont Bun Baker is extremely versatile, and you can basically do anything in it that you can do on a regular electric or gas oven. Especially in the event of a power outage, it’s going to keep your house warm and allow you to keep on cooking.
From time to time, you will also find second-hand or used Vermont Bun Baker Stoves on eBay here. It’s worth checking Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and all those usual places as well. We’ve heard of a number of people who picked them up in good condition extremely cheaply.
The Pioneer Princess Wood Cook Stove is another great option that is also slightly cheaper than the Bun Baker, and the Drolet Wood Cook Stove is also worth checking out. Let us know if you have any comments or questions about anything we’ve mentioned in this post in the comments below.