Esse Ironheart cooking range

Overall Rating:

3.5 flames

based on 36 reviews    (View rating breakdown)
Esse Ironheart cooking range

The Esse Ironheart cooking range is a cast iron and steel 8kw stove with oven, hot plate and possible back boiler for heating radiators and water. The Ironheart has a fire box with a glass door through which you can view the dance of the flames.

The tall legs have got a curve in them. The Ironheart is a multi fuel range capable of burning wood & coal.

Technical Data
  • Height: 900mm
  • Width: 900mm
  • Depth: 600mm
  • Flue Diameter: 150mm
  • Fuel: Multi fuel
  • Nominal Heat Output: 9.7kW
  • Efficiency: 82%

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Review Ratings Breakdown

Build Quality 3.5 flames
Quality of finish 3.5 flames
Value for money 3.5 flames
Ease of use 4 flames
Ease of lighting 3.5 flames
Firebox size 4.5 flames
How well does the airwash work 3.5 flames
Controllability 3.5 flames
Handle operation 3.5 flames
How likely are you to buy it again? 3.5 flames
What is your overall satisfaction? 3.5 flames

Most Recent Review

  • What a stove

    Matthew T one year ago

    We bought this stove second-hand to replace an oil-burning Rayburn. We liked the idea of a wood burning range in the kitchen to be the ‘heart of the home’ and this stove certainly seemed
    to fit the bill. I think the previous owner had burned coal, and the stove had clearly suffered some abuse over the years and was completely full of creosote. We cleaned out all of the creosote (bags and bags of it!) and replaced many of the consumable parts; the baffle plate, firebricks, firebox and ropes. Esse were very helpful in providing spare parts at reasonable prices. Initially we installed the stove making use of the existing 5” flue with anti-downdraught cowl and were a little disappointed with its performance. The stove smoked a bit when lighting and when refuelling. Once lit it performed very well and the flames danced beautifully. Nevertheless I was frustrated by the smoking. I read every review and post I could find and this did seem to be a bit of a consistent story, but was possibly related to the flue size. We upgraded the flue to a 6” flue and removed the anti-downdraught cowl and what a difference it made! The stove now lights easily and doesn’t smoke at all when lighting or refuelling. I must admit I was sceptical that the flue would make so much difference but it really has. This stove produces a showroom quality burn; clean, lovely flames and the door glass stays crystal clear. The children absolutely love it and want to light it every day and cook on it. It really is the heart of the home that we hoped for. I would suggest anyone that is having trouble with this stove investigates their flue in the first instance. The stove is incredibly heavy (about 350kg) and it is true that the side panels are made of steel rather than cast iron. Cast iron is certainly a nicer material for stoves, especially when leaded but possibly would have made the stove too heavy. The oven is a good size, slightly bigger than the Rayburn I think, and the hot plates are very generous. You can easily fit several pans on it, and it provides a good temperature gradient from left to right. You can even cook steaks directly on the hot plate which is a good party piece. I would buy another in a heartbeat.
    Overall rating:

    5 flames

Most Popular Review

More reviews for Esse Ironheart cooking range (page 1 of 4)

  • Esse Ironheart

    H Karlsson 5 years ago

    We've had it for over 10 years now and it works really, really well. Have been used extensively for cooking and heating.Now in need of a bit of TLC. Struggling to find an engineer who can help
    . Not sure if Esse offer a refurbishment service?

    Stove expert replied: These are great work horses and having had it 10 years meas you are getting good value for your money. I am sure you will be able to find an engineers to assist you with a service so that you can continue to enjoy this for many more years to come as Esse do not offer this service.

    Overall rating:

    4.5 flames

  • Esse Ironheart reviewed after 8 years use.

    Francis Barnett 5 years ago

    We had an Esse Ironheart installed in 2011 to replace a horrible Rayburn that came with the house in France. It''s used mainly to heat the kitchen in our old stone house, occasionally to cook
    with.We have our own patch of woodland, so process our own wood as and when it falls down or needs felling.We burn spruce, douglas fir, northern pine, larch, birch, cypress, chestnut and a bit of oak now and again when we can buy some cheap.Experience teaches us that it needs cleaning out regularly, not just the flue, but the body of the stove is as important.The firebox top,around the damper housing, under the hotplate, the oven top, sides, back and underneath - twice a year, with an industrial vacuum cleaner.I suspect that many of the problems experienced with the Ironheart reported on this website are due to not cleaning them out properly or often enough.I just lit ours 4 hours ago, firing it with some 5 year seasoned spruce, it hasn''t fouled the glass yet!There are four controls on an Esse Ironheart, you need to learn what they do and what effect they have before complaining that the stove is no good!The system for parts supply is a bit hit and miss, the Esse dealer in France that fitted ours was useless, didn''t stock anything, didn''t know what fitted what stove and then went bust.Parts supplied from the Esse factory is better but as an engineer with a small machine shop here, I can make most of what I need.The problem of firing it with a cold flue can be a problem. We burn a small dish of burning alcohol ( meths) in the firebox to warm the flue before lighting the kindling, this stops it smoking the place out.

    Stove expert replied: Good feedback from years of experience, maintaining and cleaning are so important on any stove to get he best from them.

    Overall rating:

    4 flames

  • Heart of our home

    Jo Heather 5 years ago

    We have had our Esse Ironheart for three years now and we are still thrilled with it. It is a workhorse and we are not precious about it but it is still in really good condition. I use it all
    winter for cooking including Christmas dinner which is fantastic! We have the flu and Esse cleaned and swept prior to the season and sometimes half way through but it is alight constantly as it's our only form of heating. We live in a typical semi-detached home and these things kick out some serious heat so be mindful of that and the placement of the cooker in your home. You will not be cold in the winter that's for sure!! So far we have not needed to replace any elements. It is vital that you give it times to burn within the optimum burn temperature to ensure the flu remains efficient. We have discovered that the best way to load it without smoke coming out is to open all of the vents and the door of the ash tray, then open the main door just a fraction, leave for about 30 seconds then open slowly. Please ensure you take the time to read and research how to use it properly. It does take some skill but it's worth it when you get it working efficiently and effectively.We have not regretted this purchase and as I write this I am snuggled on the sofa in front of it with a cuppa, pure bliss!

    Stove expert replied: Fantastic comments, great combination of heating and cooking in a home. The best of both worlds!

    Overall rating:

    4.5 flames

  • Looks good.

    Peter Kay 5 years ago

    The Stove looks good, but as for burning in it isn't so great.Starting a Fire or refueling the fire can be a night mare as the smoke bellows out into the room. The fire installed before this
    one didn't do this.You can never get the fire to last over night, its always out in the morning.I've had it for 2 years now, and the Top Baffle needs replacing, its split in half. All the side bricks are broken to and need to be replaced. By the time these parts reach my house it'll probably cost me £150.So after two year use I'm not impressed with the Fire now at all.

    Stove expert replied: What a shame. The first thing to try to resolve is the smoke coming back into the room when refueling, I appreciate this did not happen with the previous stove but stoves do vary and this has a large output so: Have you an airbrick in the room? Is there an extractor also in the room? What height is the flue system this has been installed on? What fuel are you using? If wood is it dry and well seasoned with a moisture content of less than 20%? Have you any other flues in the property? Have you an anti down-draught cowl on the flue system? Is the flue into a chimney or a twin wall system? If a chimney is it lined and insulated? There is likely to be a reason that this is happening and there is normally a way to overcome this, worst case being a flue fan to aid the draw. With regard to the liners they are classed as consumable and are not covered by warranty.

    Overall rating:

    2 flames

  • Disappointed with quality

    Beverley Morris 6 years ago

    Opted for the delux model as I wanted black as opposed to anthracite. I truly love my stove but am at a loss as to what to do about the poor quality of the enameled top. So baldy chipped and
    flaking - am going to have to replace the top completely. I have been quoted in excess of £400 just to purchase, let alone refit! Also, will the same happen in another 4 years! So disappointed.

    Stove expert replied: Enameling normally provides a hard surface that is hard wearing, if this has not been the case was this taken up under warranty in the two years that comes with this stove? The hard surface will chip if knocked though and this would then not be covered by warranty.

    Overall rating:

    3.5 flames

  • Not impressed

    Graham Shelswell 6 years ago

    Had to replace fire bricks after 1st year. Door handles constantly working loose.Room fills with smoke when loading, new liner installed! Enamel chipped and coming away in several places. Esse
    said it was due to damage when re-fitting hot plates after cleaning. I''ve always helped the sweep as they are so heavy and we have never dropped the plates to cause chipping to stove top. All in all a poor design.When I initially complained and gave the serial number they didn't know that number & had no record I had to send a photo of it.Would not buy or recommend one again.Poor quality all round.

    Stove expert replied: These stoves are well known for their solid build quality so this is a disappointing review.

    Overall rating:

    1.5 flames

  • Great looking stove, but.....

    Andy Templeton 6 years ago

    I''ve had my Ironheart for about 7 years and overall I''m satisfied with it but it does have its issues, it''s a high maintenance stove. Over that time I''ve had to replace:1. Baffles several
    times - both cast and steel2. Fire bricks several times. The original bricks were very soft and easily damaged especially if a piece of wood happens to hit them a little hard - due to the lack of support from the steel plates behind them they tend to break. They are now made from a harder material but the underlying problem still exists.3. Replace the flue restrictor & guide several times. Flimsy mild steel components burn away4. Replace the glass seal with modified design. Glass began to rattle with original seal5. Bakelite knob on top air slider became heat affected and fell off Although it''s great looking stove, cooks well and keeps my 10 square house cosy in winter, with the above issues I can''t help but feel I''ve bought a work in progress. I wouldn''t recommend buying an Ironheart but I would recommend looking at the maintenance regime of any stove you might be considering in depth prior to purchasing.

    Stove expert replied: Any stove will require maintenance and the amount will vary on several factors:- how much it is used, quality of the product, how it is operated, quality of fuel etc. to name a few. Manufacturers may adapt products to give better life and value and it seems that during the time you have had this stove this has occurred. Loading of a stove should be undertaken with care as liners can become cracked due to impact and this stands for most products that have refractory liners. Great for cooking and provides a good source of heat though..

    Overall rating:

    3.5 flames

  • Don''t buy this stove

    Denis Hawthorne 7 years ago

    Utter trash. Nothing but hassle. Baffle replaced several times until I purchased a cast iron one. Design fault not mine. My firebox has split, fractured across several inches. Not repairable
    . Replacement parts almost impossible to get. I''ve requested "H" bolts several times and have been assured by their agent in Canada they will be mailed. When I was first in contact with Ease agent he said I was burning the stove "Too hot" Perhaps I shouldn''''t have lit it, it looked nice when first new.

    Stove expert replied: What a shame that this has caused such an issue, spares should be available even if delayed until sent from the UK. The Ironheart has such a good track record and I have never heard of one splitting before.

    Overall rating:

    1.5 flames

  • A workhorse

    7 years ago

    I have the dry standard Esse Ironheart fitted with the optional woodburner box. Esse has lived in my French cottage for the last 2 years. Lighting the stove is done with 2 thin logs running
    the length of the firebox with shredded wheat firelighters and kindling in between on top of that I place 2 short logs across the top of the 2 long ones and then build a 3 strand pyre of kindling on top of those logs plus 1 more firelighter I then use a blow lamp to start it all of with primary and secondary air open with the ash door ajar, as the fire lights and builds I shut the ash door an then the primary air leaving only the secondary air open. I find that gives me a quick reliable start, I then run the stove with the primary air open fully to give a good strong fire and I do not let the fire die down too much and feed the fire 1 large log every 90 mins, I only select the oven mode once the fire is burning strongly as the smoke path is too constricted to draw properly otherwise.When properly burning there is no smoke and loading additional wood can be done without smoke escaping. If the stove is run with a very small fire the firebox never really gets up to temperature and is smoky and inefficient which is why buying the correct size stove is important , better to buy a small stove and run it at its maximum output than to buy a larger stove and struggle to keep a small fire in it. I do all my winter cooking and baking on it. Finally buying an Ironheart is a life changer and not for the faint of heart, what with buying, storing, sawing and stacking firewood lighting and cleaning the stove but what it gives back is a wonderful centre piece to any home with heat for all of my home. I do not try to keep it in overnight as this can lead to a build up of creosote, I just put a big log in before I go to bed and in the morning the body of the stove is still warm. Oh one more thing, invest in the best stove fan you can afford as they will warm your house as well as the room where the stove is.
    Overall rating:

    5 flames

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