Admittedly, wood stoves are a bit old-fashioned. What with today’s central heating systems and other fuel sources, they may not be the first thing that come into mind if you want to heat up your space or even to cook food in campgrounds. However, wood stoves still make a good case for those who want to minimize their gas costs, carbon emissions, and camping gear.
By opting for the best wood stove, you won’t just be making an economical choice for your home and outdoor adventures; you’ll also make an eco-friendlier decision to minimize your carbon footprint. Because burning wood is carbon neutral, it won’t be as harmful as burning other kinds of flammable gases. As it’s also renewable, you have less to worry about when it comes to your contribution to the planet’s well-being.
Buying Guide – How to Choose the Best Wood Stove
Not all wood stoves are made equal, so to get the best for your home, you should be very discerning in what to choose. To help you with that, here are a few things to look for in a wood stove that’s worth your while:
Your Heating Requirements
It’s important to know that there are two kinds of wood stoves that you’ll encounter in the market today. The first type is the big furnace-like fixtures that are used primarily for heating the home. These are coming back in style as of late as they are more budget and eco-friendly compared to using electricity to keep your home warm during winter months.
The other type is the small camping stove. These is lightweight camping gear that can significantly lighten your load because you won’t have to bring canisters of liquid fuel. As long as there are twigs, bark, pinecones, or buffalo chips, you’re all good to go. However, there are certain limitations to their use. For one, dry fuel can be hard to find during wet or cold seasons and twig-burning stoves are also banned in some wilderness areas.
In any case, both are excellent products to have on hand for their respective purposes. With their many benefits, they’re definitely good picks over alternative options.
When it comes to heating your home with a wood stove, EPA or Environmental Protection Agency-approved units are the best options. In fact, there are many regions in North America that have complete bans on non-EPA units.
By opting for EPA-approved wood stoves, you’re guaranteed efficiency as they tend to require ⅓ less fuel to get going. They also produce less smoke and less creosote, making them safer, not just for your home, but for the environment as well.
To get the most out of your wood stove, it should also have high heat output. This will ensure its efficiency, giving you better results. If your free standing wood burner is 75% efficient, you can also qualify for a US Federal tax credit, giving you more reasons to look for a highly efficient unit.
Now that you have a good idea what to look for in the best wood stove, you’re ready to look around for reliable units that can be of good use to you. A few of our top picks are the following:
Solo Stove Lite
One of the most important things to do when hiking or camping is to pack light without sacrificing your necessities. However, this can be quite difficult to do, especially if you’re going on a long trip.
To lighten your load, the Solo Stove Lite is an excellent alternative to gas stoves. Perfect for long trips where you won’t always have access to resupply points, this product will let you get cooking with just twigs and pinecones. With its award-winning design and sturdy construction, it’s hailed by many campers and outdoor enthusiasts as one of the best wood stoves on the market today.
What can the Solo Stove Lite offer? Let its features do the talking:
Balancing a pot or cup on top of a tin stove can be a major hassle and dangerous, so to make the Solo Stove Lite more effective and efficient, it’s equipped with a cooking ring to steadily hold your cookware in place. It also adds some height and additional space for fuel, so you can cut down on your need to refill your fuel.
If you’re worried about the cooking ring becoming damaged, fret not. You can easily store it inside the burner by inverting it. As it fits perfectly, you can now transport it without any worries of dents or damage.
Cold Air Intake
One of the worries a lot of people have about wood stoves is that they can be a bit slow to heat up. As the Solo Stove Lite has a cold air intake located at the base of the unit, it guarantees that it will make a fire faster than other wood stoves. If you’re worried about high winds extinguishing your fire, fret not as well, because this product is engineered to avoid such problems.
Another common issue among wood stoves is that the flame tends to die when a pot or pan is placed on top of the fire. To prevent this issue, the Solo Stove Lite has holes by the top of the burn chamber so air can still freely go in and out of the stove and keep the fire going. This ensures frustration-free cooking no matter where you are.
Unlike other wood stoves, the Solo Stove Lite is also designed with a base that makes sure that the fire won’t touch the ground the stove has been sitting on. This makes it even more eco-friendly as it won’t leave a trace wherever you may have camped and will avoid the risk of starting a forest fire.
Double Wall Construction
Some reviewers may say that this item is a bit heavier than other competing products, but it makes perfect sense why it weighs as it is. It’s actually designed with a double wall construction so it won’t get too hot and risk igniting the flammable debris on the ground.
|Solo Stove Lite Pros||Solo Stove Lite Cons|
|Eco-friendlier option to gas and alcohol fueled stoves||A bit pricey|
|Equipped with a base so it won't scorch the ground||Takes a while to boil water|
|Lightweight||Not allowed in some camps and wilderness areas|
|Won't need you to carry any kind of fuel||Slightly heavier than competitors|
|Flame will always be easy to control|
|Can be used with other small combustibles or commercially available ones|
|An additional purchase will let you turn it into an alcohol stove|
|Won't create too much smoke|
|Very easy to assemble and use|
With its great design and construction, the Solo Stove Lite is definitely worth a shot if you want to stop carrying gas canisters around on your outdoor trips. Just make sure that twig burning is allowed where you’re going, though, as some places restrict wood stoves in certain locations. You can, anyway, buy the alcohol stove converter as well if you want to be safe.
Wolfyok Portable Stainless Steel Wood Burning Camp Stove
Those who are very particular about their packs getting too bulky for their long hiking trip might want to trim down the size of some of the things they’re bringing, aside from actually cutting down the amount of the things that they’re taking with them. Portable stoves are the best picks for downsizing as they come in a wide range of sizes.
Take the Wolfyok Portable Stainless Steel Wood Burning Camp Stove, for example. This product is actually only a bit bigger than the palm of one’s hand and will take much less space than a folded shirt in your bag when packed away. Combined with a very affordable price tag, this makes it an excellent, budget-friendly camping stove.
Wondering if this Wolfyok wood stove is worth your while? Here are its features that might give you an idea why it’s a best-seller:
Stainless Steel Construction
This portable wood stove is made from high-grade stainless steel, making it not just attractive, but also durable and tarnish-free. This also makes it corrosion-free, further guaranteeing that it won’t easily degrade and lose its quality.
By using high-grade stainless steel, it’s also capable of handling high heat and even carrying items heavier than itself. So, if you’re worried about this product falling apart in just a few uses, fret not.
Compact Collapsible Design
Possibly the biggest selling point for theWolfyok wood stove is its compact design. You can easily take it apart and place everything inside the base before packing it inside a carrying mesh bag. This makes it simpler to transport as it will barely take up space in your pack.
Hinged Three-Armed Pot Support System
To keep pots and pans in place, this wood stove also has a hinged three-armed pot support system. This makes it easy and safe to transfer as you can fold them in when not in use, ensuring that they won’t easily become damaged or broken. It also provides more security when balancing your cookware while in use.
Wood and Solidified Alcohol Fuel Options
While the Wolfyok wood stove is primarily designed to be used with twigs, pinecones, and bark, it’s also engineered to be utilized with solidified alcohol. It has a separate dish where you put the solidified alcohol in for cooking and the base can be overturned to provide a higher platform for it for easier cooking. This makes this product highly versatile and suited for extended outdoor adventures.
|Wolfyok Portable Stainless Steel Wood Burning Camp Stove Pros||Wolfyok Portable Stainless Steel Wood Burning Camp Stove Cons|
|Fantastic price||Hinged grates can get damaged|
|Lightweight||Instructions aren't available|
|Very easy to put together and take apart|
|Won't produce too much smoke|
|Easy to setup and use|
|Frees you from the need of carrying fuel canisters|
|Stable and sturdy|
If you’re not ready to splurge on camping gear just yet but want to get the whole experience, the Wolfyok Portable Stainless Steel Wood Burning Camp Stove is one of the best options in the list. It can do everything you need from a cookstove and is very affordable, so there’s really nothing to lose from this product.
Ohuhu Portable Stainless Steel Wood Burning Camping Stove
Another fantastic wood stove that doubles as a solidified alcohol cookstove is the Ohuhu Portable Stainless Steel Wood Burning Camping Stove. This product is similar to the Wolfyok wood stove but it’s also cheaper and comes with an instruction manual. This makes it a great option for many first-timers, as it can take you by the hand and easily guide you how to use such a great product.
What makes this product great? Here are its features:
Wood and Alcohol Burning Stove
Wood stoves are excellent options for cooking equipment when you’re spending a few months on a long trail. However, they might not be of any use if it rains and you don’t have backup fuel for it. So, a versatile cookstove is a better option. As the Ohuhu wood stove can also be used with solidified alcohol, it’s certainly a flexible piece of camping gear that many will love to have.
This product actually comes with a plate for the solidified alcohol so you won’t have any problems using another kind of fuel for your meals and hot beverages. It’s also very lightweight, so there’s no need to worry about extra pounds in your pack.
Stainless Steel Material
The Ohuhu wood stove is made of high-quality stainless steel. This ensures that it’s very durable and can withstand not just the constant exposure to heat, but the weather and corrosion as well.
Versatile Base Plate
Aside from the fact that this wood stove has a base plate that will ensure that you won’t burn the ground it sits on, the base plate of this product is also very versatile, allowing you to cook with either wood or solidified alcohol. All you need to do is place the base with its hollow part facing the bottom so it will create a raised platform. This will put the solidified alcohol plate nearer the pot, making it easier to cook.
Nesting Storage Design
Making it compact and portable is its nesting storage design. Every part fits right inside the bottom plate, making it easier to store and lug around.
|Ohuhu Portable Stainless Steel Wood Burning Camping Stove Pros||Ohuhu Portable Stainless Steel Wood Burning Camping Stove Cons|
|Fantastic price||Requires a bit of patience as the fire can be hard to feed without a top opening|
|Produces small amount of smoke||Hinged grates are considered by many as common points of failure|
|Instructions included in the package|
|Efficient design and performance|
|Multifunctional and versatile|
|Safe to use|
|Won't scorch the spot it's put in|
|Easy to use|
|Easy to assemble and disassemble|
|Uses both alcohol and wood as fuel|
Affordable and ingeniously designed, the Ohuhu Portable Stainless Steel Wood Burning Camping Stove is an excellent choice for those who are on a tight budget but won’t settle for anything less than stellar.
HQ ISSUE Outdoor Wood Stove
Another wood stove is the HQ Issue Outdoor Wood stove. While it’s not compact, it’s still an excellent backup cooking equipment for your backyard, cabin, camp, or outhouse among many others. It can heat up tents up to 14’ x 20’ in size and can fit a small pan and kettle at the same time, making it efficient and very handy.
The best part? It’s very affordable. While it’s not as budget-friendly as the others on this list, given its capacity, it still definitely offers bang for your buck.
Get to know the HQ ISSUE Outdoor Wood Stove through its great features:
Classic Wood Stove and Portable Design
The first thing you’ll notice about the HQ Issue Outdoor Wood Stove is its design. In the pictures, you’ll actually expect it to be a full-sized wood stove of old, but it’s actually a bit smaller, making it easier to take with you to places. As its feet fold and its pipes nest, it’s very easy to assemble and disassemble. All the parts will also easily fit inside the actual chamber, so it’s definitely portable.
Black Galvanized Steel Construction
Ensuring sturdiness and ability to withstand high heat, this wood stove is made with heavy duty black galvanized steel. Unlike silver galvanized steel, it’s much safer to one’s health and eco-friendlier, so you won’t have to worry about fumes. As for its quality, it won’t easily get damaged or warped, even with frequent exposure to high heat.
Cast Iron Door
To make this stove tougher, it’s finished with a hinged cast iron door with easy to control air vents. You can quickly feed the fire or extinguish it, so you won’t have a hard time working with it.
6.45” Pipe Vent
To control smoke from taking over your space, this stove also comes with a long pipe vent that will release the smoke more than 6 feet off the ground. This design makes it a solid option for large tents and outdoor cooking and heating without suffocating everyone in its vicinity.
|HQ Issue Outdoor Wood Stove Pros||HQ Issue Outdoor Wood Stove Cons|
|Very simple to put together and take apart for transport||HQ Issue Outdoor Wood Stove Cons|
|Heavy duty||Not intended for indoor use|
|Long pipe vent keeps the smoke away||Looks bigger than actual so make sure to double check the measurement before purchasing|
|Simple to operate|
|Effective in warming an outdoor space|
|Can make any backyard look rustic|
If in need for a heating and cooking equipment for when you want to enjoy the outdoors, the HQ ISSUE Outdoor Wood Stove is definitely an effective and economical solution.
kampMATE WoodFlame Ultra Lightweight Portable Wood Burning Camping Stove
Touted as the most compact camping stove in the market today, this kampMATE product is definitely worth checking out. Its unique design definitely makes it worth your while, especially if you want to bring along a cookstove that won’t take up any space in your pack. It collapses into itself and folds flat, easily making it a great choice for those who want to pack light or who want to use their pack’s space for other more important things.
Is the kampMATE WoodFlame Ultra Lightweight Portable Wood Burning Camping Stove for you? Check out its features and find out:
Effective and Compact Design
Unlike other camping stoves in the list, this one isn’t circular, making it perfectly capable of being collapsible and foldable. This makes it one of the most compact cookstoves on the market today. It also has a large opening where you can always easily feed kindling to, ensuring that you won’t run out of fuel in the middle of cooking.
Embossed Side Plates
its embossed sides provide reinforcement.
You can use just about any small combustibles with this stove, ranging from wood, alcohol gel cans, stereo cans, wood chips, pellets, eco bricks, hexamine, solid fuel tablets, firelite, charcoal blocks, esbit, and trioxide, among others.
|kampMATE WoodFlame Ultra Lightweight Portable Wood Burning Camping Pros||kampMATE WoodFlame Ultra Lightweight Portable Wood Burning Camping Cons|
|Stores flat when taken apart and stacked||Challenging X grate|
|Very compact||Some people find it to be too big to their liking|
|Carrying case included in the package|
|Wide range of fuel options from wilderness debris to a selection of commercial-grade solid fuel|
|Assembles and takes apart for storage very easily|
|Won't leave a fire scar on the ground|
|Easy to clean|
Some might argue that you can DIY a wood stove for much less money, but while this is true, what you can make at home might not have the same quality in terms of design and performance as the best wood stoves in the market today. This is why opting for a commercial product can be a very good way to enjoy this classic heating and cooking equipment.
With all of the great options out there, you surely won’t run out of excellent options. Let the five products above be your starting point so you can have a good basis with what the products are to guide you in your search.