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Can you burn pellets in a regular stove?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Sprinter, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    I may run out of optimal wood before the season ends and was thinking of mixing in some energy logs if needed but then started wondering if pellets may work for that as well. I was pricing both and so far pellets seem cheaper and easier to find in larger quantities. But I have no experience with either.

    I've heard some mention here of burning pellets in a non-pellet stove. Anybody have success doing that? Does it require a special device to keep it all together? Or should I forget it? I also thought that you would have more control over how much you used on a particular load.

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  2. Bluerubi

    Bluerubi Member

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    Wouldn't pellets burn really fast due to the surface area? I can see them getting eaten really quick, like little tiny pieces of superdry kindling.
  3. northernontario

    northernontario Member

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    Yes and no... You need a hot coal bed, and some other wood burning in there. Throw in a scoopful of pellets. Big thing is to keep them dry. Open a bag of pellets in the basement and they'll start sucking up moisture and won't easily burn.

    As for them burning super easily... there is a reason why pellet stoves have controlled feeding and a draft blower... they need to burn in small quantities all the time, not a big smoldering pile.
  4. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Search around & you'll find "Pellet Baskets" that are made for burning pellets in a wood stove. Mostly a gimmick, IMHO, much like the infamous "Magic Heat," but there are some folks who will swear by either or both...
    (Do da name POOK ring a bell?)
  5. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the replies. Yeah, "pellet basket" was the search key. Lots of ideas on the subject. My thought like northernontario suggested, was just to throw on a scoop or two to help the less seasoned stuff. (nothing over 30%). I figure roughly that if you have, say, 20# of 30% wood, you would need about two or three pounds of pellets to help compensate. Any other ideas on the proportions?

    I'm sure that the logs or bricks would work also, but around here, pellets are about 30% cheaper (by the ton) and I wouldn't have to put on an 8# log for a small load.
  6. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    I keep a bag or two around.
    I use then to help burn my coals down if I'm in a hurry.
    I put 2 or 3 cups worth in with full air..they will burn then!
    Heats the stove up for the next load also.
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I bought a Pelleteer pellet basket last year to find out what the shouting is about. It burns well and hot. But the 14 pounds of pellets it holds only put out big heat for two hours and small heat for another hour or so. And they would work better in a pre-EPA stove or one that has a damper to open for reloading because a lot of smoking is going on when you do a hot reload and it comes out the door instead of up and into the opening in front of the baffle.

    Makes a gorgeous fire when you have company over though. But I wouldn't depend on one to heat a house.
  8. argus66

    argus66 Feeling the Heat

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    just burn old pallets if u think ur gonna run out. real easy
    bryan likes this.
  9. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    Go with the energy logs if you can. You will definitely increase your burn times even in mixed load settings.

    Anyone ever try these Bear Bricks?

    http://www.bmfp.com/bearbricks.html
  10. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    I think pretty good options would be: find someone who sells kiln dry wood, buying bio or eco bricks are probably your best bet, scrounge construction debris (namely hard woods) and mix it in with your not so seasoned stuff, If you know a local wood burner with a decent supply maybe arrange a trade; your wet stuff for more seasoned wood.

    Those are my suggestions. When I was in your situation I scrounged construction debris and mixed it in with the cordwood, because money was particularly tight at that time. Meanwhile, stock up on wood and try to get two years ahead. Good luck!
  11. Dustin

    Dustin Feeling the Heat

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    I bought some bear bricks last year. They burned great! I'm ahead on my wood so I haven't had the need, but if I ever run out again, I'll buy some
  12. daleeper

    daleeper Minister of Fire

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    If I knew I would be short on optimal wood, I would be scrounging hard now for dry stuff to burn (pallets to break down, sawmill slabs), and mix a little of the less than optimal wood in along, saving the best wood for the coldest part of the winter, expecting to clean the chimney an extra time. Use another energy source for the shoulder season. I'm not sold on buying pellets or other composite wood products to burn in a stove for heat, unless I was supporting a very local product.

    I would then take an extra effort to make sure I have next year's supply accounted for as soon as possible, even if that means spending a little more this year for electric/gas backup this year. Nothing like knowing you have enough wood drying for next year and the next.
  13. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    At one time I used wood pellets to make some easy to make fire starters.

    A few wood pellets add some small pieces of candle wax then wrap up in a paper towel or 2 pieces of paper towels. Tape the 4 corners up of the paper towel to make a tear drop shape.

    One of the easiest fire starters to make.

    I saw one fire starter in at lowes that is just a small paper ketchup cup fill with wax.

    So i guess you could just wrap some small chunks of candle wax (no wood pellets) in a paper towel and tape it shut. No messy melting of candle wax or pouring candle wax. But still a good fire starter.
  14. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    All good advice. Thanks. I'll probably end up trying a little of everything. I like the idea of pellets because I don't think I'll need too much at a time and I like having control over how much to use. I'll get some energy logs, too. I can get pallets from a Builder's Surplus and I may try that route too. We're fine for about three years out. It's just this first year that's iffy.

    I'm always intrigued by the fire starter ideas I see here. I use SuperCedars, but I love to see how people make their own. Most use some kind of shavings or sawdust but pellets with wax sounds like a good idea if you don't have access to that material.

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