Stove Chow Disappointment

BillM2

Member
Dec 23, 2010
82
Mid-Hudson Valley
I’ve bought Stove Chow pellets to burn in my Englander 25 PVDC for the last three years and have been satisfied. This year I bought 4 tons and aren’t burning as hot as previously. Stove is completely clean, I have a new convection blower, exhaust pipe is also clean. I have to burn on a higher setting, a notch or two, to get the heat I usually get out of them. Anyone experiencing the same? I’m in upstate NY, Hudson Valley region. Pellets purchased from Home Depot in mid November.
 

BillM2

Member
Dec 23, 2010
82
Mid-Hudson Valley
I repaired a stove a couple weeks ago that the owner was burning them. The ash was very black and heavy. Is your ash like that?
Yes, pretty much. They’re just different in both heat and ash.
 

Tonyray

Minister of Fire
Not surprised about the chows. Have had great softwoods in the past and even they got changed to where I didn't want to burn them anymore because they went cheapo with the recipe and product.
 

KurtGriffith

Member
Oct 27, 2014
16
Berkeley Springs, WV
We went with Stove Chow last two years, after baliing on a unimpressive batch of Hamers. But a noticeable difference in this year's "vintage". Different smell, does not burn as hot or active, and produces much more ash. My wife complains, it's like pellet fuel has "good years" and you get a trusted brand, and a couple of years later they let you down. it's like they have vintages. "Ahhhh, Hamers 2015, that was a very good year."
 
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Pellet-King

Minister of Fire
Nov 30, 2008
1,641
Northern Ct
HD's here only sell Green Supremes now, last year they were awesome, this year they suck, best bang for the buck are TSC pellets, I would never buy any pellets without a 5 bag testing
 

BillM2

Member
Dec 23, 2010
82
Mid-Hudson Valley
We went with Stove Chow last two years, after baliing on a unimpressive batch of Hamers. But a noticeable difference in this year's "vintage". Different smell, does not burn as hot or active, and produces much more ash. My wife complains, it's like pellet fuel has "good years" and you get a trusted brand, and a couple of years later they let you down. it's like they have vintages. "Ahhhh, Hamers 2015, that was a very good year."
Yeah, real disappointment. I would recommend any potential buyer to check out a bag or two before committing. I think the heat output is about 25-30% less than last year.
 

BillM2

Member
Dec 23, 2010
82
Mid-Hudson Valley
We went with Stove Chow last two years, after baliing on a unimpressive batch of Hamers. But a noticeable difference in this year's "vintage". Different smell, does not burn as hot or active, and produces much more ash. My wife complains, it's like pellet fuel has "good years" and you get a trusted brand, and a couple of years later they let you down. it's like they have vintages. "Ahhhh, Hamers 2015, that was a very good year."
Yep, I still have some in my barn. I pull them out when we get into single digits around here.
 

Pellet-King

Minister of Fire
Nov 30, 2008
1,641
Northern Ct
Green Supremes ae like that this year too, last year plenty of heat, TSC white bag seem to be the best for the buck
 

wjogert

New Member
Dec 26, 2019
29
New Hampshire
How ironic.
I've been burning Tractor Supply Hardwood (I presume that's TSC) white bag pellets since we got this 25PVCD three weeks ago. Not by choice, my father-in-law bought us a pallet when he bought his.
The irony is that I just bought a couple bags of Stove Chow to try, after seeing them mentioned here so often. I was hoping they'd be hotter and/or cleaner.
I also grabbed a bag of Fireside Ultra pellets. Those are burning as of 15 minutes ago.
 

bgk

New Member
Nov 14, 2019
22
Here
I’ve bought Stove Chow pellets to burn in my Englander 25 PVDC for the last three years and have been satisfied. This year I bought 4 tons and aren’t burning as hot as previously. Stove is completely clean, I have a new convection blower, exhaust pipe is also clean. I have to burn on a higher setting, a notch or two, to get the heat I usually get out of them. Anyone experiencing the same? I’m in upstate NY, Hudson Valley region. Pellets purchased from Home Depot in mid November.
I also live in the Hudson Valley. Town of Rochester/Accord. I’ve settled in on energex for my stove. Best I’ve found locally. Stove chow was not great.
 

wjogert

New Member
Dec 26, 2019
29
New Hampshire
Follow up:

I burned the Fireside Ultra. I burned the Stove Chow. Before this I had no experience to relate clean/dirty. Wow, I do now!

The TSC pellets had what I worried was a lot of ash. It's light to medium gray. Flame has a nice yellow color and glass soots over in about 6 hours (after the plate mod and leaf blower).

Fireside and Stove Chow both burned very orange and I could see the dark smoke at the tips. Glass sooted over in about 15 minutes. Ash was dark gray and heavy... probably twice as much ash per bag of pellets. Thick ash accumulation behind the mainfold plate. Thick ash accumulation on the exhaust outlet.

However, the dirty pellets burned MUCH hotter than the TSC. Tonight I'm testing a ~30/70% blend of Stove Chow and TSC.
 

BillM2

Member
Dec 23, 2010
82
Mid-Hudson Valley
How ironic.
I've been burning Tractor Supply Hardwood (I presume that's TSC) white bag pellets since we got this 25PVCD three weeks ago. Not by choice, my father-in-law bought us a pallet when he bought his.
The irony is that I just bought a couple bags of Stove Chow to try, after seeing them mentioned here so often. I was hoping they'd be hotter and/or cleaner.
I also grabbed a bag of Fireside Ultra pellets. Those are burning as of 15 minutes ago.
How are they working out for you? I’m still really disappointed in their heat output.
 

wjogert

New Member
Dec 26, 2019
29
New Hampshire
How are they working out for you? I’m still really disappointed in their heat output.
The TSC / Stove Chow blend wasn't horrible. The heat output was noticeably higher than TSC, and the ash wasn't overwhelming like the Stove Chow straight.
I'm testing LaCrete soft wood this weekend. Super Spruce is next to test.
 

Peterfield

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2013
1,392
New Hampshire
Funny, I tried Stove Chow for the first time last month and was surprised that it burned cleaner than many of the “better” pellets commonly recommended in this forum. All this means is there is no best pellet, only those pellets your stove likes and that will vary based on the stove you have. Try several brands and see what your stove likes. In my case, no way I am spending $400 for Douglas Fir pellets when $250 for Stove Chow does just fine.
 
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Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
834
Newport, Wa
I can't see any difference in Pellets with My Harmon XXV. But I am out West where everything is Pine.

I burned North Idaho Energy Logs - $199t - Like these best. Pallet is double wrapped and no wet bags of pellets

Tried

Purcell Pellets - $175t
One other brand I can't remember.

Purcell's had some bags that got wet inside in the pallet. Ended up throwing out 5 bags.
 

bcb1

Member
Dec 28, 2011
158
WV
I’ve been burning pellets for 15 years. It’s true, some years are better than others. Hamers seem to be pretty reliable year in and out, but even they have years that their pellets are just “meh”. For years Southen States and Tractor Supply sold rebranded Hamers for a cheaper price but not anymore.

I tend to like softwoods but those aren’t readily available where I live. They put out a bit less heat but are much easier to clean due to the fluffy ash rather than hard clinkers of hardwood pellets.

As others have said, get 5 bags and burn them before you buy a ton. Now that pellets are available everywhere all winter long there’s no more mad rush to get your stock early before they sell out.