Woodgas Articles

November 27, 2009


Filed under: — @ 12:32 am

Camping with the woodgas camp stove provides for a unique experience in outdoor cooking.  Outdoorsman will enjoy ‘making’ a fire in a woodgas stove.  Environmentalists will appreciate the virtually smoke free fire, and the fact that woodgas stoves do not consume fossil fuels.  The cost conscious consumer will like the fact that free fuel lies abundantly around any typical camp site.  People concerned about deforestation will like that the woodgas stove is typically 50-90% more energy efficient than other wood burning cooking methods.  Indeed it seems like there is at least one thing just about anybody will find appealing about woodgas stoves.

Starting the stove is unlike starting a camp fire.  The stove first has to be filled with a small quantity of natural biomass fuels such as sticks.  Once a handful of sticks are prepared and placed in the cooking chamber of a woodgas stove.  The challenge and skill comes in getting a fire going from the top because the flame burns from the top downward.  Some people use kindling, some paper, match sticks, or fire starter alcohol gel, others have found one or two cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly as a very effective fire starter.  Once lit a battery pack containing 2AA batteries which power a small fan in the base of the stove has to be plugged in to feed the fire oxygen and bring it up to operating temperature.  It takes just about 2 minutes for a woodgas stove to come up to full operating heat output ready for cooking.

The air jets which point inward toward the cooking chamber give the impressive appearance that the stove is using propane or other gas as fuel but it is not, it’s burning good old biomass IE whatever grows on trees or plants and you can pick up off the ground.

Most users of this stove are pleasantly surprised by the high heat output of the unit and how a pot with a few cups of water can be brought to a boil in just a few minutes. 

While a good many people do use woodgas camp stoves on camping excursions probably just as many use them outside of their homes on their patio or deck for pleasant enjoyment of the outdoors just around the house, by making a pot of coffee, tea, or frying up a pan of bacon in the morning.

There are two models of the Woodgas Camp Stove line, the LE and XL.  The LE which is just under 2 pounds and just a little larger than a 1 pint coffee can is desiged for portability to use for backpacking and bicycle camping.  The larger of the two stoves the XL has twice the burn time on a load of fuel and a 15% greater heat output and is designed for auto motorcycle and canoe camping.

The Woodgas (MEGA) outdoor fireplace, has approximately 5 times the heat output of the larger Woodgas camp stove XL.  At 55,000 BTU’s of heat the Woodgas (MEGA) is designed as an outdoor heating unit for aesthetic enjoyment around the patio or outdoor space around the house.  The Woodgas MEGA does not come with a grill for cooking purposes but some customers may improvise suspending some kind of grill over a Woodgas MEGA for cooking purposes.  Also, while the Woodgas MEGA is too heavy by comparison at 16 lbs. for portability a battery cable is available for using the MEGA (off-grid) using a 12v battery, and can possibly find use as a portable “campfire” at campgrounds.

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