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Alternative Energy

[Video Review] Wood Gas Stove…Now We’re Cooking!



I have seen and heard a lot about these neat little wood gassifier stoves  but I have not been able to get my hands on one to test out myself.

Fortunately for me, I have a buddy that does have one.

He was kind enough to provide me with a video review  that he posted to youtube a while back.


Check it out below:


Aside from the video, Ted had this to say about the stove:

The stove worked great on our last 3 month car camping in the north west I made coffee and breakfast most every morning and dinner at night.
That was the XL on that trip. Have backpacked with the smaller one. No gas can's to take with you, the fuel is all around you and free.
As a back up fuel for a rainy day we take a small bag of wood pellets with us.

I have seen a few different versions of these; some with battery operated fans (like this one), some without, and even one that can charge small electronics  via a USB charging port.  What do you guys think of these? Are they worth keeping in your survival gear?

Want to know more? Check out these related articles from our site:

How to Cook Food on a Rock

Solar Ovens: Cooking on the Bright Side

Make a DIY Solar Cooker from an Old TV

DIY Wood Gas Stove

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  1. JJM

    April 11, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    Have not used. I would prefer one without electrical requirement.
    Why called Wood GAS Stove? I see wood burning, not a Gasifier.

  2. Chuck

    April 11, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    It would be a better unit if it had a solar powered fan. You could use the battery as a back-up for cooking on heavily overcast days or cooking at night.

    Another alternative is the Kelly Kettle which is similar but uses heat chimney technique to heat water. It can also be used for cooking. It doesn’t need any electricity as it has no fan. It may not cook quite as fast as the Wood Gas Stove, but for long term use, batteries might become non-existent. That’s where solar power would make it unbeatable.

  3. John

    April 12, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    I liked his paraffin match sticks except he still needed a lighter to fire them. What happened to the sulfur striker tip on wood matches? Those were even before our Home Land Security. We could light them by raking our thumb nail across the tip.

  4. 173d Viet Vet

    April 17, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    John & Others – – Strike anywhere matches are still available but not everywhere. I have found them, and bought huge quantities whenever I have found them. Best Places to look are hardware stores near boating areas and marina supply stores.

    I was told that the phosphorous in the striking tip can be used to make Meth and state and local counter-drug measures have pressured stores to start using the current kitchen matches that require a fine sandpaper striker.

    As to this video, I think the concentrated heat and extra oxygen from the small fan create the woodgas which cannot be seen but which contributes to the quick production of heat without smoke. A thermo-engineer could probably explain what is happening in layman’s language…..but the efficient burning is why this stove works so well. The larger BioLite stove, never used by me, may be comparable to the one in this excellent video review.

    I have the small BioLite stove which produces electricity to power it’s own fan and charge phones, lights, etc. It is half the size of the one in this review and is great for backpacking or bugging-it. This one seems great for a more permanent or longer stay type of use.

    “sic semper tyrannus”

  5. Geoff

    October 12, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    Nice video. I have both a Woodgas LE (smaller version of what is demonstrated on the video), and the BioLite Camp Stove. Unfortunately, as great as the Woodgas LE is, the manufacturer, Spenton LLC, closed its doors in 2013.

    Though heavier, BioLite is a more polished product, easier and faster to light, and puts out more BTUs. It has a very smooth running blower, and of course charges its own power supply. It doesn’t burn as cleanly as the WGLE, leaving more soot on the bottom of my cookware, whereas the WGLE left hardly any soot. Since the BioLite power module is detachable, the stainless steel burn chamber is said to be dishwasher safe.

    I also have the Grill accessory for the BioLite. It easily gets up to 600 to 700 degrees and can sear a nice burger, though you’ll want to flip early and often to get an even crust. It’ll even do a nice job on toast. The downside with the grill is you are essentially cooking over the hot exhaust gasses of the BioLite flame and can sometime get soot or slightly off flavors on your food. Any grease drippings either vaporize on the flame diffuser, or work their way down into the burn chamber where they are completely incinerated, giving you free fuel and less to clean up.

    The upside of these stoves is the very efficient and relatively clean combustion. You will not smell like a camp fire, nor will there be a billowing cloud of smoke and fly-ash rising from your camp site as you cook. A handful of sticks and twigs can boil a kettle of water in 5 minutes, give or take, with heat to spare. A single cup of hardwood pellets in the BioLite will burn for up to an hour while charging your phone or other USB device. Just be aware it is only a 2W average output, about half the rate of a typical wall charger, or 1/4 the rate of an iPad charger. Still, if you need a charge, it does work, just slower than you may be used to.

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