View Full Version : Wood Burning Stove Techniques

01-12-2014, 09:51 AM
I was at my in-laws on a cold morning and they heat primarily with a wood stove and he was busy so I figured I would stoke the stove and that got me thinking about proper technique and I found this.


Do you think these techniques would apply to stick burning cookers?

01-12-2014, 10:01 AM
DON'T use softwoods and DON'T stuff a firebox like that. I don't know if the North/South and East/West thing makes a difference. I would say a lot of that info wouldn't hold true for a smoker.

01-12-2014, 10:16 AM
I should have said I was most interested in discussing the north/south east/west technique and if that would apply to stick burning cookers or not.

01-12-2014, 10:23 AM
I've lit smaller pot belly wood stoves and some larger ones

Airflow is impt.

Stacking them is nice but once hot it dont matter.

Hardwoods nice a seasoned will burn best everything else will build up in your exhaust and make more headaches for maintaining the unit - in a home ok, up in the hills its you and your buddies mainly.

And I do the n/s/e/w in my stick burner for airflow when I can, if the fire dying down I add coals and restock if its cooking im feeding the footprint

01-12-2014, 10:30 AM
If you stuff a firebox, you are not running a fire at its hottest because you are limiting air flow, thus the fire isn't going to be as clean. When running a stickburner you want to make sure you have clean burning fire or you will taste bitter smoke on your meats.

That being said, wood burning stoves are not using smoke to cook/flavor ingredients. They use the fire to get area's on the stove hot for cooking/heating. You can extend the duration of fires by packing in a bunch of wood(fuel) and limiting the airflow to it. This will lead to a dirty burning fire. But since the smoke bypasses the cooking area and piped out of the house via chimney, they don't need to worry about how clean the fire burns.

When packing a firebox east-west orientation limits the airflow between the logs where the north-south orientation gets more airflow between the logs. You will find that the north-south orientation will get hotter than the east-west (provided the intake vents are on the north or south side of the firebox)

Once again, I would never stuff a stickburner full of splits to try to extend the length of time a log will burn. You want to keep as much airflow as possible to get the hottest fire possible and control your temperatures by limiting the amount of fuel you have in your firebox at 1 time. A clean hot burn produces the best tasting food over a dirty burning colder fire.