Can You Burn Charcoal in a Wood Stove

There is a lot of debate about whether or not you can burn charcoal in a wood stove. Some people say it’s a great way to add an extra layer of heat, while others claim it will damage your stove and void your warranty. So, which side is right?

Can You Burn Charcoal in a Wood Stove

In general, it’s not a good idea to burn charcoal in a wood stove, as it can cause problems with the draft, create excessive smoke, and possibly heat some internal metal surfaces if there’s too much draft. However, if you are careful and take some precautions, it is possible to do so without causing any damage.

This blog post will explore what happens when you burn charcoal in a wood stove and share tips on doing it safely.

Can I Use Charcoal in a Wood Burner?

There are a few reasons why you might want to burn charcoal in your wood stove. Maybe you’re looking for a way to add some extra heat, or you live in an area without much wood. Charcoal is an excellent fuel source, and you can use it in a wood stove if you take some precautions.

However, when burning charcoal in a wood stove, there are three things you need to be aware of: draft, carbon monoxide, and heat.


The first thing you need to be aware of is the draft. Draft is the air movement in and out of your stove. You need to have a good draft to get the heat up to the chimney when you’re burning charcoal. If there isn’t enough draft, the fire will smolder and produce a lot of smoke.

On the other hand, if there’s too much draft, it may end up overheating the stove’s internal metal surfaces. Therefore, you need to strike the best balance to get the most efficient burn.

Carbon Monoxide

You also need to be aware of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Burning charcoal may not produce as much smoke as wood, but it produces carbon monoxide.

To be on the safe side, make sure your wood stove is well-ventilated to be on the safe side. If you have a window in the room, open it slightly to boost ventilation. You may also want to invest in a carbon monoxide detector just to be safe because it’s a colorless gas, and you can’t smell it.


Finally, you need to be aware of the heat. Charcoal produces a lot of heat compared to wood. However, while this heat is excellent for getting your stove going, it can also be dangerous. So, always use caution when burning charcoal in a wood stove.

Source: The Morning Call

What Happens If You Burn Charcoal in a Wood Stove?

What should you expect if you’re thinking of burning charcoal in your wood stove? Will the charcoal burn hotter than the wood? Will it be challenging to start a fire with charcoal?

You should expect a few things when you use charcoal in your wood stove. These include:

  • Steady, hotter heat output: Charcoal produces a much hotter fire than wood, so you can expect to get your stove up to temperature quickly.
  • Increased risk of chimney fires: Because the charcoal produces such a hot fire, it’s essential to be very careful when burning it. Ensure the flue is open, and plenty of air is available to the fire.
  • More ash production: Charcoal produces more ash than wood, so you’ll need to clean out your stove more often.
  • Sometimes it may be difficult to light up: If your wood stove is new, it may be challenging to get the charcoal burning. You may need to use some paper or kindling to help get it started.
  • Awful smell: Due to the chemicals in the charcoal, it can produce an awful smell when burned. This may not be a problem if you have a sound ventilation system, but it’s something to keep in mind.

All in all, if you follow the proper steps, it is possible to burn charcoal in a wood stove without too much hassle.

Source: The Camp Stove

How Do You Use Charcoal in a Wood Stove?

So, how should you use charcoal in a wood stove? First, ensure your stove is in good working order and has been cleaned recently.

Then, place a layer of charcoal on the bottom of the stove. Make sure that it’s spread out evenly.

Next, put your kindling on top of the charcoal and light it up. Give the charcoal some time to heat up before adding any more.

Once the charcoal is hot, add more charcoal and let it burn. Keep an eye on the stove to make sure everything is burning evenly.

What Should You Not Burn in a Wood Stove?

You may be wondering if you can burn anything in a wood stove. The answer is no, you shouldn’t burn just anything. There are several things you should never attempt to burn in your wood stove. These include:

  • Wet wood: burning wet wood will not produce much heat, and it can cause the stove to smoke
  • Christmas tree: The evergreen nature of Christmas trees makes them have high concentrations of resins, which can easily pop, causing chimney fires
  • Pressure-treated lumber: treated lumber contains harmful chemicals that can release toxins into your home.
  • Plastic: plastic doesn’t generate any heat, and it releases toxic fumes when burned
  • Papers and cardboards with colored prints: These inks contain heavy metals that can release toxins into your home when burned.
  • Plywood, particleboard, or chipboard: These release carcinogens and toxic fumes when burnt.
  • Fire accelerants and fire starters: These products may cause extremely dangerous fire flareups.
  • Dryer lint: Although an effective fire starter, it releases toxic fumes into your home.
  • Driftwood: When burnt, it releases salt that can corrode your wood stove and chimney surfaces.

It’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on fuel when using your wood stove to prevent fires and health risks.

Source: Environmental Chimney Service

Wrapping Up

If you were wondering whether you could burn charcoal in a wood stove, now you know that it’s should only be done with proper precautions in place. Otherwise, it may pose a serious fire hazard and health risk.

For the safest and most efficient burning, always use the fuel type recommended by your wood stove manufacturer.

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