Stoves / Cooking

Top 5 BioLite stoves

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We’re big fans of BioLite stoves, the New York-based startup turning fire into electricity.

What? That’s right, BioLite stoves, as well as being handy for cooking and heating, double as a mains-free power source, for charging lights, phones and tablets via USB. They’re reasonably priced, as well, and if there’s an opportunity to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, we’ll always support it.

BioLite CampStove

‘Heat, cook and charge together.’

The original BioLite CampStove features a cellular front grill to distribute side heat evenly, and an open top to allow full-on cooking heat to rise freely. That same heat is used to charge an electricity cell on the side of the stove.

Size and weight
These BioLite stoves weigh just under a kilo when empty, and measures roughly 12cm x 12cm x 21cm, so it’s small enough to pack into a large rucksack, or in the boot of the car if you’re just going on a regular camping trip. At under a kilo, it punches way above its weight in terms of functionality, too.

Materials
The stove itself is made from high quality stainless steel, so it won’t rust or tarnish. The BioLite is a really handsome stove, and the orange cell on the side makes it easy to find among all your stuff.

Features
The original BioLite stoves are a combination of stove and charger. They say that you’ll need about 20 minutes of burning for roughly 60 minutes of charging, which we think is pretty decent. The charger cell is a USB one, so you can charge most phones and tablets, or plug in USB lights.

The grill is a cellular style grill, which distributes heat evenly around the stove, and there’s space on top for a pan or a kettle.

Fuel
These BioLite stoves runs on biomass fuel, so basically anything that’ll burn. Their intention is to create smoke-free fire, so quality, untreated wood is best.

Check prices on Amazon

 

BioLite BaseCamp USB Cooker with FlexLight

‘The stove that’s also a light.’

So the BaseCamp is actually more of a barbecue than a stove, but it is powered by wood and other biomasse. The sizeable grill is big enough to cook food for several people, and the heat generated also powers a USB electricity cell on the side. The BaseCamp stove comes with a flexible LED light, which plugs directly into the USB port.

Size and weight
The grill is wide enough to cook food for several people, and the heat is evenly distributed. At close to 5kg, the BaseCamp isn’t for backpacking, but it’s easy enough to transport from the car to the campsite without too much trouble.

Materials
Stainless steel is the order of the day with the BaseCamp. Strong, sturdy and resilient, this super stove is in no way a novelty.

Features
One of BioLite’s most powerful burners, 30 minutes of burning buys you roughly 5 hours of talk time on a mobile phone, 5 hours of video, or 20 hours of audio. The burner itself is located at the bottom of the stove, and accepts all kinds of biomass, although wood is best. Simply feed your wood into the BaseCamp, and the heat rises up directly under the grill unit. No waste, just straight up heat, with the excess being used to charge the cell.

Supplied with the cell and a FlexLight, which plugs in, stands up stiff, and can be moved around easily.

Fuel
The BioLite BaseCamp runs on biomass fuel, which means wood and anything else eco-friendly that you can burn, to avoid using fossil fuels.

Check prices on Amazon

 

Fofar Camping Stove

‘Stackable, portable wood burning stove.’

No harsh chemical emissions, no gas canisters, the Fofar is essentially a housing for whatever natural fuels you have at hand. Wood, leaves and twigs make great kindling, and the Fofar provides a place to burn them, and a stand to hold your cookware. We’ve reviewed the Fofar before, and absolutely love it, for both its eco credentials, and how stackable it is.

Size and weight
As we’ve mentioned, the Fofar is stackable, and made from thin, strong and lightweight hardened stainless steel, so it’s strong and packable. Weighs in at under 350 g, so it won’t be any hassle at all to carry around.

Materials
The Fofar is made from rust-proof, durable stainless steel.

Fuel
The Fofar is made to help you burn what’s available to you, be it wood, twigs, leaves or paper. Simply stack the Fofar together as instructed, add your fuel and burn. Simple construction, can also be used as a safe, mini outdoor heater.

Check prices on Amazon

Petromax Rocket Stove

‘Made for the outdoor life.’

The Petromax is one of the pieces of kit that just looks like it belongs outdoors. Solid, with great wooden lifting handles, and a big open space on top for cooking and heating, this stove is one of our favourites. Simply feed wood and other biomass fuel into the Petromax, and using the chimney principle, it’ll heat up quickly and efficiently.

Size and weight
Designed to last a long, long time, the Petromax is a strong beast, weighing in at 6.5kg. It stands around 33cm tall and around 23cm across, so it’s not huge, but it’s made from steel, iron and wood, so it’s durable enough to withstand regular cooking.

Materials
Made from stainless steel, cast iron (door) and wood (handles).

Features
The Petromax is fairly long, which means there’s a lot of room to draw in oxygen to your fuel. That creates a chimney effect, which means heat is generated quickly and efficiently. The cast iron door opens like a regular wood burner, and a tray slides out, so that you don’t have to burn your hands getting wood in there.

Solid wooden handles on the side make it easy and safe to carry the Petromax around, even while stuff is burning inside.

Fuel
The Petromax, despite the name, is not intended for petrol. It runs on wood and other biomass.

Check prices on Amazon

 

BioLite CookStove

‘Create energy while you burn energy.’

As you feed biomass fuel (wood, twigs, pinecones) into the CookStove, the battery cell charges, eventually leaving you with enough energy to cook without any fuel at all. Smokeless, free energy from freely available, more eco-friendly fuel sources. With a full charge, you’ll get between 4 and 16 hours of burn time, and you can control the flame intensity with built-in fans.

Size and weight
The CookStove is sizeable, at 36cm x 11cm x 8cm, and weighs in at just under 800g. You’ll be able to fit it into any large rucksack, and it’s great for on-site camping.

Materials
Made mainly from stainless steel, the CookStove looks great, and is rust and tarnish-resistant. This is on of the most robust biolite stoves.

Features
The cellular style grid on the side of the CookStove distributes heat evenly, while the chimney effect canister sends heat straight up, quickly and efficiently. Depending on which burner setting you choose (Turbo, boil or simmer) you’ll receive between 4 and 16 hours of heating with the built-in battery pack, which charges as you burn fuel inside the CookStove.

Heat water and food on top of the stove, or use it as a general heater.

Fuel
Heats using biomass fuel, including wood, twigs and pinecones. Once charged, the CookStove runs off of battery power for up to 16 hours.

Check prices on Amazon

Best biolite stoves

 

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2 Comments

  • I really only ever packed a phone as an emergency aid – but a recent trip to Dartmoor it proved invaluable in dense fog when we really needed confirmation that our map reading skills were accurate.

    That night we re-charged with the BioLite, it wasn’t the fastest charge but it did work.

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