Types of fuel for use in wood burners and multi-fuel stoves

Types of fuel for use in wood burners and multi-fuel stoves

If you’re wondering what fuel is best to use in your stove, we’ll aim to give you some guidance in this blog post.

While we’ll try to keep the advice as general as possible, it’s worth pointing out that anything your manufacturer says in the user manual about the type of fuel that’s best for your stove should take precedence over our tips. 


If you’ve bought a wood-burning stove rather than a multi-fuel stove then you can only burn wood. So, in terms of the best types of fuel for you to use, you’re limited to wood. But there is a big difference in the quality of different types of wood.

These variations include the heat given off by the wood, how much it sparks, how long it takes to burn and how pleasant its scent is.

the top 10 woods for wood burning stoves

Some of the best woods to burn in your wood-burning stove include:

  • Apple: Burns slowly and does not spit. Gives off a nice scent
  • Pear: Has a lot in common with apple.
  • Ash: Provides good heat output and a steady burn. Burns well freshly cut, but is better once seasoned.
  • Beech: Not quite as good as ash, but not far behind.
  • Cedar: Doesn’t look very impressive as it burns, but generates a lot of heat and take a while to burn.
  • Hawthorn: A slow burner that provides great heat.
  • Blackthorn: Very similar to hawthorn.
  • Maple: An excellent all-round performer.
  • Eco-logs:Made from compressed sawdust. Very low in moisture and don’t spark.

Regardless of the type of wood, it’s always advisable to use seasoned wood.

What not to burn

  • Wood that has been treated with varnish or paint.
  • Unseasoned wood
  • Wood from poisonous plants
  • Coal or any other fuel

Multi-fuel stoves

Since wood is suitable to be burnt on a multi-fuel stove, the advice on the best types of wood to use as fuel apply here too.

That said, multi-fuel stoves are best suited to fuels with a high calorific value (i.e. fuels that give off a great level of thermal units when burnt). Fuels that can be used include:

  • manufactured coal
  • smokeless fuels 
  • anthracite

What not to burn

  • ‘Pet coke’ or petroleum-based coal
  • Household coal (more information on why not)
  • Coals and wood at the same time. Use one or the other.

8 thoughts on “Types of fuel for use in wood burners and multi-fuel stoves

  1. I have the Mariner (Athlone) multi fuel 7k output have used manufactured coal but actually prefer to use lumpwood charcole with logs it builds a great base and keeps the fire in over night if loaded right, apart from adding to the heat output.
    The fire is situated in an open plan 27ft room not only is the heat aduqate for the room the heat also circulates upstairs.
    Fire bought from you last August. G.M.H.

  2. I have the small Acorn multifuel stove – purchased from you a few years back. I use manufactured coal (mainly homefire ovals) and wood (either offcuts from projects or logs). But I start a fire using paper/paper logs (I make) and also often add a couple of paper logs at the end of the evening. The ash (plus closing vents) damps down the fire and the coals are usually red hot next day (sometimes even next evening). Great stove – heats our small sitting room (14ft x 12ft)

  3. I bought an inset Denver log burner several years ago from you. I burn any clean wood that comes my way free. Pallets ,builders waste timbers, demolition roof timbers, occasional waste oak furniture’ Anything that burns and gives off heat with minimal pollutants. I cant afford expensive well seasoned logs that you often refer to.

  4. I have used a multi-fuel stove for many years. In autumn I use wood preferably oak that I source from the roadside and neighbors but seasoned for over five years. In winter I use Supertherm the best smokeless fuel made I think delivered by a local coal merchant in 50 Kg bags to my home made bunker. It burns 24/7 from November 1st to March 31st when I go back to wood unless very cold.

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