How to burn Coal in a Wood Stove?

When most people think about burning coal, they imagine a large steel container with a domed lid. Coal is dumped into the top and it burns for hours to provide warmth or power. But those days are gone! Burning coal in your wood stove has never been easier than it is now, thanks to the growing popularity of using small pieces of coal called briquettes instead of lump coal. With this guide, we will discuss how to use these new-age briquettes and burn them safely in your wood stove. We’ll also explore some safety tips that you should follow before attempting this project yourself – after all, there’s nothing worse than an unexpected fire!

The first step to burning coal in a wood stove is to make sure that the burner and chimney are clean. If they aren’t, you can always use a wire brush or other cleaning tool to remove the soot and debris from these areas. The next thing you need to do is fill your firebox with coal. There should be enough room for air flow around the fuel source, as well as an outlet for smoke near the top of your stove. You’ll want about 2-3 inches of space between this layer of coal and where it meets up with your grate bars, which will hold another layer on top of it. Once you’re happy with how much coal there is inside the firebox, place a single sheet metal briquette on top of the coal.

If you’re using a gas stove, light the briquette with a match or lighter and let it burn for about 15 minutes. Once it’s started to glow red, place it in the middle of your firebox and cover it with another layer of coal. If you’re using a wood stove, you’ll want to light the briquette with a fire starter and then wait for it to start glowing red before adding another layer of coal on top. Be sure not to smother the briquette, as this will extinguish the flame and your coal won’t burn properly.

What is Coal and how does it burn?

Coal is a fossil fuel that consists of organic material. It can come in the form of coal dust or lumps, and it burns at high temperatures when exposed to oxygen. Coal is a good source of energy because it emits less pollution than other fossil fuels, such as oil and natural gas.

When coal burns, it emits carbon dioxide and other gases. The burning process begins with a spark from the flint-wheel of a fuel igniter or an ember in a firebox within a stove. As the wood heats up, oxygen enters through air vents to help burn hot enough for heat production.

The size of the coal lumps and the amount of oxygen that is available will affect how long it takes for the coal to burn. Large pieces of coal can take several hours to ignite, while smaller pieces will light more easily.

The most efficient way to burn coal in a wood stove is by using a grate to place the coal on top of the burning wood and allowing air to pass underneath. This will allow the coal time to ignite properly and slowly burn until it turns into embers. Coal should be applied in small quantities at a time, as applying too much can smother the fire before burning up completely.

  • Describes how coal burns when exposed to oxygen
  • Explains that coal emits less pollution than other fossil fuels
  • Advises that the most efficient way to burn coal is by using a grate and allowing air to pass underneath
  • Recommends applying small quantities at a time in order for it to smother the fire before burning up completely.

Choosing the right size of Coal for your Stove

Choosing the right size of Coal for your Stove is very important. If you use too much or too little, then this can affect how well it burns and the amount of heat that comes out over time. The best rule to follow is around two inches in diameter per pound which should give you a nice even burn throughout the day without having to add more Coal.

See also
Why Does My Wood Burning Stove Smoke?

To help you choose the right size of Coal, most brands will come with a sizing guide on the bag itself. If not, then you can always ask your local hardware store for advice as they should be able to recommend the best size for your Stove.

  • It is also worth noting that different Coals have different densities.
  • For example, Anthracite Coal is known to burn hotter and longer but tends to be more expensive. Bituminous Coal has a higher moisture content which makes it cheaper, however it does tend not to last as long in the Stove before you have to add some more.
  • The most important thing that you need to know when choosing your Coal is to always check the Stove manufacturer’s manual as they should have a list of different Coal types and their suggested size.

How to light a fire in your Wood Stove with Coal?

  • Start by building a small fire in the bottom of your stove with some kindling wood.
  • Once the kindling is burning, add some larger pieces of wood to the fire.
  • Once the larger pieces are burning, add a few handfuls of coal to the fire.
  • Stoke the fire occasionally with a poker so the coal will burn.
  • Once your fire is burning well, you can begin to add more pieces of coal as needed to keep up with the high heat.
  • When it comes time for bedtime you’ll need to let the stove burn out and cool down before adding any kindling or wood on top of it in order to avoid problems with creosote buildup in the stovepipe.
  • When you wake up, simply repeat this entire process once again to get your next day started off right!

Tips on burning Coal properly for best results

  • Coal burns hotter than wood, so adjust your heat accordingly. If you want to warm up an area quickly or bring water to a boil faster on the stovetop, try burning some coal first before adding any wood. Charcoal is generally considered “instant” because it will burn off all of its fuel in about 15 minutes.
  • Coal doesn’t produce a lot of sparks, so if you’re using coal in an open fireplace, be sure to have a screen in place to catch any embers that may fall out.
  • Use smaller pieces of coal for best results. Larger chunks will take longer to ignite and could potentially cause the fire to go out.
  • Don’t overfill your wood stove with coal. Leave some space for air to circulate and help the fire burn more efficiently.
  • Be sure to have a good poker or tongs handy in case you need to move any hot coals around. And always use caution when handling fire!coal

Troubleshooting Tips for when Things go Wrong

  • If your coal doesn’t seem to be burning very well, you may need to adjust the air vents. Make sure that the air inlets are open and that there is enough space around the stove for proper airflow.
  • If your coal starts to spark or flame up, it may be too dry. Add a little bit of water to the top of your coal pile.
  • If you are having problems with excessive smoke, it may be because there isn’t enough air being drawn through the firebox. Open up the dampers a little bit more and make sure that they aren’t blocked by ash or other debris. If this doesn’t solve your problem, consider purchasing a stove fan to help improve air circulation.
  • If your coal is burning too slowly, it may be because the coal is too large. Try breaking the coal up into smaller pieces before adding it to the fire.
  • If you are having trouble getting your wood stove started, try using kindling to get things going. Once the kindling is burning, add a few pieces of coal to the fire.
  • If your wood stove is smoking excessively, it may be because the chimney isn’t properly drafting. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional to see if there is anything wrong with it.
  • If your coal is producing excessive ash, it may be because the air inlet isn’t providing enough oxygen. Open up the vents a little bit more to allow for better airflow into the firebox. If you are using an EPA certified stove that has reduced emissions, this shouldn’t be much of a problem.
  • If you are having trouble getting your coal to ignite, try using a fire starter. There are many different types of fire starters available on the market, so it’s worth checking out some of the options before making a purchase.
  • If your wood stove is leaking water, it may be because the seams aren’t properly sealed.coal
See also
What Is Creosote Buildup (How to Get Rid of Creosote Buildup)?

Safety precautions to take when using a Wood Stove

When burning coal in a wood stove, there are some important safety precautions to take. Here are a few:

  • Make sure the chimney is clean and in good condition. A dirty or clogged chimney can cause a fire.
  • Be sure to have a working smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector installed in your home.
  • Never leave the room while coal is burning in a stove or fireplace. You should never light a fire and go to bed, for example. If you must leave, turn off the heat first and close the door behind you so that your fire doesn’t get oxygen from outside air sources as it burns down.

Some other things to keep in mind when burning coal in a wood stove:

  • Coal is an extremely hot fuel, so use caution when handling it.
  • Never pour water on a coal fire. This will cause the coals to explode and could result in serious injury.
  • Make sure the area around your wood stove is clear of combustible materials.
  • Be sure to have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.

Environmental Protection Agency

If you are burning coal, there is a chance that your stove does not have an EPA certification. Coal burning stoves without an EPA certification can produce up to nine times the amount of emissions as certified stoves. In order to reduce your environmental impact, it is important that you only burn coal in a stove that has an EPA certification.

What is an EPA certification?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies wood stoves that meet a set of performance and emission standards. A stove with an EPA certification has been tested by the EPA to ensure that it meets these standards. When you burn coal in a stove with an EPA certification, you can be sure that you are emitting fewer pollutants into the air than if you burned coal in a stove without an EPA certification.

Safety Tips

  • Keep your home free from flammable materials such as paper, clothing and furniture.
  • Ensure that children are supervised at all times when around the stove or fireplace.
  • Make sure the stove is in good working condition and has been properly installed by a professional.
  • Have a fire extinguisher on hand at all times in case of an emergency.
  • Now that you know how to safely burn coal in your wood stove, let’s take a look at the process step-by-step.


What are the steps to burning coal in a wood stove?

Here is how you burn coal in your wood stove. First, fill up your fire box with kindling or paper and light it on fire. Once this has started burning add larger pieces of wood onto the blaze so that they will start catching alight too. Watch out for sparks flying out of the stove and don't let the fire get too big. Once the fire is burning steadily, start adding coal onto the top. The amount of coal you add will depend on how large your fire is, but generally a good rule of thumb is to add one shovel full for every six inches of width in your stove's fire box. Make sure you are using a metal shovel so that it doesn't snap in the heat of the fire, and always wear gloves when handling coal or any hot stove materials! Once your kindling is finished burning down to ash, remove all remaining coals from the woodstove with your metal shovels. Use these coals as starter material for your next fire.

See also
How Many Hours Can You Run a Gas Fireplace? (Users Guide)

What are some of the benefits to burning coal in a wood stove?

There are a few key benefits to burning coal in your wood stove. First, coals burn hotter than kindling so you can get your stove up to temperature faster. Second, coals last longer than kindling so you can keep your stove going for a longer period of time. And finally, coals produce less smoke than kindling so your house will stay cleaner and you won't have to worry about any annoying smoke alarms going off!

What are some of the drawbacks to burning coal in a wood stove?

There are a few drawbacks to burning coal in your wood stove. First, coals burn hotter than kindling so you need to be very careful when handling them in close proximity to the woodstove because they can cause damage or even start a fire if mishandled. Second, because coal burns at such high temperatures it is harder on your stove and will put more wear and tear on it over time. And finally, because coal burns longer than kindling it can be harder to start a fire in your wood stove. It is definitely worth the extra effort for all of the benefits you get from burning coals though!

Is there anything else I should know about burning coal?

While you are learning how to burn coal in your woodstove, you might notice a lot of ash left on the bottom. Don't worry about this! It is just some dirt and debris from your coal that was burned off in the process – it will not harm your stove or affect any of its performance.

How do I start a fire if my woodstove isn’t working?

If your woodstove isn't working, the first thing you should do is check to make sure that the flue is open and that there is no obstruction. If everything looks good and the stove still isn’t working, it might be time to call in a professional. They will be able to help diagnose the issue and get your stove back up and running in no time.

How do I get the soot stains off my wood stove?

Soot is a black residue that can form on the inside of your woodstove if you are burning coal or other hardwoods, like oak for instance. If you are using pine it won't be as big of a problem. To clean the soot off your woodstove, you can use a wet rag or sponge and some biodegradable soap. Be sure to avoid any harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could damage your stove's finish.


So there you have it! Burning coal in a wood stove is not as difficult as it may seem. By following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you can start enjoying all of the benefits that burning coal has to offer. Happy heating!