Can you burn wood on a pellet stove? (5 Facts)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can you burn wood on a pellet stove? We will discuss the challenges of burning wood on a pellet stove and some attributes of the pellet stove and how it works. We will also discuss some miscellaneous points about wood pellets.

Can you burn wood on a pellet stove?

You can not burn wood on a pellet stove. It is impractical and difficult to do so. Pellet stoves are designed to feed on pellets and sometimes dried corn. Wooden logs or kindling are much larger than pellets and a difference in size, as well as consistency, will cause hindrance on a pellet stove. 

If you use wood on a pellet stove, there are shortcomings in doing so including compromises on the automatic feed system, the efficiency, and the production of waste. 

The wood chips have different shapes, sizes, densities, and moisture levels. While the wood pellets are designed and tested to be approved for use with the stove, a difference in their characteristics would make them unsuitable for use. 

Other types of wood chips are suitable for different stoves. The precise requirement for the pellets is mentioned in the manual, including the size, shape, and material. 

The maximum diameter, length, moisture content, and ash content are mentioned in the manual. 

Why can’t you burn wood on a pellet stove?

The size and texture of wooden pellets must conform to allow successful combustion. Wood chips, logs, and kindlings are small, hence can not fit the combustion chamber. The automatic fuel system requires that the pellets are of the desired size; no less and no more.

The automatic feed is supplied through a hopper that lets the pellets in, you cannot open the door to feed the pellets. The system needs fuel in the form of a particular size that is hindered by a difference in the system.

The sensors work in harmony with the electric components to allow the frequency with which the pellets escape into the system, hence allowing the system to work smoothly. 

How does a pellet stove work?

Pellets are stored in a hopper, which makes their way into the combustion chamber as the stove burns. The pellets are ignited gradually as the pellets are lit on fire by an electric spark.

A pellet stove differs from a wood stove with various specifications. A pellet stove is thermostatically controlled, as the hopper provides an uninterrupted supply of pellets. A Pellet stove, unlike a wood stove, works on recycled wood waste made from wood chips, bark, paper, agricultural waste, and other organic matter.

Pellet stoves can be expensive to purchase but are more fuel-efficient and work on electricity. The pellets are fed automatically to the combustion chamber,  use fuel efficiently and there is little to no residual ash or smoke. Efficient production of energy minimizes the losses that happen through the production of smoke. 

What are wood pellets and some of their characteristics?

  • Wood pellets are around 1 inch in length and have a cylindrical shape. Wood pellets are made from organic matter compressed together with or without the use of adhesive or additives. 
  • You can even reuse wood pellets for waste management. The wood pellets are ideal for outdoor cooking or as ash for compost.
  • Wood pellets can go bad if they are not stored properly. Moisture can get into wood pellets and make them useless. Therefore you need to be careful when you store wood pellets because they can deteriorate and disintegrate wood pellets.
  • When water gets into the wood pellets, they decompose and turn to sawdust, as they expand and disintegrate with time. 
  • Chemical binding agents help to keep the pellets in a defined structure and help to keep the pellets in their manufactured form.
  • The amount of wood pellet you would need to light up your stove depends on the boiler efficiency and the temperature that you like to keep your house at. 
  • You can burn wood pellets in a fireplace. It could be hard to light the pellets up but you can work your way around by covering the pellets with gel lighter fuel and setting fire to them. Wood pellets burn cleanly and keep the room heated up more than wood.
  • The average life of a pellet stove is 10 years, while some of them can last for as long as 25 years. 


In this brief guide, we answered the question, can you burn wood on a pellet stove? We discussed the challenges of burning wood on a pellet stove and some attributes of the pellet stove and how it works. We also discussed some miscellaneous points about wood pellets.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.