Is a Wood Pellet Stove the same as a Corn Stove? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Usually my wife is the one on this forum, but she has been sharing information with me about corn stoves posted here. We will be purchasing a home in Colorado that has two wood pellet stoves that burn small pellets of compressed wood shavings. (They are larger than rabbit food pellets, but smaller than range cubes.) I have been told that you can burn corn in these stoves. Is this correct or is a corn stove different? What is a better fuel and how do you compare the heat value of one fuel compared to the other? What other fuels can be burned in these things? Not ever having seen these before, I don't even know how to light these things. I think a gallon or two of gasoline should have it burning quite nicely--just kidding, LOL.

-- Dale in Texas (, February 18, 2001



Call and talk to one of the engineers at Snow-Flame (contact info in previous post). He said pellets could be burned in their corn- burning stove, so maybe its vice-versa.

These stoves have a blower outlet under the firebox, much like a coal-burning blacksmith forge. Without air being blasted through the material, you could not sustain a fire. How they would be lit is a small fire would have to be built in the firebox, such as a sheet of crumpled up newspaper with small pieces of kindling on top. Once you have a small fire there, the door is closed and the stove turned on to auger material on the fire to sustain it. I don't know the BTU equivalency between pellets and corn. Pellets are not available in my area, while corn is readily available.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, February 19, 2001.

I fix and clean pellet stoves but haven't met anyone using corn Dale. Then again trees grow a whole lot better than corn in the Pacific NW. There are gell. as well as wax coated shavings used for starting pellet stoves which work well. When I do a service call I use a small propane torch which speeds up the process. Be aware that if your power goes out your pellet stove will not work unless it has a battery back up. Other advice is to keep it clean. Pellet stoves do require a fair bit of owner maintenance. At least once a year have it thoroughly cleaned by someone who knows what they're doing or learn to do it yourself. Pellet stoves are not cheap to repair and proper maintenance will pay for itself not only with fewer repairs but you'll get more heat from the fuel you do burn by keeping the heat exchanger areas clean.

-- jz (, February 19, 2001.


I spoke to the engineer at Snow-Flame. He said they recommend once a month the unit be shut off and allowed to cool. Then just use a wet/dry-type vac to clean any ash off of the fire chamber wall. He said they have a removable plate over the heat exchanger to facilitate vacuuming it also. Then the outside cover is removed to double check no ash is accumulating in the direct vent pipe. Said it takes about 20 minutes.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, February 20, 2001.

I told my daughter about this question and she said she might come and answer it. If she doesn't make it,I'll try to tell you what she said. They own a corn burning stove. Corn is very sugary and if it isn't stirred, it will burn into a big glob. Corn burning stove have a thingie that stirs the corn so it burns. If I am not answering this clearly enough....and I probably am me and I'll forward them to her or something.

-- Ardie from WI (, February 20, 2001.

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