A modern multi-fuel stove is defined as having the ability to burn either coal-based products (known as fossil fuels) or substances that are considered biomass-based (an example would be wood). Notwithstanding the unique types of fuels employed in each model, another difference can be seen in relation to the ways in which the fuel itself is burned. Let us take a closer look.

Heating Methods

A stove that utilises fossil fuels will require air to expedite the combustion of coal or another material. This is generally accomplished through an intake at the bottom of the unit. Another air inlet is found at the top (on the cover). This helps to increase oxygen circulation and thus, either a fossil fuel or a biomass product can be heated efficiently.


One of the most pronounced benefits of a multi-fuel stove is that through the use of dual air inlets, the glass viewing port can be kept clean. However, the main priority is to enable an adequate amount of air to enter into the fuel itself. This can sometimes be problematic in fossil fuel models, for ash can build up within the grates and cause a blockage. This will either have to be manually removed or with the help of a circular grate on the bottom that will help to clear away any buildup. A grate can also prevent excess ash or other waste materials from leaving the stove itself.

Ease of Use

From a functional standpoint, stoves that employ wood as a fuel will contain no such grate or ash pan. Thus, wood-burning stoves are known to be a bit more difficult to clean. However, both types of stoves can appear quite similar from an outside perspective. It is only their inner mechanisms that will denote the intended fuel itself. Still, the area where the fuel is kept within a multi-fuel stove is frequently a bit smaller when compared to a wood-burning unit. This is caused by the addition of an ash pan and the above grate.