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Top Biofuels You Can Find in Your Backyard

June 13, 2024 0 Comments

A pair of hands breaking kindling into a pile before starting a fire.

Fire is essential for survival—especially in a grid-down disaster or when the power is out for an extended period of time.

Sure you can cook over an open fire, but there’s a better way to ensure you stay warm and fed no matter the situation.

Biomass stoves and ovens powered by biofuels.

The best part? Biofuels are easy to find right in your own backyard and community. 

Read on to learn more about the best biofuels to look for outdoors—and those to avoid.  

What Are Biofuels? 

This is how the Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology defines biomass:

Any plant matter used directly as fuel or converted into other forms before combustion. Included are wood and energy crops; forest and crop residues such as tops and branches and cereal straws; process residues such as sawdust, sugarcane bagasse, pulp, and paper black liquor; as well as animal materials/wastes and the organic fraction of urban and municipal waste.”

When we burn biomass, such as wood or plants, we are turning it into fuel. Thus, biofuels.

Biofuels are free and easy to find.

Biomass stoves are rising in popularity, even though they have been used since the beginning of time.

Energy explains, “Biomass was the largest source of total annual U.S. energy consumption until the mid-1800s. Biomass continues to be an important fuel in many countries, especially for cooking and heating in developing countries.”

Currently, biomass pellets are being produced in mass quantities for outdoor cooking in countries across Africa.

BioEnergy International claims, “The topic of pellet cooking has hardly been recognized in the past, due to its marginal size to date. However, the potential is huge considering that 3 billion people will need sustainable cooking methods in Africa by 2050.”

Cook Off-Grid with Biomass Stoves and Ovens

The Ember Off-Grid Biomass Oven sitting on a wooden table outdoors.

In addition to being a sustainable cooking and heating option for developing countries, investing in biomass stoves allows you to cook easily without being connected to traditional power sources.

For example, the Inferno PRO Outdoor Biomass Stove by InstaFire is a camp cooking stove that is fueled by biomass.

You can get the Inferno PRO up and burning using biomass such as wood pellets, pinecones, and sticks.

The Inferno PRO’s large burn chamber can fit more biomass than other outdoor stoves, and it produces 80% less smoke.

With a temperature range of 425°F to 1,200°F, you can keep foods from being burned or undercooked. 

And when the Inferno PRO is used with Fire Starter Pouches and Fire Pucks, you can boil water in just two minutes!

The Ember Off-Grid Biomass Oven by InstaFire is another must-have for survivalists.

This oven is the FIRST and ONLY biomass-powered indoor and outdoor oven. 

You can entrust your survival to the Ember Oven for a seamless baking solution in any environment you encounter—all you need is biomass!

It is fueled by biomass such as sticks, wood chips, pinecones, and leaves, and requires no electricity, allowing you to bake truly anywhere. 

(For your safety, when baking indoors with your Ember Oven, we recommend ONLY USING InstaFire Canned Heat+.)

Which Biofuels Are the Best? 

If you’ve ever tried to start a campfire, you know some things burn better than others.

If you attempt to burn wet wood, you’ll get more smoke. If you burn dry hardwood, you will get a stronger, longer-lasting fire.

The same is true when you try to use biofuels. There are types of biomass that simply burn better than others.

While you can find all sorts of biomass right in your backyard, some types of biomass are preferable.

  • Wood pellets: Wood pellets are an excellent choice of biofuel, especially if you can find them made from hardwoods.

  • Pinecones: Pinecones light easily and provide good heat. They are an optimal choice of biofuel.

  • Sticks: Look for sturdy, solid, and dry sticks. The thicker they are, the better they are. You may have to chop them up to get them to fit into a biomass stove, but this type of wood delivers the best fires.

  • Twigs: You can use twigs in a pinch, but it is much more preferable to use thicker sticks. Twigs burn quickly, produce more smoke, and require continuous feeding of the flames.

  • Leaves: Leaves are easy to find and quick to burn, but they will produce more smoke than other options.

Which Biofuels Should You Avoid?  

A bunch of stacks of two by four pieces of wood bound together.

The Inferno PRO Outdoor Biomass Stove and the Ember Off-Grid Biomass Oven work with biomass you can find in your backyard.

However, there are some types of biomass you should avoid.

For instance, burning biomass like twigs and leaves in the Ember Oven will produce smoke.

There are other more serious dangers with some types of materials you may be tempted to use.

Avoid the following fuel sources:

  • Poisonous Biomass: While biomass stoves can burn plants, you want to avoid burning any poisonous plants. Plants such as poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak not only hurt your skin, but also release noxious fumes when burned.

  • Treated Wood: Avoid using wood that you know has been treated, such as wood found on construction sites. Chemically treated wood releases dangerous, noxious fumes when burned.

Make Outdoor Cooking and Heating Even Easier

The Inferno PRO Outdoor Biomass Stove and Ember Off-Grid Biomass Oven make it easy to survive off-grid or when the power is out, and to enjoy the elements of home while camping.

You can make it even easier by investing in accessories that help start and maintain your fires:

  • Fire Starter & Fuel by InstaFire: This fire starter is simple to use with biomass. Just apply a match or lighter flame to InstaFire and place your firewood, charcoal, or cooking pot above the flame.

  • Plasma Lighter: The CROSS-FIRE Plasma Lighter is USB-rechargeable. It gets 500 lights on a single charge and charges up to 700 times. Plus, it is windproof and waterproof.

  • Wood Pellets: The best source of biomass is wood pellets. Whenever you come across wood pellets, collect them. Buy them in bulk. Make your own. Keep them on hand so you always have a ready source of biofuel.

  • Fire Pucks: Biomass pellets and biomass briquettes are excellent choices for outdoor stoves. Another option is purchasing pre-made fire pucks made of cedar and highly refined wax. They light easily, burn hot, and can be broken into four parts. They store indefinitely, so stock up today.
Look around and find fuel for free, friends!

    In liberty,

    Elizabeth Anderson

    Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply

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