If only there were an easy answer to this!
The honest, annoying answer is: it depends.
The size and sort of stove, size of room, how often you light your stove etc., will all have an effect on which is the best briquette for you. That probably doesn’t sound very helpful. Don’t worry, though. We can still help you find the right briquette.
Our first question is always, what size is your stove?
A five kilowatt stove is one of the most common, but they can range from about 4kw to 40kw. The advice on our site is mostly tailored to a 5kw – 8kw stove, so if your stove is smaller, you will use less fuel generally. If your stove is larger, it will be a bit greedier.
A very small stove, for example one in a caravan or shepherd’s hut, will be best run on Hotmax. They’re easy to light, small enough to fit any stove, but hot enough to make the space cosy very quickly.
A 5kw – 8kw stove will run brilliantly on Pini-Kay briquettes, like Hotties. These break up easily, burn hot and long, and can be used to light the stove and as a main fuel.
A larger stove might be best run on Enviro-Bricks or Beech Nestro, both of which are chunky enough to satisfy even very greedy stoves running lots of radiators.
If you’re not sure what kilowatt your stove is, look at the size of room it’s heating. Is it a big room? Is the stove running radiators, or does it heat a back boiler for hot water? If the answer to any of these is yes, it is likely to be larger than 5kw. Some of our customers have stoves that are up to 40kw – these are pretty tough to keep running economically and will require a good mix of experience, art and science to get the best out of.
The next thing to consider is, how do you use the stove?
Do you just light it when you come home from work, and let it go out by bedtime? If so, try Pini Kay or Turbo Hard. They give fast heat and good burn times.
Do you run it through the day, or keep it in overnight? In this case, go for slow-burning briquettes, like the RUF Bark, or the Enviro-Bricks. The RUF Bark works well mixed with hotter burning briquettes, such as Beech Nestro, or UK Hard.
For most people, a mixture of briquettes will always be more effective than a single product. Try a Ready Mix Pallet, or have some fun and Mix Your Own, to get the best selection for you. The benefit to these options is that you get to try a few kinds of briquette and find out which one is going to be best for you.