Bargain stove or money down the drain?
by Lee Clarke
After perusing the depths of the internet to fill another hole in my outdoor kit I stumbled across the world of wood gasifier cooking stoves. Long story short is that air is drawn through a chamber, heated and mixed with the wood gas and injected back into the flame giving you a secondary burn increasing efficiency and removing any smoke and the endless scrubbing of soot from your pots.
Watching review after review of the market leaders I decided to spring for the Chinese knockoff of the Solo Stove in the hope that I would end up with something usable at a fraction of the cost. Enter the Lixada.
First impressions were good, it came in a thick mesh carry bag which looks man enough to take some abuse. The build quality of the stove itself is certainly of a high standard, nor burrs, sharp edges or dodgy welds. It fits together snug and the stability was spot on.
It doesn’t come with instructions but if you cannot figure out how it goes together then you should not be playing with fire. You can reverse the fire nest to enable you to either use the bowl provided (I use this to hold my fatwood scrapings in) for burning meth’s or whack a burner in there. If you use a penny stove in the lower position you can still achieve gasification.
The loading and lighting of the stove couldn’t be simpler, stand twigs or batoned wood upright below the level of the upper ports wedge in some cotton wool or birch bark, light and wait. After about 5 mins you will have a clean burning flame directed where you want it.
To feed the stove is simple with the feed port big enough to accommodate a healthy size of fuel. There are many versions of this stove some without the port but the performance is the same just the need to remove your pot feed the stove can become tiresome.
You can also burn cat litter (wooden pellets) and with a full load get a burn time of around an hour.
It will boil enough water to make a brew in a 58 pattern mug in 3 minutes and doesn’t burn so hot that food gets incinerated. I have tested this by cooking meats, Bannock and bagged meals and have not had a single issue.
It packs down to fit inside a medium Billy can with enough space left over for a brew/fire kit.
The flame pattern is excellent and it will reignite itself if fuel is put onto embers and on the whole, I have been seriously impressed with this little stove.
I cannot vouch for its longevity but with a price tag ranging from £13-£20 compared to £75 for its branded counterpart, I fail to see how you can go wrong.