What is a Russian Stove?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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The Russian stove is considered to be one of the most efficient of all masonry heaters. Constructed with masonry components, the Russian stove includes few metal parts and is designed to generate a great deal of heat in a relatively short period of time. Because of the design for the stove, the Russian heater will continue to generate heat even after the heat source has been exhausted.

One of the advantages of a Russian stove is the relatively thick walls on the design of the unit. The walls are normally composed of dense brick that will hold heat for an extended period of time. Along with the heat efficiency of the brick walls, the Russian stove has a small opening for the door on the masonry heater. Since the fuel that is used to fire the heater can be small materials, there is no need for a larger door that would let in a great deal of cooler air. The smaller door aids in the efficiency of the device by minimizing the entry of air that has not been warmed into the main chamber.


Because a Russian stove does not use any type of metal framing, there is no expansion process that takes place as the unit begins to generate heat. This feature allows the bricks to heat to a point that is hard to achieve with a metal oven design. As a bonus, the bricks will not cool as quickly as metal. This makes it possible to supply fuel to the Russian heater less often than required for cast iron heaters and stoves.

A wide range of materials may be used as fuel for a Russian stove. Dried wood of all types may be utilized, including hardwoods. Paper and straw will burn efficiently in a stove of this type. Even trash can be disposed of in the Russian stove, without creating a great deal of air pollutants. The extremely high temperature that is generated within the stove reduces the particles to ashes before there is a chance for them to get into the open air.


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