The one thing I love about pot bellied stoves is that you can burn just about anything in them; wood, coal, pellets, corn, etc...
A few days ago (before I rebuilt my Vogelzang Stove), in an effort to unofficially burn everything possible in my stove on a single day, I got things going with a toasty bed of wood coals and then added some nut coal to that. After that I decided to add a little pellets to the mix to get a little more heat going and let the coal burn down a bit better. It is a favorite trick of mine, imbed some wood in the coal so that as the fire burns down, it hits the wood, gets nice and hot again and keeps the coal burning for nice long burn times.
The first cup of pellets was fine, and I was enjoying watching the fire swirl around in the fire boxy in this crazy personified dance that it was doing. But upon tossing in the second cup of pellets, things did not go so well. The instant I put it in, I knew it was a mistake. The fire instantly went out and a dark, black smoke lazily rose from the fire. Now anyone who has ever burned coal knows; you don't just put a coal fire out instantly. I knew in that instant I had smothered the coal gas and that it was building up to a flashpoint.
I grabbed my poker and frantically started churning the coals wanting to stir in the pellets and get the coal gas to vent off. I was only partially successful.
As the wife and kids looked on, the accumulated coal gas ignited and sent a fire ball that blew the fire box door all the way open, singed my arms and then went up the chimney. You could hear it reverberate in three loud percussion type booms as it roared upwards and into the sky that I am pretty sure, could be seen from space. Surprisingly NASA never called to see if we were alright however.
Wife held her true feeling back regarding her intelligence upon marrying me
However NoSmokes bloomers did not hold however when he (that would be me) thoroughly soiled them from said event
I decided after that event maybe I should use a little more discernment when it comes to using pellets. I think wood and coal will work just fine!