Here's a review of the Biolite I posted on another forum:
I had been intrigued by the Biolite Campstove since I first heard of it about a year and a half ago. The way it works is it converts the heat of a wood fire to electricity and uses this electricity to power a fan which stokes the fire. The fan speed can be used to regulate the heat output of the stove. An added bonus is the excess power is available to be used to charge anything from a USB port on the stove.
Well after a camping trip a few weeks ago, I started thinking about the stove again. I decided to snag one along with the grill add-on. There is a kettle add-on available, but I decided against it. The two items arrived a little over a week after ordering directly from Biolitestove.com.
Starting a fire in the stove was easy using small dry twigs. The length of the fuel is important as it will stick out the top if it is to long.
Once the twigs had caught, and I started the fan, it took about 3 minutes for the flame to start burning clean and stop smoking.
It took another 2 and a half minutes until the charging light changed from amber to green, indicating it was ready to charge. I had my phone (Samsung Galaxy S4) plugged in for about an hour and it charged about 30%. Once the fire is roaring you can use sticks of about an inch diameter for longer burn time. This stove will burn through small twigs in no time, so thicker sticks make using the stove much easier.
I decided to see how it performed with a few normal things.
First off was boiling water. I was most impressed by the Campstove. 2 cups of water to a rapid boil in 2 minutes 45 seconds.
Next was grilling sausage. I figured some nice sweet thick Italian sausage would be a nice test. I like mine nearly charred on the outside. The instructions for grilling recommend grilling on the low fan setting. I played around with the grill and fan settings and on high there was definitely flame shooting out of the grill, so low it was.
The access/flame containment door makes adding fuel easy and actually increases the length of wood you can use. After 7 minutes flat, the sausage was just the way I like it.
Once my sausage was finished I let the fire burn out. It took 15 minutes for the fire to burn down to ash and another 15 for the grill and stove to cool enough to handle. After over an hour of burning, there was a quarter cup of ash to dump out. Everything cleaned up quickly with soap and water. It looks like it will be next month before I actually use this camping, but with my initial impressions, I can not wait. This seems like a great little compact stove! I will update at that time.