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Jonathan Rouse

Frontier or Ozpig?

We recently tested both the Ozpig and the Frontier stoves, two high quality outdoor wood stoves. We get asked a lot which we preferred; in fact they both have their pros and cons. This post briefly outlines some of their characteristics.Img_8581sm

First off what do they both do well? Three things:

  1. use wood fires to produce a warming - and attractive - focal point for sitting out in our cool spring or cool summer evenings.
  2. include cooking surfaces wuitable for boiling a kettle and placing saucepans
  3. Venting smoke up a chimney and out of the eyes and clothes of your guests. 

Both stoves look good; the Ozpig is a zaney head-turner (it gained its name from its pot-bellied shape); while the Frontier Stove has the more classical, though interesting, lines of a wood burner. The shipped chimney on the Frontier is higher than the Ozpig and more easily extended (we sell the extensions as an option), and any creosote formed on the inside would end up in the firebox, whereas the joins on the Ozpig mean that it would end up on the outside of the chimney. Not a big issue though. 

Img_8601_br_smThe Ozpig is often referred to as an Ozpig BBQ; it is slightly more versatile as a cooker than the Frontier in that you can BBQ directly over the flames by swinging the top of the stove round to open it up. There are also some instructions for roasting included with the Ozpig and a Dutch Oven - not something I've tried, though I hear is very effective. There is a small removable section on the top of the Frontier, but this is mainly for dropping a kettle into.

In terms of clean and efficient burn, both are OK, though they are fairly crude burners lacking secondary air, firebricks, and grates, though the Ozpig does have a simple grate which lifts the fuel a little off the base; while the Frontier has a butterfly baffle in the flue. The verdict on combustion performance depends on whether they are being compared with an open fire, or a high-performance domestic wood burner. As they replace an open fire, perhaps that is a more useful comparison, and as such they do well.

Small details I like in each; the Frontier sports 3 legs so - like the ancient stool - will never wobble while the Ozpig has 4 legs; arguable more stable, but also prone to wobble. Both are raised off the ground so won't harm grass. The Frontier's larger firebox allows slightly larger pieces of wood to be admitted, which could save on cutting. The Ozpig's steel construction makes it heavier but arguably more radiant and also less likely to corrode than the Frontier, but the finish on the steel frontier is good.

Both stoves fold down fairly small, the Frontier the smallest, and incorporating a handle.

So Frontier or Ozpig? I'd say it was a toss up. They both do their job well, look good, and are well made. Out and about, weight is an important consideration for me, and I like to be able to plumb chimneys into my tent, which is easier with the Frontier. If I were just using on the patio, however, I would probably choose the Ozpig.

I highly recommend both of these outdoor wood heaters. If weight and cost aren't an issue, you could choose on looks alone.

Comments 

 
#10 Jonathan Rouse 2014-06-04 13:37
UPDATE: The Ozpig remains out of stock: we will update this page with a link when it's back on our shelves. Thanks - WS
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#9 Jonathan Rouse 2014-06-04 13:36
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hi i recently bought a frontier stove as i thought id like to r=try it out in one of my small 12ft yurts,we took it campint this wekend (mid nov nearly) so as you can expect,it was cold at night so i thought the littl stove would work a treat.The first night the fire semed to work really well,and i had a good bed of ashes in it and we managed to boil kettles and heat food up on it.As it aproached bed time i thought id stoke the stove up with wood and shut down the damper,to see if i could get it to stay in over night,During the night we had to wake up and sort the fire out as so much tar had come down the chimney and was dripping out the gap where the chimney butterfly damper is situated. .by the next morning the fire was smoking considerably and it wouldnt drawer very well. we managed to keep it going all day and the following night but as i said before it was really smoking when the door was opened to put more wood inB y the 2nd morning (sunday)when we packed up to go home i tried to take the stove apart but the tar seemed to have set and the chimney pieces were hard to get apart as the tar seemed to have stuck them altogether. On seperating the last piece of the chimney where the butterflydamper was,it was completely clogged up with crusty black tar and that explained why the stove wasnt drawing any air in, i was a bit concerned as we had it going for two days and it had clogged up that quick. i was wondering if you had any suggestions ,i kind of think there are a few design faults and two of them being it needs a air hole in the front door, and a little shut of flap over it, and also the small piece of pipe that holds the butterfly damper is not designed well enough and dosent hold the chimney on properly and theres too much of a gap and the tar dribbles out so i think that small bit of tube needs to ve at least double the length to hold the chimney on better, its a shame because it is a good little stove otherwise.


Sincere apologies for the long delay in getting back to you on this - the comment got caught in a Spam net, and has just emerged.

Thank you for taking the trouble to feed this back to us, we value this greatly. We have found - both in our own use and from customer feedback - this stove to be exceptionally reliable. However, all stoves will get clogged up when filled up and shut down for the night - even if using very dried wood, as there simply isn't the heat to allow for clean combustion and the flue remains very cold and so tars condense and drip down. This is particularly acute with a portable, simple stove like the Frontier which doesn't have a sophisticated double burn and relies on good air flow. So in summary, this stove is really best suited to being burned quite vigourously and is not designed for 'keeping in'.

The more controls on a fire the better, but the Frontier is designed to balance performance with portability and affordability, and every baffle and control that is added compromises the portability and simplicity. The chimney pipe should be a very secure fit, and it's possible there is a fault with yours if it's wobbly - do send us some more details if you wish.

Thanks again for your interest, WS Tech Support
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#8 Jonathan Rouse 2014-06-04 13:36
Quote:
hi i recently bought a frontier stove as i thought id like to r=try it out in one of my small 12ft yurts,we took it campint this wekend (mid nov nearly) so as you can expect,it was cold at night so i thought the littl stove would work a treat.The first night the fire semed to work really well,and i had a good bed of ashes in it and we managed to boil kettles and heat food up on it.As it aproached bed time i thought id stoke the stove up with wood and shut down the damper,to see if i could get it to stay in over night,During the night we had to wake up and sort the fire out as so much tar had come down the chimney and was dripping out the gap where the chimney butterfly damper is situated. .by the next morning the fire was smoking considerably and it wouldnt drawer very well. we managed to keep it going all day and the following night but as i said before it was really smoking when the door was opened to put more wood inB y the 2nd morning (sunday)when we packed up to go home i tried to take the stove apart but the tar seemed to have set and the chimney pieces were hard to get apart as the tar seemed to have stuck them altogether. On seperating the last piece of the chimney where the butterflydamper was,it was completely clogged up with crusty black tar and that explained why the stove wasnt drawing any air in, i was a bit concerned as we had it going for two days and it had clogged up that quick. i was wondering if you had any suggestions ,i kind of think there are a few design faults and two of them being it needs a air hole in the front door, and a little shut of flap over it, and also the small piece of pipe that holds the butterfly damper is not designed well enough and dosent hold the chimney on properly and theres too much of a gap and the tar dribbles out so i think that small bit of tube needs to ve at least double the length to hold the chimney on better, its a shame because it is a good little stove otherwise.


Sincere apologies for the long delay in getting back to you on this - the comment got caught in a Spam net, and has just emerged.

Thank you for taking the trouble to feed this back to us, we value this greatly. We have found - both in our own use and from customer feedback - this stove to be exceptionally reliable. However, all stoves will get clogged up when filled up and shut down for the night - even if using very dried wood, as there simply isn't the heat to allow for clean combustion and the flue remains very cold and so tars condense and drip down. This is particularly acute with a portable, simple stove like the Frontier which doesn't have a sophisticated double burn and relies on good air flow. So in summary, this stove is really best suited to being burned quite vigourously and is not designed for 'keeping in'.

The more controls on a fire the better, but the Frontier is designed to balance performance with portability and affordability, and every baffle and control that is added compromises the portability and simplicity. The chimney pipe should be a very secure fit, and it's possible there is a fault with yours if it's wobbly - do send us some more details if you wish.

Thanks again for your interest, WS Tech Support
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#7 2014-03-29 17:14
Hi, I've read you review on the two stoves, for me I think I would prefer the oz pig , as proberly a better cooking vessel, but where can you get these in the uk, and how much would they retail at??
Thanks, great site!
Paul
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#6 2013-11-10 16:59
hi i recently bought a frontier stove as i thought id like to r=try it out in one of my small 12ft yurts,we took it campint this wekend (mid nov nearly) so as you can expect,it was cold at night so i thought the littl stove would work a treat.The first night the fire semed to work really well,and i had a good bed of ashes in it and we managed to boil kettles and heat food up on it.As it aproached bed time i thought id stoke the stove up with wood and shut down the damper,to see if i could get it to stay in over night,During the night we had to wake up and sort the fire out as so much tar had come down the chimney and was dripping out the gap where the chimney butterfly damper is situated. .by the next morning the fire was smoking considerably and it wouldnt drawer very well. we managed to keep it going all day and the following night but as i said before it was really smoking when the door was opened to put more wood inB y the 2nd morning (sunday)when we packed up to go home i tried to take the stove apart but the tar seemed to have set and the chimney pieces were hard to get apart as the tar seemed to have stuck them altogether. On seperating the last piece of the chimney where the butterflydamper was,it was completely clogged up with crusty black tar and that explained why the stove wasnt drawing any air in, i was a bit concerned as we had it going for two days and it had clogged up that quick. i was wondering if you had any suggestions ,i kind of think there are a few design faults and two of them being it needs a air hole in the front door, and a little shut of flap over it, and also the small piece of pipe that holds the butterfly damper is not designed well enough and dosent hold the chimney on properly and theres too much of a gap and the tar dribbles out so i think that small bit of tube needs to ve at least double the length to hold the chimney on better, its a shame because it is a good little stove otherwise.
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#5 2013-04-21 11:38
They both sound great! Please could you tell me the dimensions of the hot plate on each stove? Also, is the removable section on the Frontier large enough to do any BBQing?
PS the Ozpig link in the first line of the review doesn't seem to work so I can't find any basic specs including the cost.
Thanks, Crinan
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#4 2013-04-06 08:42
Thank you for your enquiry.
Sadly the Ozpig is no longer available in the UK and unfortunately the Frontier does not have a pen.
Many thanks
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#3 WS Admin 2013-03-04 18:21
Thank you for your enquiry, the Ozpig weighs 17kg and the Frontier 9.6kg.
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#2 2013-03-02 13:41
what is the weight of both stoves, out of interest?
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#1 2012-10-01 18:20
Seen the Products at the Autum Malvern Show, very impressed, we wil have to have one soon. thanks alot. PETE.
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