This is a product review from contributing writer, Jon Solberg. You can read all about Jon on his bio.
I was talking to my friend, Greg Rempe of the BBQ Central Show, a few Saturdays ago. Greg asked me if I’d seen any of the Wood Pellet Products gravity fed pellet outdoor heaters. I had not. We had a brief conversation about the possible ups and downs of such a heater. Initially, he was a lot more pro than I was. Heck, I could not even imagine how a gravity feed pellet thing could even work without setting the whole pellet hopper a blaze. I Googled it up to give them a look. I was intrigued. I started to check out their video. Searching for information.
They looked cool. I fired off a few questions via the company’s contact page and went on about my day. Honestly, I could not get the Lil’ Timber heater out of my head.
Living in the north, the thought of adding a patio-style heater to my cook area has been in the back of my mind for a long time. Just never really saw the right one. This unit just sort of spoke to me.
When Sunday rolled around, I couldn’t wait any longer. Pulled the trigger and ordered the Lil’ Timber and the deluxe fire pot. I was notified that the heater would take about two weeks to ship. While I’m waiting for it to arrive, let me fill you in on the facts and figures. This information is from the Wood Pellet Products Lil’ Timber Outdoor Heater page:
- V Channel Firepot: Where pellets fall into and continually burn. Upgrade to the Deluxe Firepot for easy ash clean-up and higher temperatures.
- Stainless Hopper holds 12 lbs of pellets and will run for approximately 1.5 hours. Hopper extensions are available.
- 3-Sided Fire Viewing: High temp glass panes provide a mesmerizing view of man’s greatest discovery.
- Top Reflector and Stainless Spark Arrestor: Stops any sparks from leaving the stove pipe and reflects heat back down.
- Stainless Base: Ensures a sturdy heater wherever you go. Caster Wheels Are available for easy portability.
- Damper Dial: Controls the temperature of the heater by adjusting the amount airflow. Reach the highest temperatures with the damper dial fully closed.
- Dimensions: 11W, 20D, and 84 inches T. Weight – 60 lbs.
- Shipping Box dimensions: 28x15x29 70 lbs
- Stove height: 20 inches
- Can accept hopper extension accessory for an additional 2 hours
- Easy start up, simply pour fire gel or charcoal lighter on pellets and light with match
- Heating stove pellets are available at all big box and local hardware stores
- Easy temperature control by dial damper at front of stove
- Shut off time: 5 minutes to burn out remaining fuel once shutoff key is inserted. Additional 20 Minutes cool down after fire burns out.
- No Visible Smoke
- Distance to Combustibles: 36” all directions including above unit.
- Must Burn on a Non-Combustible surface
The unit is only partially assembled. Once it arrived I broke it open and dug out the instructions. They are well-written. Not a lot of pictures. There is one good overview drawing to guild you through the step-by-step text. I recommend reviewing the instructions a few times before you get rolling on assembly.
The heater is very well packed. There are quite a few parts. I used a 6’ folding table to unwrap all the pieces and lay them out. Only a few tools are required for the assembly but it takes some time. It took me about an hour and 15 min. for unpacking and assembly.
It’s a beautiful unit, and I wanted to take care not to scratch anything. The paint is not set on the main body until the initial burn. There are instructions on this burn; be sure to follow them. You can also find an assembly video for the Lil’ Timber here:
As you assemble the heater you really start to get the feel for its quality. They are not mass-produced. They’re pretty much hand-built by a small crew in Oregon. The hardware is high quality, and the aesthetic is amazing. Remember earlier when I mentioned my friend was way more “pro” on these heater that I was? Well at this point I really took a turn. I was becoming infatuated with this thing.
The Lil’ Timber put out about twice the heat as most residential propane patio heaters. This at half the cost of propane. The image below is a thermal image of the two different types of heaters in action. It’s easy to see where the additional heat is coming from.
When the shipping notification hit my inbox, I did some checking around and found some heating pellets nearby. So I picked up a few bags and a bottle of pellet lighter gel. For me, 40lbs of pellets was just shy of 4 bucks. Not to state the obvious, but don’t mix them up with your cooking pellets. From there you just slowly pour the pellets in the hopper. Add a small bit of starter gel or lighter fluid to the pellets in the fire pot and crank it up! Again, check the instructions for that first burn procedure to get that high heat paint set in place.
To sum it all up, I’m extremely happy with my Lil’ Timber Outdoor Heater. It’s a well thought out, well-built product. I’m also coming away with much more. Wood Pellet Products is bigger than heaters and stove. They care about what they are doing. They care about others. They are working hard and with passion. They’re doing it right, and it shows. When you take a good look at this company, I have no doubt you will feel that as well. Please check them out.
Jon Solberg, Expert Outdoor Cook who Makes His Own Charcoal!