Cooking stoves assessment of performance against key metrics

Type of stove
Upfront cost
Fuel cost
Disruption risk
Efficiency & cook time
Basic Gathered biomass
Charcoal and fuelwood
Traditional Improved biomass cookstoves
Modern LPG
Natural gas
Electric cooking
High performance
Medium performance
Low performance
Not applicable

Notes: Health refers to the impacts of inhalation of harmful criterion pollutants, such as carbon monoxide and PM2.5 caused by the incomplete combustion of fuels. Gender refers to the ways certain cooking means negatively impact women, primarily considering health, safety (e.g., exposing them to gender-based violence), and social (e.g. time for gathering biomass). Environment refers to impacts to climate through the emissions of GHG in combustion and to deforestation caused by the unsustainable harvesting of biomass. Upfront cost refers to the price of cooking and fuel delivery equipment. Fuel and operation cost refers to the cost incurred in the utilisation of the stoves for cooking, which includes purchases of fuels and maintenance of stoves. This does not factor in minimum volumes for retail fuels that could present upfront cost hurdles. Disruption risk refers to the risk of losing the physical availability or the affordability caused by high price spikes of the energy source used for cooking. Scalability refers to the techno-economic feasibility of deploying the technology in new regions. Efficiency and cooking time refers to the energy efficiency of stoves, which is the key contributor to the time required to cook a meal, plus stove preparation time.

Traditional solid fuel stoves

A pot perched on three rocks or a simple structure with a fire underneath that is not sufficiently enclosed or vented to reduce smoke from burning solid fuels.

Kerosene stoves

A liquid fuel derived from oil sold in small canisters that attach to a simple burner, and when burned emits hazardous fumes.

Improved biomass stoves

An enclosed stove that burns solid fuel, but keeps heat from escaping and improves combustion, thereby reducing smoke. There are many types of ICS, each with different performance standards.

E-cooking or electric stoves/cooking

Primarily hot plates, induction stovetops, rice cookers or electric pressure cookers for those gaining clean cooking access, but technically includes all electric cooking appliances.

LPG stoves

A burner that uses a stable mixture of propane and butane distributed in large pressurised cylinders.


A large vessel where organic matter (animal manure, agriculture residues, food waste) is decomposed into biogas. This biogas is then used in a burner-type stove.


A simple burner that attaches to a small canister containing alcohol fuel made from crops, such as corn or sugar, that has been fermented and distilled.

Natural gas

A burner that uses natural gas (largely methane) typically delivered to customers via distribution pipelines.