Vermont Castings Encore 2040 Review

Vermont Castings Encore 2040 Wood Stove Review. I think of this stove as a legend in the industry. It has been made into at least 5 – 6 different models over the years. Gone by the name defiant encore then just encore. It has been made before the EPA standards. Then into a catalytic stove, then into a non-catalytic stove, and now into both in one unit. As far as I know it is the only wood stove that has been EPA approved to burn either with a catalyst installed or without and still pass EPA emissions testing. This I see as a huge benefit to you as the consumer.

Vermont Castings Encore 2040

Vermont Castings Encore 2040

 Vermont Castings Encore 2040 Stats:

  • Up to 1800 Sq. Ft. Heating Capacity
  • Up to 12 hour burn time
  • 22″ Log Size
  • EPA Emissions – 1.2 grams per hour (catalytic mode), 1.5 grams per hour (non-catalytic mode)
  • 6″ Flue Collar
  • 471 lbs
  • More Specs Here

Vermont Castings Encore 2040 “The Bad” –

  • Honestly it is hard to find something bad to say about this stove other than the price. It is more expensive than most of its equivalent sized competitor in the cast iron world. However I think you are getting a great value and what you pay for.
  • The owners manual is a little confusing as Vermont Castings is somewhat known for. I would make sure you have someone or your dealer that is knowledgeable with the product to help walk you through any questions that you have with installation.

Vermont Castings Encore 2040 “The Good” –

  • The top loader is an amazing feature. I would buy this stove simply because of that feature. There are a couple other manufacturers that make stoves with top loaders in the industry. And none of them work as well as this unit. When installed and burned properly you will get almost no smoke into your home when you open up the top of the stove to drop the wood in. This makes it extremely convenient to load and operate

    Vermont Castings Encore 2040 Top Loader

    Vermont Castings Encore 2040 Top Loader

  • The non-catalytic and catalytic modes in the same unit is also an excellent feature. It is the only unit I am aware of in the industry that has this option. It gives you the ability to use the catalyst when you have dry good wood to get higher efficiencies and longer burn times. (Both benefits of a catalytic stove.) But it also lets you pull the catalyst out, (which takes less than 30 seconds with just your hands.) if your wood is a little wet and not performing well with the catalyst installed

    Vermont Castings Encore 2040 with back plate off to show where catalytic converter sits.

    Vermont Castings Encore 2040 with back plate off to show where catalytic converter sits.

  • Check out my Vermont Castings Article for more about the manufacturer.
  • It has a huge firebox for this size class of wood stove. Rated for 1800 square feet, but it will take a 22″ piece of wood. That is awesome

    Vermont Castings Encore 2040 Firebox

    Vermont Castings Encore 2040 Firebox

  • It has a 6″ flue, the old Encores used an 8″ oval to round adapter off the top which made the chimney cost a lot more. This is a lot more economical to install. Don’t worry though if you have an old one you are replacing you can get a replacement flue collar for about $99 that will match up to exactly what yours is now.

Vermont Castings Encore 2040 Back of Stove

Vermont Castings Encore 2040 Back of Stove

Overall I would give this stove one of the highest ratings in the cast iron category. It is packed with features. It is not the cheapest stove out there but I think if you don’t mind paying a little more for quality and some excellent features this may be the perfect stove for you. Highlights are the top loader, cat vs. non-cat convertible and large firebox.

Vermont Castings Encore Retail pricing is:

  •  Classic Black Unit is $2934
  • Enamel (Biscuit, Majolica Brown, Ebony Black) – $3412
  • Bordeaux Enamel – $3527
  • Warming Shelf Classic Black – $126 Each
  • Warming Shelf Enamel – $150 – (Bordeaux) $224

** UPDATE ** The Stove Guy is launching his online store. Click here to save some money on the Encore!

Here is a link to the manufacturer’s website.

If you own or have owned a Vermont Castings Encore then I would love to hear any comments or suggestions you have for our other readers!! Even if it is an older model, let us know what you thought of it.

Yours Truly,

The Stove Guy

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20 thoughts on “Vermont Castings Encore 2040 Review

  1. I have a 14 year old Encore 2550. I have some warped interior parts and I’m trying to decide wether to invest in replacement parts or a new stove.
    This is the first place I’ve read about removing the catalyst and still run the stove. Can I do this permanently? And just simply not replace the catalyst? Thanks.

    • Rob,

      Thanks for the question. I think it will help others clarify what I am talking about also. The feature of being able to remove the catalyst and continue to burn the stove efficiently is ONLY in the Encore 2040 (2n1) model. Your 2550 does not have this feature and would not be a good idea to burn it that way. It can result in overfiring and a huge loss in efficiency.

      In your case I would recommend getting a bid from your local Vermont Castings dealer to repair your stove and then compare that with the price of a new one. There are some great new features that would be worth spending some more money. I would suggest thought that if it was less than $500 or so I would just fix yours up. But that is a personal decision with your finances and desires.

      Hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions.

      Yours Truly,
      The Stove Guy

  2. Yes, my ” encore” is over 20 years old . I love and have used mine every year. It is getting as tired as I am. I do like the new options. Which stove do you recomend for creasote reduction, if possible.

    • I would absolutely recommend another Encore. 20 years is a good life. A lot of people complain about having to replace parts on these Vermont Castings, but if you look most of them are 20+ years old. Most of the other stoves that compete won’t even last that long let alone have parts available. I would go take a look at the new Encore model and decide for yourself.

  3. I am in the market for a stove and I am not sure if I should go with the Encore or the dutch west 2462 what do you suggest ?

  4. Hello Stove Guy,
    I am looking to buy either an Encore or an Intrepid II. I have a small two story home with about 900 sq. feet upstairs and 300 ft. downstairs. It would not be my primary heating source, but I would like it to still be able to heat the whole house in winters that can get down to the high 20’s F. I would be using the fan on my forced air system to recirculate warm air from upstairs to heat the downstairs.
    My question is this. I know that the Encore is rated up to 1800 sq. ft., but the Vermont Castings rep said that it can just be run at a lower temp with the temp control on the side, and that it wouldn’t overheat my upstairs. He also stated that the encore burns more efficiently at lower temps, which seems opposite than other stoves. I am interested in your thoughts about this, because I really do like the larger front viewing area and log size capacity of the Encore
    Thanks a ton.

    • The Encore will burn at a lower temp efficiently with in catalytic mode. That is the difference. Most stoves today are non-catalytic because people don’t like the cost of replacing a catalytic converter every two to three years. I think as long as you understand that cost going in they definitely can be a good fit. Larger viewing area, larger piece of wood, and longer burn times than a non-catalytic stove that would fit your home. But don’t plan on burning the Encore in non-cat mode you will have a black glass, clogged chimney and chimney fire in no time.

      Hope that helps

      The Stove Guy

  5. We have chosen Vermont Casting Wood burning stoves in the last three of our homes. The first two, we chose the Defiant which we loved. In the present home, which is much smaller, we chose the 2040 Encore. We have only used it one winter. So far, it seems to heat more than sufficiently, but it also appears to work differently than the previous two Vermont models. We can’t seem to control the fire using dry wood with the air intake turned down as low as it will go, and the catalyst engaged, the fire burns really hot. We checked all seals and they don’t seem to be worn, of course, it is a new stove. Also, when the fire is burning warm, you almost have to have a pry bar to disengage the catalyst. We are somewhat disappointed. We feel like we bought a ‘Friday night’ stove before a 3-day weekend. Any suggestions?

    • Well as far as burning hot, that is generally the nature of these new fangled EPA certified wood stoves. Part of the EPA test is with the stove shut down on the way. So sometimes the damper has to be adjusted to not go quite so low to get better emissions results. This is true in varying degrees across the board. You just don’t have as much control as you used to.

      There is an adjustment on that bypass plate sounds like that needs to be loosened up a little bit.

      How old were the other 2 Vermont Castings that you owned?

      The Stove Guy

  6. I own a Defiant Encore and have used it for over 20 years. It’s been a great stove. I don’t like replacing the catalytic because it’s a bit pricey and doesn’t last too long (one or two seasons and it’s cracked). I like my current stove, but the damper arm is temperamental, and I’m concerned that it may not function through the next season (may not open/close properly). Repair people are impossible to find (dealerships don’t really help you, they tell you to contact a chimney sweep to solve your problems) so I’m considering a replacement for old reliable. What about a Jotul F 500 Oslo versus the VC 2 in 1 Encore? They both seem like great stoves, are there pros and cons to each that you could shed some light on. Your expertise and insight is much appreciated.

    • Both are great stoves. The Jotul has a very unique beautiful look. You would not be going wrong with either stove, I think quality is very similar. I lean towards the Vermont Castings because of the top loading ability, that in itself spoils you. I also like the flexibility of the 2n1, as a catalyst will give you longer burn times, it is nice to be able to choose.

      The Stove Guy

  7. purchased encore 2 in 1 stove 3 years ago and we live in fl and yes it does get cold. we love the efficiency and durability of it the heating is incredible what I would like to knowis, is it normal to see a little bit of smoke out of the stove pipe when it is in catalytic mode normaliiy we run it on non cat mode and at about 5 or 600 degrees and no smoke at all out the pipe when I put it into cat mode I see alittle bit coming out could that be do to some of the wood that has not totally burned while I got the stove up to temp

  8. Hi Stove Guy,
    Thanks for the review. I’m considering the Encore. You say you shouldn’t burn the Encore in non-cat mode as you’d get, “black glass, clogged chimney and chimney fire in no time.” Why do you say this? Is this if you’re only burning junk wood? I’ve talked to at least 4 different people, 2 of them chimney/stove install professionals (not dealers trying to sell me something) and they’ve said the Encore is fine in non-cat mode. The dealers also said the same thing and I’ve told them I’m open to a non-cat stove too, so not sure what their incentive would be to make me a very unhappy customer. Any clarification /explanation very much appreciated.

    • Peter,

      You have to read the person I was responding too. He has a 900 Sq Foot House. There is no way he is going to get his stove up to 450 degrees to burn properly in non-cat mode without baking himself out of his house. That is what a catalyst is for, it will burn efficiently starting around 250.

      Non-cat stoves are wonderful if you size them properly to your home.

      Hope that helps,

      The Stove Guy

  9. Hi. I just came across your site and I hope you can help me with my encore non catalyst stove. I have about an eight foot single wall pipe going into a 30 foot clay pipe and brick chimney. My stove is in the basement. It takes a little effort to create a draft but once I get it going the only way I can keep the stove from running too hot is to partially block the air intake at the bottom of the stove. Even with the stove in the wood saving mode and the air intake lever completely closed the intake at the bottom of the stove has the suction of a vacuum cleaner. You can hear the rush of air and the metal chimney temp can easily climb to over 700 degrees. I have to cover the intake with foil with a few holes punched in it too keep the stove pipe in the 400 degree range. No where in the book does it suggest having to control the stove by blocking the air intake. I am actually thinking of making a damper to fit the air intake. I should also mention that I do not have a damper on the 6 inch stove pipe but it is my belief that Vermont castings does not recommend one. I would appreciate any advice you can give me.
    Thanks, Bob

    • Bob,

      You need a flue damper. They don’t recommend one in general, but your length of chimney is not average. Because of the amount of chimney you have, it is drafting too hard on the stove. You need a flue damper in that single wall pipe and it should fix all your overdrafting issues.

      Your Truly,
      The Stove Guy

  10. I bought a lightly used defiant encore stove about a year and a half ago from a dealer. It has 2 drying racks. I paid $900 for it and now realized that I almost stole it. Compared to a simple box stove this is a finely tooled machine. I love it. Three questions: how to avoid creosote buildup? Can I clean the catalytic converter? How do I know when to clean or replace the converter? Thanks.

    • Answers:
      how to avoid creosote buildup? Burn good wood and a hot fire with a good catalyst
      Can I clean the catalytic converter? You can take it out and blow it out with an air compressor. Just make sure there are not any big holes burnt in it. If there are you should replace it.
      How do I know when to clean or replace the converter? Answered above. When it gets really dirty then has a really hot fire it will burn dime or quarter size holes in the catalyst. This is time to replace.

      – The Stove Guy

  11. I have an encore 2040 cat stove since feb 2011 and still on the same combustor, I live in fl so 3 or 4 days the most on burning in the fall months my question is the combustor has a few of the honey comb squares broken off no big deal I use it mostly in non cat mode should the element be replaced , I put it into cat mode a few nites ago when it got down to 39 degrees looked at the flu cap outside no smoke coming out at all my guess is it is still working well what do you think I have a relpacemrnt not opened yet?

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