In the barn stove, I use homemade fire start. This is no more than cut up pieces of 2x material that is ripped down to approximately ½ x ½ x 8-10 inches and placed in a metal bucket with a lid during the summer. Inside the bucket with the scraps goes about a cup or two of diesel fuel, enough to cover the bottom of the bucket with ½ inch of fuel. Let sit for week or two. The scraps absorb all the fuel.
Lay two pieces of wood in the bottom of the stove in a v shape. Then add a piece or two of homemade fire start, some smaller kindling next, and a few pieces of wood on top. Light the fire starter and close the door. No “gas” flash, the starter burns hot and long, kindling makes nice coals catching the bigger pieces on fire, Seems to work good on damp wood. I never have tried this in a house, only in the garage. Don’t notice any funny smells, other than the normal smells of the garage.