In some regions of the world, cooking with solid biomass fuels in open fires constitutes the largest source of elemental and organic carbon emissions. However, cooking-related carbonaceous aerosols are still poorly characterized. This paper presents an innovative characterization of elemental and organic carbon (EC and OC) emissions from cookstoves in West Africa. Four stove types were analysed at laboratory scale (three stones, rocket stove, basic ceramic stove, gasifier), using two wood species (dimb and filao). The EC and OC emission factors based on fuel energy (EFs) when burning dimb were higher for all stoves, highlighting the need to take into account the fuel type when reporting cookstove EFs. The highest EC EF was found with the rocket stove (0.18 ± 0.06 g MJ–1 and 0.06 ± 0.01 g MJ–1 for dimb and filao, respectively). The rest of stoves tested showed the same EC EF, when burning dimb (0.09 ± 0.02 g MJ–1) and EC EF ranging between 0.04 ± 0.01 and 0.05 ± 0.01 g MJ–1, when burning filao. The average OC EF was 0.08 ± 0.01 g MJ–1 for the gasifier, followed by three stones (0.18 ± 0.03 g MJ–1) and the basic ceramic stove (0.21 ± 0.08 g MJ–1). Rocket stove and three stones were also tested under real cooking conditions using wood dimb. Results provide evidence that lab-scale tests overestimated EC EFs measured in the field. Also, the rocket stove didn’t show a reduction in wood use with respect to the three stones, implying that carbonaceous aerosol emissions with this stove produce more warming than the traditional stove. Therefore, total stove EC and OC emissions, in addition to EFs, need to be reported. As carbonaceous aerosol impacts are highly dependent on the place where they are emitted, this information can be a very useful input for emission inventories and climate prediction models at national and regional levels.