Build a Rocket Stove

Rocket stoves are a highly efficient way to cook using just small branches rather than large pieces of wood and are twice as efficient as conventional open wood burning methods. They usually consist of a heavily insulated L shaped metal pipe, at the bottom of which you put small pieces of wood. You size the pipe to fit a pot, which fits down into the pipe. Efficiency is gained by the fact that the pot is heated on the sides as well as the bottom.

Homegrown Evolution was delighted to find a how to build a rocket stove video (with a Euro disco soundtrack!) hosted by a goth dude named “vavrek”:


Other Rocket Stove Designs

The Aprovecho Research Center, a non-profit organization devoted to improving conditions in third world countries through the development of low cost, simple cooking and heating technologies have developed a number of rocket stoves that you can build for your urban homestead. They have a simple model called the VITA Stove made with sheet metal (note the better soundtrack music on the video) and an institutional model made with a 50 gallon drum.

We think we’ve found a use for all those fallen palm fronds . . . rocket stove cooking!

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6 Comments

  1. Okay, I stumbled across here trying to find some rocket stove instructions. I haven’t tried hte Winiarski stove design but the stove shown in this video seems like it misses the point of the rocket stove. The point of the rocket stoves that I’ve seen (maybe a Ianto Evans design?) is to preheat the wood so that it burns really clean by having a burn chamber tube in the top of the stove that goes down until a few inches from the bottom of the barrel. This gets the wood so hot before it actually burns that it combusts nearly completely. This stove looks like it’s whole point is to keep the flame contained under the cook surface.
    Have you tried this stove design?
    Joan

  2. It sounds like Joan is a bit confused. The point of the Rocket Mass Heater (designed by Ianto Evans) is to burn wood very efficiently, then transfer that heat into the room efficiently (exhaust temps can be similar to a dryer vent) while storing heat for your home for ~8 hours. You can cook on a Rocket Mass Heater just like you can cook on a traditional wood stove, but that is not the primary goal. The Rocket Stove that is in this article is designed to efficiently burn fuel (thus the Rocket portion that is shared between the two) and then transfer that as efficiently as possible to the cooking surface. This allows the cook to heat food with minimal fuel (as well as reducing emissions). I have to admit that I re-read your post, and it looks like you are actually talking about another stove called the Pocket Rocket which burns very hot and does pre-heat the wood, but is meant for space heating applications without a need for thermal mass. As a side note, I believe the Winiarski stove is an alternative to the Rocket Stove which is also designed for cooking efficiently with wood. As another side note, the reason these 3 stoves all have rocket in their names is because they draw so much air in that they sound a bit like a rocket! Hope this helps!

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