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Rocket Stoves - Cool Name, Hot Stove

Updated on June 9, 2012

Lift Off In 3...2...1...

No, a rocket stove won't throw anything into orbit, but it will heat a house (or cook a meal) way more efficiently than other wood burning stoves.

So, what is a rocket stove? It's a stove that creates a very hot, smokeless fire. They can be any size from small enough to pack as a camp stove, up to large enough to heat a living area. Large ones are often insulated with cob (mud and straw) to absorb the intense heat and release it slowly over a longer period of time.

Souffle, Anyone? - Using the rocket stove to cook

Rocket stoves are being promoted as an alternative to cooking indoors over an open fire, such as in a fireplace. They greatly reduce the amount of smoke and gasses released, keeping the indoor air healthier. They are also super efficient, using less wood and creating a more intense fire. If you plan on using a stove inside, be sure that the chimney exits outside the house.

I don't really know if you could make a souffle (that's a baking thing, right?), but I'm sure you could whip up a mean pot of beans. Lentil soup, anyone?

Rocket Cooking Stoves In Use - Because we're not all fortunate enough to have a six burner gas range.

Rocket stoves are being used all over the world to help families cook using less fuel, saving them time, money and resources.

Mmmm, Toasty - Stoves for warming rooms...and people :)

Rocket stoves are popular in naturally built homes, sometimes replacing a fireplace. They can easily be built with metal drums and fire bricks. Many times they are insulated with cob (a mud and straw mix) to retain heat, then radiate it over a long period of time. A nifty tip: run the flew through a cob bench and have a bum-warming seat!

Check out this video of a couple of rocket stoves in people's homes. For more info on cob (talked about in the video) visit my cob lens.

So, You Want To Build One, Huh?

I know I sure do!

Rocket stoves can be made from all all sorts of materials, and are pretty easy to put together. I haven't made one (yet), so I'm probably not the one to try to explain it all to ya. Instead, let me quote from an article I found at wikipedia.

ahem:

"The rocket stove's main components are:

Chimney: a metal box (such as a 5-gallon tin can) or pipe standing vertically and supporting the cooking vessel

Fuel magazine: a short length of steel or ceramic pipe fitted horizontally into the base of a chimney

Fuel shelf: a flat plate to hold the fuel clear of the bottom of the magazine to allow air to flow underneath

Heat exchanger: a tubular metal shield that forces hot gases from the chimney to pass over the sides of the cooking vessel

The chimney and magazine are joined at a right angle, forming the 'rocket elbow', and it is at this junction that primary combustion occurs."

Diagram found here.

Building A Rocket Stove - In Motion! - A couple of instructional videos

Here are videos showing how to build the two different styles of stoves. The first shows you how to build a one-pot cooking stove. The second shows how to make a large one out of a metal drum.

Do You Rocket?

Have you ever used a rocket stove?

See results

Hey, It Works! - Home made rocket stoves

There are plenty of vids on youtube by people who have made rocket stoves at home. They can be a great source of inspiration...or as a warning of what not to do. If you have to desire to re-create what you see on them, please do so with common sense.

Got one? Fire away!

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    • profile image

      Nyvaeh 2 years ago

      Felt so hopeless looking for answers to my qusnoitns...uetil now.

    • MerryChicky profile image
      Author

      MerryChicky 5 years ago

      @Deadicated LM: Heh. Ya, landlords can get a little...testy about such things.

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      No but it's a great idea/lens; I don't think my landlord would like this in my apartment, lol.

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 5 years ago

      It seem very useful, it should be good to use during camping.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 5 years ago from Virginia

      Great for living off the land one day. Thanks for sharing the concept and info.

    • MerryChicky profile image
      Author

      MerryChicky 5 years ago

      @KevCooper: Heh, ya, I have that urge, too. Maybe you can pair up with someone who does have a need and build one together.

    • KevCooper profile image

      KevCooper 5 years ago

      Very interesting, I want to build one in spite of the fact I have absolutely no need!

    • Prepperdad LM profile image

      Prepperdad LM 5 years ago

      awesome!

    • adamfrench profile image

      adamfrench 5 years ago

      Impressive lens, thumbs up

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 5 years ago from Missouri

      This sounds like something everyone should have in case the electric goes out.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&... - TIG Welded portable Rocket Stove sold by US seller

    • profile image

      scar4 6 years ago

      Unique idea, I quite enjoy that!

    • MerryChicky profile image
      Author

      MerryChicky 6 years ago

      @mariaamoroso: Ooo, that sounds divine. I had a guest from Alaska this summer who brought some salmon he had smoked himself. It was wonderful! So different than what you get in the gocery. I don't think I've had smoked herring, but it sounds yummy.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Hey, Great post! I have just started hearing about these 'rocket stoves'. Seems like they are a big hit. Are there any stores in the U.S. that sell already made wood burning rocket stoves?

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 6 years ago from Sweden

      We had something like this to smoke fish in. Just where the top red arrow is, we had a net with fish on. Oh maaaaaan I loved that warm smoked fish. Salmon kinds were the best but also herring.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I love your ideals. Keep it up!

    • profile image

      Obscure_Treasures 7 years ago

      That's a very impressive and informative lens. - build a Rocket Stove

    • dorotheajames profile image

      dorotheajames 7 years ago

      Rocket stoves work really well, just watch them around kids. It's really easy to get badly burned. Thanks for all of the great information.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I have heard of Rocket Stoves before, but I didn't know much about the subject. Thank you for the information.

    • profile image

      Quickstar 7 years ago

      I really love this idea...How fun!! I want to build a Rocket Stove now for sure..

    • MerryChicky profile image
      Author

      MerryChicky 7 years ago

      @GoodWrite-Ups: Awesome, I've never seen one with a conversion kit. I'll have to do some research on that and add a module about it. Thanks. :)

    • profile image

      GoodWrite-Ups 7 years ago

      My friend has a wood stove with attachments for converting it to a rocket stove. We had no idea prior to reading this great lens why there was a hole in the top of the stove. Now it makes sense.

      Thanks for the info.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Very interesting lens about a rocket stove. I'm going to have to check into this more.

      Thanks for sharing!

      Susie

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great blog. I created a lens about waterproofing of roofs.

      Check out my website when you get a chance. All the best with your lens. Julian

    • davis66 profile image

      davis66 7 years ago

      Great lens, though I've heard of a few people getting some pretty nasty burns on their rocket stoves, so be careful!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I had not heard about rocket stoves but I certainly know about them now. Very interesting lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Rocket stoves are great technology - either for cooking or heating. I'm a bit concerned about the books advertised though. The original author - Ianto Evans sells it as a pdf for $13.00 (hardcopy is available for a little more).

      $39.99 for second hand on Amazon is simply scalping

    • MerryChicky profile image
      Author

      MerryChicky 8 years ago

      [in reply to spirituality] What a wonderful birthday present (yup, I'm year older today.) - Thanks!

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

    • teamlane profile image

      teamlane 8 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel today!

      www.squidoo.com/squid-angel

      ~ Colleen :o)

    • profile image

      foreverme 8 years ago

      It's just incredible what you can learn. And how much better simple concepts can be. Love your lens.

    • BusyQueen profile image

      BusyQueen 8 years ago

      Nice lens. 5* from me! Thanks. Really informative. Nicely detailed.

    • sittonbull profile image

      sittonbull 8 years ago

      Very interesting concept and lens. My cousin built a natural house in the high desert on the Colorado National Monument w/solar heat piping hot water all through the flooring of the house when it was cold so there are all types of good ways to conserve and utilize energy. Most fuel burning stoves have varying efficiencies of converting the fuel (wood, corn,etc) to the most effective hydrogen/Oxygen ratio for maximum energy/minimum CO2. We are working on some solutions that will improve most any fuel burning stove or engine in that regard. Good lens faved and 5***** of course.

    • dustytoes profile image

      dustytoes 8 years ago

      I have never heard of these. I wonder how they hold up under the scrutiny of an inspector? Interesting lens for sure!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      [in reply to 1Penny2] I've built my own design of rocket mass heater & a short video of it can be viewed here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jzKKIHhTU0

      If you have any questions / comments, my Email address is mentioned in the video.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      My brother has a stove similar to the Rocket. He heats his house with it throughout the winter and he lives in Minnesota.

      Great len

      Lizzy

    • profile image

      Tracy-B 8 years ago

      This is an awesome lense! I love the videos that you put on your lenses!

      (@(_)@)

      --00--00--

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 8 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Never heard of these but they do sound interesting. 5***** for a nice lens, and thanks so much for the lovely comments on my Bournemouth lens.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      Growing up in rural Minnesota, the wood stove was always going in the winter. My brother has a stove similar to the one you have here. Its his primary heat source in the winter.

      Great lens

      Lizzy

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      Growing up in rural Minnesota, the wood stove was always going in the winter. My brother has a stove similar to the one you have here. Its his primary heat source in the winter.

      Great lens

      Lizzy

    • stephenteacher profile image

      Stephen Carr 8 years ago from Corona, CA

      Interesting. Never heard of it and am thinking of trying.

    • profile image

      SadieCope 8 years ago

      Cool! (No backward pun intended!)

    • eccles1 profile image

      eccles1 8 years ago

      I love this lens my grandmother had something like these kind of stoves

    • sudokunut profile image

      Mark Falco 8 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Cosmic. ;)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      This is a wonderful site.It's great to see people interested in these highly efficient stoves.Ive built about 10 stoves so far and I see 2 of my youtube video's on site.I made my videos in the winter to see how they would function in the cold and it was amazing.It's nice to know you can prepare a meal with just a few sticks from the back yard.

    • rebeccahiatt profile image

      rebeccahiatt 8 years ago

      Very interesting, thanks for the info

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      Interesting! Never heard of one before!

    • MatCauthon profile image

      MatCauthon 8 years ago

      Lots of rocket stoves here in the Phil. 5*

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 8 years ago

      Ahem...this is totally awesome! I can see my hubby making one of these for his upcoming workshop. Thanks for sharing!