Rocket Stoves - Cool Name, Hot Stove
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.
"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?
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!