When looking for information on wood burning fires, I kept seeing very clever mini cook stoves called rocket stoves. Some were made with simple household items like trash cans and tin cans, where others looked like metal works of art. However, not matter the items used, they were all were constructed to efficiently burn wood to cook food or provide heat.
What is a Rocket Stove?
Simply put, rocket stoves are small, portable wood-burning stoves that efficiently burn small diameter wood as fuel. According to popular accounts, they were developed as modern versions of the Dakota fire pit. Dakota fire pits were designed by Native Americans to hide their cooking fires from their enemies by building them in a hole, minimizing visual smoke while creating a self-sufficient fire for cooking purposes. The modern-day rocket stove utilizes the same principles.
Rocket stoves have an insulated vertical chimney which enables high airflow around the fuel (wood) to allow for near-complete combustion prior to the flames reaching the end of the stove.
Why is the Rocket Stove so Popular?
Rock stoves are very efficient and are easy to make. So, for all the frugal DIYers out there, the rocket stove might just be the next logical step to harness your inner caveman! Why? Because rocket stoves need far less wood to produce comparable levels of heat/light as less efficient forms of fires/stoves. Another benefit, they produce less smoke/emissions into the air too, which is especially important to the environmentally aware wood-fired cook!
The advantages don’t stop there either, rocket stoves are:
- Inexpensive – can be made from used materials, bricks, cinder blocks etc.
- Use less wood than traditional wood burning stoves/fires
- Portable – can be made from something as small as a tin food can if so desired
- Fast methods for cooking food and boiling water
Rocket stoves are not just for outdoor cooking either. They can be used to heat small structures. For example, one clever do-it-yourself-er converted a used water heater into a rocket stove for their home! The possibilities are endless, all that is needed is a little imagination and the best fuel source, wood.
So, if you are looking for an inventive way to use the best fuel source, wood, give a rocket stove a try. You can get as inventive as you want when sticking to the fundamental principles of the efficient rocket stove.
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