Rocket stoves have held a fascination for me for awhile– it’s amazing how intentionally controlling the way in which a fire burns can dramatically impact its performance. I’ve wanted to build one for awhile and figured now was a good time to chat with someone who has made a few and get their opinion on what works well.

Why build a rocket stove?

Pure awesomeness mainly.

Tangential benefits include the fact that it is a highly efficient cook stove that burns on small, easily gathered branches, and produces greater heat that is more conveniently concentrated than a normal campfire. Plus you can build one at home with just a base understanding of what needs to happen and a few hand tools and basic materials!

I have a feeling self sufficiency is going to become a little more present on folks’ minds over the next little while what with Covid and all, and thought we’d touch base with an episode about building a backyard cooking implement. Maybe we’ll do an episode about cob ovens in the upcoming future too, that’d be a fun project as well! Now I just need a backyard…. 🙂

At any rate, I’m glad I managed to chat with Tom, he has a little bit of a different focus than we do with this podcast, but I definitely connected with him and his love of tinkering, innovation, and building. He does some great projects on his YouTube channel! More of a modern DIY angle on things, but with a focus on sustainability and being “green”, go take a look!

Key Principles in Rocket Stove Design

Here are a few thoughts I pulled from the conversation with Tom:

  • Elevate the fuel– keep your fire off the ground so the air can get under it.
  • Airflow is key– maintain a continuous interior diameter all the way through and remove anything that would obstruct airflow
  • Make the riser “tall enough”– you need a tall chamber in order to ensure more efficient combustion

Resources Mentioned

GreenShortz DIY Youtube channel — If you want to take a look at a few specific videos that show rocket stove examples check out these three: one made out of firebricks, one of concrete, and this cob stove.

GreenShortz Youtube Channel — Actually under Tom Mills as the channel name, I really like the goals he has with the channel, check it out.

GreenShortz + GreenHouse Youtube Channel

Little Aussie Rockets Youtube Channel

Great American CleanupSomething we talked about in passing, but I thought I would highlight here. Take some time to see if you can get involved!

The Rocket King StoveLooks like it would be an excellent addition to an emergency/72 hour kit….

The Rocket King Micro

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