Rocket Stove Story

Rocket Stoves

you can download this as a PDF from here.

Rocket stoves burn very efficiently and can be fuelled by most forms of bio-mass including sticks and poor quality fuel.

There are many variations on the standard design but in essence a stove consists of a combustion chamber and chimney that are at right angles to each other.

The stove can be built from a wide variety of materials including recycled and repurposed items. The versatility of design and variety of material makes rocket stove perfect cooking and heating for much of the developing world.

We at FoodFest needed a versatile cooking method that we could take to events and we commissioned our lovely rocket stove. Our beer barrel stove is not the first rocket stove that some of our members have made and we thought it might be interesting to trace the evolution of the latest member of our team, our rocket stove.

Rocket Reg.
To form the burn chamber and chimney we used drain pipe cut at a right angle.
 

When the cob had dried we removed the pipes ready for the ‘first firing.’

Rocket Reg was our first venture into rocket stove making. For Reg we decided to go very traditional and make him from cob.

Cob is possibly the oldest building materials in existence and it is a mix of clay, straw and sand but can contain other materials including horse hair and animal dung. Cob has been used to build everything from stoves to houses to churches and continues to be used as the major building material in many parts of the world.

Being our first attempt Reg was more of an experiment than a finished article but he had his own character and he made a very good bacon sandwich

When the cob had dried we removed the pipes ready for the ‘first firing.’

Rocket Reg was our first venture into rocket stove making. For Reg we decided to go very traditional and make him from cob.

Cob is possibly the oldest building materials in existence and it is a mix of clay, straw and sand but can contain other materials including horse hair and animal dung. Cob has been used to build everything from stoves to houses to churches and continues to be used as the major building material in many parts of the world.

Being our first attempt Rog was more of an experiment than a finished article but he had his own character and he made a very good bacon sandwich

The beauty of using cob is that once it has finished its useful life it returns to mud. Thanks Reg, it’s been nice knowing you.

Rodge son of Reg

We learned a lot from Reg and for Rodge we decided to make him a bit smaller and used two planters as formers for the chimney and burn chamber.

 

We let our artist Matt go wild and Rodge had something of the gargoyle about him.

Rodge was our second stove and we learned a lot from ‘his father.’ We made the cob much dryer and by this time we knew how to judge the quality of the cob by the feel. We also found out that first burning is very important with cob stoves and a good steady burn is essential to avoid cracking.

Penny the Pot Bank

In 2015 we were invited to take part in an event at Middleport Pottery and when at one of the worlds most famous factories what else could you make that a pottery themed rocket stove.

For Penny we used sand as the former for the body to give us the traditional bottle kiln shape. All the team joined in to help make Penny as pretty as possible.

It is interesting to see the change in colour in the clay between the first firing and when she was ready to cook on.

Whilst we had fun making all our rocket stoves and we learned a lot from each one a cob rocket stove is not particle when you are running events and need something that is ready to use within minutes so we began looking for alternatives that would work for us.

We were very fortunate to be given an old beer barrel by a local pub and our next adventure in rocket stoves began.

We found this diagram on the internet and gave it to a local blacksmith and asked him to make us one. We are so pleased with the results.

 

 

 

 

We have used our stove at two events so far and cooked nearly 30 doz oatcakes.

Whilst we love this stove, the main problem is that it weighs so much and this makes transport a little difficult.

We are now looking to have more stoves made and will look at alternative ways of making one including empty gas bottles and even metal buckets.