Rocket Stoves! Here Are 8 Super-Simple DIY Models, You Can Build!
All-righty! Gather up a fist-full of twigs and get ready to feel the burn. It’s once again, for the first time in a while, rocket stove time!
Rocket stoves, of course, are smaller heaters perfect for cooking in camp or for heating (safety, please) small spaces. They get the “rocket” name, not from propulsion, but from the furious burning of the smaller, generally wood fuels. Small diameter sticks and other debris have more surface area per inch or foot than larger, solid chunks. Ergo, the fire burns faster and gets hotter faster. Fast … like a rocket. The heat produced is efficient and directed straight to where it’s needed.
They are also easy. Easy to use, to store, and to build. That’s what our video today is all about. Luke and the good boys at the Outdoor Boys YT channel made a show featuring eight quick, easy, little stoves that you can build! The video is just down below. But first, let’s look at a few examples of rocket-powered prepper cooking.
One. Dakota Fire Hole (or Pit, or Cave)
This one is extremely complex. Just kidding, it’s as easy as digging a hole in an embankment. Really. What you’re aiming for is a little tunnel – see Luke’s diagram – back into a slope from the front and then up to the top side. It’s an L-shaped hole. Air enters the bottom opening, fuel burns at the elbow, turns in the back, and the heat and smoke rise to the top where the cooking happens.
You have your own little fire cave. This is so easy a toddler could do it. Uh, just don’t let them without very close supervision. It’s not “portable” in the traditional sense, though it can be created and recreated anywhere one finds dirt.
Two. The Log.
Really, it’s just like that ancient SNL faux toy ad: It’s Log! A big block of wood. Take a shorter, stouter trunk log and bore two holes in it. This will require power tools or a lot of muscle on the old hand drill. Again, you’re creating an L-shaped tunnel from the front of the log, lower down, all the way to the top.
Stuff the upper segment with twigs and light it up. If you add nails to the top, as seen in the video, then you have a place to set a pot or kettle. Best of all, once the fuel burns up, the stove follows – it is a piece of wood after all. In addition to the rocket cooking, you also get a campfire. Sadly, this is a single-use item.
Three. The 4×4
No, this one is not about off-roading in the mud or snow. It’s just an (untreated!) four-by-four timber, The Log’s little wooden brother. The design and build are exactly the same, just on a smaller scale.
Bang for the buck! Buy a longer section of wood and cut it into many small blocks, er, stoves. L-shape. Save the sawdust from the drilling! Sawdust, more than any other kind of wood fuel, burns furiously! This one will also self-consume. Of course, you will have several of them. An eight-foot board will give you sixteen stoves! In fact, when you cut the initial length, go ahead and mill out all the stoves you want. That way you can have them stored and ready when needed.
Amazing! Hold the coffee in one hand, and the operating stove in the other!
And now, we’re ready and it’s needed. Here’s the full video:
Four. HVAC Stove!
HVAC t-joints are made from sheet metal, are the perfect size and shape, and are easy to work with. Each has three openings, shaped – you guessed it – like a “T.” For really easy usage, just stand the pipe up on one of the openings, the bottom. Then, add fuel down the top opening. Air enters through the middle, and suddenly, like Tom Hanks in that island movie – you have made fire!
You can accessorize by adding a top, a place to set the kettle. Or, you can paint it all with heat-resistant paint – any color. This model is far more portable than the hole in the ground and lasts many times longer than the wooden varieties. Add a handle and it’s ready to go. Literally.
Five. Kelly Kettle
You could build this one yourself, but it might be easier to buy it. And, it is for sale – a high-quality product with a carrying bag. One really cool feature is the water reservoir built right into the stove itself. You don’t have to balance a pot on the top. Just fill it, light it, and the water will heat itself.
Like all good, store-bought kettles, this one comes with an easy-pour handle. And, yes, if you need to stew or boil something, you can just add an eye-top for pots or regular kettles.
Six. Channel Pipe
Here, we come to a stove that might require a smidgeon of skill. It’s made from four-inch pipes and does necessitate some welding. It’s not complicated, but it’s not readily easy for many. In fact, Luke merely threw it out as an example and then moved on to the next one.
If you are into metal-working and welding, then this might be a perfect project: the end result being a stove, tough as nails, and made to last.
Fortunately, just about anyone can make the,
Seven. Cinder Blocker!
It’s just four concrete blocks arranged the right way. You’ll need a hammer (and goggles) to knock out a wall of one block. But, after that, they just stack up dry, or without cement. This one is a little on the heavy side, but it’s also semi-permanent.
Concrete blocks are dirt cheap. And they practically last forever, unlike the final entry in Luke’s parade-of-fires:
Ha! You know the deal. Seven is good, but eight is great. Watch the video and find out what all the fuss is about with numero ocho. Hint: it’s the easiest one of all, though another that is a one and done. Literally anyone could make this final installment.
And, that’s to Luke, anyone can say they’re now well-versed in the fine art of stove construction. Hey! I’ll bet that, now, you could think of some other ways to fire it up and cook in a jiffy. A little learning goes a long way, in any subject. To that end, visit the Outdoor Boys YT Channel for ideas, fun, and more – 1 Million outdoors fans can’t be wrong!
If you’re on Facebook … well, okay, catch the Boys there too!
Oh, and for one more DIY stove design, please check out this older FP article (with VIDEO) from 2017. (Got some odd code stuff going on there, but that video still clicks!). Today’s episode is one heck of an update on a great old idea! Blast off.