The Homemade Homestead Rocket Stove
This is one of the easiest projects you’ll probably ever do! Understanding the simplistic design and knowing how to build your own Rocket Stove is a very handy bit of information to have and a skill that is essential!
Look around Pinterest for a TON of design options from tin cans, to using bricks (like we’re going to for our project) stones, or old stove pipe! It really doesn’t matter what material base you decide to go with, it’s the basic design that matters– you’re building a small combustion chamber and a vertical chimney!
One of the great bonuses with a rocket stove is it needs a very small amount of fuel to make it operable. Being able to boil water can be a lifesaver– whether it’s for sanitation needs or coffee (HEY, it’s IMPORTANT!) . 🙂 If you have home canned soups, stews, etc. in your pantry– you can have a hot meal in minutes!
I decided to fashion my rocket stove out of bricks we had literally just laying around at our homestead. It won’t win any beauty contest–but it works. It took a few minutes to put together, even the children can do it. We want our children to know how to take care of themselves, this is just a very simple skill, but it’s one more thing they can do if the need or desire arises. It doesn’t have to be a ‘stuff hit the fan’ situation. It can be having a fun camp out, and wanting to cook a jar of Mama’s home canned stew and have hot cocoa for breakfast! It’s also super handy on those super hot summer nights when cooking indoors is the last thing you want to do– it’s a great addition to your summer kitchen! A rocket stove is just one more off grid or grid down way to cook and boil water!
So- let’s get at it. Gather up 20 bricks, chisel or break one of them into halves if you can. My bricks are old and I had 2 that were broken into almost halves— they did the job. You could use cinderblocks, or firebrick– in this case though, I just used old (very old) bricks– nothing fancy. This stove is not going to generate massive high temps that you’d need firebrick. Find inexpensive bricks at a garage sale, Craigslist or your local Home Improvement type store.
We built our rocket stove on the ground, you could do it on a concrete patio, where ever you have level ground.
So for our first layer– you’ll want your 4 1/2 bricks set up 3 side by side and one full brick across the bottom and the 1/2 brick right next to it. This is your foundation layer. Next layer is going to be 3 1/2 bricks, the 3 bricks going around the foundation layer and the little 1/2 brick (or in my case 3/4 brick- lol).
This layer sets the stage for the opening to your combustion chamber into the vertical chimney you’re going to build with the next 3 layers of 4 bricks each:
Once you get your stove put together– gather up your fuel. Any dry, small sticks and twigs. You don’t want them any longer than about 6 inches, tops. To get your fire going, dry tinder is best– dryer lint, a few dried up leaves, newspaper–I used some very dry mossy material– lit right up! Then add your tiniest twigs in and get that going; adding your larger pieces as it gets going. Feed your fire through the bottom of your combustion chamber. Don’t overload it– you want the air to draw through it and keep it going nice and hot!
Once you get it rolling– add your pot on top. Do not completely cover the chimney hole– or what you might do is use 2 more bricks placed on either side of the chimney hole to prop your pot up above it to keep your air flow moving. My pot was small enough, I had good venhilation going around the pot. You want to keep the fire going good! Keep adding tinder as needed throught the bottom of your combustion chamber, to keep cooking!
Once you get your meal cooked or your water boiled– let it burn out. The rocket stove is for quick cooking– not cranking out meals that require hours and hours of cooking time. When you aren’t using it — you can store away your bricks til next time. Here’s a short video on it too! 🙂
Love this project! So easy, and so useful!