I am always interested in new ideas to do things without power. I like making things that can be used at home and while camping.
I have recently been looking at a way to cook food when we have no power. The device is called a Rocket Mass Stove. It is basically set up like a fireplace. Many of them are set up to load fuel from the front at the bottom and you can cook on top of it.
Rocket Mass Stoves utilize air flow, hot air rising, and heat air expansion as the workhorse of the stove. Basically air rushes in at the bottom across the fuel (which can be many things, but I will stick with wood), heats up and rushes up a heat chamber that is a lot like a flue.
You don’t want a flue to get rid of all of your heat, but this device is purposely using all of the heat given off from the wood to move hot air up the flue-like heat chamber.
It needs to breathe, so you can’t sit your pots or pans on top of a rocket stove. You will have to have some type of grill or heat resistant stand to get your pan off of the top of the stove.
The Rocket Stove can fully cook with the same amount of wood that a person would typically use as just kindling when starting a basic fire. The efficiency of cooking on this stove is probably 300% more efficient than using a typical cooking campfire, or charcoal grill.
A rocket stove can be made large or small. I plan on making one soon about the size of a 5 gallon bucket. It will be kind of heavy, but still portable. I would love to take it camping.
Obviously in an “emergency campout,” this would not be something that you would just take with you because of how heavy it is, but if you are camping with the family and have vehicles taking you to the campsite, you could easily take a 50lb, 5-gallon bucket with you.
It would also be a quick, cheap, easy way to cook at home instead of using your grill. You could set it up on a tabletop, burn 3-6 sticks about 14 inches long and 1-3 inches in diameter, and cook all of your food. That is yard debris!
There are a lot of people building rocket mass stoves and sharing their plans with people, so look around the net for rocket mass stove plans. If you want to wait patiently, I think I will be making one soon enough.
When I do, I will record my steps, via photos or video and post it on the blog. With that, I will let you know when the video is available if you subscribe to my email list, where I will send you new posts and updates.
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