I love my Rocket Stove. I’d seen them here and there before, mainly home made affairs, cobbled together with old baked bean cans and old oil canisters and I’d had it in mind to build one of my own one day. In Dorset I was caught with my guard down, at the Scythe Fair, where I saw a professionally forged, easily transportable, robust affair which I bought it without a second thought.
How right I was.
Since getting back to France I use it most of the time for cooking meals, not just for myself but for four or five people at a time. Mainly pot meals that require simmering for a while, but also fry ups and dishes that require a proper amount of heat.
Lighting it was tricky to start and then getting the burn temperature right. I’ve since improved my wood drying technique and shan’t ever need to cut down another tree to cook with it. It’s a joy to gather those fallen twigs and small branches and know that they have a serious role to play and also to be able to cook on free, easily gathered material at almost a moments notice. I’ll need to be more prepared for when the weather turns and keep a good supply of well dried twigs available for cooking.
Thinking about how much wood I would use on a traditional fire, or the gas I would burn to achieve the same result is absurd. A small bundle of kindling is enough to cook dinner and provide a nice cup of tea to wash it all down. I’ll be heating my shower water with it soon and filling my hot water bottle with it when the nights get cold. The gas stove will always be a welcome alternative for when the weather is foul, an oven is needed or speed is of the essence, but ongoing, my rocket stove cooking is becoming an integral part of my daily routine.
The wheelbarrow in the photos is a makeshift wind deflector, self standing, easily positionable and has many other uses. Ideal
|dinner in the making|
|the twigs are burning within the metal tubing|
|a mini furnace|
|a near complete burn with no smoke and hardly any ash|
|MMMmmmmmm lentil, tomato and nettle stew nearly done|