Rocket stoves, because of their design, allow you to use 75% less fuel (wood) than a normal fire and will be invaluable in your food storage. I was able to boil 2 cups of water for 20 minutes using just a handful of small sticks and a match. Rocket stoves come in all sizes but the idea is the same. You can buy them or make your own. Making your own will cost under $20. If you have the right supplies on hand it can be made for almost nothing.
You will need:
A number 10 can (#10 can)
4 (10 ounce) soup cans...like chicken noodle or tomato soup
Ashes or vermiculite for insulation A small grate or rack Tin snips and gloves
Using a can opener, open the #10 can and empty the contents, keeping the lid you cut off. Cut a hole the exact size of the soup can into the side of your #10 can near the bottom. (This is where the elbow will come out.) Make all of these holes as exact as you can.
To make the elbow, take a soup can and cut off the top. Take a 2nd soup can and cut off the top and bottom. Carefully cut a hole in the side of the 1st can (at the bottom) and slip the 2nd can into the hole. Put your elbow inside the #10 can and bring the end of the elbow (2nd can) out of the hole you have cut into the side.
To extend the elbow upwards, take a 3rd soup can, remove the top and bottom, cut it completely up the side and squeeze it together to fit it into the top of the 1st can. Adjust it so it comes to an inch from the top of the #10 can.
Fill the can around the elbow with your insulation to about 2 inches from the top.
Take the lid that you cut from the #10 can and cut a hole in the center just large enough for your soup can to come through. Push this lid over the soup can and onto the insulation.
To make the “shelf” for your wood, take your 4th soup can and cut off the top and the bottom. Cut it up the side, flatten it out and cut it into a 3” x 3 3/4” piece. Shape this piece into a small "T", making the top of the T 3” wide and the bottom 2 ¼” inch wide so it can just fit inside your 2nd soup can. Making it into a “T” keeps the shelf from going all the way into the soup can.
The small grate or rack goes on top of your #10 can to hold your pots or pans as you cook.
To start your fire, push a small amount of paper under the shelf and place twigs on top of the shelf. Light the paper with a match. When the twigs start to burn, put your larger sticks on top of the twigs. Push them through as they burn and add more wood as necessary.
You may want to make a larger rocket stove or more than one so you can cook several things at once. Unlimited ideas can be found online if you Google rocket stove. Google a “Rocket Stove with bio mass” and you can take this to a whole new level and heat your house for next to nothing all winter!
Have fun exploring a new way to cook or heat!