We thought we were prepared for disaster; we had candles, batteries, flashlights, first aid, food and even a solar charger. What we didn't realize, is that we would have to COOK said food. Yea, that was a pretty dumb oversight. We didn't have a barbecue either.
Instead of a BBQ, we decided to make our own rocket stove for a few reasons. First, my husband named Rene, has a slight obsession over these rocket stoves. Don't leave empty cans unattended in this house, I tell ya!
Two, I wanted our cooking solution to be off grid, like completely "I don't need to run to the store with the rest of the city to get propane when the power goes out" off grid.
Three, I like being able to see the fire, so when desire strikes, we could have a fire and roast marshmallows and sit around the rocket stove.
And lastly, we wanted to make something to cook food without a conventional stove anyway! It's all part of our plan to become homesteaders!
What is a rocket stove?
A rocket stove is a particular design of stove which allows a fire to be very efficient and hot burning using only small branches and twigs as fuel. Fuel is inserted in a small insulated opening at the bottom of the stove while flames reach through the top and cooking surface, allowing most of the fuel to completely burn.
What is a Rocket Stove made out of?
A rocket stove can be made out of all kinds of materials! A quick google and Pinterest search will bring up rocket stoves made from tin cans, cinderblocks, paving stoves, cob or concrete. We chose to make ours out of concrete.
How do I make a Rocket Stove?
1. Gather your materials
- 5 gallon bucket
- A bag of quick setting concrete
- 3 feet of 4 inch pipe
- pen and paper
- mixing utensil or a fancy drill mixer bit.
2. Trace the circumference of the pipe onto a piece of paper to accurately cut a hole in your bucket. Then trace the circle of paper onto your bucket about 2 inches from the bottom.
3. Cut out the hole. This can be done using a drill and jigsaw or a dremel multi-tool, we opted for the dremel as if gave us more control.
4. Cut the sewage pipe at a 45 degree angle at about 12 inches long, for the feeder hole of the rocket stove. The remaining piece will be the chimney of the stove, Using tape, secure the two pieces together so they made a 90 degree angle again.
5. Mix the quick setting concrete using the directions on the bag and quickly fill the bucket around the pipe with concrete, pushing it down and around the bottom of the feeder pipe. This stuff sets within 20 minutes, so it goes more smoothly if you have a friend to help you out. When the bucket is full, smooth the top so there aren't any sharp edges or bumps and a pot could easily sit on top.
6. Let sit inside for three weeks while the concrete cures and when it is ready, slide out the pipe and bucket. We found a metal grill while thrifting which conveniently fits right on top so we can place our cast iron pan on it to cook!