5 Reasons To Love Rocket Stoves

The Argand lamp was new to Thomas Jefferson in Paris in 1784, according to him gave off “a light equal to six or eight candles.”

300px-Verre_du_bec_d'ArgandThis precursor to the rocket stove gained great popularity in the early 1800’s, due to its ingenious design and multiple uses. The Argand lamp had a sleeve-shaped candle wick to improve the flow of air and steady the flame . The high heat produced made it ideal for both light, cooking and heating, all this without producing much smoke.

larry1Dr. Larry Winiarski, Technical Director of Aprovecho, began conceptualizing the Rocket Stove in the 1980’s.  He has devoted his life to promoting clean and efficient household technologies. His legacy will live on through amazing inventions, such as, the Rocket Stove.  Its wide scale adoption in developing countries is a testiment to the impact this has had on the world. Hundreds of thousands of stoves have been made using his technology, and this is why…..


Recycled Materials

Improvised-Soup-Can-Rocket-StoveLike any good invention, it is simple enough to be recreated with almost anything imaginable. Rocket stoves of all sizes have been created by using recycled materials, like metal cans, buckets and oil drums. They make building a durable rocket stove cheap and affordable.

Local Materials

Then there are the ones who want it free, those of us who want it from the ground up.  Local materials found around your house can be used to make a rocket stove.  Cob and igneous rock make this stove very easy to construct. This is where we begin to see unique designs, when the builders are free to create with malleable material.




Untitled-3Mixing sand and clay in the right proportions will give you cob. Add in some fibers to sturdy it up.  You are now ready to build a stove.  It’s as simple as that. You can get stones and metal replacement parts, but in it’s simplicity, it can be made “soily” out of cob.


Light weight ashes may cause intestinal blockage in the larger rocket mass heater models. The silver-lining is that you most likely built your rocket stove yourself and will have no problem maintaining it.  The complete combustion attributed to the rocket stove means less particles survive the burn; leaving little left to accumulate, forming the clog.



028_zps301cc95bA rocket stove ensures a good air flow into the fire, achieving efficient combustion of the fuel at a high temperature. The air draft controls the flame and use of fuel.  Wood burns slower, some people report using 90% less wood than their previous conventional stove.


rocket-mass-heater-houseAdaptations such as the rocket mass heater have made efficient use of the resultant heat.  Incorporating insulation properties, such as cob extensions or water tanks, the radiant heat can be captured and stored.  This potential energy is then slowly released back into the room, warming the surrounding environment.



cookThe rocket stove was originally designed for cooking, where a continuous amount of heat is applied to a cooking pot. It’s slow and controlled burn meant you could spend more time cooking and less time managing your fire.  All it takes is a few twigs and some birch bark and you’re ready to cook.


Rocket stoves have the capability to be made into a foundry, without any fans or bellows.  The flame provides the suction to feed the fire and the complete combustion, supplies the high heat necessary to work metal.  This powerful stove allows an accessible path for us to learn blacksmith skills.Untitled-9


Less Fuel

Untitled-10Wood in a rocket stove burns differently than in an open camp fire.  Not all the wood is ignited and combusting, only a small percentage is engulfed in flames. In some models, like the j tube rocket, wood is continuous fed to the flame by gravity.  There are reports of individuals who used to need 4 chords of wood a year, with their old stoves. After making the switch, they reduced their demand for fuel to an annual consumption of 2/3 of one chord.

Less Smoke

The full combustion offered in the rocket stove allows for very high temperatures. This intense heat burns up far more partials than conventional stoves, producing less smoke.  A mixture of CO2 and water vapor can be seen exiting the exhaust of the rocket stove.smoke


A Case For Fire

New laws in Canada are pushing for less homes with fireplaces.  Here in my hometown of Montreal, plans are in place to have wood burning stoves banned by 2020.  Making things illegal is an extreme way to prevent fires, Pollution, and over foresting.  This stems from a lack of understanding.

logoHere at Valhalla we believe that knowledge will set you free.

The rocket stove is a prime example of a solution to this “problem”.  Simple hands on technology, that reduces the risk of fire damage, produces less smoke and requires significantly less wood; all the while teaching the principles of the flame.

Further Application

It’s application seem as limitless as our imagination.  Using thermoelectric effects, Biolite was able to take this knowledge and create a stove that generates power.  This electrical stove uses only branches and a flame to run, but once it’s going, it has the energy to power your iphone.

Support Innovative Education

B2BlogoWe are working on educational videos, with step by step instruction, on how to build your very own rocket stove.  We will equip you with the knowledge to make a stove any size, anywhere, with various materials.  And for those you really want to geek out, we will work with thermoelectric effects to demonstrate it’s potential.

These videos will empower a new generation of skill holders to take the torch from their fore-fathers and carve out a better community for the ones they love.  Please support by donating to make this project a huge success.

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17 thoughts on “5 Reasons To Love Rocket Stoves”

  1. Hey friends! Great article. A further advantage is the strong flow of the smoke, the ability to keep the chimney low, even lower than the flame. I would love to find some exact calculations on that. It’s such an advantage, or?

  2. I seriously and honestly hope that the Canadian government don’t actually manage to pass that law. I understand their concern, but considering how reliant people have become on electricity as a source for just about everything, then unless the government intends to educate the people and offer other solutions; there will be serious problems. The Danish government (I currently live in Denmark with the intention of moving to Canada (BC to be exact) within this year) offer tax benefits to people if they install certain forms of insulation on their homes (better windows, more rockwool in the attic and on walls ect.). In Denmark, you are also, by law, required to have your chimney examined at least twice a year (before and after winter/burning season). I don’t know if Canada doesn’t do this, but that certainly prevents some fires. If you do not have the chimney examined you risk higher insurance rates (if you can get insurance at all on your home due to an unchecked chimney) and possibly fines.
    Canada, don’t ban fireplaces. It’s the best kind of heat ever and it’s pretty to look at.

  3. I love the idea of this stove and thanks for all the information, but I do have to let you know that when speaking about the measurement of wood the proper spelling would be a cord of wood and the guy that burned 2/3 of a cord, the actual term of that should have been that he burned 2 rick of wood.
    There are 3 rick in a cord of wood, a rick is measured 4 feet tall, 8 feet long and16 inches wide which would make a cords measurement 8 feet long 4 feet high and 4 feet wide.

  4. i’d love to explore the illegal issue re: wood burning homes. no man has authority over another except via contract and proper status in relation to each other in “civil society”. i’m working on bringing this knowledge forward with like minded free thinkers as its time we grow up and out of the negative feedback loops reflected in greater society.

    • Please, anal focused, insecure jerks have nothing better to do than take the time to correct people’s spelling and grammar. Faux superiority in passive aggressive guise, claiming to be helpful.
      Annoying, immature and dysfunctional.
      You understood the message, grow up and join a higher level of humanity-

      • Pointing out spelling mistakes without any negative comment is actually a helpful, responsible and useful thing to do. The web content person can just do the correction and erase the comment, no harm done. Correct spelling won’t turn any readers away, but spelling mistakes will, sadly.

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