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How to Build a Rocket Stove and Impress the Boys ;)

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Everytime I’ve done an emergency fair, the most popular thing by far has been the Rocket Stove! Out of all the 5 or so methods I demonstrate, people LOVE this one, including me! It’s immediately shot to the top of my FAVORITE’s list and something I recommend EVERYONE should add to their emergency supplies! Also, for all you single ladies this is a total guy magnet. As soon as you throw a few twigs in it and light it up, guys immediately see a chance for danger and run to it, or maybe it was just to eat my samples. Anyways, who cares, it’s AWESOME and it’s one Rocket that will ROCK YOUR WORLD!!!

How? Because…

A handful of twigs can cook an ENTIRE MEAL!

And if you use the design below it fits anywhere, only weighs about 1 lb, very portable, easy to use, practically free, great for camping,…. Shall I go on?
No… lets just go ahead and make one!

Grab Some Scraps and Make a ROCKET STOVE!

A huge thanks to Brock, who is an Organic Wellness Doctor by day, and a Rocket Stove engineer by night. I got my first Rocket Stove from him, because lets face it, I was NEVER going to get around to making one. He was nice enough to let me invite myself over to his workshop and be totally obnoxious with my picture-taking. So make sure to check out his Website – PREMIER ROCKET STOVES, and send him a HUGE THANKS :)


  • #10 CAN W/ LID - Recycle one or get one from the cannery.
  • 2 LARGE 28oz CANS - Eat lots of beans tonight :)
  • INSULATION - Grab some from the attic.
  • TIN SNIPS - or anything that can cut metal!
  • HEAVY-DUTY GLOVES - So you don’t cut too many fingers off!
  • MARKER – To mark where to cut on the can.

1- Mark & Cut Center Hole!

With the large #10 can , use a lid from the small can and trace a circle.

Once you get something that could pass as a circle, get to cutting! This is where you get to use your Tin Snips! But if you want live on the edge, pull out a mini saw, don’t wear any safety goggles, use your toes to cut everything, and go to town!!!

Check your tracing skills by seeing if the can fits through the hole you just made.

2- Mark & Cut a Hole on the Inside Can

  • Now do the same thing. but this time measure and cut the can that will be going INSIDE the #10 can.
  • Using the piece you just cut out of the #10 can, place it on top of the smaller can and trace!
  • Once you’re ready, let some more sparks fly!

4- Cut and Insert the Last Can

  • With the can you haven’t touched yet, cut off the rim first.
  • Then make about 1.5 inch tabs around the can. (see picture if I’m not making any sense :)
  • Squeeze, smash, squish and do whatever it takes to get it through both cans.
  • Fold some of the tabs up to make a snug fit.

5- Cut Lid

  • With the top lid, trace a circle in the middle of it using one of the smaller cans.
  • Then yes, cut it out.

6-Fill With Insulation!

  • First cut tabs around the large can. We cut 8 total, but look below to see approximate spacing.
  • Insulate with whatever you want that won’t catch on fire, I just grabbed some insulation from the attic for mine :)
  • Pack it in until you can’t fit anymore!
  • Fold down 4 tabs, use a hammer if you need to help flatten them.
  • Place the lid with the circle cut into it, on top.
  • Hammer the remaining 4 tabs on top to secure the lid in place.
  • OR – Just look at the pics :)

7-Add a Shelf!

Almost done! Not sure where my pictures disappeared to for this step (maybe the same place as the I-Pad), but you basically use some of the scrap metal and make a shelf!

  • Cut a rectangle metal piece with flaps that will fit inside.
  • Hammer the metal to make if flat if necessary.
  • Cut about an inch on each side of the can.
  • Slide the shelf into place.
  • Fold down flaps.

8- You’re DONE! Time to Launch!

I usually just cut up some of the scrap wood we have lying around, but use whatever you have that will fit and burn!

  • Put some small pieces of wood on the shelf (not under, it needs to breathe)
  • Throw some dryer lint in (Save this amazing stuff if you aren’t already :)
  • Light it!
  • And Poof! If will be up in flames before you know it!

9- Now COOK with it!

Keep feeding in wood to keep the fire going for as long as you need!

This is sure to WOW anyone you show. So bust it out in your front yard, take it to work, or give it as a teachers’ gift (maybe they can use it to burn some of that ugle apple decor they always get)! My favorite is to send the kids outside with it and tell them not to come back in until they’ve made dinner.

Hopefully these instructions make sense. Sorry, if there’s a million typos and awful grammer, it’s because I’m typing and editing posts while kids are beating each other with Wii controls. Gotta go!

Remember, if you want to skip the making and get on to the impressing check out -


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    Total 3 comments
    • PaulTarsuss

      Awesome info, thanks!

      Another cool tip for those what want to have fire starters on hand….buy some organic coconut oil (or any vegetable oil really) and heat it gently to liquid state and pour in whatever sized batch of cotton balls you wish. Let them soak up the oil thoroughly and come to room temperature. The coconut oil will now be thick and white and one may pack them in a tube carrier, zip lock, or vacuum pack ‘em. They make great fire starters and one can use them to swipe the pan before cooking to keep things from sticking to the pan and add a little flavor and long chain fatty acids for the brain. Coconut oil is GREAT for the mind. I like to pull a small tuft from one end of the cotton ball and twist it like a wick, and light it up. A single cotton ball in this way can bring a cup of water to a boil on the really small camp stoves. Great multi purpose fire starters on the cheap.

      Also, just thought of this….one can dig a two foot deep hole in the ground with a post hole digger (or if they are good with a spade) and then dig in from an angle to meet the bottom of the first hole and one now has a cheap temporary rocket stove that can heat the ground as well as the air inside a small hut, lean to, or Tipi style dwelling. The ground will give off heat, and as long as the roof is vented, the heat can rise out and since the rocket stoves burn so clean, smoke will not be much of an issue. Also, as long as the intake hole is outside the dwelling, the fire is not constantly sucking cold air into the shelter, but in trade, one of course would feed it from the outside. That is, unless the whole setup was at the center of the dwelling and the air feed was routed through a dug channel covered with bark and dirt so that any cold air drawn in would go through the channel to the mouth of the stove intake. Just a thought.

      Like your ideas! I have heated our home with a double barreled home made woodstove for years. Am seriously thinking about switching to a simple rocket set up, as modern wood stoves that rival the rocket stove in efficiency come at a high price.

      Blessings to you and yours this season

    • Old Camp Dog

      What you are referring to is properly called a Dakota Fire hole and, as its name implies, has been in use for hundreds of years. Why one would lug a post hole digger out into the woods to build one escapes me though as I usually have either a small trenching shovel with me or you can use a sharp stick or a camp spoon or your pocket knife, in a pinch, to dig your hole and air intake. You only need to dig down about a foot, dig another smaller hole about a foot to the side, and angled toward the fire pit hole. Connect the two with a small horizontal hole which can be dug from the bottom of your fire pit. There are many YouTube videos on how this is done. This burns a very hot fire for a long time on very little fuel and gives off literally no smoke if built right with the vent/air hole up wind from the prevailing air flow. (Wind reaches sir hole before it reaches fire hole)

      If this site allows it, here is a link to a very basic explanation of a Dakota Fire hole:

      I had some additional information to add but I don’t have the time to wait for your extremely SLOW site to pick up on each key stroke and “approve” it before allowing you to continue! I don’t know who built this portion of the site but they have added superfluous language which doesn’t allow for “streaming” of an answer or a post to the site. No wonder you only have one reply to this story, it probably took the poor guy an hour just to type in his text!

      Very poor design in a website, you have it loaded down with junk stuff that keeps jumping up as it loads and it is quite an easy task to design a site with everything you have here but which operates at many times the speed of your site. I understand the need for advertising to support keeping up the website but you will be driving more first time visitors like myself AWAY from the site than capturing their attention at what the “meat” of the site is all about . I was intrigued by the title but you lost me as a returning site participant with all the added “fluff” which pops up continuously as one tries to maneuver through the site. Right here, as I type , I see an ad to the left for American Eagle, and ad on the right for Big Fish games, another ad for GoDaddy personal domain names, another for Cox Internet, and one for low priced emergency food!! And I haven’t scrolled up or down one pixel’s worth of space!

      And, to further reinforce my complaint, as I was finishing up on the last sentence, or trying to, a full page popup interrupted my typing with the header “and as you go, check out more” with a whole list of other links to further slow down the action of the website! I am on DSL and haven’t seen this slow speed on a website since the old “dial-up” internet connection. Seriously, somebody should have this checked out before you throw more good money after bad and lose all of your followers. It has been a real struggle to get through this far, but now I am finished. Thank you for listening. :?:

    • Old Camp Dog

      My suspicions got the best of me and, in all fairness, I logged out of your website completely, rebooted my computer, and logged back onto the site. It was like night and day, speed was up but still slower than normal as all the other advertising was still loading onto the site. I had just registered on your website and I guess the “electronic paperwork” hadn’t yet been completed when I tried to type my last post on this rocket stove story.

      It is still running quite slow compared to any of the the sites I visit but it is also still loading more and more “stuff” as I try to type, as indicated below in the left hand corner of my screen by the “Waiting for …..” and the “Processing request …..” that is constantly rolling by on the loading line.

      There is no reason to reply to either of my posts as I will wait for another day and try your site once again. If it is still as slow at it is now, I will simply not return. You have an ample following by the numbers on your home screen and, if those numbers are accurate, you will not miss one old guy not coming back. I thought there was a spot for me to pass on some outdoors lore that I have picked up in the past 60 years or so but I am already participating in too many outdoorsy type sites and probably should limit what I say and do.

      Besides, I don’t want any stress back in my life at this point, I have had so many wonderful years completely void of stress since my late 20′s and it’s a bit like smoking for me. Both are a very bad habit to get into and, once you are free of those habits, it’d be a fool’s notion to get back into them again. I think I will stick with trying to count the sparks coming off my next campfire. It won’t accomplish anything more than smoking or stress but it is still quite comforting to me just to watch.

      Thanks for your time.




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