13 DIY Rocket Stove Designs

Clay Rocket Stove in Estonia

Rocket stoves are highly efficient for cooking and heating. They use a simple combustion chamber coupled with an insulated chimney to burn small amounts of material at high temperatures. A few sticks of wood will have water boiling in minutes. A couple more will keep your house warm and cozy through the harshest winter months at a fraction of the cost of a wood, pellet or gas stove.

The best part about rocket stoves is that they can be built simply from a wide variety of materials. You can make your own using tin cans, clay or cob or even cement blocks. Here are 13 DIY rocket stoves that are surprisingly cheap and sizzling hot.

Cement Block Rocket Stove

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1. Cement Block DIY Rocket Stove

The original rocket stove plans were drawn by Dr. Larry Winiarski in 1982. Yet they didn’t gain widespread popularity until 2005 when stoves based on his designs won the Ashden Awards.

The basic premise is to draw a lot of oxygen into the stove to create an exceptionally hot flame. Understandably these stoves are great for camp cooking. The heat can be used even more efficiently if it is transferred to a material with a large thermal mass, such as stone or clay.

Tin Can Rocket Stove Materials

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2. Tin Can Rocket Stove Materials

You don’t need much to build a simple rocket stove. If you have a gallon can, a pineapple juice can, two bean cans and a few tools you can have a functional stove in a few minutes.

This efficient stove will boil water in five minutes flat, and only needs a couple small sticks to get blazing hot. Learn how to build a tin can rocket stove step by step here.

Sketch of DIY Rocket Stove

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3. Rocket Stove Design

When you hear about rocket stoves they sound almost magical. They use 75% less wood. They burn hotter than a wood or gas stove. There is no smoke. The fire burns sideways. How is this all possible?

This sketch shows the basic design of a thermal mass rocket stove. The wood does indeed burn sideways, and the heat creates a current that sucks upwards, making a blazing hot surface. Even if the stove hasn’t been lit for 12 hours it is still toasty warm.

DIY Rocket Stove

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4. Simple DIY Rocket Stove for Cooking

The real rocket stove magic trick is the “disappearing” smoke. All that comes out the far side is carbon dioxide and steam. Okay, there is a little smoke at first. But in a minute or two when the stove gets hot the insulated heat riser creates a strong convective current. This causes air to be sucked in through the wood, making the fire burn even hotter.

The heat is so intense that the smoke is actually burned inside the stove. All that remains is carbon dioxide, water vapor and a whole lot of radiating warmth to cook dinner or warm your toes.

Clay Rocket Stove in Estonia

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5. Clay Rocket Stove Mass Heater

Rocket stoves generate extra heat by drawing more oxygen into the combustion chamber. More oxygen = hotter flames. To maximize the efficiency of the stove you need to store all that heat somewhere. This is easily done by using a material with a high thermal mass such as clay or cob. Rocket stoves are simple and make great DIY projects.

Portable Clay Stove

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6. Portable DIY Rocket Stove

A simple rocket stove for cooking can be built of clay or even mud if you are the creative sort. This design places the stove on a board which allows it to be easily moved from one place to another.

You can design your stove to be any size you like. They are great for small cooking projects or for heating a large home. For maximum efficiency use one to both heat your home and cook your meals. Just be careful not to burn your eggs. This stove will heat your pan much more quickly than a regular gas stove.

Rocket Stove Grill

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7. DIY Rocket Stove Grill

Rocket stove designs are not limited to simple cook stoves or mass heaters. The principles can easily be used to build a grill for barbecuing indoors or out.

One of the best features of a rocket stove is the lack of smoke. This is proving to be a boon in many developing countries where the standard kitchen is filled with lung damaging haze. It is also handy for those who want to enjoy grilled meat in ugly weather. You can light up your rocket stove grill inside when the rain is pouring down.

DIY Rocket Stove Keg

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8. DIY Rocket Stove from a Party Keg

A rocket stove can be as simple or complex as you choose to make it. For the survival prepper one can be used for two purposes.

1. Thermal Mass Heater: You could build a thermal mass rocket stove to heat your home and cook your meals. It uses small amounts of fuel and will burn anything from wood to straw.

2. Survival Stove: You should also know how to build a simple rocket stove from a variety of scrap or natural materials. This knowledge will serve you well if you are trapped away from your home in an emergency.

Clay Face Rocket Stove

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9. Artistic Clay Rocket Stove

When you build your own rocket stove out of clay, cob or other materials, you are free to be as artistic as you like. This rocket stove is efficient and makes a great conversation piece. While being prepared is a lot of work, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun too.

Large DIY Rocket Stove

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10. DIY Rocket Stove for Serious Cooking

Planning on feeding a party of 20? With this full sized rocket stove you can prepare meals for any size group. It gets hot fast and stays there with little fuel.

A similar design could be made out of a variety of scrap construction materials or even with items you pick up at the local junk yard. You will need to find a giant spatula to go with it though.

Rocket Stove Bathtub

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11. Thermal Mass Rocket Stove Bathtub

Hot bath anyone? While this isn’t the most efficient way to use a rocket stove, it does work. You can heat a piping hot bath or even a hot tub with a simple rocket stove. This one would be much more efficient if it was made out of clay or stone so it could hold the heat. But sometimes you have to the best you can with what’s available. This design is a great summer hot tub, but it doesn’t hold the warmth enough to stay toasty in the winter.

Rocket Stove Makes Biochar

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12. Biochar Rocket Stove

Biochar is a clean and efficient fuel that can be generated using a special stove design. This rocket stove was hybridized with a anila stove to produce extra heat and make biochar at the same time. It is hotter than a regular rocket stove. It is easier to adjust the temperature than a traditional anila stove, and it can be used more easily indoors, making it the better than either individual design.

Rocket Stove Bed

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13. Thermal Mass Rocket Stove Bed

By building a bench or even a bed out of clay or cob, you can use every last ounce of heat produced by your rocket stove. The final exhaust produced by this one is cool to the touch. Plus there is a heated bed and bench. The structure stores heat to warm the house and keeps you warm as toast on the most frigid winter nights.

DIY Rocket Stove Brick

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Rocket Stove Designs

Ready to build your own rocket stove? Check out these resources for detailed plans and designs.

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