Make Your Own Cheap and Efficient Rocket Stove

Food & Beverage
Make Your Own Cheap and Efficient Rocket Stove


Keith Levy of New Zealand whipped up this neat little rocket stove out of two small cans cut and fit together inside of a larger can. He says:

I love cooking on an open flame and I love rocket stoves. That doesn’t make me a pyrothingamee, it just means I like getting back to basics. In fact if I don’t get back to basics at least once a day then it hasn’t been a good day.

I like that! So much that I made it large:

back to basics2

The stove uses twigs as fuel.


20 thoughts on “Make Your Own Cheap and Efficient Rocket Stove

  1. Micheal says:

    Super idea =)

  2. Volker says:

    Isn’t the secundary air duct missing for a rocket stove?

  3. Collin says:

    I made a smaller version of this

  4. Pietro Cappello says:

    my dad is from Sicily , he and his brothers and all his brother in laws have been making these ovens since they were in the old country. Every year during the holidays we use is to roast chestnuts to perfection!

  5. Daniel Kim says:

    Needs a second circle of sheet metal to surround the kettle and top of chimney, to prevent hot air from being blown away from the kettle. The heated air will then be obliged to pass by the kettle before it can escape.

  6. Geoff says:

    This is a home made version of a Thermette, a great New Zealand invention.

  7. Erik says:

    This concept was used by American Indians on the plains in underground fires when open fires were undesirable. They would dig a hole straight down, and one downwards at an angle to connect to the base of the first hole. In this way, they used minimal wood, which was at a premium on the plains, the fires were very hot, they produced almost no smoke and were much less visible to enemies. The fires were called “Dakota Holes”.

  8. Ryan Lenz says:

    I live in Jakarta where a large amount of garbage is burnt on a daily basis, in the city, in smoldering piles producing hours of nasty-black/blue smoke. Burning garbage is not going to stop here, it’s simply the way things are done out of economic necessity. I wonder if using a rocket stove would help ensure more complete combustion, i.e. less pollution? Maybe I should try building one and shoving a bunch of garbage into it….compare it to the same pile of garbage burning in the open next to it. Any thoughts?

    1. ShortZirkIt says:

      @Ryan Lenz, YES.
      The essential parts are; 1) a long (tall) ‘heat riser’ so the fumes have lots of time to be fully burned up, and 2) the insulation around the heat riser. It keeps the temp super high for the catalytic action of burning the fumes all the way up.

      When people use ‘rocket mass heaters’ (RMH) with wood, their is no wood smoke smell and the exhaust (when using an earthen heat sink can be as cool as 90 deg F). has loads of info and they just launched a Kickstarter offering 4 DVDs.

  9. Slow combustion heaters says:

    How is your experience with this rocket stove?Does it use only twigs as fuel?

  10. DrLizardo says:

    Okay, I can see how to make it from the pictures, but couldn’t you have put at least a little effort into telling me about the damn thing. What the heck is a rocket stove, why would I want one, is there some scientific principle at work here that makes it interesting? If you keep publishing this minimalist crap, I won’t be clicking back on your articles.

      1. DrLizardo says:

        Thanks Stuart, the links you provided are great and answer the questions I posed.
        However, I am irked by authors and publishers who lure me with interesting headlines and then fail to fulfill the basic covenants of reporting by answering the relevant and obvious questions that should be answered in their article. My comment here was actually a gentle scolding rather than a request for more information. Nevertheless, I do appreciate you taking the time to provide me those links.

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