(Illustration of the Rocket Stove concept)
Practical Emergency Cooking Methods
By Sid Ogden – TACDA Advisory Board Member
Major disasters almost always result in loss of power, which could extend to many days or even weeks. Heating our homes and cooking becomes a challenge. Refrigerated and frozen foods need to be consumed or lost. Unprocessed foods need to be prepared and cooked. Fuel will be scarce. We will be forced to capture heat from any source possible.
Rocket Stoves offer a great advantage during times of crisis. Cooking on a rocket stove occurs at the top of the chimney, where the fire is hottest, instead of at the bottom of the chimney over an open fire.
Rocket stoves provide controlled use of fuel, complete combustion of volatiles, and efficient use of the resultant heat. They have become popular in many third-world countries for heating homes, cooking and boiling water.
The main components are:
- Fuel magazine: Horizontal area where unburned fuel is placed. The fuel is pushed horizontally, through a small door near the bottom of the stove.
- Combustion chamber: The area at the end of the magazine where the fuel is burned.
- Chimney: A vertical area above the combustion chamber, which provides the updraft needed to maintain a hot fire.
- Heat exchanger: The heat from the chimney is transferred to either a pot for cooking, or to a conductive reflector for heating a room.
The fuel magazine can be horizontal where additional fuel will be added manually, or the fuel can be added from above, through another door in the chimney. As the fuel burns within the combustion chamber, convection draws new air into the combustion chamber from the door below, ensuring that any smoke from smoldering wood near to the fire is also drawn into the fire and up the chimney. The chimney can be insulated to maximize the temperature and improve combustion. This will increase the efficiency of the stove by two percent or more.
The design of the stove allows it to operate on small diameter sticks and takes about half as much fuel as a traditional open fire.
Learn more about this amazing stove, as well as other cooking and heating sources by visiting the internet web site: http://www.aprovecho.org. From there, go to “Publication & Media”, then to “Publications”, and then to “Capturing Heat”. If you want to build your own stove, check out the Youtube info on “Capturing Heat” by Dean Still & Jim Kness . We suggest that you study the site, and make a copy of the information.
(Rocket Stoves can be purchased commercially. Sid recommends the site http://www.stovetec.net.)