A few weeks ago we showed how to make a small rocket stove using a recycled #10 can and a few old soup cans.
It was a cool project, but I quickly got a couple emails from people wanting to see how to actually use the darn thing.
It is pretty simple.
Its called a rocket stove because the design causes a draft much like a rocket, so it WANTS to burn.
Simple wad up some newspaper or other tinder and stick inside the top chimney,
Then insert a couple of small sticks of kindling – larger than a stalk of wheat, but smaller than a pencil – into the top of the chimney.
Light it, and when the kindling catches on fire, insert more kindling in the upper half of the fire hole.
Air will be pulled in through the bottom half of the fire hole and will totally consume the ends of the sticks.
If properly fueled and fully lit, there will be little or no smoke.
As you can see in the video below, only a few twigs heated up my cast iron skillet hot enough to burn my hotdogs.
The beauty of this type of stove is how much heat you get from a small amount of wood that otherwise would be too small to be useful – this allows you to practice your technique often.
Have fun, and try not to burn your house down as the stove gets very hot.