The importance of the chimney to the Rocket Stove

Rocket Stove Combustion Chamber

In this post I experiment with the chimney to see just how important it is to the rocket stove.

In this posting, I want to talk about the role of the combustion chamber and the chimney, because that is where all the real work gets done.  The combustion chamber is of course where the burning happens, and the chimney is where the smoke and flames go as the air rushes through the system.

4 brick rocket stove with chimneyThis is an experiment to see how adding a metal chimney affects the burning of the rocket stove.

It is important to understand at this point that a rocket stove works as efficiently as it does because it allows enough air to go through the system, and burns hot enough, to allow the fuel and the smoke to get burned in the combustion chamber.  The chimney is an extension of the combustion chamber, and it is essential to the process because it gives the fire enough time to consume the energy released in the smoke by burning it.  This process requires a very hot combustion chamber and chimney to be successful.

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Four Brick Basic Rocket Stove

Rocket Stove Combustion Chamber

Four Brick Basic Rocket Stove

Here we experiment with the most basic rocket stove, the four brick stove.

Let’s start this out by saying that I did not have a budget for experimenting with rocket stoves.  That doesn’t mean I had an unlimited budget, it means I had no budget.  Most of what I do is done with bricks and cinder blocks (concrete blocks) I had around the house.

The most basic design can be built using 4 concrete blocks.  It is a basic design that requires either an “H” block or, as I did, knock one end off of one of the blocks.

4 brick rocket stove design
This shows the basic 4 brick stove design.

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Learning about the Rocket Stove

I have been experimenting with Rocket Stoves in an effort to build a rocket stove BBQ grill.  Well actually, I want to use it for a bunch of different types of outdoor cooking.  This post will be the first in a series of posts that walk you through my experimenting with the rocket stove.

A rocket stove is an efficient cooking stove using small diameter wood fuel which is burned in a simple high-temperature combustion chamber containing a vertical chimney, which ensures almost complete combustion prior to the flames reaching the cooking surface. Wikipedia

Core elements - fire chamber and chimney
The core elements of the rocket stove are the fire chamber and the chimney.

My ultimate goal is to build a permanent installation with a rocket stove as the heat source, but with a number of different options for cooking.  These options could include a BBQ grill, indirect heat grill, rotisserie, burner, and maybe even a pizza or bread oven.  To do this, I am going to have to start small and build my personal knowledge.  I have done a lot of research along the way, and looked at a lot of other people’s designs.  If you are interested, the Design Principles at rocketstove.org is a good place to begin.   I begin with a 4 brick stove that I will discuss in this article, and end up with a relatively flexible system that allows me to adjust bricks to customize the way I use the heat.  Along the way, I will have a handful of articles where I will share what I have done and learned.  I hope you enjoy.

Four Brick Basic Rocket Stove

The importance of the chimney in the rocket stove

Time to make the Pizza

Yummy looking pizza

Making pizza is a process.  In previous posts, I have covered preparing the yeast, and making the dough.  In this post we complete the process.

This is the easy part, just roll out your dough, put it in the pans, add the sauce and the toppings and cook it.

I generally set my oven between 450 and 500, but if you are going to do a deep dish you will need a lower temperature.  The top shelf is going to be hotter on the top and cooler on the bottom, the bottom shelf is going to be hotter on the bottom and cooler on the top.  Ideally you would only cook one pie at a time in a standard oven, but who has time for that.  You just need to learn to work with your oven.