The Rocket Powered Oven: how to build your own super-efficient cooker
Tim Barker and Joel Meadows take you through a step-by-step guide to building an extremely cheap, rocket powered oven using easy to access materials such as bricks, clay and reclaimed steel barrels. These designs may not quite have the domed top elegance that has made the backyard cob pizza oven so trendy, but they do have a farm yard charm of their own. And rather than taking hours to heat up to cook a couple of pizzas (often only used once a year!), these are super efficient, and very practical ovens. Both Tim and Joel use theirs on a daily basis. Their potential as a genuinely sustainable backyard fixture of the future is very high.
In the first section you’ll learn about the fascinating principles of the rocket stove, and in subsequent sections they will get down to the detailed business adding on the oven.
To complete the projects yourself, you’ll need a handful of common tools, and a little confidence using them, but the process will demand nothing beyond the scope of the most casual backyard tinkerer. The focus of this volume is on cooking, and we’ll be presenting two options for DIY ovens, appropriate for both outdoor and – if correctly flued and sited – indoor use.
For more information about this technology, see this article about the Fundamentals of Rocket Stoves.
114 pages (on iPad) with 64 illustrations. ISBN 9780648344209
Table of Contents
- About this volume
- Foreword: the future of fire
- Rocket stoves
The anatomy of a rocket stove
How a rocket stove works
Rocket stove power unit
- Building your rocket stove ‘power unit’
The mock up
Starting the stove
The final build
- Building a black oven
The baffle plate
- Building a white oven
How the white oven works
Making the inner barrel
Making the outer barrel
Building the door latch
Insulating and covering the oven
Controlling the beast, or how to cook with your oven.
Taking care of your beast
Tips and tricks
- Learn more!
VEG appropriate technology workshops
Tim has come a long way since his days as a diesel fitter mechanic and now spends his time between Australia and New Zealand as a semi-professional pyromaniac and mad scientist teaching people how to burn stuff and make really cool machines and devices for low carbon living. He currently teaches appropriate technology in Australia through courses on this website as well as the Koanga Institute in New Zealand.
He has previously been farm manager for the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia, power station operator/mechanic, adventure guide and professional turtle wrestler. His rocket stove and char making powered hot water systems, ovens and cookers reflect his passion for elegant simple and durable combustion technologies, other projects include gravity powered water pumps, solar thermal cookers and dryers, pedal powered washing machines, cargo bikes, hovercraft, wooden boats and aquaponics to name a few. When he is not tinkering he can be found on Macleay island off the coast of Queensland Australia where he and his family live and are currently in the process of building a rammed earth house (with maybe a little sailing thrown in).
Joel draws on a deep well of experience (as an energy auditor, sustainable transport consultant, environmental educator among other things) which he combines with a rare knack for explaining technical issues in a clear and engaging way that cuts straight to the heart of matters. Joel has just finished owner-building his permaculture-designed property and strawbale house which features impressive passive cooling, heating, lighting and water strategies, rocket stoves for heating and cooking, and a beautiful curved roofline that follows the path of the winter sun.
When he’s not doing these things, Joel makes sculptures of steel and wood, runs cider workshops, is a cooker of food, an avid gardener, radio DJ and musician.