Quick and easy construction by hightechredneck
This was a really interesting entry. Here several Navajo students from Paul McCarl’s class at the Whitehorse High School in Montezuma Creek, Utah present their solar cooker projects.
Especially interesting is a Fresnel lens cooker the students built in order to be able to fry the popular Southwest fry bread.
As one of the student notes, you don’t see too many solar cookers that will fry.
The students introduce themselves in Navajo and then go on and explain their projects.
Here, “Dr. Larry Winiarski makes a clean burning rocket stove using 16 adobe bricks at the Rotary International-sponsored Integrated Cooking Workshop in Tlautla, Mexico.”
Important points: The advantages of this kind of stove – rocket stoves are easy to construct, burn wood extremely efficiently, so a little wood goes a long way, generate very little smoke, and burn hot.
The stove he demonstrates is made with unfired adobe brick that was made with plant material (straw) as a binder. This makes for light but very well insulating bricks.
solarwindmama who posted this video to YouTube says that she made a similar stove with fired red brick from Home Depot and it worked but that she thinks that the heat would have been more concentrated with unfired adobe brick.
Point 2: Rocket stoves have to be used outside or carefully and properly vented, otherwise you risk carbon monoxide poisoning.
The Dakota Fire hole/pit offers a highly efficient way to create an outdoor camp fire.
Advantages: Burns very hot, the fire is well-contained, uses much less firewood than a conventional above ground fire, is less smoky, is easier to conceal (if that’s a concern) as and after you’ve used it than conventional camp fires. It is also easier to fully extinguish (back fill the hole) and integrates a stable cooking surface into its design.
Disadvantages: Will be harder to dig the two pits necessary for this kind of camp fire if the ground is very rocky, sandy, wet or a tangle of tree roots. It may take more time and physical effort to prepare, since you need to dig dual holes than a conventional fire pit.
The design is actually similar to that of a Rocket stove only instead of constructing out of clay or brick or whatever, here you are digging your heating and cooking chambers.
Some good views of the fire in action here:
I’ve read that Dakota fire holes are NOT good options for use inside a shelter or dwelling unless you can be sure that your fire is venting properly, as you can run a carbon monoxide poisoning risk.
“The Rocket Stove is a variety of wood-burning cooking stove. It is easy to construct, with low-cost materials. These are low-mass stoves designed to burn small pieces of wood very efficiently. Cooking is done on top of a short insulated chimney. The stoves are typically constructed out of trash: tin cans, old stovepipes, etc. A skirt around the pot will help hold heat in, increasing the efficiency.
Rocket Stoves use branches, twigs, small wood scraps, or just about any small combustible material. The pieces of wood or other material burn at their tips, increasing combustion efficiency, creating a very hot fire, and eliminating smoke. The low-mass stove body and insulated chimney ensure that the heat goes into the cooking pot, not into the stove. Rocket stoves used in conjunction with hayboxes can save enormous amounts of fuel, cooking complete meals while using very few resources.” You can read the rest of the descriptive article here.
In the following videos, Chris Towerton, shows us how to construct a rocket stove cob oven. He uses clay, a steel pipe and straw.:
Chris’ inspiration video was by Jon and Flip who have built these ovens for firing pottery and for baking/cooking food as part of their relief work in Haiti.