Make your own simple rocket stove for free

Andy Hunt
Monday, 21st November 2011

Andy Hunt makes a simple rocket stove from two cooking oil cans, a baked bean can and some wood ash. Here he shows you how step by step so you can make your own energy efficient stove for free.

There are loads of good videos about how to make your own rocket stove, but this is how I made mine.

I used two catering sized vegetable oil tins and a normal baked bean size tin.

First using a strong pair of scissors I cut the top off the first large tin. Better to use tin snips if you have them but good scissors will do. Start the cut by making a hole in the can with a hammer and a sharp screwdriver.

Then I cut both ends off the second large tin and rolled it up to make a narrow tube. I used garden wire to hold it tight.

Then I took both ends off the baked bean small tin using a can opener..

and using the screwdriver scratched a circle near the bottom of both the big tin and the narrow tube. The circle is nearer the bottom of the tube than the tin because the tube sits inside the big tin to form the flue. 

I cut a circular hole in the big tin and the flue, and put the small tin through both. Then I filled in the outside of the flue with wood ash from my wood stove, to insulate it. 

Finally I cut a hole on the middle of the bottom of the second large tin which was left over, and made a lid for the stove. I cut some 1cm notches in the top of the stove so the lid would push down into it a bit, and then hammered down the edges to keep the lid in place. 

Finally I sprayed the stove black with woodstove paint. Voila! 

Andy Hunt lives at Green Cottage, a two-up, two-down end of terrace home in Bury, Lancashire, which he has eco-renovated to reduce his environmental impact and become more self-reliant. From solar power and wood fuel heating to growing his own food, he has crammed as much as he can into this typical Victorian terrace to show what can be done to prepare for climate change and peak oil.

Andy is also involved in a local community group, and is developing environmental projects around local food growing and the local community farm. He writes a regular blog about his adventures and experiments.

Sam Mills |
Sun, 27/11/2011 - 18:51

I watched the video on how to make a rocket stove elsewhere on the site, and clicked to this one in hope of further clarity on the matter. The constructioninstructions are all very straightforward, but no one shows me where to put fuel, what to use as fuel, how to light it and maintain it, etc. So I will end up with an interesting object supposedly meant to heat or cook, but no clue as to how and with what.

Chris West |
Mon, 28/11/2011 - 21:53

sam, i think it must be an out door one like this;

the bottom bit, the tin can, is the 'burner' area, and the inner large can is the chimney. ideally they should be the same cross sectional area for good efficiency and clean burn.
you put the twigs in the front, the pan on top and let the smoke come out round the pan. otherwise you need a more complicated arrangement with the pipe coming out the top turning to the horizontal, with seal-able 'cooking holes' along the top of it on its way to the outside.

i like the use of ash for heat sink.

FrankE |
Wed, 21/08/2013 - 05:47

Where does the fuel go?

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