I decided to try a meal on the rocket stove, H___ will go looking for her quick pasta mix one day and not find it because it’s gone, boom! eaten in 20mins, 10mins to get 125mls of milk, 300ml of water and a knob of butter boiling and 10mins to cook the pasta. I was happy with that, it didn’t use too much stick and the smoke died down. I think that less is more when it comes to feeding the sticks. If there are too many sticks the stove will smoke, the trick seems to be getting a steady flame without letting it die out.
I’m also wary of fumes and stuff, but bear in mind that this is the life for many of the worlds poor. If you’ve ever been to the Ulster-American folk park one thing the sticks in the mind is the smell of smoke and turf from the fires in the poorly ventilated homes of centuries ago.
I finally got my hands on a big tin so tried to make a better version of the rocket stove.It was tidy and smaller than the first effort, I think there was less smoke and less wood used to boil 800ml of water in the kettle but alas I was disappointed by the time – 19mins. Only 1min quicker than the first effort!
It still doesn’t seem very efficient to me, I’m sure it could be quicker than that. I want it down to 10mins.
And so it came to pass that I got the notion of making a rocket stove into my head. I thought it would be nice to have the ability to have a cup of tea if the electricity goes out and to make soup and stuff like that.
The rocket stove is said to be easily constructed, hyper efficient and simple.
Needless to say I found it to anything but easily constructed especially when you can’t find one of those big catering cans and have to try and be creative with left over sweet tins (don’t tell the church catering ladies what has happened their traybake tins)
Then there is the trying to cut holes accurately so that the tins fit together tightly(while not lacerating you hands on the jagged edges and not skewing the tins out of shape) and finding cat litter or the like to insulate the stove.
Stories about how 8yr old Boy Scouts once made 4 in an hour made me feel ashamed at my lack of rocket stove skill and so I persevered until something very roughly approxiamating to a rocket stove took shape
I fired the kettle on and it took 20mins to boil 800ml of water using a bit of wood about 1.5in x 0.5in x 12in.
It was obviously very inefficient due to the amount of smoke coming out the chimney (that was the plume of smoke over Lisburn at noon today) but I’m going to see how quickly I can boil 800ml of water on an improved one using less wood and with hopelly less smoke.