I was reading Sustainablog the other day, and Jeff McIntire-Strasburg had a great post on 5 ways to build a rocket stove.  Well, one of the ways is to use adobe bricks.  You don’t even have to use mortar.  And the really cool thing is that it doesn’t have to be permanent!  So, given my current living situation, and the fact that we are going to move in a year or so, this would be a great thing for me to try out.  I could even set it up on the driveway, and then take it down when I am done.  :)

Here is the video that Jeff posted.  Check it out.

After seeing this video, I checked around and you can purchase six fire-resistant bricks, like the ones for a fireplace, for about $15 at places like Home Depot.  But, as you saw in the video, you need to be able to cut the bricks.  I don’t know how hard these fire bricks are, but you can definitely cut adobe bricks with a hand saw.  The other thing is that fire bricks are pretty thin (e.g., short).  So, you might need a lot more bricks.  There are adobe brick manufacturers, but I haven’t found one that is local yet.   I know that you can make adobe yourself.  I have a friend who build his own adobe house and made all of his own bricks. Maybe this would be an option.  I will have to investigate this possibility.

It would be really nice to have a portable rocket stove, like a BioLite rocket stove.  But, they won’t be selling theirs in the U.S. for a while.

So, I think this 16 brick adobe rocket stove may be the answer I have been looking for.  I would really love to have an alternative means of cooking (other than the Weber) for when the power goes out.

By the way, you really should go see the rest of Jeff’s post.  There are some pretty cool rocket stoves, like one that is big enough to heat a house and another that is a hot water heater.

What about you? Do you have a rocket stove, or want one?  What alternative means of cooking do you have?

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

    Thanks so much for the plug, Eleanor! I’m also thinking about giving the stacked bricks plan a try (and I’ll check Home Depot for the fire bricks). Do you know if those have the same insulative capacity as adobe?

    1. Eleanor
      Eleanor

      You’re welcome and that’s a good question. I don’t know the answer. And I have always wondered why it doesn’t burn up since it has straw in it. Cob is the same way, but lots of people make ovens out of it. I wonder why it doesn’t burn up either. But, if you can use your own back yard mud to make adobe bricks, it sure is a lot cheaper.

      Hey, are adobe and cob the same thing, only one is in brick form and the other is not? Maybe one could make a cob rocket stove.

  2. Hippy Steve

    yes, cob and adobe are very close to the same thing. Ray Cirino does cob workshops and rocket oven workshops in los angeles. making your rocket stove out of the waste stream has great benefits also, so he does tours of the junk yards in the valley for people to find parts. the annual Black Friday junkyard tour has become rather popular.

    the current project is a work of art. a sculpture of a dragon around a rocket-stove core on a trailer to make it mobile. I helped him at an event this past weekend where we cooked over 200 pizzas using maybe 2-3 cu ft of clean scrap wood from a cabinet maker. when the oven is up to temperature, there’s no smoke or odor, and we can cook a pizza in 60-90 seconds, leaving microwaves in the dust.

    some vids:

    the backyard grill design (and a peek at some solar oven designs) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE9slGqRSsc (7min)

    Sparky the Dragon Oven rocket stove under construction http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPSq9_QA4m0 (5min)

    and it’s debut http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RJ7aNMwC18&feature=related (10min)

    p.s. Just hoping these will help inspire folks to build their own rocket stoves… other than occasionally helping Ray at events, i have no financial stake in promoting him :)

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