What is a Rocket Stove?
Fire is probably the single most important factor when it comes to survival. Not only does it keep us warm and light our way in the darkness, but it can cook our food, thus maximizing its nutrition.
Whether you’re surviving or hanging out with your family at a cookout, food cooked over a fire always tastes better. Rocket stoves are the perfect addition to your cooking, no matter what the situation. If your camping, hiking, barbecuing or surviving, you’ll want a rocket stove by your side.
Rocket stoves are small, well-designed, combustion stoves that are designed to use natural fuel like twigs, branches, and pine cones, instead of butane or another gas. The design with a feed tube and chimney help optimize heat production, as well as fuel use.
The iconic, efficient design has no moving parts. Instead of having a flue damper or air inlet grate, the fuel itself acts as an air block. Plus, the feed tube uses gravity to keep feeding the exact right amount of fuel into the fire. Rocket stoves are easy to control and keep at an even temperature.
Their simple efficiency makes rocket stoves a perfect solution for hiking and camping, as well as family get-togethers and backyard cookouts. They’re also an ideal tool for off-grid living and survival situations.
Like all survival equipment, there are millions of rocket stoves out there. From premium to budget-friendly, monsters that can feed over 6 people to little portable rocket stoves for solo camping trips, you’ll see every kind of rocket stove out there.
Whichever rocket stove you go for, make sure to take a close look at the specs as each stove is a little different. I’ll outline a few key factors to keep in mind when you’re comparing the rocket stoves, plus a list of the top 7 rocket stoves out there. I’ll give a quick outline of each rocket stove’s specific features as well as the pros and cons of each.
Key Features of a Rocket Stove
To find the right rocket stove for you, take a look at the following key features. Whether it’s the basic design, steel type, feed capacity, or packability, rocket stoves vary between models. Keep an eye on each rocket stove’s specs to guarantee you get the right one for you.
The bigger the rocket stove, the more people you can feed. Keep an eye out for a rocket stove’s dimensions. Large rocket stoves can stand up to three feet tall, while compact rocket stoves can be less than a foot tall.
You’ll often see two different numbers when it comes to dimensions. A few of the stoves on the list are collapsible. Some of them pack completely flat, while others pack into small boxes. Others don’t collapse and aren’t suited for throwing into a backpack.
If you want to use your rocket stove for family barbecues or for groups of more than two people, you might want something more substantial than a collapsible stove. If you just want one for heating up a mess tin or brewing a cup of coffee, a collapsible rocket stove is perfect.
Rocket stoves really vary when it comes to weight. Some of the beasts weigh over 30 pounds, while you can find lightweight models weighing as little as 2 pounds. Make sure you check out the rocket stove’s weight to ensure you get the right one for you.
If you want to take your rocket stove hiking, I’d recommend going as light as you can afford. High-quality, lightweight rocket stoves cost a little more, but the cheaper ones are prone to bending and warping over repeated use.
Some rocket stoves collapse into transportation-friendly sizes. If you’re planning on moving your rocket stove further from garage to patio, you might want a collapsible rocket stove. Some stoves pack flat while others fit into boxes, and others come with carrier bags.
If you’re not going to move your rocket stove and are getting one for your patio, backyard, or base camp, then I’d recommend going bigger and more substantial. Larger rocket stoves are often longer-lasting and you won’t need to buy a new one any time soon.
All the stoves you’ll see on this list are made from stainless steel. The thickness varies quite a lot between lightweight and larger models. Some of the high-grade rocket stoves are made from 12 gauge steel. Some rocket stoves come with a black titanium paint option.
Keep an eye out for carrier bags, transportation handles, and black titanium finishes, which are some of the extra features of rocket stoves. They’re pretty simple designs though and it’s the quality that varies the most between options.
Our Top 7 Best Rocket Stoves
Out of all the rocket stoves out there, these are the best of the bunch. Some of them are premium rocket stoves with huge capacities, while others are lightweight rocket stoves for hiking and camping trips. They’re all good rocket stoves, though, and they could all save your life in an emergency situation.
You’ll see a decent variety of prices, sizes, and designs, and I’m sure one of them is the right rocket stove for you.
The Best Rocket Stove: A Buyer’s Guide
Take a look at these key points to keep in mind when you’re buying a rocket stove. Whether it’s for camping, cookouts, family get-togethers, off-gridding, or survival, answering a few simple questions will guide you towards the right rocket stove for you.
What’s your rocket stove for?
Are you looking for a rocket stove to use on hiking and camping trips, off-grid living, or for family barbecues? Depending on your use, this should steer you towards either smaller, lighter collapsible rocket stoves or heavier, sturdier, bigger models like the Falkon,
Like anything, I always recommend getting the best rocket stove you can afford. The lightweight, flimsier models have an annoying tendency to bend and warp after repeated use. Bending can make it hard to put the stove together, so try not to skimp on spending; it’ll pay off in the long run.
Portability or durability?
Some rocket stoves are made from thick heavy-duty steel for added durability and strength. These tend to weigh more than five pounds and come with handles and for transport. Ideally, you won’t have to move these rocket stoves much as they’re large, heavy, and a pain to move.
Other rocket stoves are relatively lightweight and easy to maneuver. They tend to be thinner steel and have collapsible, sometimes flatpack, designs. While they might not stand up to the same size fires as the larger models, lightweight rocket stoves are definitely the way to go if you know you’ll be moving your rocket stove from location to location, like camping and hiking.