A rocket stove is a simple and efficient device that can produce a hot flame with minimal fuel and smoke. It is ideal for camping, survival, or stealth cooking. In this post, I will show you how to make a hobo rocket stove using three tin cans of different sizes.
What You Need
To make this project, you will need the following items:
- Three cans of different sizes that can nest inside each other. For example, a standard can of corn or beans, a smaller can of cheese soup, and a tiny can of tomato paste.
- A safety can opener that does not leave sharp edges on the cans.
- A pair of metal snips or tin snips.
- A nail or a drill to punch holes in the cans.
- A file or a pliers to smooth the edges of the holes.
- A permanent marker.
- Some strap iron or hanger iron (optional) to make a pot stand.
How to Make It
Here are the steps to make the hobo rocket stove:
- Wash the cans and remove the labels. Remove both ends of the cheese soup can and one end of the tomato paste can. Save the lids of the corn or beans can and the tomato paste can.
- Bend the lid of the tomato paste can slightly to make it conform to the edge of the corn or beans can. Keep it up about half an inch from the bottom and mark a circle around it with the marker. Cut out the circle with the snips and smooth the edges with the file or the pliers. This will be the opening for the fuel chamber.
- Insert the tomato paste can into the opening and make sure it fits snugly. You may have to squeeze and adjust the can a little bit.
- Put the cheese soup can inside the corn or beans can and align the holes. Mark another circle around the tomato paste can with the marker and cut it out with the snips. Smooth the edges with the file or the pliers. This will be the opening for the burn chamber.
- Cut out a slot about half an inch deep and 25% of the way up on each side of the lid of the tomato paste can. This will be the burn shelf that supports the fuel and allows air to flow underneath.
- Cut out two slots on the lid of the corn or beans can that match the slots on the burn shelf. Slide the burn shelf into the slots and adjust it to fit inside the burn chamber. You should have a small gap between the burn shelf and the opening of the fuel chamber.
- Punch holes just below the lip of the corn or beans can with the nail or the drill. These holes will allow the flame to come out and heat the pot. Crimp the holes with the pliers to remove the burrs.
- Assemble the stove by putting the cheese soup can inside the corn or beans can and lining up the openings. Then insert the tomato paste can into the openings and push it in until it reaches the burn shelf. You can adjust the length of the burn chamber by sliding the tomato paste can in or out.
- If you want to make a pot stand, you can cut two pieces of strap iron or hanger iron and slide them into the holes on the corn or beans can. Make sure they are long enough to support the pot and short enough to fit inside the can when not in use.
How to Use It
To use the hobo rocket stove, you will need some small pieces of dry wood, twigs, or other flammable material. Here are the steps to use it:
- Light a small piece of fat wood, paper, or other tinder and stick it into the fuel chamber. Add some more small pieces of wood or twigs to keep the fire going.
- Slide more wood or twigs into the fuel chamber as the fire burns. The wood or twigs should rest on the burn shelf and not fall into the burn chamber. The air flow from the fuel chamber to the burn chamber will create a strong and hot flame that will come out of the holes on the corn or beans can.
- Place your pot on the pot stand and cook your food or boil your water. You can adjust the heat by adding more or less fuel or by sliding the tomato paste can in or out.
- To extinguish the stove, simply remove the fuel and let the fire die out. You can also pour some water into the burn chamber to put out the fire quickly.
The hobo rocket stove is a simple and effective way to cook with minimal fuel and smoke. It is easy to make with three tin cans and some basic tools. It is also compact and portable, as you can nest the cans inside each other and store the pot stand inside the can. You can use this stove for camping, survival, or stealth cooking, as it produces a lot of heat with little smoke. I hope you enjoyed this project and found it useful. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know in the comment section below. Thank you for reading and happy cooking!