Brick Rocket Stove for cheap!

As I watched (like all of you) what happened in NY when hurricane Sandy hit I thought how unprepared people are. Not that I know it all but it moved me to do something that I feel could have really come in handy in the aftermath of that hurricane.

I built this rocket stove to see if I can use it to cook with and at the same time collect the ashes of burnt wood for my garden. I don't know that this is the best way to build a rocket stove but this is how I did it. (If you have a better way of doing this please post it!)

I went down to Home Depot with my son and picked up 2 cinder blocks and 17 normal concrete bricks. With everything I picked up for this project it ended up costing around $8.50 to $9! CHEAP:)

I took the blocks and bricks home and stacked them into the pattern you can see in the video but for a little more detail I wanted to blog about it. So lets get to it!

Row 1/the base.
The first thing I did was started with two cinder blocks just to prop it off the ground more, and work with more of a level surface when I started stacking the bricks.

At this point you would want to take one of the 17 bricks and split it down the middle. (I had a video of how to do this but when I uploaded it there was a problem and it got deleted. I should have another one up soon.)

From there you want to take half of the brick you just split and place it in the back row alongside a full brick. Then to continue the building of the base of your rocket stove you will need to lay three bricks side-by-side against the back two bricks. (all as shown in the photo)

Row 2/the combustion chamber.
Here you will stack the bricks as shown in the picture making sure to overlap the bricks on the bottom to make it stronger! There are also things you can do at this point to try and get more air to the chamber. Like drilling a hole in one of the side bricks and connect a copper pipe to the hole. That way you can easly blow are into the chamber to get the fire going without having to get to  close to blow on the tender:)

Row 3/the wood feeder. 
This step is easy!! You just add this layer of bricks and overlap them on top of the bricks on the second row. That will enclose the combustion chamber and give you the spot to feed the wood into the chamber. Don't worry to much about lining up the brick where I'm sticking my hand. Just set it there just like I did and if you can try and catch the lip of the other brick on the lift. Check out this photo to see how to do it.

Row 4/the chimney.
Well you guys, as you can all see the chimney is done and it works great! It sends the heat right up through it and directs the heat to the bottom of any pan that you put on it to get your cook on:) You will need to leave room at the top so the fire can breath so I put the stove top burner rack from my wife's stove and it gave me the room I needed.

From there you just put some wood and fire starter (When I say fire starter I mean cotton, hay, dried grass, sawdust, etc etc.) in the combustion chamber and get it going. After that it's easy just to keep feeding wood into it. The wood burns clean with hardly any smoke and it burns hot!

Check out the video for details on all this!!

* In a disaster there will be 2 main things all over the place that you can use to help you! You guessed it, Bricks & Wood. Pray and the Lord will help you:) I really do believe that! *

God Bless you all!


  1. Matt, I think you need at least one more layer of brick (2 is better). The more chimney you have the better the draft and more complete combustion.

  2. You think so? I was thinking the same thing but I was thinking it would not be as hot. What do you think?

  3. Matt D., why didn't you use fire brick? It certainly will last longer. I don't know the life span of regularly fired plain brick, so it might be less expensive in the long run to use the fire brick. It certainly is a worthwhile project because we won't have propane to fuel our camp stoves and gas grills for very long. During recovery after Hurricane Ivan, we were forced to cook on the gas grill and on the side burner.

    Another question: would it be possible to use mortar and re-bar on this in case you just wanted to pick it up and go, sorta as part of a "go bag?"


  4. Hi there bogie:)

    There are great questions and I am happy you asked them! I used these bricks because I was thinking when something happens like hurricane Ivan we need to pick up whatever is around us. I don't know that stores would be open to buy fired brick. If you go through the storm and you find yourself wanting to cook food, you can find all kinds of bricks for free all over the place but good luck finding fired brick. Bricks like the ones I used are everywhere;)

    It would be to heavy to pick up if you mortared and re-bared it. You can do it but like I said up top, bricks are everywhere so there is really no need to bring it along. Maybe if you built it on something that can be wheeled around like in a shopping cart. That would be cool:)

    If you had a shopping cart you could just put the bricks in the cart as well.

    Me personally, I think it is better leaving it un-mortared. You can use the separate bricks for lots of other things:)

    Thank you for posting!!