by Dan Weatbrook, Sr.
The weather was 45 degrees,18 mile hour wind out of the south and raining hard. It was our monthly family get together and the grandchildren wanted to fire up a rocket stove. We took a vote and ended up deciding to try to make rice on the rocket stove. Because of the stiff wind, rain and cold it took us eight minutes to get fire in each rocket stove. It then took twenty minutes to get it up to temperature where it would boil water for the rice. We decided to put on a teapot full of water so we could warm up a cup of hot chocolate.
After thirty minutes we opened the lid and had perfectly done rice. The hot chocolate was delicious and welcomed. The grandchildren then roasted marshmallows in the rocket stoves and at the top of the chimneys. The rocket stove marshmallows came out burned on one end and raw on the other. The chimney marshmallows came out with just a tinge of brown and completely melted on the inside. They were the GREATEST.
We learned that when faced with a strong wind, build or find a shelter where you can get out of the wind. The rain as it went through a phase change and turned into steam it stole a tremendous amount of heat from the stove. If you can't get out of the wind, face the end of the stove with the two rocket stoves into the wind to help with draft. Covering the pot with the rice in it and the tea kettle with a dutch oven cover helped the water boil more quickly. The rice was not burned at all and was light and flaky. Even in these harsh conditions we were able to put out a great meal.
Dan, Sr. is the designer and owner of Bear River Rocket Stoves. He is passionate about teaching others to be prepared.