Monday, June 6, 2011

Hobo Stoves, Rocket Stoves, Apple Box Oven and Charcoal Starter

Milly is putting on some kind of outdoor cooking class this week. That means she’s spent the past two weeks leading up to the event running around trying to prepare for fifty ladies to play with fire. I mentioned that if it was for a bunch of guys we’d just pull out the barbeque and that would be all the outdoor cooking we’d need but she’s a lot more ambitious than her male counterparts.

I kind of got into the outdoor cooking thing with her. I made this hobo stove for Milly and really got it cooking. Anytime I can play with fire I’m all over it.

I cut out a hole in the bottom of a #10 can and one on the opposite end of the can to act like a chimney.

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I found if I made the hole in the bottom look like this I could shove the kindling up higher in the can.

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As you can see we started in the daylight.

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It is now night time and we are still trying to boil water. The wood runs out very fast and we had several things going on at once so the boiling water would often start to steam then cool back down.

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I hate to admit but it took me one hour and forty minutes to boil water on this tin can. I tried it again and got it down to about fifteen minutes. Try to beat that record Milly’s lady class.

The secret was shoving the wood up closer to the pot so more of the heat was directed right to the pot.

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Homemade rocket stove made out of paint cans. Milly’s friend Lucy had this made up and we cooked carrots and sausages with our cast iron frying pan. It worked ok. I certainly prefer propane barbeques over this.

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Wood shoved in to burn slowly up the chimney.

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Top side view of the rocket stove.

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Charcoal starter. I’m the king of starting charcoal. We’ve done a lot of dutch oven cooking over the years and I got this down to a science. Cut both ends out of a #10 can. Shove some newspaper in the bottom then place balance on three charcoal briquettes. Put a bunch of briquettes on top of the paper and light the newspaper. Wait for 20 minutes and the charcoal is ready for use. Don’t be fooled into thinking nothing is happening. Where there’s smoke there will soon be fire.

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I missed pictures of the apple box oven. We covered an apple box with tin foil and put charcoal on the ground. We propped up a cookie sheet with pop cans which had biscuits on it then covered the mess with the apple box. It worked pretty good.

Last one. After soaking some dried beans for a day we boiled the beans in a pot for about ten minutes. We then placed the pot in this nifty heat retention bag. The bag is filled with little balls of Styrofoam I think which keeps the heat in.


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Covered the pot with an top filled with the same stuff.

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Let sit for the day.

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After about four to six hours we had a great pot of beans. The beans came out way nicer than just cooking like we usually do. The beans were more like canned beans consistency. (Solid and firm instead of moist and mushy.)

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The heat retention finding was way worth the whole exercise. Glad to find a new way to cook. We made minestrone today and it was wonderful. The veggies come out firm and full of flavor.

After all that I think it’s going to rain and Milly’s class is probably going to be cancelled.

I offered to pull out my barbeque and cook up some steaks for the ladies but Milly thought that was defeating the purpose for some reason.

1 comment:

  1. Doug, I wanted to return the blog visit and thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. We plant to plant about half an acre of wheat this fall, and hopefully streamline our process. Interesting that your FIL is a retired wheat farmer. If it was me, I'd be picking his brain! LOL I hope you blog about your own wheat growing. All of us sharing our experiences is truly a helpful resource.

    I'd like to mention that your cooking techniques are fantastic.