DIY Small Rocket Stove

Don’t spend money on any homemade rocket stove plans.Rocket Stove Diagram

Building A Small Rocket Stove

I hope you have found this article before spending any money on rocket stove plans. If you are looking to build something to include in your stash for emergency survival preparedness, this article will show you how simple and affordable it can be for building a small rocket stove.

Simple Project For An Essential Item

This simple project can be one of the things you have on hand that can make things in trying times so much more tolerable. Consider you are in a spot where you are required to break into your stash. You have prepared and stored canned goods, you have a can opener, and now you are surviving. Have you ever had to eat a can of baked beans straight from the can at room temperature? It is tolerable and will keep you alive. Wouldn’t it be much better if they were a little warmer though?

A small rocket stove made from a 5-gallon metal pail can be all you need to cook, heat up water for bathing, boil water for sterilization, and even a small heat source. This simple project for an essential item can improve the quality of your conditions while trying to survive.

Easy To Use

Once you have your stove built and ready, It is one of the easiest things to use. It runs on twigs and small sticks that can be gathered from the yard without having to cut any trees or branches. It does take a little tending to when in use. Because of the small branches, the fire will burn hot and fast. The stick used for fuel will burn up rather quickly so you have to stay with it while in use.

You can see in the picture, the opening at the bottom is where you put the fire. It is built on top of the shelf you have made so the bottom half of the opening can draw air through the flue that runs through the center of the stove. This draft will carry the heat to the top where you simply set a cooking grate of any sort that will fit on top of the pail allowing you to set a pot or even the can you have opened to eat. One thing I will mention is, if you are heating the canned food up directly in the can. Remove the label and make sure if you don’t remove the top to at least poke a hole in it. If not, it will build pressure and possibly explode.

As you continue to feed the fire the ashes can just be pushed back into the stove to fall off the edge of the shelf into the flue. You will have to take notice of the amount of ash in the bottom of the flue. If you end up with too much it can restrict the flow of air and reduce the amount of draft carrying the heat to the top of the stove. With a little practice, this stove can handle most of your cooking needs with the use of very little free fuel.

With the insulator inside the stove, it will retain a lot of the heat. Once finished cooking you can remove the fire from the shelf and carry the stove inside to radiate the remaining heat inside too. It is not a continuous source but every bit can help in a time of need.

Very Low Cost To Build

Assuming you have a few common tools, this essential item can be built with a very little cost from things that can be picked up at your local hardware and a few items from the yard. All you need is a 5-gallon metal pail, a 4″ x 2′ stove-pipe, 1 – 4″ 90, a grate, and materials for the insulator. That can be a mixture of dirt, sand gravel or store-bought vermiculite. You want this to be able to keep the heat from making the outside of the pail too hot and retain enough heat to help the transfer of the heat gradually and even.

Altogether, you should be able to acquire everything you need for less than $20. For that cost, you could build a few to have around. If stored out of the weather, these little stoves will last forever. If you build more than one you can even practice using it before you have to so your skills are honed and ready before you have to be ready.

Cheap, Easy, And Very Crucial

This handy little project can be put together with very little know-how, very little money, and could be one of the things that would get used the most often in an extended emergency situation. Remember, this is a small stove to put with your prep kit. If you are getting serious and looking to go off the grid there are similar more complicated rocket stoves that you can buy plans to use for indoor heat and cooking.

I hope this helps to get folks ready before they have to be ready. As always, if you have questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. If you haven’t already, fill out the form on this page to leave me your email and I will send you a free guide with the 9 things everyone should have on hand to prepare for an immediate emergency and how to properly maintain them.

Thanks for reading,


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6 Replies to “DIY Small Rocket Stove”

  1. Wahooo, Your website is so resourceful. Thank you for this timely equipment, I keep day old chicks and we always need to provide heat for them. I will work on your stove since all i need is a 5 gallon metal, stove pipe grate and insulating materials. This are affordable, if it works well for my business then I can do more and expand it within our farms. Thank you very much 

    • Hello, 

      I am guessing you could use this for that to an extent. It does require an open flame and steady attention during the heating process but retains the heat for quite a while. I do believe there is probably a more effective means for warming day old chicks. 

      I am glad you have found the site and could be interested in building some of these stoves. At least if you needed them in the future you would have them on hand.

      Good luck to you and your chicks!


  2. I already have 5-gallon metal pail at home. And I also have a grate and materials for the insulator. I’m lacking just a few things but they are easy to find. I didn’t know it would be this cheap to build a small rocket stove. I am excited about the idea and I’ll start looking for the things that I need tomorrow. I’ll share with you here how it turned out.

    • Hi, 

      That is one of the things I love about this stuff. Some of the coolest things are easy and can be done with things you may already have. There are actually plans for larger more useful varieties but for something to have on hand that uses very little fuel for survival, these are great! 

      A little ingenuity goes a long way! I would love to see how your project turns out!

      Thanks, Chad

  3. This is a great piece of information you have here. Learning to make such a compatible rocket stove will help to save a few bucks and also come in handy when camping since it is light weighted and can be carried along. Thanks for this educating article, I do hope to read more of such articles from you.

    • Nelson, 

      I am glad you enjoyed this. I hope you can make good use of the information. Don’t’ forget to join my email list and get the free guide and updates on what I have coming down the pipeline. definitely more to come!

      I am working on some great eBooks too. Hopefully, I can make them available soon!



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