Mud Cook Stove

When we first moved to Shamballa, we built an outdoor kitchen that has been improved during the last 2 years and we are still using it.

We start with a dome and a wood cooking stove made out of bricks, rocks, clay and sand.  It took us a several hours of work with the help of friends and family. Quick and easy.

The good things about this kind of stoves is that you need 50% less wood and you just use small sticks.  Also you can build them inside of the house by adding a chimney .

Another advantage is that they don’t produce smoke and keep the air cleaner.

The large consumption of wood required by the open-fire method has been a principal cause of deforestation as well as a burden on family finances for those that have to buy firewood.

Wood is burned at the tips and is pushed in towards the fire as it burns. This limits the amount of wood being heated and the amount of volatile wood oils being driven off at any given time, so that they all get burnt completely. Pushing the sticks of fuel into the combustion chamber as they burn ensures that the fuel is fed into the stove at the correct rate, creating cleaner combustion, reducing smoke. The feed opening is sized to prevent too much fuel in the combustion chamber, and arranged to force much of the incoming air to pass through the burning fuel rather than over it. Too much air just cools the fire. As the air moves through the burning fuel, it is heated, which helps to keep the fire above 650°C assisting more complete combustion.

In Guatemala there is a similar stove that is called Lorena, which was developed in 1970 to replace the open fires inside the houses.

Similar stoves were built in Africa, Centro America, south America and Asia.

You can see that — whether it’s used as an outdoor cooker or as an indoor source of heat for a home, garage, or workshop — the earthen stove is a simple invention with profound ramifications. By allowing for increased local self-reliance, requiring only readily gathered materials, and conserving precious fuel, this fine example of soft technology offers hope for the deforested Third World … as well as an alternative to the often wasteful appliances typical of our own industrialized society.


“Rocket Mass Heaters” by Ianto Evans and Leslie Jackson.