The Rocket Powered Oven eBook

US$ 7.50

2nd Edition

Tim Barker

Illustrated by Joel Meadows

A step-by-step guide to building your own super-efficient rocket powered oven. The most comprehensive build-your-own project of it’s type by leading Australian alternative technology innovators, Tim Barker and Joel Meadows.

Learn the fundamentals of rocket stove design that powers the oven, and choose between one of two designs to build. A Black Oven, which reuses an existing gas or electric oven and a White Oven, which can be made using 2 x 200lt (44 gal) drums.

Most materials required for the build are cheap and can be easily found. In fact, you may have some of them laying around your home, just crying out to be used.

A great do-it-yourself project or get together with a small group for even more fun.

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The Rocket Powered Oven: how to build your own super-efficient cooker

Tim Barker and Joel Meadows take you through a step-by-step guide to building an extremely cheap, rocket powered oven using easy to access materials such as bricks, clay and reclaimed steel barrels. These designs may not quite have the domed top elegance that has made the backyard cob pizza oven so trendy, but they do have a farm yard charm of their own. And rather than taking hours to heat up to cook a couple of pizzas (often only used once a year!), these are super efficient, and very practical ovens. Both Tim and Joel use theirs on a daily basis. Their potential as a genuinely sustainable backyard fixture of the future is very high.

In the first section you’ll learn about the fascinating principles of the rocket stove, and in subsequent sections they will get down to the detailed business adding on the oven.

To complete the projects yourself, you’ll need a handful of common tools, and a little confidence using them, but the process will demand nothing beyond the scope of the most casual backyard tinkerer. The focus of this volume is on cooking, and we’ll be presenting two options for DIY ovens, appropriate for both outdoor and – if correctly flued and sited – indoor use.

For more information about this technology, see this article about the Fundamentals of Rocket Stoves.


  • About this volume
  • Foreword: the future of fire
  • Introduction
    Conventional stoves
  • Rocket stoves
    The anatomy of a rocket stove
    How a rocket stove works
  • Ingredients
    Rocket stove power unit
    Black oven
    White oven
  • Building your rocket stove ‘power unit’
    The mock up
    Starting the stove
    Final placement
    The final build
  • Building a black oven
    The baffle plate
  • Building a white oven
    Barrel safety
    How the white oven works
    Making the inner barrel
    Making the outer barrel
    The shelves
    The door
    Building the door latch
    Insulating and covering the oven
    The stand
    Final touches
    Controlling the beast, or how to cook with your oven.
    Taking care of your beast
    Tips and tricks
  • Learn more!
    VEG appropriate technology workshops

Product details

114 pages (on iPad) with 64 illustrations.
ISBN: 9780648344209

About the Author

Tim has come a long way since his days as a diesel fitter mechanic and now spends his time between Australia and New Zealand as a semi-professional pyromaniac and mad scientist teaching people how to burn stuff and make really cool machines and devices for low carbon living. He currently teaches appropriate technology in Australia through courses on this website as well as the Koanga Institute in New Zealand. He has previously been farm manager for the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia, power station operator/mechanic, adventure guide and professional turtle wrestler. His rocket stove and char making powered hot water systems, ovens and cookers reflect his passion for elegant simple and durable combustion technologies, other projects include gravity powered water pumps, solar thermal cookers and dryers, pedal powered washing machines, cargo bikes, hovercraft, wooden boats and aquaponics to name a few. When he is not tinkering he can be found on Macleay island off the coast of Queensland Australia where he and his family live and are currently in the process of building a rammed earth house (with maybe a little sailing thrown in).

About the Artist

Joel draws on a deep well of experience (as an energy auditor, sustainable transport consultant, environmental educator among other things) which he combines with a rare knack for explaining technical issues in a clear and engaging way that cuts straight to the heart of matters. Joel has just finished owner-building his permaculture-designed property and strawbale house which features impressive passive cooling, heating, lighting and water strategies, rocket stoves for heating and cooking, and a beautiful curved roofline that follows the path of the winter sun. When he’s not doing these things, Joel makes sculptures of steel and wood, runs cider workshops, is a cooker of food, an avid gardener, radio DJ and musician.

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