Ecozoom™ Versa model “Rocket Stove” Review
As a homesteader and a self reliance buff, the Ecozoom™ Versa model stove turned out to be an excellent choice for our needs. It emits very little light or smoke while producing a tremendous amount of heat. It’s small, portable and sturdy as well.
Full disclosure: We bought this stove unsolicited off of the Ecozoom web site after reading about is on another blog. No one offered us or gave us anything to review this stove.
Construction: The stove is very well thought out in being designed primarily for use in third world countries. Its outer shell is enameled metal with a heavy cast cooking surface. The core of the stove is a single piece of ceramic made from lightweight extruded clay. The stove feels solid and all parts are well fitted. Above the fire box area there is a secondary combustion chamber to burn any volatile gasses not consumed in the fire box. In the Ecozoom™ Versa model there is also a small door under the fire box that is used to control the air flow.
Cooking: I’ve been using this stove for about a yeare now to prepare many meals for my family and friends. I’ve also been using it for canning and blanching fruit and vegetables. It is a pleasure to use. Because of the excellent use of “rocket stove” technology, it burns very little fuel; it’s almost smoke free and leaves very little ash. The heavy cast cooking surface is built for flat (like a frying pan or dutch oven) or round bottomed cooking vessels (like a wok). After cooking professionally for several years, I have discovered that most domestic kitchen stoves are not capable of reaching temperatures truly needed for things like stir frying and searing meat or even caramelizing onions properly. I’m happy to say that this is not an issue with the Ecozoom™ Versa model stove.
Fuel: It takes a little practice to learn to control the heat level, but I was able to master it about half way through my first cooking session. The biggest mistakes I made were; using too much fuel at one time and using a small hunk of pitch to start the fire. Too much wood qt once will cause smoke. Pitch on the other hand burns with a lot of soot. Hard woods (Oak & Madrone) seem to burn the most evenly. Soft woods like (Pine & Fir) burn faster and cooler. Three dry sticks up to about one inch in diameter and a foot long are about all I need to cook a meal for four people. The Ecozoom™ Versa model is also designed to burn charcoal. I’ve found that five to eight briquettes were enough to boil three gallons of water to cook corn and hold that boil for an hour! You can use just about anything from corn cobs to cow pies for fuel in this stove. We heat our home primarily with wood and as a byproduct of that there are a lot of splinters and small scraps of wood that build up around the chopping block. This is now my main source for fuel for our rocket stove. Branches from pruning and brush clearing are another excellent source of rocket stove fuel.
All in all we are very satisfied with this stove. It met or exceeded our expectations for a rocket stove. As far as suggested changes or improvements, I really don’t have any! I would recommend and have recommended this stove to friends family as well as other homesteaders in our community.
Shipping: We ordered the stove on Saturday and it was delivered on Tuesday.
Price: As of the date of this review: $128.00 including shipping.
BTW: When you buy a stove, they send one to someone who needs one and can’t afford it for free.
Written, copyrighted and published by Steven Fritch. All rights reserved.