The Amazing EcoZoom: Campervan Cooking without Gas

Finally got a chance to play with our new cooking gadget – the EcoZoom no-gas stove – and we are really impressed. It is just perfect for the campervan life.

The EcoZoom is a portable, posh version of a rocket stove.  The rocket stove concept is so clever as it is a wood-burning stove that only needs small pieces of wood for fuel yet you get a lot of heat out of it. The ‘chimney’ design amplifies the heat from the burning wood as it is drawn up to the cooking area at the top.

Brunch in the Garden – What’s Not to Like

We decided to try it out by cooking brunch in the garden at the weekend. We decided on scrambled eggs and beans on toast. We already had some small pieces of wood, just a bit thicker than an adult’s thumb, which is ideal for the ‘Zoom’.

We put some kindling in the bottom chamber and Glyn tried to light it using a fire flint but we didn’t have much success, even using some cotton wool balls, maybe because we are not that experienced at starting fires. However, I added one of those Natural Wood Wool firelighters, (which look like a little nest of wood strands) by crumbling it down the chimney and then it lit easily,

Almost instantly it was producing heat up at the top and I made some ‘pan toast’ by just dry frying it on a clean pan. Then we heated up the beans and put them aside with a lid to keep them warm. Next was the scrambled eggs which cooked in no time.

Only Used 5 Pieces of Wood

All we had to do during the cooking was keep pushing the little branches into the chamber as they burned down. You can control the strength of the flames (to a degree) by opening and shutting the little door at the side.

We only used 5 pieces of wood which were about 20cms long and 2cms wide and we could have cooked something else at the end as the fire was still going for about 10 minutes after we finished doing the eggs. You can also add charcoal to the burning chamber if you want a longer cooking time.

Our Verdict

A really clever piece of kit that combines ancient wisdom with modern design. This is perfect for camping cooking as it is small and light and you can cook with virtually twigs that you could collect from anywhere.

We were also thinking that it is a reassuring thing to have at home in case of power outages.  You would still be able to boil a kettle, do a stir fry, cook up a pot of stew or even do my 10-10 Chicken

In fact, anything that cooks in one pan in a short time would work beautifully.

What Exactly is a ‘Rocket Stove’?

“A rocket stove is a stove that utilizes pieces of small-diameter wood. Rocket stoves burn very hotly, and researchers have found that they are more efficient than traditional stoves.

The stove consists of a combustion chamber where the fuel burns and a vertical chimney. Part of what makes rocket stoves so efficient is that their vertical chimneys are insulated, meaning almost all of the heat moves upward. The vertical chimney is tall enough to ensure fuel fully combusts before the flames reach up to the cooking surface.

When using a rocket stove, the flames of the wood are sucked into the burn tunnel, creating a jet of fire — the kind of jet you’d imagine might come out of the back of a rocket. This phenomenon, coupled with the roaring of a rocket stove in action, contributes to the stove’s far-out name.”

Dan, FireAndSaw

Check out: EcoZoom-UK

Check out: Natural Wood Wool Firelighters: