While researching information to write this EcoZoom Stove review I learned some interesting things.:
- Half of the world cooks on a wood fire every day.
- They use open fires or unimproved stoves.
- Nearly half the world’s wood supply is used for fuel and deforestation rates are rising all over the world.
- Smoke inhalation accounts for a staggering number of health problems and deaths in the developing world.
High efficiency wood burning technologies significantly reduce both health and environmental impacts. One of the leading innovators in this work, Dr. Larry Winiarski, developed the Winiarski Rocket Stove. The rocket stove is designed to burn the gases released from a wood fire as completely as possible so less fuel is required.
Why We Use Wood Stoves
Several years ago our troop replaced our propane camp stoves with a commercially produced version of the rocket stove and I recommend them highly. The advantages of using the EcoZoom stoves over using propane stoves or open campfires are many:
- No disposable propane cylinders eliminating the cost and the significant environmental impact associated with using them.
- Learning and using the skills of building, maintaining and cooking over a wood fire.
- Reducing environmental impact to nearly zero (wood fires are carbon neutral and very little fuel is required).
- Learning about high-efficiency wood burning technology and it’s application in the developing world.
- Contributing to the effort of improving conditions for people in the developing world.
As the video shows lighting and using the stove is very simple and our Scouts can prepare a meal on the EcoZoom in about the same time they did cooking over propane.
EcoZoom Stove Review
EcoZoom produces an updated version of the stoves we initially purchased from another company. I received and tested the Zoom Dura (model ZD-WMC26) with a refractory metal liner inside the combustion chamber that improves combustion efficiency. This stove also features a reinforced metal door frame for increased durability and stove life and installation sockets on the door frame to hold the improved stick support system, a 6-pronged cast iron stove top that improves heat transfer and an adjustable heat exchanger. The bottom of the combustion chamber is lined with kiln-fired tile.
The EcoZoom Dura weighs 11 pounds and packs very neatly into a standard five gallon plastic bucket. I’ve had people ask me if it would be possible to build a similar stove. There are a number of tutorials and plans out there and I considered doing this myself but decided that by the time I did we’d have spent nearly the cost of a manufactured stove on the materials required and still wouldn’t duplicate the durability or features of the EcoZoom stoves.
Depending on the type and dryness of the wood being used the EcoZoom Dura requires about 1/2 to 1/5th the wood you’d use to prepare the same amount of food over an open fire in about 1/2 the time. We typically use sticks up to an inch or so in diameter, gathering enough wood for a meal takes a few minutes and is significantly easier than gathering wood for an open fire.
Of course our EcoZoom stoves are way too heavy (the Dura is 11 LBs) and bulky to take backpacking. We use the Solo Stove (based on the same technology) on our backpacking trips.
Proceeds of stove sales subsidize efforts to distribute stoves to developing world making it possible to join in the broader mission of .
EcoZoom stoves are also available on Amazon
Johnny Silvey says
Hello…love the video with the review, really explains how you use it. I was curious where you got the heat exchanger…looks like the perfect accessory. Love the website!
Clarke Green says
The heat exchanger is included with the stove
Have you looked at the BioLite stoves?
They use a element to create electricity, powering a fan to boost airflow.
This in turn creates more heat and the excess electricity can be out put to USB devices like GPS & phones.
Clarke Green says
I have looked at them, but have not tested them. My choice for a backpacking wood stove is lighter and half the price- the Solo Stove.
Comparing the BioLite and the EcoZoom is kind of an apples and oranges thing – the EcoZoom is suited to patrol cooking, the BioLite is much smaller (as is the Solo, a patrol carries two Solo Stoves for backpacking).
I think the BioLite’s cost and weight is justifiable if you must have a way to recharge electronics on the trail. It’s very interesting, but I don’t think it’s all that practical. When you combine two tools it’s rare that you preserve all the functions of both of them.