If you are a “prepper” in the same vein as I am, you look for equipment that is built to last. When a new product becomes available that looks to be substantially better than the one you have, you closet the old gear and purchase the new. This makes for a lot of closeted gear, but time is short and having gear that will last you a lifetime is a must.
I have been using rocket stoves on and off over the last 30 years. On, when I’d have a new stove, and off, when the stove either rusted or burned out. They all worked well, but none were made to last. Even if they made it through the rust and burn-out issues, I would then either lose a part or they’d end up getting bent or broken beyond use in the trunk of my car or in the back of our truck.
When I first saw the Grover Rocket Stove online, I was impressed with the heavy-gauge steel used in the construction. This was not like the other stoves I had found or used in the past.
StockStorage.com offers several different models of Grover Rocket Stoves: a base model, a heavy-duty model, and the heavy-duty model in stainless steel. Since I spend a lot of time cooking in wet areas like river camps and rainy eastern mountain areas, I went with the premium (1/8”) stainless steel model.
I happened to be out of town when it arrived, but my son was home. He accepts everything no matter what condition it arrives in. The box was beat to crud. It was not a pretty sight. I opened the box to find the stove in excellent condition.
My first impression was that this thing is built like a tank. It is relatively heavy for its size and very stout. It sits right. At 17 pounds it is heavy enough so it will not easily move and stable enough to place a large pot on top without the worry of it toppling over from being top heavy.
The stove is welded steel in construction with no loose or moving parts, although it did come with a heavy aluminum plate that sits on top of the burner to allow the use of small-sized pots or frying pans. It also has a heavy steel handle welded to the back of the stove for carrying and easy cleaning.
I took the stove outside to my front porch to fire it up. Not being into “keeping up the yard” made it easy to find dry leaves and downed branches in my front yard. After gathering a few handfuls of dry leaves and a dozen windfall sticks, I loaded the chamber with the tinder and some small fuel and fired it up.
Like all rocket stoves it had positive draft immediately and needed additional fuel right away. I broke the larger sticks into 8″ -12″ lengths and loaded them into the side fuel chute which is also welded to the stove as I dropped smaller tinder and sticks into the flue.
It was ready for cooking. I used a cast-iron skillet and cooked up some bratwursts, salsa, and onions as an afternoon snack.
After eating, I turned to cleaning the cooled stove. The stove is double-walled with an insulation sealed in the walled chamber. The handle on the back of the stove allowed me to easily turn the stove over and dump out what was left of the ash and coals by bumping the chute lip on the ground. Being at home, I then sprayed it off with the garden hose, making it like new again. Having gone with the stainless steel model, I have no worries about rust either.
There is an insert available that acts as a charcoal grate for using briquettes which I did not order. For me, the most attractive aspect of owning a rocket stove is that you don’t need to carry fuel with you. It uses whatever is lying around for fuel.
All said, the Grover Rocket Stove is indeed a better-made stove than any I have seen. I am very happy with it. It performs well, it is built to last forever, and I can see that it is the last rocket stove I’ll ever need to buy.
I recommend that anyone interested in a rocket stove check out the Grover Rocket Stove before making their stove purchase.