It finally cooled off enough for us to head to the ranch and review the EcoZoom Stove we gave away during the Getting Prepared Challenge. I really like this stove! It’s perfect for our active family, small enough to be portable, big enough to be useful and easy to use. Here’s the run-down of the stove.
We were sent the Versa model – a lightweight, versatile stove designed for multi-purpose use. The fuel to burn goes inside the chamber and it burns very efficiently. It does not take fuel to get this stove heated up – a real boon for camping or emergency situations.
What Does the EcoZoom Stove Burn?
Anything! Literally anything that can be burned can be burned in an EcoZoom stove. It doesn’t take a large amount of wood to get it going so you can rake up a few twigs from around your wood pile, toss in the dead pile of weeds you pulled out last week but didn’t compost, or even burn dried cow pats. We used kindling pieces from the area where Robert splits wood, some pine cones, various twigs and sticks the kids rustled up, and a dead bug. The stove heated up quickly and produced a great amount of heat right from the beginning.
What I Loved About the EcoZoom Stove
I loved that the surface on top was easy to put a cookpot on. You could also lay a grilling screen over the top if you needed to cook meat or roast veggies. It would not be difficult to cook a pot of chili or beans on the EcoZoom. The Versa model I tested has pot supports on the top that perfect fits my 5 qt dutch pot or my large family-sized wok. I could stir-fry, stew, roast, or boil anything I needed which gives me a lot more cooking options than just “grill”.
The pot will also burn small pieces of wood that wouldn’t be worth tossing into our old wood burning heater. In fact it is recommended to use branches or pieces of wood about 1/2 inch diameter size. This means you can easily collect enough fuel to cook a meal with this stove in most outdoor areas – saving you from having to bring wood with you (or worse – paying $10 for four little sticks at the camp-ground convenience store!).
What You Need to Know About the EcoZoom Rocket Stoves
The EcoZoom stove burns fuel efficiently. This means – hurray – you don’t have to use a lot at one time to cook your food! This also means – head’s up – you can’t just start a fire and walk away for 30 minutes. You’ll want to add more pieces to the stove before then. Of course if you’re cooking you would want to watch the food anyway so it’s not a big deal. Just something to be aware of in how this type of stove works differently than a bonfire or grill or something.
Also this isn’t something to use indoors like a hot plate or something – you need the stove outside when you’re using it. This seems like common sense but I’ve found it’s better to point that out. This is one reason why the quick efficiency with which the stove works is brilliant – boil your chili hot enough to eat in just 10 minutes or so? MUCH faster than a BBQ grill would operate.
Overall Impressions of the Stove
My husband liked the reinforcement on the doors. With anything, the moving bits seem the most vulnerable, so the extra touches there were nice to see. He and the kids had a blast firing up the stove and feeding it bits of everything. It was fun.
I like having something I can count on in an emergency situation. Winters here can be unpredictable and power can go out without notice. Well – any season in Oklahoma can be unpredictable. Once we lost power to half the town for a day and a half because of a squirrel so you just never know. It’s a relief to know that I’ll be able to feed my family easily and effectively the next time that happens.
It’s important to have a back-up plan for the Just in Case moments. And this is one that won’t drive you crazy to use! The EcoZoom is quick, effective, and little work to use.
Which EcoZoom Model is your favorite? Follow EcoZoom on Facebook too to see all their prepping products.
I was sent an EcoZoom Versa to test and all opinions are my own. It’s definitely something to add to your Preparing line-up.