I entertained my brother and son-in-law on New Year's Eve by giving them a couple of paint tins, (a 1 litre and a 2 litre) access to my workshop and one request, make me a hobo stove.

It took them most of the day but in the end we had a working stove. The outer can has 24 air inlets at the base.The inner can has plenty of air holes at the base (the primary air holes)

Plus a ring of holes just below the top (the secondary air supply)

The inner can is press fitted into the lid of the outer can.

Next time we will cut a smaller hole in the outer lid and make a tighter fit. I don't think it made a big difference to the effectiveness but it will save us having to rivet the inner tin in place.

Here it is lying on its side being filled with fuel.And here it is at work sitting inside a hibachi on the patio table.Once it gets going the fire is smokeless and hot enough to fry the paneer for dinner because the design creates pyrolytic gases from the wood then burns them in the secondary air flow at about 500C.Including the sauce.It took us two refills to cook the whole thing as the 1 litre inner can only ran for about 8 minutes, long enough to boil 2 cups of water from cold but not long enough to cook a whole meal. The next version will use a 2 litre can inside the 4 litre outer and we will use more twigs with a larger diameter to extend the burning time.

The great thing is that it not only cooks but I can use a wide range of fuels such as prunings, hedge clippings etc that would not be much use for anything else and the residue is biochar that I can use in the compost and, eventually, in the garden.

Anyone else have any experience or ideas?

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Comment by Sheri on January 25, 2011 at 7:54am
I came upon this idea some time ago using recycled cooking oil cans.
Comment by James Samuel on January 5, 2011 at 10:37pm
Excellent - I've added this one to my Delicious bookmarks!

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