During the warmer months, my family spends a lot of time outdoors. Backyard camping, grilling out, and bonfires are a favorite summer pastime. A couple of years ago my brother built a cabin out on his property next to the creek, and it quickly became known as the cook cabin – a place where the family enjoys lunch or dinner in a natural setting. EcoZoom has given us the opportunity to try out one of their rocket stoves – the Zoom Versa model. It is already something that I consider to be a family camping essential, and as soon as we get through this rainy season we’ll probably take it out to the cabin. For now though, it is working out nicely on the back deck.
There is so much that I love about this stove. I’ll begin with how versatile it is. The Zoom Versa is designed to burn wood, dried biomass, or charcoal. The top door of the stove is for wood, biomass, and charcoal, while the bottom door serves as a damper and to control airflow. Sticks are something we have in abundance, so before getting lunch started the kids went out into the yard to gather some up. We also used some pine needles as kindling. The pine needles give off a bit of smoke at first, but it quickly died down.
The stove came with a metal grate that we used to support the sticks that were placed in the upper chamber. I am amazed by how few sticks are needed to get the stove top hot enough for cooking, and it heats up very rapidly. At the top of the stove is a 6-pronged cast iron stovetop that improves heat transfer for all pots including round bottom pots and woks. It perfectly and safely supported my cast iron skillet. I made this short video so you can see the Zoom Versa stove in action.
Zoom Versa Stove Features:
Refractory metal combustion chamber
Abrasion-resistant, lightweight ceramic insulation
Two internal grates to hold both wood and charcoal
Two hinged doors
6-pronged universal cast iron stove top
Adjustable galvanized steel pot skirt
Painted sheet metal body with reinforced doors
Plastic and steel handle
The Zoom Versa is lightweight and can easily be transported for trips to the beach or camping. I prefer using a few pieces of charcoal to heat the stove, but the kids really seem to enjoy cooking with sticks. It’s important to note that the stove stays cool to the touch while using it so kids don’t get burned.
If you are interested in eco-friendly products you’ll want to know that EcoZoom stoves are designed for clean cooking, using the well-known ‘rocket’ concept. It uses an internal ‘chimney’ in the stove which directs air through the burning fuel and encourages the mixing of gases and flame above it. Precise internal stove dimensions (with tolerances of 1mm or less) are essential to achieve high combustion efficiency and transfer heat to the cooking pot. The design of the rocket stove allows it to operate on about half as much fuel as a traditional open fire.
Visit EcoZoom Stoves online to learn more about the company and the variety of stoves they offer. The Zoom Versa stove retails for $129.00. Use coupon code aboutamom at checkout to save $7 off your purchase!
About A Mom received the product mentioned above to facilitate a review. All thoughts and opinions are completely our own.