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Dragon Heaters Vs. Rocket Mass Heaters

dragon heaterDragon heaters offer more efficient heating, in a smaller footprint, with more flexible design options. Our goal with Dragon Heaters is to bring Rocket Heater concepts to everyone, by simplifying the build, improving aesthetic choices, offering a range of heat storage approaches and reducing its footprint.

The traditional rocket heater was developed and described by Ianto Evans and Leslie Jackson in their book Rocket Mass Heaters. Dragon Heaters differ from this approach in 2 key areas: the combustion area and heat capture options.

The Dragon Burner is made with optimized materials and a complex shape that is more efficient and has fewer emissions than a burn tunnel built with bricks.

Flexible heat capture is the other main difference. The traditional rocket heater uses a steel barrel for immediate heat and a clay bench with an embedded flue for heat storage. Using the same J-tube style combustion system, Dragon Heaters facilitate more options for utilizing the heat. Users can select to release it all immediately, only some, or put all the heat into thermal storage as in a masonry heater.

Having a pre-built combustion system frees up many of the design constraints associated with traditional rocket heaters. For example, it is possible to build a heater which radiates a portion of the heat into a space and puts the rest into thermal mass, without either the barrel or a cob bench.



What is a rocket stove, and how do I build one?

A rocket stove uses a j shaped fire tube to efficiently convert solid biomass fuel (wood, biomass briquettes, etc.) into heat, with minimal emissions. A rocket heater adds an insulated heat riser, and a radiator, as well as a thermal mass for slowly radiating heat into the surrounding area. A inexpensive unit can be made from cans, or thermal mass units with concrete, brick or cob.

Hermon Heater Plans


New Rocket Mass Heater Plans

Hermon HeaterHermon Heater Plans
All-Brick Rocket Mass Heater. Walls are 4.5″ thick. Wood box / air intake opens @ 4.5″ by 9″, same for burn tube, heat riser & initial exhaust. 10 Bricks per layer in the heater, 16 layers high. Around 180 brick in this heater. One bag of masonry heater mortar. Absorbs lots of heat and gives it out for hours after heater shut down. Cad drawings done with Google Sketchup. Electronic delivery $40.

Visit for discussion of Rocket Mass Heaters and Rocket Stoves.


The Rocket Mass Heater

Want an extremely efficient, clean burning wood stove? Check out the Rocket Mass Heater by Ianto Evans and Leslie Jackson! A house that burns 7 cord of wood a season can burn just 2/3 of a cord with this style heater, as it burns cleaner, extracts more heat from the “chimney” without creosote build up (no chimney fires), and stores the heat in a thermal mass for gentle long term radiant heat, so the fire doesn’t have to be fed constantly. The best part? You build it yourself, and it’s very inexpensive. Learn more from the $13 eBook at We bought it, read it, and are starting on our stove. We recommend it.


The DIY $20 Rocket Stove

Today we built and fired up our new rocket stove. It took 13 Fire Bricks at $1.35 each, one cement block, and less than a pint of furnace cement. The pictures document the build, and the video shows the operation.




Efficient Rocket Cook Stoves

The folks at Stove Team International are building healthier, more efficient cookstoves for 3rd world (developing) nations. These stoves are built upon the proven rocket stove principle, which combines clean burning with fuel efficiency. Here is their story, and you can see how their stove is built on their YouTube channel. Please support their humanitarian work!


Our Rocket Stove

I fired up the rocket stove and took some pics. You can use scrap wood, twigs, small branches, etc.

Enjoy!  Discuss these stoves at Simply Off Grid, and see the videos at

You can get the upgraded version of ours at





AIR-X Wind Turbine Arrived, More Rocket Mass Heater Videos

The 24v AIR-X arrived today, and the Whisper 500 watt unit arrived last week. The Whisper was donated by Jim Juczak of Allan Smith, the creator of the Rocket Mass Heater came for supper, and we discussed his design, and alternative implementations. We will be building one of these soon. A ebook of the heater with video and Sketchup diagrams will be available from us shortly, as well as one with the wind turbine setup and installation. He has also added a couple more video’s on startup of the heater, and heat circulation. The manual wood splitter mentioned in the video’s is found at Bailey’s Online.


Allan’s Rocket Mass Heater

A friend of mine just posted his working version of a Rocket Mass Heater on Youtube. This is a great example of a clean burning, extremely efficient heater that can be used for space heating, cooking, or heating water, or any combination of the above.


Making and Using Biomass Briquettes

A Biomass Briquette is a compressed brick made of agricultural waste, used for heating and cooking. It is very efficient, renewable, and carbon neutral. Common materials are sawdust, charcoal, grasses, and other biological materials. The following links will describe the process, and how to build your own press.

A rocket stove is a efficient way to use them. There are many youtube video’s on rocket heaters, and we have plans at