When it’s meal time at the campsite you’re generally dealing with either wood or propane. If it’s wood you’re either using a permanent fire pit or a portable wood burning stove. If your goal is to eat as soon as possible with minimal fuss it’s hard to beat a rocket stove. They are incredibly efficient, and can create a worthy flame in a minute or two. One product that has raised the bar in the rocket stove world is the EcoZoom Versa.
What It Is
The EcoZoom Versa is a rocket stove, which in it’s most basic form is an L-shaped burning chamber that allows you to feed wood into the bottom and cook over a flame on top. It’s a very efficient style because your pushing the wood straight into a coal bed. The only place the flame can go is straight up a narrow column directly to the bottom of your pan. Because it is so efficient you are able to cook with very small amounts of wood. Pine cones and sticks will get your water boiling in a surprisingly short time.
The EcoZoom Versa has created a near perfect rocket stove. The first thing noticeable improvement is a three pronged cast iron top that is clearly going to last a long time. The exact shape of the prongs are clever too, because it will accommodate literally any size of pot. The next thing they’ve done is insulated the combustion chamber so the stove stays cool to the touch on the outside. This is a feat in itself, because rocket stoves generate a lot of heat. The handles are also covered with silicone so it’s comfortable to move around. Lastly, there are actually two doors – one to feed wood, and one below it that acts as an air draw. All of this together makes the EcoZoom Versa an impressive and efficient rocket stove.
Why We Like It
We’ve always been a fan of rocket stoves. The design is simple and efficient, and requires such a small amount of fuel to kick out a meal. The EcoZoom Versa makes the experience safer and even more efficient, while retaining portability. At 14 lbs it’s light enough to toss in the back of the car for cooking at the campsite. The other thing that impressed us was the reduction of soot on the bottom of the pan. They claim 70% less smoke than an open fire, and our test results seemed to agree with that. Cleanup was noticeably easier than if we were cooking over an open flame. We were also very impressed with the build quality. The EcoZoom Versa is made to weather thousands of cooking sessions over many years. If you’re looking for a cleaner, more efficient wood fire, you’ll have a hard time beating this one.