Rocket Stoves

EcoZoom is a social venture that works with NGOs, governments, aid organizations and local businesses and entrepreneurs who want to put stoves into the hands of people who need them.

“The EcoZoom stove range (and most rocket stoves) will save 50% of your monthly wood fuel bill…or your money back!”

When an order is placed we will courier your stove overnight to any destination in South Africa.  Please fill in the order form at the bottom of the page or contact usLooking for a similar type stove to buy in South Africa? We have just added these to our range:

Rocket_Stoves2Click here to download the latest catalogue with prices or visit our Online Shop

EcoZoom is now the exclusive distributor for developing countries for the Aprovecho Research Center and StoveTec. The former sales and distribution arm of StoveTec, established the EcoZoom brand to rapidly increase the distribution of improved cookstoves. Three billion people in the world need a safer, healthier, cheaper way to cook; EcoZoom is part of the movement to make that happen. EcoZoomc Stoves burn cleaner, use less fuel, and are more economical than any other stove of their kind.  It’s based on the rocket stove design principle, invented by Dr. Larry Winiarski from Aprovecho Research Center (ARC) USA (  The original StoveTec range of stoves was launched in 2008 and Aprovecho won the prestigious Ashden International Energy Champion Award for 2009.  They have disseminated over 70,000 stoves to impoverished communities in the last year and have a production capacity of 500,000 per year. The first StoveTec stoves arrived on the market in 2008 and they are all still going strong! Some of the benefits that this stove has over other wood stoves:

*Boils 5 Litres of Water in 20 Minutes

*Spend Less Time Cooking

*Uses 40-50% Less Fuel

*Spend Less Time Collecting Wood

*Spend Less Money Buying Wood

*Burns 50-70% Cleaner

*Breathe Less Smoke, fewer Health Risks

The stove can be used with a variety of fuel types in addition to wood including dried corn cobs, grass, roots, dung or any other readily available biomass. We also sell the 2-door stove which has a durable cast iron grate that filters out ash (and produces charcoal) and this specific model can also accommodate the use of charcoal or charcoal briquettes. The stove is Lightweight, has an Abrasion-Resistant Combustion Chamber, Cast Iron Top which Heats Pots Faster, Easy-to-Clean Steel Body, Sturdy Handles for Easy Movement, Steel Shelf to Support Fuel and Pot Skirt for Maximum Efficiency.

Click on this image to play GIF animation explaining how a rocket stove functions

Or view the JPG here

For more explanations and information also visit this page: What is a rocket stove? which also contains links to other rocket stove designs.

La Mera Mera (Plancha) cook stove is no longer available in South Africa – until further notice.  Herewith some interesting facts about it though:

The new La Mera Mera (Plancha) stove consists of a cast iron stove top, whereby the cook may choose to cook on an open flame or vent the flames externally via an external chimney. For more information click on the image below, which will take you to an information leaflet.



“We previously had an ancient old Defy cast iron stove with two plates in the staff quarters at the farm. It was badly cracked and making a mess, hence we opted to replace it with an EcoZoom La Plancha. The staff are able to get the La Plancha going in no time and they love using it in winter as it aso heats up the room.”

Ulricke ~ Dargle, KwaZulu-Natal

To obtain any of the above stoves you can do one of three things:

VersaStock1) Visit Midlands Solar Sales in Pietermaritzburg (Next to Cash Converters).  If they don’t have stock no problem – just tell them and we’ll deliver there.

Shop 15
Victoria Square
151 Victoria Road
Tel: 033-3425896


2) Order this stove directly from us by filling in this order form:

Once you have completed and submitted the order form, we will compile your invoice which will include the delivery cost (based on the geographical location you supplied) and email it back to you. Upon payment (Cash deposit, EFT or Cheque) we will arrange to deliver your stove immediately. The Versa weighs 10 kg and the other rocket stoves weigh around 5 kg. We give discount for all bulk orders and will investigate all avenues for a reduced delivery rate. We only deliver to clients in Southern Africa at this stage.

3) Visit our Online Shop and pay through PayFast using your own online banking profile.

For those looking to become distributors or wishing to donate stoves as part of their Corporate Social Investment programmes please contact us.Facebook

Thank you for your interest and please LIKE our Facebook Fan Page for product updates.

**Update: 17 April 2011**

Vuthisa installed 90 wood-burning stoves in a village in Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal. The management company could see the benefit of purchasing approximately 14 X StoveTec wood/charcoal stoves for the price of 1 X reconditioned cast-iron wood-burning stove and can carry the same workload at the same time. These usually loose standing stoves were cemented into custom-made docking stations to serve as 3-pot stoves i.e. 3 stoves in each home or docking station. Above each station is a hood that collects the emissions and channels it towards the chimney. The stoves are operated with just a few sticks of wood and will only occasionally give off smoke, such as when started up or when adding new wood. This particular village is connected to the electricity grid but the management company had no option but to leave it offline and revert to using wood in light of the annual electricity hikes imposed by Eskom. Visit the installations page: for info on existing projects.

**Update: 20 December 2010**

The Journal of the International Energy Initiative, Volume 14, no.3, recently published (September, 2010) “Field testing and survey evaluation of household biomass cookstoves in rural sub-Saharan Africa” by Edwin Adkins, Erika Tyler, Jin Wang, David Siriri, Vijay Modi of Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.  The conclusion reached was that the StoveTec stove was voted the best stove by the participants of the study in both Uganda and Tanzania…

Field testing and survey evaluation of household biomass cookstoves in rural sub-Saharan AfricaAbstract

“This paper presents the results of two studies conducted to evaluate the performance and usability of household biomass cookstoves under field conditions in rural sub-Saharan Africa. Cooking tests and qualitative surveys compared improved, manufactured stove models based on the ‘rocket’ design with the traditional three-stone fire. All tests and interviews took place in household kitchens in two village areas in Western Uganda and Western Tanzania…”


“The fuel saving benefits of the improved stoves were generally clear and quantifiable, and, the imported stoves were seen as preferable to the threestone fire. The StoveTec performed the best overall, with substantial fuelwood savings for all cooking tests and high user rankings in both studies. Though the other three stoves were not compared directly against one another, results suggest that the Envirofit stove ranked second, overall, while the two locally-made stoves were ranked lower, in one case below the three-stone fire.”

**Update: 3 December 2010**

Vuthisa is announced as the StoveTec Dealer of the month (December) by the StoveTec Importer in South Africa.  This is what the importer had to say:

“Congratulations to Kobus Venter, our Retailer of the Month for December. Kobus was one of Restio’s first agents for the award-winning StoveTec stoves. He has been active in setting up rural entrepreneurs for the stoves in-and-around Pietermaritzburg – liaising with local municipalities, hosting training workshops, exhibiting the stoves at a number of expos and festivals, etc. This month, Kobus attended a ‘fuel briquette producers workshop’ in Arusha (Tanzania) where he spoke about combustion issues and the wonders of the StoveTec stove. Kindly refer to Kobus’ blog to read more about the workshop and view some fantastic photos: Your free StoveTec stove will be included in your next order. Keep up the inspiring work, Kobus!”

**Update: 19 November 2010**

Vuthisa attends a briquette producers workshop in Arusha, Tanzania –

**Update: 02 June 2010**

**News article: Interview with Dean Still (Aprovecho) – To achieve cookstove scale we need standards.  Lack of standards may be the reason why less than 10 million stoves were deployed in 2009, according to the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air. The figure is woefully below the 177 million units that the WHO says must be distributed to cut in half the number of people without access to improved stoves worldwide**

See full article here:

**Update: 31 March 2010**

Vuthisa has partnered up with Thandanani Children’s Foundation in supplying StoveTec stoves to poor households in the Pietermaritzburg and Richmond areas of KwaZulu-Natal.  Thandanani has a network of volunteers that provide care and support for families with orphans and vulnerable children, households identified as being in dire need of emergency assistance, facilitating access to fee remissions, social grants and other forms of government support, facilitating the establishment of volunteer driven income-generating projects, to name but just a few of the services they offer.

The volunteers, as their name imply, volunteer their own time and travel expense to visit above families in question for very little remuneration.  We wanted to know whether or not the volunteers would be interested in signing up as sales agents as an incentive to get word out about the remarkable StoveTec wood stove, so we arranged cooking demonstrations.  The feedback we received was very encouraging and many are interested in taking delivery of demonstration stoves in order to give demonstrations in their own respective areas.

Demonstration to volunteers – Click on image to view slideshow

Further training sessions and demonstrations will be scheduled.  To find out how you can help or get involved with this initiative or Thandanani Children’s Foundation’s worthy cause, please contact Nhlanhla on

We are available to do demonstrations in your area, be it for income-generation or to show people under your employ how the stove works.  Contact us at or visit the Contact Us page to get more contact information.

**Update: 02 February, 2010**

**News article: More information on StoveTec wood stoves – a brief history, courtesy of Voice of America News**

Article or to listen to show:

**Update: 24 January, 2010**

**News article – Cottage Grove Businesses Send Bio-Stoves to Haiti – courtesy of KEZI 9.2 –  24/7 nonstop news**

Video and article:

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