KOCHI: ‘Rocket stove,’ a new cooking facility which does not require LPG or electricity, is becoming the new trend among families in the city. It uses firewood, coconut shells and waste paper as fuel, while reducing the emanation of smoke up to 80 per cent compared to traditional kitchen stoves. The stove provides a water heating facility and doubles up as an oven.
Putting an end to his expatriate life 27 years ago, Abdul Kareem, a native of Thrikkakara, had only one quest in life — to provide services for a seamless living. Using his earlier experience in manufacturing low-cost motor pumps, Kareem came up with ‘rocket stove’, which provides a sustainable twist to traditional cooking methods.
“With four decades of experience in making furnaces, boilers, kitchens and other industrial materials, Rocket stove was developed out of my curiosity. Thanks to Covid-induced lockdown, I managed to finalise the design around six months ago and started the production,” said Kareem.
Rocket stove is based on the concept developed by the British in the 1850s. “Though it is an old idea, we transformed it to suit the requirements of Keralites,” he said. “Apart from traditional firewood, people can also use waste paper and other combustible dry waste in the stove.
All types of vessels including terracotta pots can be used on it. Compared to traditional units, a rocket stove will release only 10 to 20 per cent of smoke during its operation. It can be easily used in the balconies of flats without creating any disturbances to the neighbours,” he said.
The stove is currently available in five models. “The high-end model costs around Rs 14,000 and has a pipe to expel the smoke outside. This will be ideal for flats and apartments. A normal model with a basic stove will cost Rs 4,500. Remaining two models have options like grilling, oven, water heating etc. The oven model will provide heat up to 280°C,” said the 57-year old.
However, Kareem could not market the product properly due to the pandemic. “We are hoping that word of mouth will give us the much-needed traction. We are currently delivering orders received over the phone. Due to Covid restrictions, we had to stop selling them on the street as well,” he said.
The product was launched after various rounds of testing. “We have run many quality tests to ensure efficiency in the last six months. Besides, we have ensured that the product meets all safety standards. Depending on the demand for the product, we will move to large scale production soon,” he said.“In the case of a natural disaster or calamity and if electricity and LPG supply shuts down, the rocket stove will be a good alternative,” said Kareem.