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Soot on pots from EzyStove

User enquiry:

I am very pleased with the EZYstove I recently purchased from you and cooking well on it but I have a problem with a smokey fire, soot on pans resulting in getting really dirty hands and extensive cleaning of everything contrary to the simple wipe of a cloth after use 🙂2014-05-25 17.59.36

This means I am doing a lot wrong as I understand that the EZYstove is a clean efficient wood burning stove.

As a beginner am very motivated to get this environmentally clean way to cook up and running as something I can eventually promote. Thank you for any advice you may give on cleaning up my use of the stove.

Wild Stoves Technical Response:

Thanks for your enquiry. The EzyStove is indeed an extremely clean-burning wood-powered cooking stove, and combusts many times more of the pollutants like hydrocarbons, carbon and carbon monoxide than an open fire. However, all wood-fuelled stoves will produce a little smoke under some conditions, and deposit some soot on the bottom of pots.

Soot is deposited on the bottoms of pots when the flames are ‘quenched’ on the cold surfaces of pots. Even when a pot has boiling water in it, it’s still cold to fire, which sustains at many hundreds of degrees celsius.

The trick with rocket stoves is to maximise the cleanliness of the burn, and minimise the 2014-05-25 20.30.44-1amount and soot that sticks to the pot. Cleaning up the burn is best done by ensuring fuel is very dry and there’s always a good flame under the pot; smouldering wood will deposit tar onto pots! There are a number of tricks for reducing the amount of tar deposition, but the best I’ve found it illustrated here: the right half was smeared with washing up liquid before cooking over the EzyStove; the left half was left untreated.  The pot was used on a stove for more than an hour, and a single wipe was applied with a cloth to the pot sides to reveal this. The soot came off very easily where the washing up liquid was applied.

But the bottom line is that wood-fuelled camping stoves are always going to throw some soot, so it’s a question of minimising this, and adapting to handle sooty pots. A small price to pay for the pleasure of cooking on wood…?

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