Frequently Asked Questions

We get a lot of questions about our stoves. We’ve tried to answer some of them for you here, but feel free to contact us if you have any others. These FAQs are organized by:

What types of fuel can the stove use?

We offer several models of stoves that can use a variety of biomass fuels. Zoom Stove, Zoom Dura and Dura Lite burn wood and other dried biomass (e.g., corncobs, cow dung, etc.) Zoom Versa, Versa Lite and Zoom Plancha can burn wood, other dried biomass or charcoal. Zoom Jet is a charcoal only cookstove.

How much fuel does the stove need to cook effectively?

The great thing about our stove design is that not a lot of fuel is needed. Let’s use the Zoom Dura as an example. After you start a fire in the combustion chamber of the stove, all you need are three, one foot long sticks less than in inch in diameter to boil 5 liters of water and another stick to simmer it for 45 minutes! On the Zoom Versa you can bake a whole chicken with 10 charcoal briquettes (dutch oven required for baking) The amount of fuel really depends on the cooking task. Longer tasks need more fuel. When I’m camping, I find that the debris on the ground around my campsite is more than enough to cook dinner.

I'm really not used to cooking with fire, how does this thing work?

Great question. The good news is that our stove is really easy to light and cook on. Some people think it is easier (and less scary) than using a propane stove. Check out our instructional video for everything you need to know. We also include an instruction booklet with pictures in the box. It can take a little practice though so just experiment and find a method that works for you.

How much smoke does it produce?

Not much. To put some numbers behind that claim, our tests show that it produces 70% less particulate matter and smoke than cooking over an open fire. Once the fire gets hot you see very little or no smoke coming off the stove. Many people in developing countries use our stove for 6 hours a day. For them, the smoke reduction results in huge improvements to respiratory health. If you want to see what some third-party testers and stove recipients think of our stove, check out our third party testing page.

Since the stove produces so little smoke, does that mean it is safe to use indoors?

No. We have talked to the EPA about whether or not our stove is safe enough to use indoors and they said no. Not so much because of the smoke but rather the other gasses made as a byproduct of combustion.

Can it be used to heat my home?

We designed our stoves to cook food quickly and efficiently. That means that is retains heat very well and transfer it directly to the pot. So, it doesn’t make a very good heater. However, if you really know what you’re doing you could adapt a heat exchanger and chimney onto the stove to use it for heating. I’ve seen some interesting pics with this done but we haven’t tried it.

What’s the difference between the Lite and regular versions?

The Lite and regular versions of the stoves have almost the exact same components. The difference is the insulation behind the refractory metal combustion chamber. The regular stoves use a solid state ceramic and the Lite stoves use a ceramic fiber insulation. The change in insulation doesn’t affect the performance of the stove, it just changes the weight. We came out with the Lite ones after many requests from people in the US for the stove to be a little more portable. The change in insulation take about 7 pounds off the weight. We hope you enjoy the Dura Lite and Versa Lite!

Which stove model should I choose?

That’s a hard one! It’s really about your personal preference. Here are some thoughts to help guide you… The Zoom Dura (and Dura Lite) – this is a classic rocket stove design and super easy to use. No bells and whistles. You’ll want to have access to wood or other dried biomass. Great if you have a backyard with lots of sticks laying around or go camping often. The Zoom Versa (and Versa Lite) – a more advanced rocket stove for those that want to geek out. The doors give you a little more control and are fun to play with. They can also make your wood last longer. When all the wood is used up, you’ll have coals and embers built up in the combustion chamber. Shut the top door all the way and the bottom door almost all the way and you can continue to simmer for  30-40 minutes. (Yeah, the stove retains heat really well!) Another bonus is that you can use charcoal as well. So, if you’re in a city, don’t have access to wood, like the taste of food cooked with charcoal or thing charcoal is easier to store for emergency preparation, then this is the stove for you.

How much does the stove weigh?

Zoom Versa- 26lb

Versa Lite- 18lb

Zoom Dura- 20lb

Dura Lite- 13lb

Zoom Plancha – 86lb

Zoom Jet – 21lb

How do I place an order?

It’s easy! Just go to our Store (www.ecozoomstove.com/store), add items to your cart and checkout. Very typical online check out process. We ask for your email so you will receive receipts and FedEx tracking information. We ask for your phone number so FedEx has it in case of problems. We DO NOT sell your data to anyone.

If you don’t want to order online, feel free to give us a call and we can take your order over the phone. Our number is 903-ECO-ZOOM (903-326-9666). If you don’t get us, leave a message. We’ll return it as soon as we can. Thanks!

How quickly can you ship stoves out?

When you buy a stove from our store or Amazon we process the order within 1-2 business days and ship it out via FedEx Ground. Our ship days are Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Stoves leaves the warehouse by 3pm PST. If we receive an order by 1:30 PST on a ship day then we’ll get the stove out that day.

Depending on where you live, FedEx can take 2-7 days to reach you. Expedited shipping is available from our Store if time is a factor.

Do you give discounts for group orders?

We know many communities organize group buys of products. Smart move! We support that by offering discounted prices on certain quantities. The minimum order is 25 stoves. Please contact Amanda, amanda@ecozoomstove.com for details.

Do you have a wholesaler or distributor program?

You betcha! We’re always interested in meeting new people that are into rocket stoves. If you love our stove and want to sell it in your store or on your website, give us a shout. Send Tom some information about you and your store/website. He will send you information about EcoZoom’s Wholesaler, Vendor or Affiliate program. (tom@ecozoomstove.com)

I see your stove is made in China. Why?

Two reasons: materials and industrial capacity. Different places around the world have one of these factors, but only China has both. Let’s talk about them one at a time. Materials - What makes our stoves different (and we think, better) from most others is the materials used in making them. Specifically, the combustion chamber is made from a special type of clay with lots of diatoms in it. Diatoms are a type of algae that have been around for millions of years and can be found just about wherever there is water or where prehistoric water was. Not surprisingly, clay with diatoms in it is called diatomaceous clay. We have found that the type of diatomaceous clay in certain parts of China can be made into a lightweight ceramic that keeps in all the heat. In short, the type of ceramic that is perfect for stove combustion chambers. Industrial Capacity - There are about 3.5 billion people in the world who eat food cooked with an open fire every day. If you want to know more about why that is such a problem for these people and the planet as a whole, visit the About page. Let’s say these 3.5 billion people belong to a family of 5 people. That means we need to make 700 million stoves to adequately address the need of cooking more efficiently. Making this many stoves requires a lot of industrial capacity in a short period of time. Our factory in China has that ability, the flexibility to scale up and a long history of working with our special type of ceramic.

How many stoves can you make?

Current capacity is around 65,000 units a month. We can triple that in just four months and produce as many stoves as a large-scale project might need.

I live outside the US and want to buy a stove for recreation or emergency preparedness, what do I do?

Our online Store is set up to handle orders for products being shipped to the US and Canada. If you live outside that area and want a stove, just send us an email (amanda@ecozoomstove.com). We’ll get a shipping quote for you and process the order manually. If we have a distributor in your country, we’ll hook you up with them so you can save on shipping costs.

I want to distribute stoves to people in developing countries, what do I do?

Awesome! EcoZoom works with all types of NGOs, nonprofits, civic associations and businesses to get stoves out to the people who need them. We support our partners through the process and try to make it as easy as possible for you to do the last-mile distribution.

International projects are primarily done with container volumes. A 20 foot container can hold about 1,200 of our stoves. If you’re ready and/or want to raise the funds for that kind of volume, please contact us. Ben handles new partnerships in Africa (ben@ecozoomstove.com) and Phil handles new ones in Latin America (phil@ecozoomstove.com).

If you are a smaller group and know you will not do those volumes, you may be able to get on the waiting list for some of our Z+ stoves. Please contact Amanda for details, amanda@ecozoomstove.com.

How quickly can you ship stoves out?

If you are buying crates or containers of stoves for international projects, our factory can ship stoves within 2 weeks of payment. These shipments normally arrive in country with roughly 6 weeks.

What does EcoZoom do?

EcoZoom is a for-profit, certified B Corp that makes clean cookstoves accessible and affordable in developing countries. We believe all people should have access to beautifully designed cooking products that will improve their health, income and environment.

 

Why do you sell stoves in the US and Europe?

First, we love the stoves and think others will too. These stoves are great for  camping, outdoor cooking and emergency preparedness. Plus they are really fun to use! Second, we do it to raise awareness. The more people who know about the difference improved cookstoves can make in the lives of people in developing counties the better. Finally, we do it so we can offer our buy-one-invest-one program, Z+.Z+ stoves lower risks for our international partners and can help their projects grow faster.

 

I want to help. What can I do?

We offer a program called Z+. Z+ is pretty simple. Anytime a customer purchases a stove from us, we put aside a stove to invest in a project in a developing country. The stoves we put aside are the exact same stove models we sell in the US and Europe. When we get enough of them to fill a container, which is around 1,200 stoves, we start contacting our international aid partners to see if they could use the stove in the projects that they are running. If they can, we give them the stoves and they pay for shipping to wherever they are working.

Ok. You have me interested in improved cookstoves and what they can do for the world. Where can I learn more?

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a great place to start. They are a private-public partnership set up with the express purpose of educating people about what improved cookstoves can do and getting more out there.

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