Economic, Health, and Design Issues

Economic Issues

Cooking food on an open, wood fire or an inefficient stove uses considerably more wood fuel than a properly designed wood cook stove. It will also take longer to cook. This inefficiency causes unnecessary degradation of forests and considerable time gathering wood or purchasing from a local vender. A properly designed wood cook stove like the D Best stove will use up to 75% less wood. In addition the size of the wood is very small—approximately 2 cm, which is just a little bigger than a twig. Many families spend as much as 20% of their disposable income on wood fuel.

Health Issues

An open wood fire or an inefficient stove creates substantial amounts of smoke that is inhaled by cooks and family members. Wood smoke causes numerous health problems such as coughing, asthma, headaches, COPD, cataracts, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and implications in other health problems. It is estimated that 1.5 million people are killed annually from wood smoke. Some of the undesirable ingredients of wood smoke are benzene, butadiene, styrene, formaldehyde, dioxin, and methylene chloride. Smoke is caused by incomplete combustion; however, improved stoves such as the D Best Stove have almost 100% combustion. They are virtually smoke free except during start up and when the wood is pushed further into the fire (see User Guide).


The D Best Stove, which has been constructed in Guatemala, Honduras, and Uganda, incorporates all of the basic design features of the rocket stove, which creates a very hot fire.

Recommendations for combustion chamber materials are as follows:

By extending the base and the steel plate before the flue pipe, a second or warming pot area is constructed.