Cooking Dinner on the EcoZoom Stove

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Guest post by RightWingMom.

Disclaimer: Our EcoZoom demonstrations were conducted while on a camping trip in Colorado.  The elevation at our camp site was 7703 feet.  The morning temperature was in the mid 40’s.  As with all meal preparations, cook times will vary depending on elevation and outdoor temperature.

We chose to prepare a dinner on the Versa using wood as our fuel.  Starting the wood fire in the Versa required: 2 plain paper towels, twigs, and small limbs.  The paper towel was wadded up and placed inside the large upper door.  We broke the small twigs in 1 – 2 inch pieces and placed them on top of the paper towels.  Next, we lit the kindling through the smaller lower door.  Once the twigs began to burn, we added the larger limbs.  The limbs we used were dead and down from around our camp site.  They burned very poorly.  We switched to splitting some local logs we had purchased.  These burned wonderfully and can be seen in later pictures.  The wood smoked at first, but once fully engulfed there was virtually none.  A clean burning rocket flame was achieved in about 7 minutes.

We placed 6 cups of water in a flat-bottom Dutch oven.  Next, we placed the Dutch oven inside the metal sleeve, for improved cooking efficiency, and then placed it on the stove top.  The water reached a gentle boil in 25 minutes.

Creamy Wild Rice and Chicken Soup

The soup is the Bear Creek brand purchased at a local grocery store.  I re-packaged it in half of a 1 gallon Mylar bag with a 300 cc oxygen absorber. Both ends were sealed with a clothing iron on a wooden 2” X 4”.   The packaged soup was labeled with the contents, instructions, packing date, and the manufacturer’s “best buy” date. This home-packed Mylar is intended for semi-long term storage.  Although this product was packaged about six months ago, it came out as fresh as the day it was packaged —  a decent test of home-packing in Mylar bags.

We mixed the package of soup with drained cans of the following:

14.5 oz. corn

6.5 oz. mushrooms

12.5 oz. chicken

The soup called for 8 cups of water, but because my Dutch oven was not large enough, I reduced the amount of water to 6 cups.  We covered the soup with the Dutch oven lid.  The instructions called for a 10 minute simmer.  We increased the time by 5 minutes due to the altitude.  We stirred the soup occasionally, making sure the rice did not stick to the bottom.  The heat was increased or decreased simply by adding or removing the sticks.  (We mostly just kept pushing them in to maintain the fire.)

The final product was a very hearty and satisfying meal.  As a personal preference, we simmered the soup, with the lid off, for an additional 10 minutes to allow it to thicken.

For more information about Ecozoom stoves:

EcoZoom: The Versa vs. The Dura

Camping Eggs on the EcoZoom Versa

Cooking with the EcoZoom Stove


5 thoughts on “Cooking Dinner on the EcoZoom Stove”

  1. survivalmom2*8+

    Thank you for the post! Did you use a cast iron dutch oven (can't tell from the picure). I am wondering what can be used on top of the stove as far as weight & diameter of the pot. My cast iron dutch oven is a 7 quart (I think) and has feet. I suspect that it would not fit securely on top. Since I have ordered Versa, I need to know more about what pots I can use safely. Thanks for your advice!

  2. survivalmom2*8+ ~
    Glad the posting was helpful. Yes, that is a dutch oven. The base is 8 inches and fits beautifully on the stove top. Both the Dura and Versa stove tops are 10 inches in diameter. They also have 6 support prongs, in a circle, that are 7.5 inches in diameter. I would be concerned that the legs would prevent the pot from resting securely and create more distance between the heat and pot. This could make cooking less efficient.

    The EcoZooms come with an adjustable metal sleeve. (Barely visible in the last picture.) You secure this sleeve around your pot. It helps stabilize and directs the heat to improve efficiency.

    I've used everything from: dutch oven (pictured), case iron skillet, camping pots (4 & 6 quarts), a 6 quart pressure cooker, and my regular All Clad 4 & 8 quart pans. The other reviews Lisa linked show the different pots and pans. I did this on purpose to make sure you could use almost anything. I've had success with all of them. The only draw back has been some soot accumulating on the bottoms and sides. It comes off easily with Comet (or Ajax) powder, a nylon scrub sponge, hot water, and a WONDERFUL husband! LOL I've also been told to pre-treat the bottom of my pans with dish soap and the soot washes right off. Haven't tried that method yet.

    If you don't want to use your good kitchen pots and pans, here's a link to a similar set of camping pots and pans we've used for nearly 20 years. They're compact. The lids double as skillets too!

    You might want one of these too. It's a pan gripper to help get them off the heat. LOVE mine!

    Besides the camping pots/pans, I'm an old fashioned gal and REALLY love my cast iron. They perform great on these EcoZooms too.

    Hope this helps. Keep on prepping! 🙂

  3. survivalmom2*8+

    I received my stove today…How exciting! So here goes my next question. In the event that I have no power, I plan to use my EcoZoom or the propane burning camp stoves. In the event that it is super cold outside or that it would not be a good idea to be outside for some other safety reason, surely I could use the EcoZoom in my home's wood burning fireplace? The stove directions say not to use it indoors…but what would be the big deal if I used it in the fireplace? Thanks for helping me work through the details!

  4. Congrats! Please let me know what you cook on it!

    IMHO, I would not have a problem using mine inside our over-sized, wood burning fireplace. I would ONLY use wood, never charcoal! Place the EcoZoom as far to the back as possible, and make sure the flue is open. (LOL…That's a family joke. We've had more than one, 1st fire of the season, lit with the flue closed!) People have used fireplaces for cooking for centuries, just make sure you use common sense. Good luck and keep in touch. 🙂

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