Dan Darrell-Sterbak, a teacher at Fredonia High School (south of Buffalo, NY) taught and mentored 2007 F.H.S. graduate Paul Jackino.  After Paul graduated, Dan and Paul continued to work together on projects (mostly Paul helped Dan with his projects as a sort of apprenticeship).  One evening, in late summer 2015; Dan and Paul sat in the basement of Dan’s rural homestead, in Perrysburg, NY, sipped some of Dan’s own crafted IPA beer, and discussed more projects to work on.  An outdoor brick pizza oven for community gatherings was the ultimate idea of the evening.  In the spirit of trying something more easily achievable first, Dan suggested Rocket Stoves.

A rocket stove is a simple, efficient, outdoor, portable, cooking stove. According to Wikipedia: “A rocket stove is an efficient and hot burning, portable stove using small diameter wood fuel. Fuel is burned in a simple combustion chamber containing an insulated vertical chimney, which ensures almost complete combustion prior to the flames’ reaching the cooking surface. Rocket stoves are most often used for portable stoves for cooking but the design is also used to make rocket mass heaters for heating. In field tests in India, rocket stoves used 18 to 35 percent less fuel compared to the traditional stoves and reduced fuel used 39-47 percent compared to the three stone fire, as well as a large reduction in emissions.”

Research began, and the plans to build one immediately followed. Dan and Paul worked together to build a rocket stove. Once completed, they used their stove to cook steak and asparagus in a cast iron pan.

A couple weeks passed and Paul built a stove on his own. Paul coated his stove by mortaring stones he gathered from the coast of Lake Erie, at Point Gratiot Park, in Dunkirk, NY, and a small creek that ran through Dan’s woods in Perryburg, NY.

Paul continued to build and experiment with the production of this simple stove. He experienced failure and success, through trials and tribulations, fine-tuning the process, ideas came along, handles were added, decorative models were conceived.

A rocket stove served as the main cooking appliance for Paul, upon moving into his home in Forestville not equip with a propane stove yet. Paul cooked several soups, made bone broth, boiled water for spaghetti and hard boil eggs, cooked steak and vegetables, toasted marshmallows, and even shared a stove with friends at Christmas time, to roast chestnuts.

As more stoves were built, sharing the joy with friends and family was the best experience that came from the stoves. They made for great gifts to those who supported the venture. In Autumn time of 2015, Paul brought his first rocket stove to the park (The Barker Commons), in the Village of Fredonia, durring “Fall Fest” at the Fredonia Farmers’ Market, and heated apple cider on the chilly autumn day. The stove and Paul were in all their glory as a group of sorority girls from SUNY Fredonia gathered around to stay warm by the stove.

By June, 2016, Paul had built over a dozen stoves. Naturally, entrepreneurship was imminent for Paul. These rocket stoves were seen as an efficient, sustainable, fun method of heating food in a safe, clean manner. Someone proposed: “A rocket stove for every home”.


Paul’s Rocket Stoves are handmade by Paul, at Paul’s home, in Fredonia, NY.  

To contact Paul, call Paul at 716-785-9558, or email Paul at paulsrocketstoves@gmail.com