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Would you replace your oven with a rocket oven?  RSS feed

 
gardener
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The kickstarter is over but the Rocket Oven Documentary is available for sale. Great chance to learn how to build your own rocket oven!



A rocket oven can fully replace a more traditional oven but that can also be a big jump for people for a variety of reasons. For myself I plan on dipping my toes in the water with an outdoor rocket oven that my family and I will use during the late spring through early fall. Once I'm more used to it all then I think I we may shift completely to the rocket oven.

What about you?

If you built a rocket oven would it completely replace your traditional oven or be used as a companion to it?

The kickstarter is over but the Rocket Oven Documentary is available for sale. This documentary makes it possible for people like me to get started with rocket ovens. I have no experience with rocket ovens, rocket stoves, or rocket mass heaters.



So if you built a rocket oven would it completely replace your traditional oven or be used as a companion to it?

Comment below and don't forget to check out the Rocket Oven Documentary!
 
steward
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I think for summer baking that I'm going to prefer running my future Rocket Oven. In the old days their was often a cook shack on the homestead where cooking and baking were done in the hotter months. Something like the Offgrid Kitchen concept - which I'm on board with. On the homestead it doesn't have to be a skiddable structure.
 
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My current home is poorly designed for a Rocket Oven, so for the time being it's outdoors to keep the cooking heat out of the house in summer.

I will definitely be designing my next (and hopefully forever) home around rocket combustion technology, including a white rocket oven.
 
pollinator
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My goal is to skip my next oven/stove purchase totally, and instead build a rocket oven and rocket stove. That will be when I sell the California home in under 5 years when I retire and move to my land where all the black locust and osage orange I planted have hopefully survived the deer infestation! There's a great appeal to build my own little place and power it with solar and heat and cook with wood grown on my own property. What better way to take some responsibility for the impact of our lives on the world around us, than by controlling and containing as much of the fuel and energy production to our own land as possible?
 
master steward
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It would be a supplement if we had one. My husband does some of our cooking, too, and sometimes we just don't have time to manage a fire AND cook (we have two little kids and they almost always seem to need extra attention right at dinner time!). So during those times, the electric oven would probably be used, and I know my husband would probably be more comfortable with our electric oven, as I'm sure cooking with fire would need a learning curve, and he might not have the desire/time to learn--and I'm sure not going to force him!
 
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I'd love to, but living on a second floor in a small flat limits us to building it outside
 
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Initially I'm looking at an outside build while I experiment and the probably another build inside but how well the operation works and how easy it is to use will impact if I'm able to convince my better half to put one in the kitchen. It might end up in my basement shop to start.
 
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I think the rocket oven has a much better chance of gaining widespread adoption than an indoor rocket mass heater for a few reasons. It could be a nice gateway drug though.
Would you all agree?
 
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Since we only have one window unit in the entire house, I can't imagine using a rocket oven inside four seasons. I currently use a solar oven as much as possible during the late Spring and Summer as it is.  I only have a countertop  NuWave oven any way - fast, but very hot!

I don't know yet if I'll attempt my first one as an outdoor kitchen cornerstone, or just continue to watch videos, too scared to attempt it at all :)  Venting is my problem in my antique house - three chimneys, but none working, ancient metal roof in sketchy shape, and close to zero building skills - so yeah, outdoors is where it will be happening first I imagine.

It will be nice when homeowner's insurance gets over the issue of these things when properly installed - that will open up a lot of opportunity for creative cooking!
 
Kyrt Ryder
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S.M. King wrote:
It will be nice when homeowner's insurance gets over the issue of these things when properly installed - that will open up a lot of opportunity for creative cooking!


That's why I'm not a fan of expensive housing.

Insurance is just one more monthly obligation.

Granted if you lack building skills and the time/will to develop them that's not really on the table.
 
S.M. King
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Kyrt Ryder wrote:

S.M. King wrote:
It will be nice when homeowner's insurance gets over the issue of these things when properly installed - that will open up a lot of opportunity for creative cooking!


That's why I'm not a fan of expensive housing.

Insurance is just one more monthly obligation.

Granted if you lack building skills and the time/will to develop them that's not really on the table.



We definitely agree on this topic. I don't currently have HOI, as I bought my house, erm, creatively.  However, it needs major work done maybe sooner than later (no running water and inadequate heat) and if I use an equity loan they will require the insurance.  And no one would ever accuse me of having an expensive house - LOL!  I'm sure the neighbors were hoping I'd tear it down :) 

There is hopefulness for the future that I will be able to learn some of the skills many here have already mastered, refined and improved upon. Right now, working full-time, caring for a special needs boy and cranky old Jack Russell and creatively dealing with housing surprises that pop up unexpectedly keep me fairly hoppin'!  I did get in a tiny garden plot this year, and learn the lay of the land, but have yet to even create a permie plan for the area.  There are so many inspirational threads here that if I am not careful, I'll grow glued to the chair after working all day in front of a computer already.

So much to learn, such limited time.
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Depending on the nature of those special needsand the boy's age, safe tasks helping you figure out those repairs could be really good for the kid.
 
S.M. King
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Kyrt Ryder wrote:Depending on the nature of those special needsand the boy's age, safe tasks helping you figure out those repairs could be really good for the kid.



Not to derail the thread, lol - he is quite gifted intellectually.  The issues are primarily violence and anger management related, along with some socialization issues. They are not sure if there was frontal lobe damage as an infant, or whether it is simply highly functional ASD (originally Asperger's) with a nice does of Oppositional Defiance Disorder due to being given away.  The way I live is not how he was ever used to living, so that adjustment has been difficult. Our circumstances are not meager, just we've had some ongoing issues with the functionality of the house and systems.

I've taught him to use a drill (he helped assemble some furniture)
He is allowed, with supervision, to use the hammer and nails to practice hammering straight, and pull-out.
He had a small hatchet, with which he helped me to chop up forest found wood, but he snuck it out and then lost access when the neighbor saw him throwing it up into the air (I was working)

He's quite the firebug, so while I let him participate in outdoor fires (camping, just hanging out in the back), all flammables have to be hidden out of reach.  The rocket oven outside at least isn't attached to the structure, so that lessens any huge impact he might have on the house if/when I get it built and it is a regularly used thing.

I taught him about spray paint on some small projects, but then he snuck the paint out and 'decorated' a lot of things I didn't want decorated :/

He has helped with the gardening, but it's not terribly interesting to him unless there are bugs or worms involved, lol. 

And he helps with hauling water, particularly if he gets to fill the squirt gun when he's done!

It would be easier if I were more skilled, or was male and younger!  He loses interest when I'm just trying to think out loud, but can be helpful when directed and supervised.

I'd be glad to have some suggestions, as I raised all girls and he's my first boy - totally different interests/activity levels/thinking patterns.

Maybe there is a better place than here for those types of suggestions/guidance (mods feel free to move this or whatever)
 
pollinator
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I probably wouldn't, but I have a kitchen stove now that is pretty hard to beat. It is a 1917 Crawford Stove so it has a lot of features that I really like.

For instance the top surface is about 6 inches lower then standard counter top height making for easy loading of big pots, pressure cookers for canning, etc. And while there is (4) burners, the entire top is a grate area so you can boil big pans of water if needed. Considering they still had "wash day" boiling big, big tubs of water, all that makes sense. It has a warming rack for rising bread too, and is a stand-alone unit.

Whether a rocket stove or the Crawford stove like I have, to me it is interesting that going back old-school in terms of stoves is an improvement over what is bought today.


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Kyrt Ryder
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Did your wife come with it Travis? :p
 
S.M. King
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A stove that comes with a COOK???  What an awesome marketing tool :D :D :D  (should have asked Paul to make that a stretch goal, hmmm)

And what a beautiful stove!  I've never heard of that one, but the features sound fabulous.
 
Daron Williams
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Very cool stove Travis!

I doubt I will end up replacing the stove in my place with a rocket oven but I hope to build a small "guest/office" building in the future. Once my little one is grown my wife and I may just move into it since we want to make it very sustainable and fully functional off grid. I think it would be great to have a rocket oven in it.

Also, if you missed out on the kickstarter the Rocket Oven Documentary is now available for sale!
 
Travis Johnson
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Kyrt Ryder wrote:Did your wife come with it Travis? :p




No but the dishwashers (my step daughters) came with Katie!



We do a lot of smoking (of food) here, so building a smoker would be nice at some point. I am not sure if I would go with a rocket type design, or go really old-school though like they had in the 1700's. But I am in no way opposed to rocket stoves. My best friend has a daughter who is a missionary in Guatemala and I have aided in building many rocket stoves there. My best friend has been dozens and dozens so he knows how to build and design them.
 
gardener
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I've already got plans to build an outdoor rocket oven to be part of my outdoor kitchen for summers. I have a gas grill, large, pro model side box smoker and double sink prep area already.
I have two items to go; rocket oven and pizza oven or maybe just a rocket oven, we do bake breads, so the oven has to be able to do a lot of things well.
 
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What a good question! When I saw this thread about Rocket Oven, I have this family reunion in mind. For me, I would make it as a companion for my oven and will buy this one next year because we are hosting the family gathering this summer and this is a perfect fit.
 
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I'd like to turn this question on its head if I may.  In the near future I'm going to build an earthbag dome house.  The plans are 100% malleable.  I have no one to complain if I were to stick a giant rocket pizza oven or whatever anywhere I wish.  In other words, I have no constraints*** (except city code) and a can do attitude.  So give me reasons why I should *not* use a rocket oven as my only oven.  It sounds like fun.
 
Kyrt Ryder
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Rob Lineberger wrote:I'd like to turn this question on its head if I may.  In the near future I'm going to build an earthbag dome house.  The plans are 100% malleable.  I have no one to complain if I were to stick a giant rocket pizza oven or whatever anywhere I wish.  In other words, I have no constraints*** (except city code) and a can do attitude.  So give me reasons why I should *not* use a rocket oven as my only oven.  It sounds like fun.


Convenience. Handling the wood is a hassle I would be happy to endure 95 times out of one hundred, but if injured or especially pressed for time by unusual circumstances it would be nice to have one of those efficient countertop electrical ovens as a backup.

Also, if you're only using rocket ovens I *highly* recommend one outdoors for summer and a separate one indoors for winter. That's my plan
 
Rob Lineberger
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Kyrt Ryder wrote:Also, if you're only using rocket ovens I *highly* recommend one outdoors for summer and a separate one indoors for winter. That's my plan



So if I may deduce from what you said, an indoor rocket oven would affect the inside temperature more than a traditional gas/electric oven? If so, that is a pretty large negative.  But what if I built it half in the wall so only the door was really inside and the rest was hanging outside?  Again I'm just what-iffing here.  I haven't seen the docs that are coming with the kickstarter yet.
 
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I hate to say it but traditional electric or even quick heating gas ovens are hugely convenient if you are cooking a lot indoors.
 
Rob Lineberger
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Lucas Green wrote:I hate to say it but traditional electric or even quick heating gas ovens are hugely convenient if you are cooking a lot indoors.



Thanks, Lucas! What's been your experience with rocket ovens?
 
pollinator
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We are a family of 4.

I would like to get a week's worth of cooking done on a Saturday. Couple of breads, slow cooked meat and vegetables as quickly as I can.

My electric oven with custom terracotta stone in it takes about half an hour to heat and it is not big enough to fit pots, trays, bread etc. in one go.

I'm hoping when I build my rocket oven, my cooking will get a routine that doesn't disturb rest of the day.
 
pollinator
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I havent paid much attention to rmh until the kickstarter. While on utube i saw pauls quickie partial vids/mythbusters about them. I then watched texasprepper2 build a simple camping style "L" shaped rocket stove. This combo changed my perspective.

1. I dont need heat except maybe 3 days out of the year. Its kind if like Pauls LED vs traditional lightbulbs. It applies to some, not all based on climate. For this reason i didnt really follow the threads. I bought into the kickstarter for the pdc/atc.

2. The worst smell in the world is body odor combined with smoke. Like when a guy is burning brush all day. They'd come into the hardware store i worked at and i had to try to keep from vomiting. It seems silly but it was BAD. One of the benefits i read/saw was the smoke is clean/ steam. This got me interested.

My new conclusion is to build a camp style rocket stove that can hold a skillet. With this i might see if i can go a month without using traditional stove. Cooking outside is not an issue. If i commit I'll start a thread to follow along. We are simple eaters though. A meat and 1 or meat and 2(meat, rice, squash) kind of simple. This creates the need for 2 to 3 burners. Im also pressure canning about once a week, but this should be doable with the stove. 

Anyway, wish me luck. Its something i can probably start in a month. I just hope the lack of smoke is a real thing.
 
Travis Johnson
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Rob Lineberger wrote:I'd like to turn this question on its head if I may.  In the near future I'm going to build an earthbag dome house.  The plans are 100% malleable.  I have no one to complain if I were to stick a giant rocket pizza oven or whatever anywhere I wish.  In other words, I have no constraints*** (except city code) and a can do attitude.  So give me reasons why I should *not* use a rocket oven as my only oven.  It sounds like fun.



1. cutting firewood is time consuming

2. Cutting firewood competes with gardening, homebuilding, earthwork, livestock care, etc time...every year. It is not just that it takes time, it takes time doing other things that need to be done.

3. Different types of woods produce different types of wood. Alder is called biscuit wood for instance because it burns fast and hot. Yellow birch burns longer, but is cooler. What kind of wood is available on the homestead? Does it work with the homesteaders type of cooking that they do?

3. A rocket stove does not have the consistent temperature that a gas/electric stove has.

4. Most cooking is done on a stove top and not in an oven. The majority of this is quick cooking. Heat a pan up, fry some eggs for breakfast, go tend to the garden, animals, etc. Just starting a fire would take a few minutes in the best of circumstances. Starting constant fires is more problematic than a person thinks. It means always having paper, kindling, firewood on hand. If a person lacks that, no eating until a person does.

5. An electric or gas oven has timers, lights, cook delays, sabbath day settings, etc that make cooking a lot easier

6. There is no concerns with insurance companies

7. There is no concerns with home inspections from mortgage companies for financing, or refinancing

8. Resale or property value of a home with an electric or gas stove is higher because it encompasses more potential buyers

9. An electric or gas stove takes up less physical space in a dwelling
 
pollinator
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I would consider it for my outside/summer kitchen, but not my inside kitchen for many of the reasons that Travis just listed. Also, I'm building my home and setting up my homestead to age in place and a lot of those issues like needing wood and taking longer will only get more difficult as I get older. I'm not opposed to these things when able, but I need options for when I'm not.
 
Rob Lineberger
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Hey Travis, that is quite a comprehensive list of negatives!  Thanks.  Each person has unique circumstances, and I'll talk about mine, but the main point you brought up that gives me pause is the consistent temperature.  The baking I'm familiar with requires you to get to a certain temp and stay close to that for a long time.  Again I have not read the kickstarter docs so I don't know how this works, but I would hope a rocket oven would have some form of temperature regulation (either manual by scooting cookie sheets around or dampers/more fuel etc.)

Because the thread has somehow munged into including rocket stoves, I am only discussing a rocket oven. Also, I hope people don't read this negatively.  I'm very seriously considering a RMO as my primary oven and that's why I'm taking a devil's advocate stance.

For me, the time is no problem.  I would cut and split firewood regardless so this is not an extra step.

I really like your point about the types of wood.  Gotta look into that.

As to point #4, my stovetop you'd have to pry out of my hot, dead fingers.  I'm just looking at the oven.

It's no problem to have an external clock/timers.  An old phone has that. 

My home likely won't be insured.

My home won't be financed.

VERY GOOD list with applications for others!   And the temp regulation for me.

 
Travis Johnson
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My points were not directly pointed to you alone, just a list of points regarding some negative aspects of them. For some people, a point might be a big issue whereas for others, it might not. For instance insurance: I don't have insurance on any of my houses either. For some that is a deal breaker, while for you and I, we do not have to appease a third party we do not buy into (literally). The same with financing, I prefer to build as I go.

It does seem like I was negative I admit, but that is not really so. Over the years I have noted that a lot of times people will point out all the great benefits of something; whether it be a breed of sheep, a way to produce power, or even a different oven, but not the drawbacks. This is not really the best way to "help" people. When I do my classes on sheep farming, or in my books, I let them know what has worked, but also where I have failed, and what the positive and negative points are so they can make informed decisions.

Specifically to you Rob, and for your case, I am glad you were not deterred, but maybe really research the current ways, and potential new ways, of obtaining consistent heat out of a rocket oven. Again informed decisions are the best ones.

My experience in ovens and stoves is unique, and why I can write on this with authority. My wife and I got a good deal on our 1917 Crawford stove and would not change it for anything. We love its many stovetop features, but its oven is just a cabinet for storage; in other words we do not use it. Sure it has propane burners and a broiler bar, but to try to maintain the right temperature is not easy, nor automatic, nor has lights, a temperture guage, and timers. Now I HATE electrical appliances and have slowly disposed of them over the years, but sadly they only make a 30 inch gas wall oven. For this family of six, that is not big enough for our whole turkeys, so our new wall oven is 32 inch. I dislike that it is electric, and is not even gas, but together the modern wall oven and the antique gas stove, make a formitable team. That is because 80% of the cooking we do is stovetop-type cooking anyway.


 
wayne fajkus
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Rob Lineberger wrote:

Because the thread has somehow munged into including rocket stoves,



Sorry about that. I guess i didnt stop to think about the difference. The end goal is using sticks to cook. It does seem an obvious first step. Walk before you run. A rocket stove can be bought for less than $100 or built from scraps for nothing. This opens it up to a lot more people, which can give it a greater impact globally.

 
Kyrt Ryder
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Travis Johnson wrote:Most cooking is done on a stove top and not in an oven.


Being on Keto on a budget, I do a lot more baking than I used to in order to have bread-like food I can eat that doesn't break the bank.

So like most things.... It depends
 
Rob Lineberger
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Hey guys, sorry about my ambivalent comments.  Tone doesn't carry over very well in writing.  I don't think anyone is being negative nor derailing things.  I was aiming that comment at myself so people don't interpret my questioning as being anti-RMO. 

Wayne, would you suggest a rocket stove being appropriate as the sole stove in an indoor kitchen?  I should mention that I have years of experience with outdoor cooking, including stove an cob pizza ovens, making a biochar retort, etc.  So fires don't bother me much.

Travis, I totally appreciate your list.  Exactly what I asked for.  And thought provoking.
 
wayne fajkus
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Im suggesting (for me, in my climate) that i walk out the back door and cook my food.

One thing i hit on, is there is no one answer. Paul puts a lot of emphasis on heat. Using incandescent bulbs over leds being the example i stated. So lets flip that around.

There are areas that dont need heat. Heat is the opposite of what i need.  When you start looking in that perspective, cooking INSIDE is the worst thing I can do. Cause i have to figure out how to get that heat out. So outside makes great sense.

Cooking outside comes with less cleaning afterwards. You still have the pans, utensils, etc but there are no counters to clean (which is separate from the soaps and rags that you would use for the dishes).

A rocket "stove" is affordable. No figuring how to ship a core, build a core, engineer it, etc etc. 5 minutes of youtube says i can build one. Amazon and etsy says i can buy one. No planning. Buy one and start cooking with sticks. Done.

No insurance worries. No smoking up the house getting it lit.

It just seems to have so much more potential, on a whole bunch of very small scales , that adds up to a big impact.

This is all assuming they burn clean like a rocket "oven". If they don't,  i just typed all this for nothing. Lol.

 
Kyrt Ryder
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They do, if properly insulated with sufficiently sized burn tunnel and riser relative to the system diameter.

Great alternative 'stovetop' for outdoors if not overbuilt (these things can potentially kick out forge temperatures, so restraint is in order)
 
Travis Johnson
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wayne fajkus wrote:Im suggesting (for me, in my climate) that i walk out the back door and cook my food.

One thing i hit on, is there is no one answer. Paul puts a lot of emphasis on heat. Using incandescent bulbs over leds being the example i stated. So lets flip that around.

There are areas that dont need heat. Heat is the opposite of what i need.  When you start looking in that perspective, cooking INSIDE is the worst thing I can do. Cause i have to figure out how to get that heat out. So outside makes great sense.

Cooking outside comes with less cleaning afterwards. You still have the pans, utensils, etc but there are no counters to clean (which is separate from the soaps and rags that you would use for the dishes).

A rocket "stove" is affordable. No figuring how to ship a core, build a core, engineer it, etc etc. 5 minutes of youtube says i can build one. Amazon and etsy says i can buy one. No planning. Buy one and start cooking with sticks. Done.

No insurance worries. No smoking up the house getting it lit.

It just seems to have so much more potential, on a whole bunch of very small scales , that adds up to a big impact.

This is all assuming they burn clean like a rocket "oven". If they don't,  i just typed all this for nothing. Lol.



This is where you and I are opposite. Sure right now it is 90 degrees outside with disgusting humidity, but this is a rare summer. Most summers I get by without air conditioning. But in Maine, heat is everything. We had 3 weeks of temps that never hit zero degrees (f). Add 20 mile an hour winds and it gets cold! So for me, a woodstove is more advantageous then a rocket oven.
 
Travis Johnson
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Kyrt Ryder wrote:

Travis Johnson wrote:Most cooking is done on a stove top and not in an oven.


Being on Keto on a budget, I do a lot more baking than I used to in order to have bread-like food I can eat that doesn't break the bank.

So like most things.... It depends




I hear you on that, and congratulations on working through that diet by the way. It looks like a tough one, but I have been hearing great things about it, and might need to change up my diet myself.

If having cancer, then reoccuring cancer, was not bad enough, the Doctor told me my bad chlesterol is pretty high. I am supposed to be at 200 or so, and I am at 330. Yikes. I did cut out all processed sugar out of my diet when I found out I had cancer, but obviously if I want to live to be 45, I got to do more.



 
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