We Tried It: BioLite FirePit Cooking Kit
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Easy and fun to use as well as portable, the BioLite FirePit Cooking Kit won us over as a fire pit and a small cooking grill.
My family and I love outdoor cooking and enjoy gathering around a fire. But admittedly, my husband and I aren’t always wild about hauling out the grill, cleaning it after we’re done and going to bed with our clothes and hair smelling like smoke. And a grill doesn’t usually make a good fire pit, or vice versa.
So when I got a chance to test out the BioLite FirePit and Cooking Kit, I was hoping for a product that was versatile and convenient. I’m happy to report we found the BioLite FirePit ideal for our small family and gatherings.
What Is the BioLite FirePit Cooking Kit?
The BioLite FirePit Cooking Kit is the accessorized package version of the BioLite FirePit, a battery-powered portable fire pit that doubles as a grill. The standard BioLite FirePit comes with a grill grate. The Cooking Kit includes a cast iron griddle, a grilling toolkit with knife, tongs and spatula, and a grill cover for storage and more controlled cooking.
A key feature of the BioLite FirePit is the rechargeable battery, which powers a fan. The fan injects oxygen into the fire to give it a boost when needed. The forced air also speeds up the burning of particulates, which causes a fire to smoke. The result? With the fan running, the fire pit is nearly smokeless, so no more dodging the cloud of smoke wafting off the fire.
My husband, who loves building fires and cooking in the outdoors, is skeptical of a portable anything involving flames. But even he was pleasantly surprised when we unboxed the BioLite and fired it up the first time. It’s sturdy, has just a few parts and required minimal assembly.
How We Tested It
We mostly used the BioLite FirePit outside our home in different weather conditions. We’ve also taken it to a local park on a busy weekend, when we knew one of the built-in BBQ grills wouldn’t be available.
At home, we’ve used the BioLite FirePit under our covered portico, around the pool and in our backyard. That’s certainly proof of its portability; exterior handles let you pick it up and move it easily. Here are some observations:
- It lights right away and heats up quickly. Because we always cook over a wood fire, we’re used to waiting for the wood to burn down enough to form cinders to cook over. With the adjustable fan, we accelerated burn time and had embers ready to go sooner than with a traditional wood fire.
- The smokeless feature works. Under our portico on a rainy night, the fan kept smoke from accumulating and smoking us out.
- The dual function really is handy. I like fire pits. My husband thinks all fires are made for cooking meat. We both get what we want with the BioLite FirePit — a cozy fire and a grill.
- The griddle is great. This accessory heats up fast, cooks food evenly, supports items that would fall apart on a grill grate and keeps drippings out of the fire.
On the road
The BioLite is easy to load into the car and bring along for picnics and barbecues. Ours did not come with an optional carrying case, which admittedly would be handy. But the cover that comes with the BioLite FirePit Cooking Kit is a good substitute.
- The fire is easy to light. If you’ve ever struggled to light an outdoor fire, take heart. Assuming your wood is dry, the BioLite is fast and easy to light. We can usually get it going without relying on the fan, although you can use the fan to inject some oxygen if needed.
- A clean, self-contained fire. The compact BioLite FirePit allows for easy cleanup, because you can tote away any remaining ash and dispose of it properly.
The BioLite FirePit Cooking Kit has a couple of features we didn’t try:
- We haven’t used it with a crowd. BioLite bills the fire pit as suitable for big gatherings, but we’ve only used it with a few people. Although there are a lot of things to love about the BioLite, I’m not sure it has the same appeal as a large backyard fire pit. But, of course, a built-in fire pit isn’t portable!
- We haven’t used it with charcoal. The BioLite FirePit burns wood or charcoal, and we’ve only made wood fires. Wood fires with the BioLite have been a breeze, and presumably charcoal fires would be even easier.
- We didn’t use the smartphone app. The BioLite features a smartphone app you can download and use to adjust fan speed up and down. Because the fan can be adjusted right on the battery pack, we never needed the app.
The biggest obvious benefits of the BioLite FirePit are its portability and versatility as a fire pit and grill. The fire pit alone, without the cover or griddle pan, weighs just under 20 lbs. and measures 27 x 13 x 15.8-inches.
It’s not made for tucking into a backpack and hauling to a remote campsite, but it’s great for trips to the beach, drive-up campsites and public parks, as well as the patio and backyard. Its compact size makes it a great choice for small patios in apartment buildings where grills are allowed.
We love the BioLite FirePit for quick outdoor cooking and the warm ambiance of a fire pit. Our regular grill is large, and we haven’t used it since the BioLite arrived. Instead, we opt for the ease and convenience of this handy, portable fire pit.
Where To Buy the BioLite FirePit Cooking Kit
The BioLite website offers the fire pit, camp stoves, portable solar panels, lanterns and other camping gear. The company works to provide electricity to underdeveloped and off-grid areas of Africa, so it’s a purchase you can feel good about.