Pop-Up Fire Pit & Portable BBQ Grill Review
Portable grills are enjoyed by campers, tailgaters, and people who love cookouts at the beach. Woodfire cooking is also a much-beloved institution that continues to grow in popularity every year. Yet these two things rarely meet in the minds of grill manufacturers. That is until now.
The Pop-Up Fire Pit Portable Outdoor Fire Pit and BBQ Grill by Fireside Industries is truly a portable grill that can be set up with a wood fire flame. It made from food-grade stainless steel and this tri-fold model is compact, yet only weighs in at 16-pounds. They even provide you with two carrying cases to make it extra easy to take with you.
The grill grates measure in at an impressive 24-inches by 24-inches and the rods are made from 4mm thick food-grade stainless steel. The firebox and grates combined are rated to hold up to 85-pounds of wood, charcoal, and food.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
The stainless steel construction and 4mm stainless steel grill grates are a nice touch. Though Fireside Industries does note that this grill has a somewhat limited lifespan. Especially if you don’t thoroughly clean out the wood ash after using it. Still they back it with a 50-fire or 1-year guarantee.
There’s a little bit of assembly required when you first put the Pop-Up Fire Pit Portable Outdoor Fire Pit and BBQ Grill together. Still, it’s not that difficult, and you should be able to fully assemble it the first time in under ten minutes.
When it comes to set up and takedown, the tri-fold engineering makes it quick and convenient. You should be able to take it from the bag to lighting a fire in less than one minute. Though putting it back in the two carrying bags does require you to let it fully cool down or you will melt right through the material.
This is a true wood fire grill. Though you could just as easily use lump charcoal or briquettes. The air is drawn up from the lower dampers which gives you a measure of heat control. Building a thoughtful coal bed or evenly distributing the pieces of burning wood once they are started will help reduce problems with hot and cold spots.
The 370-square inch grill grates are large enough to cook for a large group of people. If you wanted to use it as a camp stove, there’s more than enough space for a 10” X 20” griddle or a series of cast iron frying pans. You could even boil a pot of water on it.
The food-grade stainless steel grill grates can be a little bit on the sticky side. Especially if you are grilling skin-on chicken or lean cuts of meat. Lightly rubbing the grates with a greased paper towel can help prevent this problem and makes for easier cleanup.
When you’re done cooking, you can carefully remove the grill grates to use the firebox as a make-shift fire pit. Just make sure the stainless steel grates are completely cooled down before putting them in one of the two carrying bags.
The stainless steel grill grates offer a staggering 370 square inches of cooking space. This is more than enough to cook for the whole family or to host a big tailgate party.
The airflow engineered into the lower firebox might not seem all that impressive at first glance. Yet if it wasn’t there, you would complain about heat control and consistency.
The trifold design is also a special feature and not something that you see in a lot of other portable firepits. This makes it very easy to take the lightweight 16-pound grill with you in the two carrying bags.
Ease to Clean
Like a lot of other wood fire grills and firepits, cleanup can be a little bit of a chore with the Pop-Up Fire Pit Portable Outdoor Fire Pit and BBQ Grill. Fireside Industries even recognizes how ash and high heat can wear out the firebox. So, make sure to thoroughly clean out all traces of ash after each session. If you need to set it up for several days at a campsite, try to put it under a covered structure when not in use to prevent rain from mixing with the ash.
When it comes to scraping down, the 4mm food grade stainless steel grill grates are truly linear. This makes it easy to scrape away any stuck-on food debris. There isn’t any formal drippings cup, but the ash usually absorbs grease and drippy marinades. So, as long as you are thoughtfully cleaning the ash out it should take the runoff with it.
Fireside Industries recognizes that firebox burnout and wood ash corrosion can drastically shorten the lifespan of this portable wood fire grill. To that end they offer a 50-fire or 1-year guarantee. Which you should be able to get out of this grill if you are diligently removing the ash.
If you do happen to have an issue with the stainless steel grill grates, after the warranty period ends, Fireside Industries notes that replacement grates are less than $20.
A large wood fire portable grill can be a thing of beauty, and Fireside Industries has put their best foot forward with this unit. Not only does the 16-pound lightweight tri-fold design make it easy to move from Point A to Point B, but it’s also very easy to set up.
There are some long-term concerns about the grill grates and the firebox holding up to the often-intense heat and corrosion concerns of a wood fire. Still, if you take care of it, clean it properly, and make it a point to remove lingering ash, you will more than get your money’s worth.
- Lightweight portable tri-fold design
- Food grade stainless steel construction
- Dual carrying bags included
- Superior heat control
- Grates have a limited lifespan
- Only a 1-year warranty
- Ash needs frequent cleanouts
- Grates are a little sticky