Historic Range: $75.99-$89.95
Designed as a BBQ grill for backcountry trips, the Vargo Firebox Grill folds away using a hinged grate and panel system so it packs flat and weighs a mere 284g, meaning it is not noticeable when stowed in a pack, but this is a very expensive way to grill steak.
- Pack size
- Easy to set up
- Very specialised
- Takes a while to cook anything
The Vargo Firebox Grill is designed primarily for BBQs using charcoal or briquettes, so it is a very niche product and I wonder if it is truly worth it for the price tag. At almost £90, it’s a lot to ask for a barbecue. That said, gram counters and fans of titanium may enjoy this if they can figure out how to get it cooking efficiently.
I wanted to cook a couple of steaks, so I packed a few briquettes in the base of the grill and waited an age for the coals to become ready. I do not know if it was the type of coals that I used but the amount I was able to put in the small chamber was not really enough to cook the steak properly and I ended up with a very rare steak as it never really got up to temperature despite the warm calm conditions.
Also, being quite shallow, the coals were very close to the meat and they got a dusting of ash. Some might like this added flavour but I don’t. I have grilled steaks on my Honeystove with much better and quicker results, especially when using the Hive expansion kit.
I guess you could use it for other things like boiling water and use wood instead of charcoal, but this seems to defeat the object and there are other stoves (including the Vargo Hexagon which I really like) which would do a better job.
To summarise, this is a very niche product that will take some practice to get used to though I doubt it would really be worth it as it is too small to do the job. It might suit soloists looking for a minimal design to barbecue meat and veg, but it’s a lot of hassle. I prefer to use my Honeystove or, more recently a Firebox Gen 2 for this kind of work. It is much heavier and bulkier than the Vargo Firebox Grill but it does a better job of grilling thanks to the extended grill plate and the greater distance from the coals.
Cooking steak in my backyard in warm calm conditions.
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: £80