We are fortunate to have access to a summer cabin on a lake and near the woods. Every summer family members descend upon the “camp” and enjoy swimming, sailing, fishing and most importantly for the kids, roasting marshmallows over an open fire. Because of this, the adults have become somewhat proficient in starting a campfire, so I was curious how the FIREase IncinerGrate would add to the experience.
Initially upon receipt of the grate, I was underwhelmed considering the price. It’s just a couple of welded steel bars.
There are two pieces to the grate.
A look at ½ of the grate.
The two pieces hooked together. The grate came packaged with some helpful instructions and a 17 point list of safety tips with such sage advice as “do not pick up burning logs with your hand”.
The objective of the FIREase is to facilitate building a tepee of logs and as taught in fire building 101, that’s the best way to build a fire. In the interest of full disclosure, I did not actually use the device, however I was present when others did so. As I said in the beginning, I was underwhelmed by the grate and didn’t want my opinion to influence the test results. I enlisted the help of relatives and neighbors to start a fire from scratch in my crude backyard pit.
We built up the fire by following the 6 -8 steps called out in the instructions that came with the grate. In the center we put some paper, then small kindling and then placed medium logs around the grate.
And then we had ignition.
After a bit, the paper and kindling took hold and we had flames.
With a beneficial breeze and dry kindling and wood, the fire started going fairly well. Using the IncinerGrate does provide for a better airflow around the logs and promotes fast ignition.
The IncinerGrate met the approval of the kids, but then again all they cared about were the s’mores. Throughout the evening we piled on more wood as the fired burned down and had no issues with the grate.
Over the next 10 days, we used the IncinerGrate on every evening when it wasn’t raining. It worked well, but I received the same comment from everyone that used it: “why would I pay $63 for this”. It was a question I couldn’t answer, especially since my fire starting regimen involves just 2 steps and only needs a match and some kerosene. It may not be as elegant, but it works fast and even with damp fuel.
Up at the cabin, we have been making campfires for years and probably don’t have the need for the FIREase device. If we need a grate we go to the local dump and get some scrap metal, but for the city folk who venture out into the country once in a while, the IncinerGrate might be useful. My guess is that the grate is targeted at the novice campfire builder based upon the warning printed on the instructions: “Fire is destructive and potentially dangerous”. Really?
The sample for this review was provided by FIREase. Please visit their site for more info.