Out in these parts, the end of March isn’t known as much as the start of Spring or Easter time. It is better known as “Dividend Season”. For those who don’t know, we have an outdoor store called REI. It first opened in Seattle and has grown over the years. Customers can pay a life time $20 fee to become a co-op member and at the end of each year are awarded a dividend based on how much you spent at REI (the amount can also go up if you have their credit cards). That money can then be used to buy more stuff at REI. It is a Pandora’s box of goodness…at least as far as I am concerned! And that says a lot considering I am not a big fan of shopping.
This year I decided I was going to buy the accessories for the BioLite Stove I bought last year. The stove is fantastic and the company is one I love supporting with the great work they are doing in developing countries (you should check it out on their website here)! The stove burns super efficiently, with very little smoke (considering your options), and it also has a USB port to charge small devices (our iPhones have charged, but it didn’t have the power to charge my full sized iPad). The stove has 2 accessories now – a grill and a kettle. I got both!
We always like to test things out before we take them on the road with us, so tonight was our night to test the grill. I had a 1.08lb New York Strip Steak I was making for dinner. We lit our fire, put the grill attachment onto the stove and let things heat up for a few minutes before putting the steak on the grill. One thing I read in the instructions is that grill is hottest on the right, medium heat in the middle, and cooler on the left. I was able to get the steak beautifully seared, but we learned you need to make sure the fire stays nice and big or the grill cools off. Especially if you are cooking in a breeze like we were. Adding fuel to the fire was easy. Simply lift the metal flap and drop your biomass in. Then close the flap to direct the heat back towards the grill.
Our steak makes the grill look small, but we could have put a second one on easily. I also bet you could do a full pack of hot dogs or 4 hamburger patties on there at a time. This is an accessory I wouldn’t see a backpacker using (especially if weight and space is a concern), but car campers, tear droppers, or campers with larger trailers might enjoy this. It is on the bigger side for packing along, but small enough for us. It is great when you are off the grid too!
My husband cut up some pine we had laying around in the garage, which gave the meat a wonderful flavor that only comes with cooking with wood. I love that Laddy labeled the box for me, so I would know what was in there!
We had a lovely meal with Trader Joes Harvest grains and butter crunch lettuce fresh from the garden. The Lad proclaimed, “this is the best steak I have ever had!” And I have to agree that it was really good. Food always tastes better cooked outside.
We cooked our steak to about 145 degrees (internal temp), and it was lovely and cooked to medium. It took about a half hour, but the steak was thick. I am guessing we needed a few extra minutes as we were outside, but it wasn’t more time than I expected.
Clean up was easy after we waited for the unit to cool down. There were very few ashes due to the efficient burning of the unit. The grill cleaned up easily, then snapped into its case to keep any bits and pieces from coming out and making any sort of mess. I like that a lot!
At first we were feeling like the unit felt slightly flimsy, but it held up to our abuses tonight. I am assuming the unit is designed to be light weight and that is probably what gave us that feeling. We had no trouble with it at all and will use it with great joy in the future. We recommend the whole BioLite unit and grill, and will add a review in the future when we test the BioLite Kettle! I can’t wait.