COOK­ING KIT

Make cook­ing out­doors easy on your sum­mer camp­ing hol­i­day

Countryfile Magazine - - Contents - Re­views Joe Pon­tin. Photography Steve Say­ers

All the gear for eat­ing out­doors.

THREE OF THE BEST POR­TA­BLE FIRES

They pro­vide heat, light and some­thing to cook over. Here are three camp fires that keep your fire safe, con­tained and off the ground

GR8-4 OUT­DOORS POR­TA­BLE HEATER/BAR­BE­CUE Green Dream In­no­va­tion, £75 gdi­group.co.uk

This in­no­va­tive prod­uct is neat and stylish, and strik­ingly com­pact at just 30cm by 20cm by 11cm, so as an out­door heater it’s best suited to one or two peo­ple. It’s nicely made, and ro­bust. The fire is hid­den (boo!) in a per­fo­rated steel box with a hinged lid that forms the grill; this is kept 9cm off the ground by the sup­port. That’s enough to avoid scorch­ing – but any grass be­neath will wilt. Small pieces of wood about the size of kin­dling will fit. These burn quickly, and need fre­quent top­ping-up. You may pre­fer to use char­coal in­stead, or bio­fuel pel­lets if avail­able. Cook­ing over the GR8-4 is

chal­leng­ing – the cook­ing area is small, there is noth­ing to stop food rolling off the top, and the grill is close to the coals. For its size, I found that the GR8-4 throws out a mod­est but pleas­ant heat.

VER­DICT Com­pact, best suited to burn­ing char­coal or pel­lets for a bit of ex­tra heat in the evening.

HEKLA 30 FIRE BOX Ten­tipi, £72.50 01823 275121, taunton­leisure.com

Don’t let that shabby ex­te­rior put you off – the sur­face cor­rodes nat­u­rally af­ter use, but this steel fire­box is ro­bust and

re­li­able and should last for years. The Hekla un­folds eas­ily from its can­vas bag to form a box with a cen­tral strut to sup­port a ket­tle or pot. (A grill is not

sup­plied but a stan­dard oven grill fits quite neatly on top.) With di­men­sions of 51cm x 32cm x 17cm, the box is big enough to build a hand­some fire. To pre­vent scorch­ing, you’ll have to de­vise your own means of sup­port – us­ing logs or rocks. Sparks will es­cape the per­fo­ra­tions in the base, but a cou­ple of foil trays or a layer of sand or bare soil will catch them. Cook­ing is not nec­es­sar­ily straight­for­ward as you need to build up quite a bit of heat be­neath – that in­volves get­ting through a lot of char­coal, or adding wood. At 3.95kg it’s too heavy for hik­ing but there is a smaller, 1kg ver­sion, the Hekla 7.

VER­DICT Sim­ple, tough, low-tech.

OPENFIRE POR­TA­BLE FIRE PIT Primus, £120 00 46 8 440 86 68 (Swe­den), primus.eu/kamoto-openfire-pit

This smart Swedish fire pit is beau­ti­fully made from stain­less steel. As­sem­bly is easy – it opens from a hinge, then you slide three steel plates into place. It’s a fair size at 60cm wide and 39cm tall, so there’s plenty of room for sub­stan­tial logs. The large base be­neath it catches any es­cap­ing sparks, but you may need to find some means to fur­ther pro­tect the ground be­neath, as any grass be­neath that warm base will wilt. If you are cook­ing, the grill is large and well made. It holds your food a fair dis­tance from the fire so you will need to build up some good heat be­neath: but once you’ve done that this is a very ef­fec­tive bar­be­cue. Car­ry­ing is not easy; the whole thing weighs 6.1kg, and a strap binds ev­ery­thing to­gether rather fee­bly. A ‘pack sack’ is avail­able separately for a stiff 30 eu­ros.

VER­DICT An ex­cel­lent prod­uct – safe, durable, and good for both cook­ery and warm­ing groups of shiv­er­ing campers.

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