Pros: Simple, efficient design that allows for a variety of cooking options
Cons: Lightweight construction means it won’t last long with lots of heavy use, somewhat expensive for something that won't be used often
If you take a trip to your local outdoor or sporting goods store, you will find a plethora of portable grills, but every once in a while, a design comes along that makes you say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” The Pop Up Grill made me think just that. With its simple, efficient, and compact design, it can be used with either charcoal or placed over an open fire. This grill makes itself at home in a variety of settings from simple backpacking trips to picnics in the park to weekends at the campground.
The Pop Up Grill comes packaged in its own carrying case which measures approximately 12 inches in diameter and three inches deep, making it easy to toss in a backpack or day bag for a trip to the beach. The true genius of its design though, is the three part system that makes up the majority of the grill, and its slightly conical shape which allows the rings to nest within each other, expanding for use and collapsing for storage and portability. If you already have a campfire going, just use the top, outermost ring-with the accompanying grill grate and legs- and place directly over the coals. If you are using charcoal, add the second ring, which acts as a spacer, and the third ring, with its closed bottom, grate to hold the charcoal, and ventilation holes for good airflow.
Don’t expect to be able to cook for a crowd-- it’s a portable grill. With a cooking grate of approximately 11 inches, space is limited, so this grill can only handle five or six burgers, two large steaks, or four smaller steaks at a time.
The grill is made of coated, lightweight metals, resulting in both advantages and disadvantages. These materials ensure its portable nature, while the quick cooling nature of the grill allows you to pack it away soon after the coals are removed. The downside is that this grill isn’t really designed to stand up to heavy use, but for the vast majority of people who would use a grill like this, that is probably not a problem.
The other negative, at least for those hardcore backpackers, is that this is neither super light, nor super compact. Weighing in at three pounds and measuring 12 inches in diameter, there are other products out there more suited for those needing an even lighter instrument.
Although the Pop Up Grill does have some limitations, it beats out many other portable grills and is much “greener” for the environment than disposable grills, which are a “one shot” deal and get thrown away after one use.