One of the great things that I get to do is review new products. After reading so many reviews from other sites and contributors, it is refreshing to get the opportunity to review products that are in my wheelhouse.
The Solo Stove popped up on Facebook a few years back during what I think was a “Go Fund Me” campaign and the minute I watched the first video, I knew this was going to be the answer to an age old problem. In fact, I can see cavemen sitting around a fire trying to come up with a way to say “Rabbit Rabbit.” That’s right, smoke in your face from simply trying to enjoy the warmth of an outdoor fire has been a nuisance to mankind forever.
After working in the Hearth, Patio, and BBQ field for so long and being involved in the wood stove business, you begin to learn a few things about combustion. One of the prial facts of combustion is the 90+ % need for oxygen to have a complete combustion. The smoke coming off of a campfire is not simply a necessary result, it is the result of incomplete combustion. Modern wood stoves have a “re-burn” system of one sort or the other and are basically tubes that flow air into the smoke at the top of combustion where the temperatures are over 700 degrees. At these temps and higher, smoke will reignite if infused with oxygen.
The Solo Stove takes this principle and applies it to an open burn. This has never been accomplished before in my experience. This…… is the beauty of this device.
Living in west Michigan, we get plenty of cool weather and our nights can be cool in the dead of summer so campfires or bonfires are very common. Running from the smoke is very common as well and the burn that comes from this, I will say miracle, device is heavenly. There, you get some gospel.
The stainless build makes the Solo Stove Bonfire a safe, efficient, eco-friendly, long-term investment. At a mere $349 dollars, this will far outlast any of the cheap patio fire pits that you see in the big box stores.
The most magically wonderful event that actually occurs, aside from no smoke tears, is the burn. When a fire achieves “secondary burn” or “secondary combustion” it actually takes on a completely different aura from a basic flame. This effect has always reminded me of an old Jimmie Hendrix video replicating and acid trip. The flames are ghostly and labor in slow motion. As if fire was not mesmerising enough, this “Jimmie Hendrix” flame screams of Purple Haze.
The one suggestion I would make is this, the Bonfire model is not so much a portable unit like the other small ones. That’s not to say nobody would haul it, but it is a serious patio unit and I would leave it on my back deck on on the dock for keeps. I would value a cover for it over the travel bag so that I could 1) snuff it out at night, 2) keep the rain or snow out.
All in, I flat out love this thing and give it 5 out of 5 stars. I can’t wait for the next bigger model and urge the smart folks at Solo Stove to start the wheels turning on the next bigger model.
All the Best
“The Grillin’ Guys Radio Show”