Any good ideas for portable grill or BBQ?

What do you eat and drink on the playa? Share ideas, recipes and advice here.

Any good ideas for portable grill or BBQ?

Postby iowamedic » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:42 am

I am looking for ideas on how to boil water or cook small dinners. I was thinking maybe a Jetboil system but the fuel canisters could get expensive for an entire week. ideas??

Thanks, Evan
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Postby CapSmashy » Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:46 am

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One of these should work quite well for you. A Coleman branded single burner will run you around $30, an off brand, around $20.

Pick up a 4 pack of one pound propane cylinders and you will be good to go for the entire week. It certainly does not have the "cool" factor of the JetBoil system, but it will get the job done for considerably less money.
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Postby phil » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:12 am

Louise and I took a tabletop-sized Weber BBQ grill for years, but I wouldn't recommend it for boiling water or cooking meals. You need briquettes, a way to light them, then they have to burn, go to coals, then you cook, then they have to be covered to go out, then the unit has to cool enough to handle. We always bagged the little grill in a trash bag, so no problems with ashes, coals, and such on the playa.

We finally gave it up, grilled the burgers at home, and used out camp stove to reheat the patties. Much more convenient.

An alternative suggestion for hot (but not boiling) water is to use a solar shower. They're unbearably hot during the day on the playa. If you're reconstituting dehydrated meals, I'd suggest trying water from a solar shower and see if that works off the playa before you really need it to work on the playa. Or try it on the playa if you're willing to have it fail to be hot enough.

HeaterMeals and similar companies make meals that can be heated in the box using powdered magnesium and salt water. Louise and I use them on occasions when we don't want to drag out the camp stove.

If you must have boiling water or a cooked meal quickly, I think CapSmashy has the best suggestion.
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Postby MoonSplash » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:17 am

We used one of those Coleman one-burner stoves too. Dead easy to use, inexpensive and so convenient. When it was particularly windy, I would sit it inside a box cut-out to keep the flames from blowing out and the food a little less dusty. All of our meals were pre-cooked so a small frying pan to reheat food kept things simple. We brought a small kettle which boiled water pretty fast as well.
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Postby iowamedic » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:05 pm

Thanks. I think the Coleman is the way to go. Much better that $100 for a jetboil!!

Thanks!!
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Postby ForumSn0w » Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:06 pm

White gas stoves from coleman work pretty damn well. A gallon of fuel costs about $15-20 and should last the event, but I have never used mine for a week straight. I have two of the coleman's from the 60's and they have never let me down.
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Postby Elorrum » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:38 pm

I like the cannister stoves. One pound propane type, and small isobutane. I also have lanterns that fit on both. Have been through several and kind of have a collection. The piezo sparker lighter on the one in Smashy's post is a very cool feature to look for. no worries about singeing your knuckles, or sparking a lighter or match... after finding said lighter or match.
I like an alcohol stove in a swedish military kit because it is so quiet, and it just packs up so neatly. good gadgetry and utility.
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I bring that to burning man. It's good for warming soup, or boiling water, and it's a good way to transport vittles to pot lucks.
plus this isobutane stove for coffee and other cooking tasks.
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Postby Zed the Mailman » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:02 pm

I look at Burning Man like car camping. Some balance of portability and convenience is likely the best solution for most people. If you are carrying it all in in you backpack and walking to the event, then the smallest, lightest, titanium, nano-tech one with the carbon fiber fork is probably your best bet. But, if you are driving in something larger than a Smart Car, I think a Coleman 2-burner propane "briefcase" stove can't be beat.
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Postby Rice » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:50 pm

ForumSn0w wrote:White gas stoves from coleman work pretty damn well. A gallon of fuel costs about $15-20 and should last the event, but I have never used mine for a week straight. I have two of the coleman's from the 60's and they have never let me down.


I have the same vintage of stove myself. :) I find that it gets all bunged up with playa dust if it is left assembled during a dust storm (can you say "unpredictable fire"?). The problem seems to occur where the nozzle from the tank (the generator) goes into the hole (the mixing chamber), so I try and remember to bang & blow out the dust prior to lighting. It helps to have a couple thick work gloves near the stove so you can deal with the inevitable fire that occurs.. Other than the playa dust issue, it works fantastically!!

Love Rice
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Postby teardropper » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:26 pm

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I have an RV, but use this MSR Reactor stove instead of the kitchen stove, mostly. Doesn't heat up the cabin and boils water VERY quickly. Bring one extra, that should do it. But the fuel isn't that expensive. I carry 3 or 4 extras, but I'm just extra careful. They are very efficient, don't use a lot of fuel at all. The stove is not cheap, that's true, but I use it for other camping, too.
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Postby ForumSn0w » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:47 pm

[quote="stretch80"][quote="ForumSn0w"]White gas stoves from coleman work pretty damn well. A gallon of fuel costs about $15-20 and should last the event, but I have never used mine for a week straight. I have two of the coleman's from the 60's and they have never let me down.[/quote]

I have the same vintage of stove myself. :) I find that it gets all bunged up with playa dust if it is left assembled during a dust storm (can you say "unpredictable fire"?). The problem seems to occur where the nozzle from the tank (the generator) goes into the hole (the mixing chamber), so I try and remember to bang & blow out the dust prior to lighting. It helps to have a couple thick work gloves near the stove so you can deal with the inevitable fire that occurs.. Other than the playa dust issue, it works fantastically!!

Love Rice[/quote]

I will have to keep a close eye on that nozzle then. This year will be my first year out there. Also, I should add a fire extinguisher to my list, thankyou.
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Postby iowamedic » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:07 am

We will be tenting it so our cooking area will be open to the elements of the desert! I think the coleman single burner or a flat dual burner stove will work the best. We should construct some sort of shelter for our cooking area anyway!!
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Postby some seeing eye » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:45 pm

While you are there you can stop over at the Alternative Energy Zone camp to see their various solar cookers. Not are easily portable, especially "The Death Ray" but they do have solar ovens for baking cookies and casseroles.
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Postby Drawingablank » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:46 am

I have both of those coleman propane stoves and I much prefer the 2 burner suitcase as it has wind shields built in and is more stable.

My camping favorite though is a small tabletop propane grill similar to the Weber® Gas Go-Anywhere (mine was a cheap knockoff that lasted 15 through years of camping trips). It is just a bit bigger than the 2 burner suitcase. The grill did take a bit longer to perc coffee, but gave us the option of grilling as well as simply cooking stuff in pots. I have no idea how the dust might impact propane grill usage though (more parts to keep clean), perhaps someone with on Playa gas grill experience could elaborate on that.
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Postby TomServo » Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:51 am

anyone tried sternos for single kettle boiling? I wound up with a few on accident last year...their yours if you want them.
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Postby thesandman » Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:01 pm

Two words trangia stove. Easy cheap to run
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:51 am

Drawingablank wrote:I have both of those coleman propane stoves and I much prefer the 2 burner suitcase as it has wind shields built in and is more stable.


Yep, on-playa, wind-resistance and stability are thumbs-up features!
Also it's good to have an extra burner on hand, especially with a larger camp.
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Postby HandJamMasterC » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:39 am

Another vote for a 2 burner Coleman stove. This is car camping after all. Jetboil stoves and similar are great - for backpacking and mountain climbing - you are paying a lot extra for weight savings, which you don't need for car camping.

A small portable gas grill which uses the same propane cylinders is nice too - check Home Depot - they sometimes have good stainless steel ones !!
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:15 pm

HandJamMasterC wrote:Another vote for a 2 burner Coleman stove. This is car camping after all. Jetboil stoves and similar are great - for backpacking and mountain climbing - you are paying a lot extra for weight savings, which you don't need for car camping.

A small portable gas grill which uses the same propane cylinders is nice too - check Home Depot - they sometimes have good stainless steel ones !!


BTW I hope you're a rock-climber.
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Postby Elorrum » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:56 pm

There's car camping, and then there's burning man car camping. I never thought a compact car would limit what I'd take camping, but there you have it. The coolers, water, and shade shelter occupy space I would still have plenty of, on a regular car camping trip.
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Postby C.f.M. » Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:15 am

Elorrum wrote:There's car camping, and then there's burning man car camping. I never thought a compact car would limit what I'd take camping, but there you have it. The coolers, water, and shade shelter occupy space I would still have plenty of, on a regular car camping trip.


I used to head out to the woods of Georgia in my Miata, talk about "compact..."

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