A portable fire pit can enhance the vibe of any campsite, and if it can double down as a quick way to grill up a morning or evening meal, so much the better. While traditional fire pits that use wood or charcoal to feed the flames may tickle that primitive part of our brains that hearkens back to gathering around communal fires for millennia, propane is the way to go for convenience, control, and cleanliness.
Ignik’s propane-powered Firecan portable fire pit has been on the market for about a year. Its compact ammo-can dimensions, quick-release gas hose connector, and flaming-hot performance have made it a favorite among campers of all stripes, but its primary use has been solely for aesthetics. The newly released Firecan Deluxe version, however, adds an extra level of functionality by adding a removable flame tray and cooking grate.
I brought the stainless steel Firecan Deluxe along on a quick trip to Bitterroot River in Western Montana to scout out my favorite fishing holes following the recent spring thaw. Along with the Firecan, I toted Ignik’s Gas Growler Deluxe and a half-pound eye of round as my cooking test subject. Why suffer with trail mix or protein bars on an afternoon outing when you can grill a steak streamside instead?
The dual-purpose Deluxe has two quick-disconnect hose attachments—one on either end of the body of the fire pit— that determine the use. Plug your propane into one side using the 5-foot hose with its integrated adjustment knob, and you get high, leaping flames for cozy firepit mode (which can be enhanced with Ignik’s Fire Rocks kit for an even more natural look). Swap it over to the other side, and the grilling mode offers a different flame pattern for even cooking through the removable diffuser across the surface of the grill grate. A small grease catcher that slides under the pit’s body keeps the kitchen tidy by corralling fats and stray drips, and the chef can handle the flame tray and grate when hot with the included tongs. The sturdy fold-out legs keep the whole operation off the ground and provide enough height to use the Firecan atop a wooden picnic table without fear of setting it on fire.
All-in, the Firecan Deluxe kit weighs nearly 14 pounds, so it’s no backpacking stove, but it has robust handles, and all of its components fit inside the tidy 12 x 6 x 7.5-inch package for easy portability. The 10-pound refillable Gas Growler Deluxe is also a handy size. It looks like a traditional 20-pound propane tank that someone shrunk with a space ray. I think it’s the perfect complement to the Firecan, and with its 5-pound gas capacity, you’ll enjoy plenty of grilling and fire-side time before needing to top it up. No more wasteful green gas bottles that inevitably end up in the landfill. The Growler comes tucked in its own insulated carrying case and includes a hose with universal fittings so that you can power other camp stoves or devices besides the Firecan. The case features a sliding nylon handle that allows you to carry it easily in any orientation.
We’re already familiar with the Firecan’s pleasing fire pit mode, so the real test comes when the meat hits the grill. I set up the Deluxe and the Gas Growler on a small island beach in the middle of the Bitterroot and, in less than four minutes, had my test steak sizzling (its power output is 30,000 BTU). A handful of puzzled casters floated by in their drift boat as I grilled, and I waved, wishing them good hunting. At less than 72 square inches, the grill grate is small, so I reigned in the size of my cut, and I certainly wouldn’t have been inviting a crowd of my new fishermen friends to the cookout. I was, however, impressed by the consistent heat and precise control from the flame adjuster. I could have wished for maybe a little more initial char on my eye of round, but it came out juicy and perfectly medium rare—a real luxury for a brief outing on my local water. The stainless steel grill and diffuser cleaned up effortlessly.
The Firecan Deluxe is a fantastic way to enhance your next paddle, horse-packing trip, or overland adventure. For its intended purposes, my complaints are few and very minor. The pit does need to be lit by a long match or a BBQ lighter (one more thing to carry). An integrated push-button piezoelectric starter would add to the convenience. The Growler’s case comes in white, and while it looks sharp, it is a curious choice considering you’ll be shlepping it around muddy campsites and greasy camp kitchens and heaving it into the beds of dusty pickup trucks.
The Ignik Firecan Deluxe rings up at $300, and the Gas Growler Deluxe at $150.
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