We love to do outdoor cooking (which is pretty obvious, no?) and that includes grilling as well. However, our love of our massive charcoal grill has faded since we got an Ecozoom Versa Stove. I realized this on Friday, when we actually fired up the big grill for the first time in a few months. It takes forever. It’s messy. It’s hot (and it was a hot day on top of it). It is a space hog. And it makes awful s’mores, as it cools off too fast. All of which our Ecozoom does amazingly well.
Now then, over the years I haven’t been impressed with wood burning stoves, because these stoves often had floorless designs, which meant they couldn’t be used during fire bans, or any place where fires were banned. They were messy, tricky to light and filthy after handling. So, when I was offered the Ecozoom to review I was skeptical. Very skeptical.
Could you say no to that sizzling goodness?
The Ecozoom won us over on its maiden voyage.
The Versa is different. A lot different. It’s sealed. It stays relatively cool on the outside. It works amazingly with even the heaviest cast iron pots slapped on top. The pans don’t move at all. I can pick up the stove and carry it on my own.
Weight: 14.25 lbs
Bottom damper door regulates air flow while top door is left open or closed depending on wood or charcoal fuel use
Durable three-pronged cast iron top
Fully insulated body retains and transfers maximum heat to your pot or pan
Refractory metal lined combustion chamber
Reinforced metal door frames
Sturdy steel handles with silicone grips keep handles cool while stove is hot
And here is another thing:
As I mentioned above, we enjoy grilling and cooking outdoors, but setting up the big grill is a pain. It isn’t “hard” but it is time-consuming and it uses a lot of charcoal. You have to get going an hour before cook time and expect it to burn for hours after. Not a quick spur of the moment event. The first time we used the stove we made a package of organic hot dogs. I wasn’t expecting the stove to be ready that fast, so I grabbed something quick to cook on it! The boys were very happy, since Mom rarely lets them have that.
Lighting the stove:
Add the charcoal in the center:
Within less than 20 minutes, it was showing temps of 900* inside, and I was cooking on it. As for smoke? Only at the start. Unlike a grill, you don’t fumigate yourself with smoke. Every time we have used it, I go inside after, and there is no “campfire” smell on my clothing. I haven’t used it with wood yet, so I will update when I do. Another note: it sips fuel. It uses barely any charcoal, especially compared to a large grill. It is highly efficient. Oh, and it’s hot after dinner and makes perfect toasted marshmallows.
It’s so easy to light it up, we have used it many times since receiving it. With our kitchen in the middle of a remodel, this stove has been amazing to use. And who doesn’t like to cook outside in the summer?
One hot cast iron skillet, sausages, tomatoes and eggs, all sizzled up together. What more could one want? Well….I did heat up some bourbon beans on the side!
We have enjoyed this stove so much we built an area for it in the backyard, so we can cook with it often. For homesteading, prepping or camping, it’s incredibly easy to use.
FTC Disclaimer: We received product for potential review.