Volcano Grill Review: A Versatile Outdoor Cooker

Flames burst from the heart of the grill, a funnel of heat rising off just-lit charcoal bricks. The Volcano Grill is ready to cook.

fire pit grill

The Volcano Grill is a versatile option for cooking outdoors at home or the campsite. It can burn wood, charcoal, and propane (with an optional 19,500 BTU burner), and it is super portable.

The collapsible unit is dotted with vent holes to move air and provoke flame. Its crater-shape design triples as a traditional grill, a propane burner, or, with wood thrown inside, a portable fire pit.

This month, I cooked burgers and a wood-fired pizza on the Volcano Grill. We roasted marshmallows then stared at dying flames in the base of the unit as the summer night fell.

Sold as an adaptable kit, the Volcano Grill ($110 base price) has accessories to barbecue, fry, smoke, griddle, and bake your food.

Oven, Grill, Griddle

A heat-resistant fabric “lid” fits over the top to trap hot temps and create an oven. Or buy the 8-quart cast iron vessel, made to fit inside the grill, and go all out with Dutch oven recipes at the campsite or in the backyard.

Cook wood-fired pizza on the grill; white oven 'lid' fits over top to trap heat
Cook wood-fired pizza on the grill; white oven ‘lid’ fits over top to trap heat

The whole unit weighs about 25 pounds but collapses small. Pull the main handle once you’re done grilling and the body folds up, its support legs sliding inside, the entire kit now a 5-inch-tall disc that fits inside a carrying case.

Review: Volcano Grill

I cooked at a campsite and at home. In my testing I mainly used charcoal and wood as fuel, though I plugged the propane in for a test, too.

Burning over-the-shelf charcoal, the grill heated up fast (see top image in this review). The flames seemed to leap to life, encouraged by the “volcano” shape of the body, which, with the vents, creates optimal airflow.

Vent holes keep airflow optimized for flame
Vent holes keep airflow optimized for flame

There is an air-control vent on the base of the unit, providing some control, but mostly you’re at the whim of the fire as far as temperature management. (This changes with the propane option, which can be turned up and down.)

The grill’s off-the-ground design and insulated bottom is great for patio use; relatively little heat is transferred from the underside, minimizing the chance of surface damage or errant debris starting on fire.

The double-wall design lessens heat transfer to the outside of the body, too, making me not as nervous grilling around kids and pets. It still gets hot, though, so be careful.

volcano-grill

The many air vents and a patented heat-chamber shape simply work — the fire inside a Volcano Grill burns hot and efficiently, with less smoke and a more concentrated flame than the traditional fire-pit grill I’ve owned for years.

With about 144-square-inches of cooking surface, there’s not a massive amount of grilling space. But I was able to fit a medium-size pizza on top or barbecue for my family.

The sleek Volcano, made of steel, looks good in the backyard, and it’s a convenient way to prep food if you can fit it in the trunk on a camping trip.

Check out the Utah-based company for a new, highly-versatile way of cooking in the outdoors.

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.

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