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picogrill, tried it?

teef

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okay, finally had a day out with it. as i think i previously mentioned i bought the Picogrill 239 from the company in Switzerland. final price to me was just under £90 and i had no problems with customs or the post:

picogrill-brewing_screenie.png


picogrill-embers_screenie.png


in my opinion the pros of this stove are:
  • super lightweight, the stove alone is roughly 300g.
  • very easy to pack and carry (collapses flat, everything goes into what is roughly an A4 sleeve).
  • very easy to set up: just press in from the "ends" and the burn plate and cross braces flip into place, you're done.
  • supports considerable weight (i imagine you'd want that cross brace in place though i've got it laying on the fire blanket near the axe).
  • large enough to have a good sized fire going.
  • the light gauge stainless cools off quite quickly when you're ready to pack up.
  • multiple ways to load fuel in.
  • to a certain degree it acts as its own wind protection.
  • seems relatively unaffected by long, hot burns.
and the cons:
  • the thin gauge metal doesn't radiate much heat like for instance the stainless Firebox does.
  • it does have quite a number of holes in it, if the wind picks up your fire is going to get buffeted around a bit.
  • it feels flimsy because of the thin gauge stainless although it's actually a lot sturdier than you'd think.
  • the wideness of the thing is great for getting a large fire going but it does allow a lot of heat to vent off if there's a bit of a wind up. the grill is handy for giving you the option of easily moving your heating vessel over the hot spot.
  • if you're going for long, hot burns you're going to need something to get it up off the ground to avoid scorching the earth. i have the stand but haven't used it yet.
for my test i stuffed the thing and kept it going for almost 90 minutes. what you see in the first picture was a relative low point of the fire, the rest of the time it was going full blaze. i ran roughly 2.5kg of seasoned wood through it.

given the length and intensity of the test burn i fully expected some warping and buckling. I did notice that it didn't pack quite as flat after the burn as it did before but with a light squeeze -- i used a thin metal clip -- it collapses to its original thin profile without difficulty. no other issues. in other words warping etc doesn't seem to be a problem.

all in all i'm quite pleased with it. it ain't cheap and it ain't 100% perfect but it ticks a lot of boxes for me. there's nothing about it i feel i need or would want to change so i think my quest for the right "me" stove is over for the foreseeable future. if i had the option to undo my purchase i would not, i'm confident the Picogrill will serve me well. if "buy once, cry once" is a thing then this is surely a perfect example.
 
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1 shot willie

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Way to go Teef :thumbsup:

Always good to hear from someone who is happy with a new bit of kit.
Might not suit others......but then you did not buy it for them :D
Whats not to like......I think its a nice little stove that offers a lot.
As far as loosing heat and getting buffeted by the wind......one of those fold away aluminium wind guards would maybe help?
Excellent for a brew and meal.......and the comfort of a small controlled fire to boot :thumbsup:

Nice write up/review......thanks for sharing.....like it :thumbsup:
 

teef

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I notice in the photo you’ve used an additional mesh grill and a heat proof mat, are these necessary or was that just a one off thing for convenience?
the mesh grill is an extra from Picogrill, i find a decent grill really convenient on pretty much any stove and that goes double here.
the fire mat was something i've had for a while and was my attempt at ground protection, with mixed results as the ground did get scorched a bit.
you can order a wee stand and plate which looks much more effective:

picogrill-stand.png
picogrill-plate.png



the stove comes with the little brace that i mentioned (sitting on the fire mat near the axe) and that normally spans across the top of the stove and hooks in where the outer plates meet to form the eye-shape (imagine you're looking straight down into the stove). it helps hold that shape and gives it strength. from what i've seen that alone is enough to give you a surface for heating/cooking, the idea being that your cooking vessel would span the space from the brace to the edge of the stove, or even edge-to-edge if you were using a wide pan for example.

as far as i know the stove also comes with a U-shaped skewer that has long side arms: it pokes into the stove from one "end" spans the firechamber and pokes out the other "end":

picogrill-skewer.png


that's a surprisingly useful accessory as it can lay it across the top to support a kettle; it can poke through the side to hold a alcohol burner; use it as a dual kebab stick; or -- as i used it when my fire ran low and i needed one more cup of tea -- you can poke it through a lower set of holes to support your kettle over the last embers in the bottom of the firechamber.

for wind protection i quite agree, a shield would have done the job nicely. it was a blustery day and i should have known better because i left mine at home thinking i'd go with the ultra-light vibe. live and learn. although this stove isn't as susceptible to the wind as some others i've used it is full of holes and a wiser man would have trusted his gut and taken his fire shield along.

fyi, the pics i've used in this post are from the picogrill.ch website. the ones i received look exactly the same.

in the spirit of full disclosure i should add that i paid for the basic stove which i believe includes the stove, brace, sleeve and (??) the skewer. the rest of it was a gift for assistance i had offered and given the guy at Picogrill.
 
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