Fire is beautiful and primal and causes hope. Though I believe a Paleo fashioned diet to be inherently selfish and a bit misled, I too am tempted to put meat on a stick and cook over an open fire…all of the time.
On a kayak outing with my son, I opted out of taking raw meat in my pack but instead stuck with my favorite instant ramen. We packed an onion and some garlic along with a pepper grinder. After he held a paddle for two and a half hours and I steered us along, we were in need of some lunch.
In comes the Emberlit Original. Made of stainless steel and weighs in a hair under 12oz. It packs flat and is a breeze to set up. (The only complaint I would have about the new packaging it comes in is the clear plastic stuck on the metal to protect it prior to use. It was a pain to get off and I could not remove it from the Emberlit logo.)
At first it seemed bit heavy for its very utilitarian purpose but if you are simply using wood as we did, you do not need to pack fuel which is saving quite a bit of pack weight (and space). Because of the heavy duty construction, there is no chance of collapse and a good chance that once you set something on top it will stay put.
The fire took no time at all to get going and was protected on a windy day from three near solid walls. Even if you hope to build a large fire, this contraption would be a good place to start it on a very windy day. The Emberlit can hold up to the heat.
My Snow Peak Trek bowl had approximately 18oz of water in it which took only 6.5 minutes to bring to a boil. There are gizmos that could boil water faster, but how much faster could you need it? It is better than my dying stovetop at home. The fire was still roaring after the water was done and we could only intermittently be sautéing the onions and garlic directly on the stove. But we charred some of the onion to add a smoky flavor and the concentrated fire was just right for that purpose.
The Emberlit Original cooled very quickly but I forgot to time it. All in all, this is a great little stove. My family and I are moving to South Africa and it will be a part of our go-bag. I will most likely stick with wood, but Emberlit also encourages Esbit which I am sure would work well. This device seems to be the most stable in this category of stoves, is made in the USA, and in my opinion is the best quality for the price as far as folding stoves go.