There’s nothing like cooking over an open fire in the great outdoors. But unless you were a very skilled scout in your youth, building a fire may not be your wheelhouse. This is where Primus’ Kamoto OpenFire Pit comes in.
The Sweden-based company Primus specializes in convenient outdoor cooking with portable gas stoves, ventilated pots and the OpenFire Pit. In theory, the portable and collapsable pit makes building and keeping a campfire easy. Just unfold, place three metal plates in place, throw some wood or charcoal in the middle and start your fire as you would any other pit.
The metal plates are designed to allow ample ventilation through the pit, while the bottom tray is also designed to catch ashes. The pit comes with a grate that fits on top for grilling purposes. Primus also makes the OpenFire Pan, which fits above the fire and comes with four legs that can be screwed on, which then makes the pan compatible for all regular fire pits. The pan is made of an aluminum core sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel, ensuring even heat distribution.
In the interest of Burger Week, I put the OpenFire Pit and pan to the test on my tiny Brooklyn patio (a.k.a. the closest to the great outdoors I could get without getting in trouble with NYC park rangers). Why test the fire pit against burger-making? A flat-top griddle, cast-iron pan or regular stainless steel pan is hands-down the best surface to cook patties on because of the evenly heated surface. The OpenFire Pan sounds like the perfect alternative to the backyard grill.
Back to my small patio. Luckily, the petit pit fit nicely between my planters and left ample shuffling room on the patio. Once the coals were glowing, I set the pan, sans legs, atop the fire, let it heat up and started cooking. Mushrooms and onions sautéed perfectly on the pan. Once those were done, I pushed them to the side to keep warm and slapped some pucks onto the hot surface. Audible sizzle was achieved, but what I was really looking for was that savory-salty caramelized crust all good burgers should have. Minutes passed, and I went in for the flip. There was crust! I threw some buns on the pan for toasting. Burgers ingested and coals cooled, clean up was a breeze. I simply emptied the pit’s contents into a plastic bag, wiped down the metal plates and folded it away.
The simple set up of the Kamoto OpenFire Pit made it nearly too good to be true, but it worked like a charm. Pancakes, eggs and anything you could make on a hibachi grill or non-stick griddle, you could make on the OpenFire Pan. While it’s advertised as a portable device, it’s as easily moveable as a folding chair. You could even tote it around in one of those oversized Ikea bags, if you really must. That being said, it’s the perfect compact cooking device for your next camping trip or tiny patio.