Mike, from CRM Distributing (1-877-276-3478), recently sent one of their Ohio-made, heavy-duty steel fire pit/grills ($289 direct from manufacturer) to Kansas for us to try. I was immediately impressed by the unit because its box, which seemed impossibly small, weighed over 60 pounds. Obviously CRM’s Backyard Fire Pit was no lightweight.
As it turns out, the box was relatively small because the Backyard Fire Pit ships flat … or nearly so. The innovative design consists of a flat base with legs, 8 pit side pieces (four with vents and four without), swing away grill and grill support post. The pieces were beautifully crafted of heavy-gauge mild steel with stainless steel grill mesh, air controls and fasteners.
Assembling the Backyard Fire Pit took a bit of effort … arranging the pit sides was made easy with their unique bottom-clamp design. I struggled for about a minute to get the last pit side installed … along with the grill support post. The entire project took me about 40 minutes … mind you I set the thing up outside, on the ground, on a very cold, windy day. I probably spent 5 minutes chasing the instructions, all told. Once it was fully assembled, Kate and I moved it to our bare-ground fire pit and fired it up.
The CRM Backyard Fire Pit preformed very well. Its approximately 26-inch diameter fire box was ample for burning some scrap cardboard along with some Osage Orange billets we collected during various post-harvesting excursions. In fact, the Backyard Fire Pit makes our campfires a little safer … and helps me reign in my temptation to build the fire ever larger.
Since we had a couple of wax-impregnated fire starting aids from CobLites (www.bynaturellc.com) and Holy Smokes (www.nermanlockhart.com), we gave them a try too. The wax impregnated corn cobs from CobLites were slightly easier to light in the wind than the wax impregnated sawdust wafers from Holy Smokes. However, both were easy to light and worked well to start the cardboard and other kindling on fire.
Stay tuned for a long term report on the Backyard Fire Pit. We will put it to good use this winter. If you want more information, please give Mike a call ... he doesn't have a website.
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.