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Picking a title for this article was tough because there are so many thought-out design features of the TIKI Brand smokeless fire pit. By highlighting one, it felt like I was leaving out others. In picking the easy 30-minute fire with for the title, I want to apologize to the great cooking features. Either way, I’m glad that TIKI sent me the fire pit to test out.
Once upon a time, I was a mechanical engineer in the auto industry. With that came a love of cars and all things with great mechanical design. The smart design elements from TIKI inspired me to write an article about the cool products that TIKI was creating. At that point I had never interacted with anyone from the brand, I just liked what they were doing.
Fast forward to testing out their Patio fire pit, and I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve tested lots of products at this point and there’s many times I go “I wish they would have done this differently”, but with the Tiki fire pit, it was “that was a smart way to do that”.
Enough of me babbling about design, and onto the article. The 30-minute fire is something that TIKI has, which other fire pits don’t. They sell Wood Packs, which are little paper bags filled with food grade wood pellets.
When you want a fire, you put a wood pack on top of a metal dome accessory that comes with the fire pit. Then, you light each corner of the bag and you have a fire that lasts 30 minutes.
Any product that is designed to make you use it more is a winner. That’s exactly what this does. There’s no messing with getting a fire started, there’s no worrying about how long it will be burning, it’s done in 30 minutes. You can plan on it, which if you have a busy schedule, you need things that you can plan on.
It’s not just advertising either, I actually timed how long each phase of the bonfire process took. The bag lights easily, and as the bag continues to burn, pellets spill out into the fire pit. Within 5 minutes, you have a good fire going. By 30 minutes, your fire is out. The one I timed lasted a little more than 29 minutes.
If you are almost at the end of the fires life and you want it to keep going, just add some more pellets or firewood. You can choose your own fire adventure.
The only con that I have to point out with the Wood Packs is when they’re first going it smells like they have some type of lighter fluid on them. I’m sure it helps the bags light easily, but that is the tradeoff.
Features and Specs
- Retail price of $395 (check price) for the Patio fire pit and $595 (check price) for the larger Reunion fire pit – they also have a promo code when you first visit their website
- Has a smokeless design for a cleaner and better fire experience
- The Patio fire pit weighs 43 lbs while the Reunion weighs just over 60 lbs
- Has a removeable ash pan for easy cleaning
Patio vs. Reunion
The Patio fire pit is what I’d call a standard sized backyard fire pit. It’s the perfect size for 4-6 people to sit around. If you plan on having larger parties, I’d size-up to the Reunion. I try not go too big on fire pits because the bigger the fire pit, the more wood you need to fuel it. If you have access to an ample wood supply though, that may not be an issue.
What’s in the Box?
What’s nice about the Tiki fire pit is it comes with everything you need to enjoy it out of the box. It comes with the fire pit (of course), a stand, and a cover. The accessories that you can buy add another dimension to the fire pit, but you could easily be happy just with what it comes with.
Assembly is pretty much nothing with the TIKI fire pit. You basically screw on the stand with three screws and put in the ash tray.
It’s worth noting though that I did have a little bit of trouble aligning the fire pit to screw in the stand. I could have used a couple more threads on the screws to make life easier. I’d recommend screwing the base in by partially threading each screw and then going back and tightening them.
There are a number of accessories for purchase that add more capabilities and convenience to the fire pit.
Screen and Poker
Retailing for $150 (check price), the screen and poker is nice to have with your fire pit. The screen helps keep sparks inside if your fire wood pops, and helps keep things out of the fire pit. The screen is a two piece design, so you only have to take the top off to add more wood or tend to the fire.
When it comes to great design, the patio screen fits the bill. It has four notches in the lower half, so you can rest marshmallow roasting sticks. It also has a little wire piece in the top half of the screen so you can rest it open on the lower half.
The poker it comes with is a two piece design that’s really beefy for a poker. It not only is helpful for managing a fire, if I need to fend off any wild animal attacks in my backyard, this is the first thing I’d reach for. Plus, after I am triumphant and I settle back down by the fire, the bottom of the poker has a bottle opener for a celebratory beverage.
The Heat Deflector retails for $75 (check price) and is designed to push more heat outwards to keep you warmer. It’s worth noting that this sits inside of the Screen accessory, so you have to buy that to be able to use this.
What I like about the design is visually it doesn’t take away too much from the fire, which is a big part of the experience. As far as its intended function, it did provide a little more of a heat radius, especially on days that weren’t too windy. The difference wasn’t dramatic though, so if you’re looking to save a little money, you could skip this.
Fire Pit Griddle
This accessory is awesome, which being CookOut News, I am really excited about. It retails for $219 (check price), and it comes with a big griddle, a small griddle for the center, a grill grate for the center, a removeable handle, a wooden trivet, and some leather gloves to keep your hands safe. It comes with quite a bit of stuff.
The griddle is designed to work on fire pits of different sizes, so it’s huge for the Patio fire pit, which is a good thing. Looking at the pictures you can’t tell how big it is, so I was surprised when it came.
A smart design feature of the griddle is there are raised rings on the bottom of it to keep it in place when it’s on the fire pit. What’s also nice is you can put it directly on the fire pit to get it closer to the coals, or if the coals are too hot and you want to see the fire more, you can put the griddle on the screen.
Having an interchangeable center section adds versatility to the griddle. You can put the grill grate piece in and sear steaks, while cooking vegetables or other food on the outer griddle section. The design of it is nice too because hot air naturally will travel through the middle, which makes the grills grate really hot. This give you some perfect grill marks on your food.
To make the cooking experience easier on an open fire, I’d recommend waiting until you just have hot coals and no flames. It’s helpful to use charcoal rather than wood, if you can. Use an infrared thermometer to check the temperature of the griddle surface to see when it’s ready. With the open center design, you can always easily add more fuel if you start to see your temps drop.
To finish off the design of the griddle, there are handles built into the sides. That’s nice to have with the size of this griddle. It makes it moving it around much easier.
Next Level S’mores
S’mores are always delicious, but there’s one problem. When you cook them on a fire pit, you end up with a gooey marshmallow on a solid piece of chocolate. It’s disappointing because you want melty chocolate to go with the gooey marshmallow.
The fire pit griddle solves this! Once your coals have died down, remove the center section of the griddle. Brown-up your marshmallow in that opening. Next, construct your s’more with the ratio of chocolate that you like.
Now comes the magic, you’re going to put the constructed smore on the outer griddle ring with the chocolate side down on the griddle. Let it sit there for a couple minutes, then safely take it off. Boom, you have a s’more with melty chocolate that will be the envy of everyone.
Pros and Cons
- Smart design features that make the fire pit work the way you’d want
- 30-minute fire which makes you use the fire pit much more frequently
- Fantastic cooking accessories so you can cook a variety of food
- Competitively priced compared to other fire pits, but it’s still a costly investment
- The smokeless efficiency means you go through quite a bit of wood
- The styling of the fire pit is nice because it looks more decorative than others. It’s not for everyone though, so for you it could be a pro or a con.
This is one of the most thought-out fire pits on the market. Everything works the way you’d want. It’s nice that it comes with everything you need, but you can add to it if you want. Plus, it’s the only one with the 30-minute fire, which is a game changer. I highly recommend the TIKI Brand fire pit.