I've been meaning to buy a portable BBQ for a while, and it occurred to me late last night that I really should have organised it before I went camping for Easter weekend. Lo' and behold, this morning, Firebox send me an email shot which has a link to a portable, flatpack BBQ for the princely sum of £21.99. Add same day (yes, same day) delivery, and it's another £12.50. This is still less than just about every other one I've seen, and has the added bonus that I can order it online, go out for the day, then sit at home between 6pm and 11pm waiting for it to arrive. I'd be at home then anyway, frantically packing for the weekend away. Thus far, a plan with absolutely no drawbacks! Sure enough, about 10.15 this evening, the courier brings me a package. It's even more cool than I expected, which given my love affair with all things Firebox (and ThinkGeek) is saying quite a lot.
It came in a cardboard sleeve. That's a standard 8" (20cm) chef's knife for scale: I had to use something to get the packaging open...
Out of the sleeve it looks like this:
The black panels are held together halfway down the short sides, so it opens out into an X-shape. Two triangular side panels fold out to brace, revealing a charcoal grill which you slide out from parallel with the side and insert as a cross-brace, further stabilising the X:
The silver grill you could see in the second photo is a three-way fold which opens out to form the actual BBQ area for food and adds yet more bracing to the X to make sure it hold its shape. And there are you are, ready to go:
And just to prove I could do it in almost no time at all, here it is repacked and ready to take away with me:
I'll be honest, the build quality is not quite up to the standards I expect from Firebox, but this only needs to survive two or three camping trips to pay for itself in money I won't spend on on-site caterers. I have 7 or 8 trips planned this year, so even if I end up ditching it at the end of the summer, it's been a very worthwhile investment.