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I began looking for a propane grill early on in our camping adventures. We enjoy cooking over a fire, but often a fire pit is not available or not allowed. Another reason is that we often like to cook a quick meal and then carry on with other activities. Often, times the last thing we want to do is start a fire for just long enough to cook. If you’ve gathered anything from our articles, it is most likely the fact that we research everything to death prior to making an actual purchase.
We love cooking the classic American staples when we go camping. What I mean by that is hamburgers and hotdogs. We wanted to have an actual grill to be able to cook those on. When I started searching it seemed like the Camp Chef stoves and Partner Steel stoves are popular camping stoves, but these didn’t seem like they would meet our needs as being an actual grill. They just come with burners like on a stove top and would require cooking in a pan/skillet. There is a Coleman unit that offers a burner and then a small grilling surface, but we thought a bigger surface might be needed.
Finding the Volcano Grill
During my research I stumbled upon a forum post with a recommendation for a Volcano grill. I had never heard of this but was instantly intrigued by it. The Volcano 3 can use 3 different fuels; propane, charcoal, and wood. I am not really interested in charcoal, but the propane and wood aspect definitely piqued my interest. I loved the fact that I could have an actual decent sized grill and if we ever wanted to, we could use the Volcano as a small wood firepit. Pretty sweet stuff.
Volcano 3 Specs
Equipped with this new knowledge of the Volcano 3, I began doing even more research on it. The unit is an approximately 17” diameter circle at the base with a 12-13” diameter cooking surface. The genius thing about the Volcano 3 is that it very easily expands and collapses. Simply grab the handle and lift up and the whole unit pops up and the legs pop out and it is ready to go. When you’re done with it, just grab it by the bottom and pick it up and it automatically retracts in to a 5” tall x 17” diameter circle that easily fits into its carrying case. It can run off of 20lb propane bottles or small portable camp bottles if you buy a propane valve adapter. There are also many other accessories available for it. There is even a lid type device that can turn it into a dutch oven.
This seemed like the answer I was looking for and I even got lucky and found a used one for sale on eBay that had never been used for a decent price. I went ahead and purchased the propane valve adapter for it so I could run it off of the small 1lb portable propane bottle.
When I received the Volcano 3 Grill I was instantly impressed with the quality. The grill expands and collapses extremely easily. Setup of the propane is extremely easy. It has a burner that is placed in the center and then you just thread a hose into it through a hole in the side of the grill. The collapsible grill fit all our needs.
A Year Later
I still love everything about the Volcano 3 grill. It is perfect for our needs and extremely easy to use. We have used it many times grilling burgers directly on it over the propane burner and find it easy to clean up afterwards. We just wipe it out with paper towels when done using it.
The unit has one con and that is that it’s fairly heavy (~20 lbs) which makes it slightly cumbersome but by no means is it a deal breaker. Setting it up for a meal is no issue, but if I just wanted to boil some water for coffee it seems overkill to break out the Volcano.
With that in mind I would rate the Volcano Grill 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is currently available for purchase on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2WiK6Ud. We would love to hear your ideas as well if you have an amazing alternative to the Volcano 3 that you love.