Last week I had the opportunity to get in on a group buy for the Volcano II stove. (Sorry, I would have shared the details but I found out about it very last minute and barely made it in myself!) I had heard good things about this stove, and after a brief review of its features and online ratings, I decided to acquire one.
The main reason I wanted to add this to my supplies is its versatility—Volcano stoves can use charcoal, wood, or propane (with the adapter). I found this setup very desirable, since while my fuel may be diversified, this single stove can handle almost everything I throw at it. It’s made to accommodate dutch ovens, or you can lay down the included grill on top and use a normal pan, pot, or cook your things directly on it. And cleanup is as simple as turning the stove over and dumping the remnants out (unless you’re using propane, of course).
Another great feature of the Volcano is its unique heat chamber that channels the heat upwards towards your food, instead of wasting fuel by expelling heat out the sides and bottom. This also means that the area surrounding the stove is cooler than conventional stoves, allowing you to cook with the stove on a variety of surfaces that you normally might not use for putting your stove on.
Below are the pictures of my grand unveiling when I opened and first used the stove.
The box it comes in:
Opening the box:
The oven comes in a sturdy bag for easy transportation. The stove weighs 22 pounds and is about 16″ x 16″ x 4″ when closed (13″ high when open).
This is what the kit looks like when the bag is first opened:
Here are the contents of the kit fully unwrapped. From top left, clockwise: heat deflector plate, grills, stove, propane adapter, propane hose (this hooks to the 20 lb. tanks; you can buy an adapter for the 1 lb. tanks for ~$40), 2 tools for the propane assembly, manual.
Opening and closing the stove is brain-dead easy and some pretty cool engineering. By simply pulling up on the handle, the entire stove pops open, the legs unfold, and you’re set. To close the stove you lift up from the bottom, the stove folds in on itself, and the legs retract. Very cool. I opened and closed it a few times just to marvel at its elegant simplicity. :)
The propane assembly simply sits inside the stove as you see below:
Here is the stove hooked up to a propane tank, ready for use:
The propane hose comes with its own valve, so I had to open the fuel on the tank itself, and then on the hose. In addition, the stove has adjustable vents to control the amount of oxygen in the stove; this is more for using wood/charcoal and controlling how much oxygen is getting to your embers.
I’m very pleased with this stove so far and look forward to using it in the future. And yes, I would have been just as happy with it had I paid retail price. :)