A couple of years ago, I became friends with RJ, our local Fire Marshall. RJ and his wife sometimes (used to) host summer parties that are outdoors and include a fire. This is where I first discovered the Solo Stove. It had the blessings of the Fire Marshall.
Since then, the Solo Stove has become one of my favorite products because it makes backyard fires easy, safe, and clean. I often tell people that it’s an awesome piece of engineering, for what is essentially a fire pit. It’s portable and makes it easy to have a fire almost anywhere.
What makes it work is ventilation. It’s designed to optimize air flow and burn hotter than a normal fire. There are holes around the bottom of the stove that pull fresh air into the chamber and circulate it to feed the fire from the bottom and sides. Sometimes it seems like the entire thing is filled with fire.
Solo Stove claims that it’s a “smokeless” fire option and I think it comes close. The heat it produces burns up particulate matter before it rises, which leads to less smoke. It’s made from stainless steel that can take a beating too.
The only thing I don’t like is that it holds water when it rains and creates a messy slurry that drips when moved. This is the version we have. It’s not cheap, but it’s supposed to last a lifetime.