Positioned under the fire chamber is a fan that maintains the flame during the cook. At the bottom is the fire starter. Get a piece of it lit, then introduce some solid wood. After you’ve gotten used to igniting the wood (good luck getting it on your first try), get the fan blowing.
It passes 3 particular criteria for what you’d want in a portable grill: enough power to take the place of a standard sized unit, isn’t hard to carry along, and light in weight. Derrrick Riches of The Spruce pointed to the fact the Cook-Air is one of the few portable units that can closely match the performance of a standard sized grill.
And it’s usually not even a couple Benjamins.
Though it brings a flavor of smoke to the food, the fuel it uses (natural wood pellets) might not always be accessible. The upside is you don’t have to buy them commercially, for free you could just walk out in your backyard and manually saw some tree limbs (4 inches or so in diameter).
Now to the Downsides
One user on the BBQ-Brethren forum boards noted how violent the flare ups of grease can get, particularly with greasy slabs of meat. Yet LT at the site Tailgate365, found it didn’t really matter how much the grates dripped (from the marinade or sauce), since the 1,000+ degree F setting can carry on until it’s all “turned to dust”.
The buttons on the front toward the left of the grill base control if the fan is on or off. The two arrow buttons on the other side allows the fan level to be adjusted from a heat setting of ‘1’ up to the highest speed, ‘5’. More delicate, lighter foods are best at level 1 (fish), or turn it to ‘5’ for your steaks to sear.
Assembly pretty much comes down to the lid handle and attaching it with two screws.
Spoiler alert: One of these costs this much on Amazon.com