Cooking while camping sounds like a great and simple thing. The image is of being gathered around a campfire toasting marshmallows and frying sausages. The reality is often rather different. That campfire that looks so attractive is great for keeping you warm but is not the easiest or the best thing to cook on.
Since the 1940s there have been a number of gas cooking solutions and one of the biggest names is Camping Gas now part of Coleman as Campingaz. They’ve come out with a range called the Party Grill that fits somewhere in between a traditional gas BBQ and a simple gas stove. The range has three types – the 600, 400 and the 200 and we’ve had our hands on the mid-size 400.
The 400 is designed to be compact and versatile and provide everything that you might need. It has a pan or kettle support, a grill, a reversible smooth or channelled griddle and the top is reversible to be used as a wok. That top lid is lockable and there’s just enough space inside to fit the removable legs. The whole thing goes inside an included bag.
The 400 takes around 5 minutes to setup – unclip the top and take out all the layers then the legs. Screw the legs on then screw the gas cylinder into the input hose then pour water into the main section. Yes – water. One of the PartyGrill’s selling points is how easy it is supposed to be to clean. It has a moat of water around the inside that catches any grease or debris and can then be poured out when you’re done minimizing cleaning. It works well – not perfectly – but I’ve spent less time cleaning the Partygrill than any other gas or charcoal bbq I’ve ever used.
Once setup turn on the valves, give it a moment and click the built in electric lighter and off you go. I was a little confused by this to start off with as the flames are nearly transparent and setting it up in full sunlight I found it hard to tell if I’d managed to light it but this wasn’t a major problem when I realized it.
Included in the box: Partygrill stove and container bag.
Paid Extras: Campingaz regulator and Campingaz 904 or 907 gas cylinder are requirements.
Campingaz is a French company founded in 1943 that focused on selling mixed butane and propane in disposable cans for camping and caravaning. They expanded and became one of the biggest names in Europe. They expanded in the accessories to go with the cans – cookers, lanterns, heaters and then into other camping gear like sleeping bags. They were acquired by Coleman in 1996 and continue to be one of the largest brands on the continent.
- Target age range: Teens, Adults, Older adults
- Target gender: Unisex/gender neutral,
- Optimized for ambidextrous use with the controls being centrally placed and the lid catches being evenly spaced around the rim.
- Seated and/or standing use possible. I found the legs were just long enough to use it on the floor from a chair and yet not too long to prevent its use on a table while standing
- Target audience: Those looking for an all in one solution for camping and occasional back garden barbecuing.
- Compact fitting together as one whole unit for transport and the lid also has the bonus of having space inside it which I found could fit a implements – tongs, a spatula and a couple of spoons that I needed for cooking.
- Optimized for outdoors use only – gas bbqs should not be used except in a very well ventilated space
Environment & People
For the amount of versatility it gives the Partygrill 400 is well priced. Directly comparable systems are around 50% more expensive. A full size gas bbq is significantly more expensive.
In addition to the Grill you will need to purchase a regulator at a cost of around £10 and a 904 or 907 cylinder which can be found for around £30 to £50 but which cannot be bought online. This takes the total cost to around £130.
Power: 2000 W
Gas consumption: 145 g/h
Boil time: 6 min 5 sec
Ignition: Piezo electric
Runtime: 19 hrs and 30 min. on R907, 12 hrs and 30 min. on R904
Fuel source: R904, R907, butane or propane cylinder
Weight: 4.92 kg
Dimensions 36 x 42 cm (on stand)
Warranty: Two years for defect for manufacturers processes.
The Party Grill needs a Gas Hose and Butane regulator kit and a Campingaz R904 or R907 Gas Cyclinder. These are available from a number of places but in the UK it can be harder to find than the Calor market leader. They are widely available on the continent.
When you’re camping you’re generally looking for a small, portable and simple system that is as flexible as possible and long lasting. The Partygrill 400 fits this perfectly. When collapsed you can carry it under one arm and it’ll let you cook in a wide range of ways with quality results. Highly recomended.
The review is based on the Campingaz Partygrill 400 kindly provided by Campingaz. Click to read more about our eco icons and access icons used in this review. This article was first published on .. May 2016.