Cooking over an open fire pit is one of my favorite things to do in the world. I am, however, getting to a point in my life when kneeling over a fire for hours on end cooking for the family causes more aches and pains than I would like to admit. That was when I started looking for an option to move the fire onto a table, after all how standing while cooking seems to be the way the prows do it… I haven’t seen the likes of Gorden Ramsey on his hands and knees blowing ash into his Foie gras, in the backcountry of England. Maybe he has, I honestly don’t know, I love you, Gorden Ramsey!
Before jumping into this head-on I did look to see if I could simply purchase something off of the shelf. A few similar designs exist in North America and more exist in Australia. Basically, if you are interested in off-road, Overlanding, camping, or anything really cool, look no further than Australia. Australia, the rest of the world looks up to you! The long story short is that I could not find anything with the list of features I wanted and bringing something from across the world became very expensive once you factored in shipping and duties. And when someone who is into Overlanding says it’s expensive… believe me, it’s expensive. The list of things I wanted was pretty simple but not very negotiable:
- Tuff, Reliable, and Long Lasting
- Needs to hold two 14″ cast iron frying pans or Dutch Ovens ( I routinely cook for four to six people)
- Needs to pack down (I camp out of a Jeep, enough said)
- No hardware required (I am the type of guy, if something is small and mission-critical, I will for sure lose it)
- I wanted to be able to cook in pots and pans, have an option to BBQ, and have a griddle
- And I wanted to be able to burn charcoal and firewood
- I also wanted this to act as a fire pit when the cooking is all finished up.
My list in hand, I sat down and started drawing. The idea turned to a sketch, the sketch turned to a CAD model, and the model was cut from steel. Walla, “The Pit” was born. Ok, so the first prototype burned down a full picnic table and the second one started a small grass fire in my yard. It turns out that designing something that contains fire was a bit harder than I had originally figured on. But three or four revisions later I now have a Pit that I am very happy with and proud of.