Ozpig Series 2 Portable Stove: Tested
While not as portable as some other barbecues on the market, the Ozpig Series 2 Portable Stove has plenty of features you won’t find on any other outdoor cooker… and a long list of accessories so you can tailor it to suit your cooking and heating needs, either when out camping or in the backyard.
The Ozpig Series 2 is no lightweight cooking solution, weighing at a hefty 18kg and, when packed in its supplied carry bag, taking up about as much space as milk crate, so before buying one you’ll need to make sure you have the space for it in your vehicle, and the carrying capacity. If you do, fantastic… because the Ozpig is an incredibly versatile cooking and heating solution that’s perfectly suited to campsites and use at home in the backyard.
Before throwing the Ozpig in the back of your 4×4, you should first fire it up at home, not only to familiarise yourself with its set-up and operation, but also to ‘burn in’ the paint on the cooker body, and to remove the protective coating on the hotplates and ‘season’ them.
To put the the Ozpig together, tip it on its side and screw in the four zinc-coated legs and, if you want, the leg extensions. Tip it on to its legs, place the mesh floor fire grate inside the steel cooker body, fit the chimney sections, slip on the spark arrestor to the top chimney piece and start building a fire using some scrunched up paper and kindling… or cheat like me and use some firelighters. Ozpig recommends using firewood cut into small pieces no thicker than 50mm and no longer than 280mm, or about the size of a beer can. Leaving the front door open and the hotplate swivelled open will assist in getting a fire going, but once established you can close the door and adjust the position of the hotplate to manage the intensity of the fire.
The paint burn-in process requires a fire of 350°C for one hour, and this gives ample opportunity to play around with airflow and fuel loads.
Sound complicated? It really isn’t, and you’ll soon get the hang of it.
In the field
One of the great things about the Ozpig is that the fire is completely contained. With the front door shut and the hotplate positioned over the fire, all the smoke and sparks go up the chimney, and those sparks are kept in check by the supplied spark arrestor. And because the Ozpig is well off the ground on its four legs, it won’t scorch your lawn or leave a mark at campsites.
The Ozpig Series 2 comes with two hotplates (one is called a warming tray) and these can be easily swapped around using the supplied multipurpose tool, and positioned over the fire or on the side of the cooker body where they can be used to keep food warm, to serve from, or as a surface on which to place a camp oven or pot.
The Ozpig we tested was also supplied with an optional offset chimney kit, which allows it to be used under cover, with said chimney directing smoke outside. It was also supplied with an optional diffuser that allows management of heat for different cooking methods, as well as an optional chargrill plate and drip tray for barbecuing meat.
Besides its excellent cooking capabilities, the Ozpig can also do double duty as an outdoor heat source for those colder nights, whether in your own backyard or at your campsite – a great alternative to having to faff around with a ground-based camp fire.
There are plenty of other accessories too, including an oven smoker for smoking, roasting and baking; a pizza stone for, you guessed it, cooking traditional woodfired pizzas; a wok; a rotisserie; a heat-bead basket; and much more. The supplied Ozpig handbook explains what everything does and also includes some handy cooking tips and recipes.
The final word on the Ozpig Series 2
The Ozpig Series 2 is covered by a three-year warranty, but Ozpig reckons it will outlast most of its owners and, after examining its robust construction, I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if it outlasted me! Sure, you probably wouldn’t want to pack the Ozpig in your vehicle every time you head off camping, but I reckon when you reach to your destination, you’ll wish you had it with you every time.
See Ozpig for more info on the Series 2, the other Ozpig models, and all accessories.