uco flatpack grill

3 Reasons We Love Cooking on Our UCO Flatpack Grill & Firepit

Pack light and grill a feast - the promise of the UCO Flatpack Grill and Firepit. The unique cooking apparatus is a foldable, portable, metal firepit that condenses nicely and becomes flat enough to slide in its included carrying tote and toss in a backpack or tote. The large version is designed to easily cook enough food for an army of eight hungry eaters. We wrote an extensive review of this product a while back, and since we can't stop using the Flatpack, here are three things we absolutely love about UCO's grill and firepit.

UCO Flatpack Grill and Firepit: 3 Things We Love

1. The Varied Sizes Work Great

uco flatpack grill

Travis Smola

UCO Flatpack Portable Grill and Firepit - Cabela's, $39.99

The large size Flatpack measures 20 inches by 16 inches, and when folded up for transport, it's only two inches thick. When opened up for use, it expands all the way to 14.75 inches. It is compact, though heavier than it looks, weighing in at 10.5 pounds. This model would not be the one to lug in on a long hike but rather an easy-to-access spot, such as a beach, park, or nearby campsite.

The biggest advantage of the large grill is that it can accommodate full-sized wood. For cooking or even just for relaxing around it as a firepit, this is a clear bonus. The smaller versions, either small or medium, are much better suited to be carried into the wilderness longer distances for more truly primitive grilling. The small is half the size, measuring 9.5 inches by 8 inches, and the medium sits firmly between the two, at 13.5 inches by 10 inches. Which size will work best depends on your specific use. For the serious outdoorsman who wants to use this grill and firepit for cooking dinner in the backcountry, I would recommend opting for a small Flatpack.

The large Flatpack that I used would make an excellent grill to leave in the hatchback of the SUV for impromptu dinners. All you need is some wood or charcoal to get the cook base going, and it is mealtime!

2. Amazing Heat Distribution

UCO Flatpack Grill

Travis Smola

Undoubtedly, cooking on the Flatpack grill is far superior to cooking on an open fire. I cooked venison hotdogs over camp wood, but if someone were cooking with charcoal, the easy lift-in, lift-out charcoal screen would be super handy.

Heat distribution and retention were superb on the UCO Flatpack. It evenly dispersed the cooking heat while keeping it controlled. Once we established a good bed of coals, the grill produced an even heat ideal for cooking and held onto that heat for a long time. The only downside to how well it heats is that the outside gets very hot, very quickly. Be careful!

The manufacturer's attention to detail is evident with the grill, and it functions just as intended. UCO included an excellent little metal tool for lifting and manipulating hot grates. Even the carrying tote is lovely. It is made with good-quality color-coordinated canvas material and highlighted with a faux leather patch.

3. It's Easy to Assemble

Charcoal getting poured into a UCO Flatpack Grill and Firepit with campers in the background.


One more important thing to discuss is the ease of assembly. The Flatpack comes out of the box folded flat, and the directions for assembly are included on the back of the box and an inserted direction sheet. The box claims a quick 30-second setup and breakdown. We tested that out, and that is approximately right. Until you practice a few times, it is easy to pinch your fingers in the metal grill legs as they slide the grill and crisscross each other for setup. The pinch happens as they are being pulled through.

Overall the grill is really easy to set up, especially with a round or two under your belt. Taking it down is the same process in reverse and goes just as quickly. One important thing - the grill stays HOT for a long time after cooking, so ensure it is thoroughly cooled before attempting to disassemble and put it back in the box.

UCO Gear is all about camping and the outdoors. UCO stands for utility, comfort, and originality, and those three pillars come together in their vast product selection, which includes lanterns, grills, cookware, knife sharpeners, headlamps, portable power products, and more. Founded in Redmond, Washington, in 1971, each product is designed with those three pillars in mind. Products like the Original Candle Lantern, which offers excellent functionality and simplicity, or the Stormproof Matches that help adventurers survive the elements, have helped position UCO Gear as a leading brand in lighting and fire-starting for outdoor and emergency preparedness needs.