Backyard Cooking with the Barebones All-In-One Cast Iron Grill

My dutch oven is always in my camp kit, and some amazing food has come out of that cast iron tank. But for all of the mystical flavors that develop when the lid is sealed, I still find myself sticking to stews, hashes, and light bakes. Sure, there’s plenty more you can do with the classic dutch oven, but our camp menu usually needs an assist from a gas burner or a grill – especially when we’re cooking for big groups. And that’s what I love about the Barebones Living All-In-One Cast Iron Grill – I can bake, sauté, grill, fry, and steam with one kit.

If you enjoy cooking outdoors over a fire you’ve probably seen or heard of Barebones Living. The Utah-based company makes a range of cookware and utensils built to take the heat from an open flame. I have dreams about their Cowboy Fire Pit Grill. They’re also a certified B Corporation. In broad brush strokes, that means that Barebones Living strives for, and has met, higher standards for the impact of their production, source materials and supply chains. B Corps also focus on charitable giving, community support, and a better working environment for their people.

The All-In-One Cast Iron Grill is a compact (ish) kit that comes with several accessories to configure your cook the way you want it. The dome-style cooker can be set up on a tripod directly over a fire, or it can be heated with charcoal using an included tray that hooks to the stand.

And when bellies are full and all of the fingers have been licked clean, the kit collapses down to fit inside of the cooker.

To test this compact cooker in a backyard setting, I wanted to prepare a simple meal using at least two different cooking methods – fried cauliflower and beer steamed sausages. I started by heating a raging fire in our Yukon Solo Stove. I’ve used the All-In-One directly over a bigger campfire, but I needed to experience cooking using charcoal and the included charcoal tray and wind guard.

When the fire in the Yukon began to die down, I transferred a pile of hot embers into the charcoal tray then put the cooker with the lid on over the heat. I usually just use my hand to gauge the heat and after about five minutes the surface was ready for oil. The cauliflower popped and sizzled as it hit the cooker.

At this point, the oil was a little too hot. To help control the heat I took the cooker off the sand and set it on the ground. Cast iron retains heat well and the cauliflower continued to cook as the oil temperature dropped a bit. After about two minutes the cooker went back on the stand over direct heat to crisp up the bigger chunks of cauliflower.

I noticed the heat dropping towards the end of the cauliflower fry. I emptied the vegetable into a large bowl and tossed it with salt and pepper. The charcoal tray isn’t big which means you either have to keep feeding it for longer cooks, or lower the tray and try to pile in more at one time. If you’re interested in the All-In-One for charcoal cooking, just make sure you have plenty of hot coals ready as you go.

After I scraped out all of the cauliflower bits with a slotted spoon, I dropped in the grill grate and poured just over a pint of Mac & Jack’s Amber Ale into the cooker and covered it. With fresh coals in the tray, the beer came to a rolling boil quickly. In went the sausages and on went the lid. After about 10 minutes the sausages were hot and ready to serve. I pulled the entire cooker off of the heat to cool down on the ground. After close to 30 minutes of heat, the handles were still cool enough to touch without gloves or a cloth. However, they do get hot when cooking directly over a fire.

A pint of Mack & Jack's Amber ale in a North Drinkware Mt. Hood glass next to a fire pit

Final Thoughts

I love the cooking options that come with the Barebones Living All-In-One Cast Iron Grill. Out of the box, it’s more versatile than a dutch oven and it’s fun to use. I prefer to use it over a fire rather than charcoal in the tray, simply because I don’t want to have to worry about losing heat as the charcoal dies in the tray.

I don’t think the All-In-One is going to replace my trusted dutchy. If I have the room, I’ll bring them both to camp. I can easily reproduce some of our favorite dutch oven meals using the All-In-One but I don’t want to. I would rather keep the favorites in the dutch oven and elevate the entire meal with the All-In-One. Cooking meals over the fire is primal and rewarding. It’s a part of the outdoor experience that brings people together. That means more rewards, romance, and memories outside if I can pair a dutch oven with the All-In-One.

And after all of that grandstanding, if you only have room or the budget for one cooker, consider the Barebones Living All-In-One Cast Iron Grill. As a B Corp, Barebones has to consider the quality of their products and the impact they have on their communities and people. I don’t think you will regret supporting them. Just make sure you have plenty of heat to keep feeding this open flame beast.

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