ICECO 15.7" Foldable Charcoal Grill$79.99
- Foldable, compact, and light
- Sturdy, modular design
- Good heat distribution
- Professional look
- Stainless steel
- Main frame top can get dirty
- Inner tray handles must be removed for storage
- One side can get hotter depending on wind direction
- No instruction manual
- No ICECO replacement grill rack for purchase
Compact Charcoal Grill
Camping is part of our family’s DNA and having children has prompted me to invest in gear that makes outings more convenient. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated that investment last year when I re-created the experience in our own backyard with a portable firepit and grill: the Snow Peak Takibi Fire and Grill (Combo Set/ Fire Pit). Its purpose was to take it camping, boondocking, or overlanding, but that darn thing is HEAVY at over 24 lbs — much heavier than I had expected, especially with the additional Snow Peak Coal Grate (9 lbs). The quality is top-notch and expected for a “Made In Japan” product, but I had only used it ONCE since its purchase a year ago and started looking for lighter firepit grills. That search led to a smaller copy of the Snow Peak, the Campingmoon Folding Campfire Grill/Fire Pit (7.7 lbs) that I had used several times and liked.
More recently, I had obtained the ICECO 15.7″ Foldable Charcoal Grill (6.8 lbs) that looked very professional and from a brand well-known for its portable car freezers. I had been grilling skewers and steaks with it a countless number of times while camping and in our backyard, and was compelled to write a review for it because it had become an essential part of my cooking gear!
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In A Nutshell
The ICECO 15.7″ Foldable Charcoal Grill is from a US brand trusted for its portable car freezers and is designed for 2-3 people. It is well-constructed and sturdy, folds fairly compact, is light at 6.8 lbs, and its modular configuration allows for hot charcoal to be removed with the inner tray without requiring thick gloves or waiting for the heat to die down. As the product name implies, the grill is made for use with charcoal although I had also used it as a small fire pit. The Campingmoon Folding Campfire Grill/Fire Pit, however, is more suitable for that purpose.
Grilling skewers and steaks on the ICECO was a joy once the coal reached the appropriate heat. Airflow kept the charcoal evenly heated except in situations where a strong breeze would enter from one end that made that part of the grill operate at a higher temperature than the other. The included, stainless steel grill rack/net (13.39″ x 8.66″) is likely going to be the first part that would require replacement over time.
Folding the grill away is fast, but will require some finesse and practice to do it efficiently. The inner tray handles need to be removed and re-attached each time and is a minor annoyance, but the main frame’s handles can be left on during storage. The biggest gripe I have is that the main frame top gets dirty due to all the oil splatter created during cooking — it will never look like-new again, but that is to be expected from fire-fueled cookware in general. A good and regular scrubbing does restore some shine, and so the product will only look as nice as how well you maintain it.
Overall, this ICECO has become my go-to grill for charcoal based cooking without the heft of the 24-33 pound Snow Peak Takibi.
What’s Good? What’s Bad?
- Compact and light at 6.8 lbs
- Unfolded: 15.7″ L 11″ W x 6.5″ H
- Folded: 15.7″ L x 11″ W x 3.5″ H
- Strong, modular, sturdy design
- Material is stainless steel
- Enables grill to be folded for more compact storage
- Inner Tray is removable
- Allows coal/ash to easily be removed for cleanup or to be transported between fire pit and grill
- Professional look
- Even temperatures, although the center was the hottest
- Stainless Steel Grill Rack/Net (13.39″ x 8.66″ / 34cm x 22cm)
- Designed to cook for 2-3 people
- Carry bag included
- Could be used as a small fire pit
- ICECO does not sell a replacement Stainless Steel Grill Rack/Net
- Ventilation is good, but a breeze entering into one end of the grill can make that side hotter than the other
- No instruction manual included
- Inner Tray handles must be removed or re-attached each time for storage or use
- Main frame top easily gets dirty from cooking splatter
- Putting grill away requires some practice for more efficient folding
- Charcoal cooking may not be allowed during dry seasons, depending on where you go (such as California) due to fire hazard
- Does not burn wood as efficiently as the Tomshoo or Solo Stove
BBQ Skewers Recipe
One of my favorite things to grill over the ICECO is meat skewers: chicken, lamb, pork, pork belly, and beef. The recipe is really simple.
- Soak wood skewers in water. This will minimize them from burning over the fire
- You may also opt for Oxisi Metal Skewers
- Cut meat pieces into thumbnail size
- Marinate for a few hours in: Olive oil, sliced red onions, one whole (raw) egg
- Optionally, coat some in one of my favorite BBQ rubs: Killer Hogs’ The BBQ Rub
- Arrange the meat pieces onto the skewers, alternating between lean and fatty portions
- When ready to grill, sprinkle cumin, chili powder, and salt to taste
- Rotate the skewers often while cooking over charcoal
- Tip: Make sure the coal is hot enough to cook with. The right temperature is when your hand cannot hover over for more than 4 seconds.
My kids and I love eating and grilling skewers over charcoal!
There are multiple grilling and fire pit options available for different needs. Snow Peak Takibi is best suited for heavy-duty, family-sized camp fires and cooking, but its weight makes it a chore to carry around. Solo Stove (and Tomshoo, a cheaper alternative) efficiently burn wood with product lines spanning from portable, backcountry adventures to large campfires. Campingmoon is among the least expensive fire pit/grill combos that packs small and weighs nearly the same as the ICECO.
Among all choices, I have found the ICECO having the most use for frequent cooking with its easy and fast setup, compact size, sturdy design, professional look, and efficient heat distribution. It comes highly recommended — as long as you regularly maintain it after cooking to keep the top part of the main frame looking clean. Be aware that ICECO currently does not sell a replacement grill rack.
Where To Buy
- ICECO 15.7″ Foldable Charcoal Grill
- Snow Peak Takibi Fire and Grill
- Campingmoon Folding Campfire Grill/Fire Pit
- Killer Hogs’ The BBQ Rub
- Oxisi Metal Skewers