Last week, we packed up our kids for a quick four-day camping trip to Crater Lake, Oregon. As I was prepping all of the meals — which included all things that you could cook in a campfire for three meals a day — it occurred to me that due to the wildfire restrictions in our state, I may not actually be able to light an actual campfire. And yes, after a bit of online research, that was the case.

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A Genius Portable Grilling System: Fire&Flavor Hero Grilling System

So I ran to the store in a late night holy crap how am I going to cook all of the food I just prepped without a fire panic. I was fully prepared to buy a small Weber grill and a bag of charcoal when I found the Fire & Flavor Hero System sitting on the shelf. Let’s just say it saved the camping trip!

The Fire & Flavor Hero System is this genius eco-friendly charcoal portable grilling system. The kit comes with a portable grill, spatula, charcoal pod, thermometer, and water-resistant case. And at less than 10 pounds, my kids could easily unload it from the car. Plus, it’s so compact that it just sat at the end of the picnic table where I did the grilling, though you could probably set it up in the fire pit that you can’t burn a fire in.

The charcoal pod lights instantly and heats up to grilling temperature in a remarkably fast time. It was really hot outside where we were, so I don’t want to mislead anyone, but we were ready to cook in less than 5 minutes. We did all of the food on that little grill for four days: foil packets, burger patties, hot dogs, breakfast burritos and even the breakfast hash in the cast iron skillet.

One charcoal pod burns for about 60 minutes which is plenty of time to cook your food, though keep in mind that it’s large enough for four burger patties, but not much more. But because you have 60 minutes, you can cook in batches and still have heat left to roast some s’mores over top of it.

Related: Our best simple camping recipes – because camping and simple are not always used in the same sentence

Genius Portable Grilling System: Compost with Fire&Flavor Hero Grilling System

I especially loved that the charcoal pod is entirely compostable – really! You can use both the briquettes and perlite in your garden, then recycle the cardboard packaging in your recycling container.

The upfront price isn’t bad — usually around $99, though it’s on sale for a limited time at Target for $25 off — and the convenience and portability is worth it. You can buy extra charcoal pods or even better, extra briquettes to use the pod more than once. They also sell grilling bundles, withl natural hardwood lump charcoal cubes plus clean burning oak and mesquite charcoal

I wouldn’t replace a real campfire with the Fire & Flavor Hero System, but it worked out for what I needed in a pinch for our camping trip, though, it would make a great grill for a tailgate or picnic.