The convenience of kitchen cooking on the go! The flavor of charcoal cooking with the pride of sustainable materials! The control of a grill with the flexibility of a campfire! The casus grill is an affordable, lightweight, single-use biodegradable grill, perfect for hiking, camping, or an evening at the beach.
If you spent all day walking, fishing, or partying, you might not be in the mood to start a fire and invest the necessary hour to get it hot enough to cook with. CasusGrill to the rescue—this nifty contraption can get up and cooking within ten minutes, and stay hot enough to crank out tasty treats for about an hour.
Easy to Start
We tested the CasusGrill on a sunny afternoon in a Los Angeles park. The paper casing was easy to open, and the cardboard tray was straightforward to assemble.
The grill has an interlocking cardboard flap system that's surprisingly sturdy, and a bed of lava rocks beneath the circular charcoal briquettes to keep the heat away from the flammable pieces, and the bamboo grill sits neatly and securely on top. It's the kind of assembly you can pull off even if you ignore the simple directions—just look for the notches in the sides.
Igniting the charcoal was a little bit tricky with a regular lighter in a moderate breeze. It kept blowing out, so lighting all four corners took long enough that the metal got too hot to hold onto. We recommend a longer variety to be on the safe and efficient side. Lighting one corner would be enough to eventually get the whole grill going, but it might burn unevenly if different parts start at different times.
Straight Up Heat
Within five minutes of lighting the briquettes in the corners, all the charcoal was burning with a flameless heat. We cooked steak fillets, asparagus spears, and tilapia, and everything cooked thoroughly and in relatively short time. Despite being made of wood, the grill itself conferred some heat lines to the meat, without showing any risk of bursting into flame. Very fatty meats might potentially be a challenge—the only flame we saw was from juices dripping off the steak.
Once it's up and running, the grill reaches 400 degrees Fahrenheit, but heat is very direct, so the one drawback we encountered was that the edges of the steaks didn't cook as quickly as the sides facing the charcoal. For medium to well-done steaks, this shouldn't be a problem. For something closer to the rare side, you might want to adjust the meat a few times to make sure the sides get cooked.
Another problem was that the fish got flaky as it heated, and the grill itself is light enough that it might move if you're trying to flip something stuck to its surface, so we wished we had a better implement than just a fork to turn our cooking food (some tongs and/or a spatula might be a good idea).
Other than those small hiccups, though, the cooking process was easy—no advanced grill skills necessary.
CasusGrill says the cooking window is approximately an hour after the charcoal is lit, and that squared with our experience. Around the 55 minute mark, the heat began to wane, and by 90 minutes, it was cool enough to throw in the trash.
One of the best features of the CasusGrill is that it's entirely biodegradable, so disposing of it when your grilling is complete is a cinch. The lava rocks crumble apart in your hands, the charcoal disintegrates into dust, and the cardboard and bamboo will come apart naturally. If you have a campfire, the whole grill can burn up neatly in that. If you're stuck with a trash can, you can at least be confident that you won't be contributing anything to a landfill that won't break down quickly.
CasusGrill is a young Danish company, and their material asserts that the project was inspired by campsites littered with disposable aluminum grill kits. Indeed, those kits are still the biggest competition for this bamboo model. As of this writing, the Casus goes for $19. Some disposable grills on the market come in a little cheaper (the Oppenheimer Disposable Charcoal Grill can be found for $13-15), but they include non-biodegradable elements like a metal tray.
For environmental conscious eating on the go, the CasusGrill is a unique offering. Its small surface area and short cook time make it better suited for small groups than major parties, but for an intimate camping dinner, its light weight, low price, and eco-friendliness make it one of a kind.