“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Fire Basket „
~~~Tesco Fire Basket ~~~
This review features the Tesco's own brand fire basket that I purchased as a Father's day gift for my partner, off my youngest daughter this year. It's safe to say it's been a huge hit in our home and has enabled us to enjoy our outdoor space much more than we would have had, until the warm weather finally came this week. Now the warmer weather is here the fire basket is a little bit redundant and so the price has been reduced significantly. This review discusses why I think it was still worth its full retail price.
At £20 it's not a huge investment piece, it looks ok and does the job well, but at half price and just £10, it's a bargain so I recommend you buy one, and put it away for those cooler days ahead. It's superb value for money at that price and will extend the enjoyment you get from your outdoor spaces, be it gardens or balcony's, for so much longer.
~~~ Size ~~~
I chose the fire basket design over a more popular fire pit due to its smaller dimensions. Now this isn't exactly small, in my opinion anyway; In fact it was much larger than expected once we'd removed the packaging. Fire pits usually have a much larger circumference, and many are dual purpose by the fact that you can usually cook food on them too. We already own a barbeque so there was little need for this feature, and as we have a relatively small patio area which is absolutely stuffed with a green house, kids play house, gazebo with a bistro seating set, the size was really quite important that it wouldn't look out of proportion to its surroundings.
The dimensions are H 45 cm x D 45cm so it's as high as it is wide but doesn't take up too much space on the patio, and the weight is a rather hefty 4.9kg for its size. Its box is quite large and cumbersome and if you need to collect it from a Tesco store for free, please be aware that this is rather quite heavy. Standard delivery costs from £3 and express delivery for £5.95 if you should require that instead. There is a lot of packaging with this one, a large cardboard outer and polystyrene inner to protect it, but taking it out of the box I was quite expecting it to be smaller, quite like when you open a Russian doll and after each bit of packing is taken off you are rather disappointed with what's inside. This isn't the case with this though, and both I and my partner were quite impressed by its size and capacity.
~~~ Design ~~~
The design of this fire basket is said to echo the medieval warning beacons, but to my female eye, it reminds me of a contemporary tulip, with its bulbous bottom and fluted upper edge. It comes with four legs so it sits rather sturdily upon them and there's no hint of wobbliness. This is the only assembly needed for the whole thing and they are simply screwed on and take one person just a matter of moments to do. There are rubberised covers to add to the feet to prevent it slipping and sliding, and despite reviews on the Tesco website complaining about the poor quality of these, ours haven't suffered any cracking or perishing, and furthermore, it's been used quite extensively since it was given to my partner in early June. There is a handle on one side around the lip of the basket, but I don't see any purpose to it really, other than to move it when it's cold, whereby I would normally pick the whole thing up anyway. It also comes with two sort of poker/fork implements and can be handy to move logs into a better position to enable them to burn more readily.
There is a rather open nature to the basket design which means that rather like a campfire it gives off a lot of heat quickly, yet the burning medium is safely contained within the basket. There is an ashtray supplied with which to protect flooring from any remnants falling out, but we've only used this on concrete slabs so I'm unsure as to how the heat from this tray would affect wooden decking or grassed areas. The tray is marginally wider than the brazier so I feel safe and secure knowing that any fall-outs will be caught. However, the lip on this tray is only just over a centimetre deep so I would prefer it if it was a little deeper. That's neither here nor there and it might spoil the overall design, but safety should come before looks in my opinion.
~~~ Burning Mediums ~~~
Tesco recommend that this could be used to burn both charcoal and wood; and we've tried both charcoal and wood on their own, and a combination of both mediums. We started the fire off initially using some paper and kindling, and as the fire gets a hold add some larger twigs and then chunks of offcuts of wood from jobs around the house. The wood from the offcuts must have been pre-treated in some way though, and it got rather smoky, the neighbours weren't too impressed, I can tell you. Since that time and after much experimentation, my partner has purchased logs from the local garden centre that are sold for use especially in these types of fire baskets and pits, and has resulted in a less smoky atmosphere and a longer lasting burn time. Due to the openness of the basket, the air gets in and burns the contents more readily, so we get through rather a lot, rather quickly. Using dried logs and branches would work much cheaper if you can get hold of some (we can't sadly), as these specific Fire pit logs that we've been buying cost about £8 a bag, which is enough for two or three uses, and would work out quite expensive over the fire basket's lifetime.
~~~ My Thoughts ~~~
Overall, we're all really happy with this (not so) little fire basket. It's enabled us to enjoy our garden and being together for longer and later, due to the rather belated summer we've had this year. I personally love the design of this basket. Its petite proportions in relation to the oversized fire pits available, give it a lovely homely feel and works well with my old fashioned cottage style garden planting but modern influences from the zinc and flashes of Moroccan blue ceramic planters. I like mixing old with new to add a new twist, and the medieval design of this doesn't immediately spring to mind upon first glance, but once you know it, it's instantly recognisable. I like that I can get much use out of this fire basket, as over the winter months where it'd be too cold to use this, (I'm not that brave), I could put a medium sized plant pot in it, with winter pansies, and it would still be a lovely centre piece in my garden. I feel that even at full price it's been a lovely addition to our home, so grab one at half price while you can (10.07.13), you'll be pleased you did.
This fire basket gets the full award of five stars from me, along with my recommendation.
Thanks for reading my review. :)