Raphael Seiler is one of those people who likes to grill in their free time. But as much as the 28-year-old founder may have looked forward to the upcoming feast with friends, one thing always bothered him: Who brings the heavy and unwieldy barbecue? Without further ado, he came up with the idea of inventing a portable device that can be set up and ready for use in just a few minutes: Stack - a plug-in system that combines a compact grill and fireplace in one device.
In contrast to other grill types, Stack has a decisive advantage: The device is so small and handy (it measures just 31 x 23 x 8 cm) that it can be taken anywhere in a small bag with the charcoal briquettes. When you arrive at your destination, the four individual parts made of stainless steel are simply put together and can then - depending on the construction - be used as a grill or fire bowl. In both cases, Stack takes advantage of the chimney draft effect, which means that additional air does not have to be fanned into the coal or wood. Sounds innovative in theory, but is it in practice? The star tested it.
The good news for those who normally have two left hands is that the connector system is really easy to use. The four parts can be converted into a grill or fireplace in just a few simple steps. However, what the tester immediately noticed during assembly and disassembly: the stainless steel plates rattled and wobbled a lot, even if the finished construct made a stable impression. Firing up the charcoal also went smoothly: the grilled sausages and grilled cheese, which had to serve as test objects, were quickly cooked. In plain language, this means: The grill did what a grill should do. However, the question then arose as to how the hot device could be converted into a fire bowl using just the tongs? Our tester failed the attempt. This is where the first weakness became apparent.
In fact, the fire bowl could only be tested a day later, after the Stack Grill had completely cooled down. Converting it 90 degrees to a vertical position also worked without any problems, but when it came to putting the wood into the container, the tester immediately noticed: the three openings are so small that normal-sized logs didn't want to fit in. Here you would have to make sure in advance that you only take very narrow pieces of wood with you - unless you have an ax with you to split. Lighting the fire also went smoothly here, but our tester asked herself how and where the ashes should collect later. After all, the entire front is permeable to air due to the grooves from the rust. However, since the wood was not completely burned down during the test, we unfortunately cannot answer this question.
Basically, the device keeps what it promises. Stack can be used as a grill or as a fire bowl. It remains questionable whether both functions can be used directly one after the other. The easy handling as well as the height-adjustable grillage for different heats can also be rated positively - and of course the finished grilling result. Whether the 2-in-1 function is worth 100 euros (the barbecue tongs and transport bag are included in the price) is difficult to answer. Certainly, the small device for small groups can be practical for on the go, as it fits in any backpack. In the end, the product may not be as innovative as initially thought, but it serves its purpose.
The question arises: Will one of the judges strike? After all, Raphael is willing to give up 20 percent of his shares in the company – and in return hopes for 80,000 euros in seed capital. Is there a deal? You can see that tonight in "Die Höhle der Löwen" as usual at 8:15 p.m. on VOX.
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