WHY THE FLIKR PORTABLE FIREPLACE IS A STUPID IDEA

This is the Flikr portable fireplace.

FLÎKR Fireplace
Photo: Cool Material

Technically it’s called the “FLÎKR” fireplace, because adding the letter I with the circumflex makes for a more trendy (if unpronounceable) name, but I don’t feel like copying and pasting that character every time I mention it. It’s essentially a concrete cup that you put flammable liquid in, then light on fire inside the comfort of your own living room.

If that sounds like a terrible idea, you’re right! Anyone who’s ever seen videos of botched flaming shots on YouTube (here’s a whole bunch) knows how dumb it is to have an open container of flammable liquid anywhere, let alone indoors near your furniture and carpets and family.

What Cool Material says it is

Here’s the copy from the website:

Born out of the desire for a simple indoor fireplace that could operate on clean burning, inexpensive and readily [sic] fuel, the Flikr Fire Place is a personal fireplace fueled by run of the mill rubbing alcohol. This versatile, single-person fireplace emits a cozy warmth whenever you need it to, while also being doubly useful as a safe cooking surface for small items like skewers and s’mores. Since it takes just 5 ounces of isopropyl rubbing alcohol fuel for roughly 50 minutes of burn time, you’re set for the foreseeable future with just the medicine cabinet staples. It doesn’t hurt that it also looks great.

Run-of-the-mill rubbing alcohol! What could be easier? Just pop open the medicine cabinet, pour in some rubbing alcohol, and you’re off and running. Here’s the problem with that.

What kind of alcohol?

The description says to use “run of the mill rubbing alcohol,” which is usually isopropyl alcohol, which is fine. Isopropyl alcohol comes in 70%, 90%, and 99% concentrations, which is also fine because all of them are flammable. What isopropyl alcohol does not do is burn clean. It produces a yellow, sooty flame that will get black smudges on your ceiling, your marshmallows, and your Flikr.

Can you cook with it? Sure, in the same way that you can cook over anything hot enough. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Alcohol stoves are not popular in the camping world because they burn so dirty that they require frequent cleaning and turn your pots disgusting, as opposed to butane or propane, which don’t.

Why this is dumb

Because it is an OPEN CONTAINER of FLAMING LIQUID that you put on your coffee table and then hold marshmallows over. I ran the numbers and yes, it’s warm enough to provide noticeable heat in your house and yes, you could cook over it for some reason, but come on. It’s basically a Molotov cocktail without the safety feature of a rag stuffed in the top to keep all the liquid from spilling out.

Also, it’s 90 dollars, which is too many dollars. You could buy an actual camp stove for that money instead of making a pillar of flame in the middle of your house. Don’t buy this.

3 Thoughts

  1. While I may think this product is stupid, it got another post out of you, that’s a win in my book

  2. As an avid Fondue-Fan, I see a standless “rechaud” with a stone-wall to trap/store heat when I look at this thing. Nowadays we use flaming “paste” instead of liquid, much safer (no spills), but still awfully toxic, of course you don’t use the naked flame to heat food.And using a small pot on that thing doesn’t look safe either, as the gasses can’t escape if the pot blocks the hole, so you’d still need a grill or contraption to keep the pot above the heat. This is just a tiny dumpster-fire.

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