The 18" cooking grate gives you 254 square inches of cooking area with the grate set down into the belly of the beast, and you can add another grate increasing the cooking area to 460 square inches. The lower air intake is a sliding door that gives you very good control but removing ash through it is tricky because the opening is small and the floor of the inside is slightly below the door. They sell an optional tool to help.
Like most kamados, it cannot be set up for true 2-zone cooking, an essential technique easily done on other charcoal grills by piling coal to one side to create a direct and indirect zone simultaneously. A few exceptions exist, such as Primo's Oval Kamados. One useful device that is a match made in heaven for any kamado is the BBQ Dragon, a well-made, battery operated, clip on, variable speed fan that can convert a charcoal bed from quiet gray to rip roaring red hot in a matter of minutes. Very good for switching gears from low and slow to searing hot. Click here to read more about Kamado and Ceramic Grills and Smokers.
The chimney has a dial cast stainless steel damper with holes and the ability to slide the damper out of the way completely. There is no way to keep rain out of the chimney if it is open. The cooking grate has a hinge that lets you drop in more coals or wood chunks too large for the wood chip slot. The lid and body are held together by a stainless steel hinge with springs attached to stainless steel bands around the girth of each section. The model I looked at did not have a lot of tension on the springs. Although the springs made opening the lid fairly easy, you don't want to let 'er go as you are lowering it or I fear it will come crashing down on the body and shatter one or the other. The felt gaskets between them may cushion the fall, but I fear bad things if you let the lid slip.
The stainless steel cart is solid and good looking with locking wheels, and you can purchase winged tables or a beautiful wooden cart with a granite top. It is available in several baked enamel colors and the table is available in several beautiful woods. Other options are the heat deflector for indirect cooking (this really should be standard on all ceramics), a pizza stone, and a steel gizmo that raises the cooking grate to lip level.
Looked Closely At It
We have seen this product up close and we have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners, and other reliable sources.
Similar in design and concept to the other egg shaped kamados, the most unique feature of the Saffire is an optional slot in the front that allows you to feed wood chips without opening the lid and disturbing the critical oxygen balance and hence the temp. Another differentiator is that all metal is stainless steel except the charcoal grate which is cast iron. It also has a ceramic heat deflector and has a hinge design that facilitates dropping it easily into a circle cut out for built-in installations.
Available on-line and at hearth and patio indy dealers.