The Weber 2726 fireplace makes a nicely sized fire that generates plenty of heat and will burn for a long time, making it very suitable for a backyard party. It has a clean and simple appearance, and the smooth porcelain coating makes it look attractive. It also provides a clear view of the burning logs and glowing coals.
The fireplace has three separate pieces: the base that holds the fire; the lid; and a riser that holds the lid above the fire. When placed on the riser, the lid stops the heat from escaping into the sky, and directs out towards you and your guests instead. The lid can also provide protection from light drizzle, which is a boon when you have bad luck with the weather.
The lid also serves an important safety function. When the party’s over, you don’t need to wait for the fire to burn out, and you don’t need to resort to dousing the fire with water (which could damage the fireplace). Rather, just use a fire tool to remove the riser (it’ll be hot) and put the lid directly onto the base. This will smother the flames and extinguish the fire safely, as well as save un-burned wood and coals for the next fire.
Assembly takes about 20-30 minutes. There are a couple of dozen screws and bolts to insert, so you’ll need a screwdriver and an adjustable wrench. You’ll also need two pounds of sand to put in the bottom of the bowl. This is easy to miss in the assembly instructions, but important for insulating the bottom of the bowl.
The assembly instructions themselves are a little cryptic, basically because they’re a series of diagrams without any written words. This means that Weber can service 25 different languages in a single instruction booklet, because they only need to translate the warnings and warranty, but don’t need to translate the instructions (because they’re just pictures). I suppose this helps keep the cost down, but it does make the construction more challenging than it needs to be. That being said, the construction is relatively straight forward provided you take the time to study the diagrams beforehand so you know what goes where. The parts themselves are precisely manufactured and will fit together easily without having to bend or force anything.
When positioning the fireplace for use, make sure it’s on a non-flammable surface (stone, brick, etc.) Also, because the fireplace doesn’t have a screen and is open to the air, sparks will escape and may ride on air drafts, so make sure you position it a good distance (e.g. 35 feet) from flammable materials. The aluminum heat deflector below the fire bowl can also be made more effective by putting some sand (or even water) in it.
The product comes with a two-year limited warranty, which basically means Weber will replace any defective parts, provided the fireplace is assembled and operated according to the instructions.
This is the latest version of a Weber design that has withstood the test of time. With normal maintenance, you can expect it to last many years. Although not particularly heavy, it feels solid and well made. Some other fire bowls will deteriorate after a few years, but not the Weber. The bowl and lid are the same type of porcelain-enameled steel construction that weber uses in its outdoor grills, and both are strong and resilient to heat and corrosion.
In summary, with the Weber 2726 outdoor fireplace, you’re getting a very functional and durable fire pit that’s worthy of the Weber brand name. It generates plenty of heat, with an open-fire ambiance that makes it ideal for a backyard party or quiet romantic evening.