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Old 09-30-2011, 02:33 PM   #21
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Re: I'm back to grilling with Charcoal because of FiAir

I'd love to provide free samples of FiAir -- especially to knowledgable folks who can really put it to the test -- but all I have now is one very expensive prototype. I already have a list of people who have helped out in various ways who will certainly be getting a free FiAir once they're in production. Don't count yourself out yet!
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:53 PM   #22
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Re: I'm back to grilling with Charcoal because of FiAir

Id be interested to see a side by side test with a Weber Chimney
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:00 PM   #23
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Re: I'm back to grilling with Charcoal because of FiAir

Well, i watched a video. Here is my take: It appears that there are lit briquettes on the bottom with lump placed on top. Now, had to get those briquettes lit somehow, my guess is Weber chimney. Now if you gonna take the time to lite briquettes to place lump on top of to blow air onto them, why not just start with lump in the Weber chimney? But then I guess it would be hard to sell a hairdryer to folks who cook on a bbq instead of eating bbq. Good luck. I can see the late Billy Mays selling this product to lots and lots of non cooking people who want to cook.
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:26 PM   #24
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Re: I'm back to grilling with Charcoal because of FiAir

Thanks for taking the time to look at some of the videos -- and for commenting.

Sorry Swampsauce - I guess I didn't make it clear in that video that my neighbor had leftover briquettes from the previous weekend.
Then, on this day, he used charcoal lighter fluid to restart them.
The fluid burned off but maybe he didn't use enough to get them to catch well.
So he sent his kids over to ask me to bring my FiAir prototype to help.
He was out of briquettes and had gotten lump and that's why those were on top.
And you ARE RIGHT. There was some fire left in those coals.
That was clear as soon as i hit it with FiAir -- the lit briquettes sprang to life and fresh lump coals on top were ready for cooking in just a few minutes.
That was NOT what I call a test. I TIME all my tests and keep the clock running so everyone can see there's no cheating.

As for the Weber Chimney Test - I've looked at all kinds of youtube videos about using the chimney.
They all suggest it can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes for a full chimney to be ready for dumping.
If you look at my chimney test, you'll see that FiAir got it ready easily in UNDER 10 MINUTES.
If you've used a chimney and know how long it usually takes, you really don't need a side by side test.
If it usually takes 15-30 minutes and FiAir will do it in under 10 minutes = FiAir makes the chimney work faster.
The only question remaining then is: Do you want to cook faster enough to care?

The fact that so many here at BBQ Central ARE NOT IN A HURRY doesn't mean that there aren't SOME OF YOU who are sometimes in a hurry - especially for backyard grilling.
I'm only suggesting that for times when you WOULD like to go faster, FiAir is coming to do the job.

While there may have been other products like it on the market, I couldn't find them.
I bought anything I could find and nothing had the combination of features I was looking for - including affordability.
I couldn't stop thinking about it for years and finally decided to build it myself. Hell, isn't that the American Way?

So - please keep following this thread.
Look at the videos - I'll be adding more soon.
And keep commenting.
I'll take all your criticism and suggestions.
If I can't convince at least a few of you, then maybe I am barking up the wrong tree.
But that won't stop me. I'm following my passion just like you.
I wouldn't ask any of you to give up smoking.
So please work with me as I try to make grilling easier for some people.
Eventually, maybe even you.

Thanks for being so active on this thread!

FiAir Chief
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:54 PM   #25
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Re: I'm back to grilling with Charcoal because of FiAir

What makes your product better than:
Air Grill? http://www.air-grill.com/
Looftlighter http://www.looftlighter.com/

?

Again...not really a new concept. Just sayin.
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:34 PM   #26
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Re: I'm back to grilling with Charcoal because of FiAir

Dude, i dont really mean to piss on your party. I have a product that i try to sell as well. Looks like you have done a lot of work and research on your product. I wish you great success. Only advice I have for you, know your target customer. I would say experienced, old, and set in there ways grumpy folks on a bbq forum are not gonna be your customers. I do see it on the "as seen on tv shelf" in China Mart though. And I can see tons of women buying them as Christmas and Fathers day gifts. Enough of marketing 101. Good luck in your endeavor!!!
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:32 AM   #27
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Re: I'm back to grilling with Charcoal because of FiAir

FiAir, The problem you really have is time management. When I'm using charcoal, I light my chimney and go about getting everything else ready. It almost always seems that when the coals are ready, so am I with the food for the grill. Good luck with your product, $25,000 is a lot to recover, I wish you the best.
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:05 PM   #28
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Re: I'm back to grilling with Charcoal because of FiAir

Thanks for your questions and suggestions.
Let me take them one at a time.

What makes FiAir better than Air Grill or Looftlighter?
Glad you asked, ScottyDaQ!
I bought an Air Grill Executive when I found one at Restoration Hardware many years ago. I was happy to pay $35 for it. It works and I used it in our fireplaces until I got my FiAir prototype. And, as I've said, I just recently switched to charcoal so I never tried it on the grill.
There are three things that make FiAir better.
The first is that since FiAir is battery powered you don't have to crank it. You also have to stop cranking at some point just to take a break. FiAir will keep blowing as long as you hold the button.
Second, price. I believe you can now buy the Air Grill Executive for $30 but that's still $5-$10 more than FiAir will sell for.
Then there's the size. FiAir is under 9" long and is very light and portable. I believe the Air Grill Executive is 15"-18" long and considerably heavier.
I won't even talk about the $10 Air Grill because I've read that the plastic gears have been known to break on the first use.

As for the Looftlighter:
It requires AC. You have to plug it in. That means it's not portable.
And the price? Well, I couldn't figure that out. When I ran it through an online currency converter, 450,000 SEK came out to over $7,000!
Somehow, I don't think thats right. I don't even know if you can by one in the US. And just looking at it make me think it must cost more than FiAir.

I would NEVER SUGGEST that FiAir is a new idea.
People have been trying to find faster ways to make fires since they realized that the standard squeeze bellows just doesn't work as well as the GiANT BELLOWS the blacksmiths used.
I am suggesting that FiAir represents a new answer to the old question and as far as grilling is concerned, could change the debate between charcoal vs. gas.

Here's one of my favorite stories:
In the 1920's a Congressman moved that we abolish the US Patent Office because - everything that was going to be invented had already been invented!

I think he was wrong about that.
I've done my own and two professional patent searches and have seen most everything there is to see. When I asked my Industrial Designer about many of the patents, he said that after what we learned developing FiAir, many of those ideas simply wouldn't work if you built them. Well, we built one FiAir - and whether you want one or not - it DOES WORK well on the grill and in the fireplace.

So - i still think i have something with FiAir. And like writing songs, it's just something I'll have to keep doing until the spirit dies.

Nick - I get what you're saying and you guys have taught me a bunch about the difference between grillers and smokers.
And most of it has to do with time. The long time it takes to BBQ and the "no hurry" attitude that goes along with it. Hey, more power to ya!
I also know that around my house my job is making the fire and my wife will often be getting everything ready in the kitchen so it's fine with her if we're ready to cook sooner.
I also have to admit, I've been using FiAir more than I need to on some of the fires. I really need to back off more often and just let the coals react after I've given it some FiAir. Still learning that stuff, too.
And Swampsauce - I think you're right. But the numbers say I'm looking at a target market in US and Canada of about 60 million.
I know I'm not going to get everybody, but I sure am looking forward to Fathers' Day and Christmas!

I now know I jumped in a little too soon to the wrong Forum.
I'm glad you gave me the straight skinny.
Guys - thanks so much for playing this game with me.
I'm still waiting for the production figures, but if they come in where I'm hoping, maybe I'll be able to share a few free samples when I finally have some on the shelves.
It's months away, but I'll keep you posted, if you don't mind.
I know I have to concentrate on the backyard grillers, but now that I've found you I'd like to stick around.

The best to all of you!

FiAir Chief

PS - please keep it coming if you like. . .
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:45 PM   #29
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Re: I'm back to grilling with Charcoal because of FiAir

We're glad to have you here! Like I said, best of luck!
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:56 PM   #30
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Re: I'm back to grilling with Charcoal because of FiAir

I used to sell a similar product that was crank actuated.

I also sold bellows which didn't need batteries.

Good luck.

The only way I see it being successful is if it's AS SEEN ON TV and hawked by professionals.

But wait!
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:29 PM   #31
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Re: I'm back to grilling with Charcoal because of FiAir

LoofLighter is $70 USD
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:19 AM   #32
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Re: I'm back to grilling with Charcoal because of FiAir

The other thing I should point out is, unless I am mistaken, the FiAir is a blower only...the LoofLighter will actually light the fire first and then keep the steady stream of super-heated air in the coals for a quicker light up.
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:56 PM   #33
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Re: I'm back to grilling with Charcoal because of FiAir

I've seen Looftllighter and - while it certainly works - FiAir has some major benefits and seems to have you up to cooking heat in about the same time as Looftlighter at less than half the cost. Most people have their own way of lighting a fire. FiAir simply provides the air to make it burn faster and hotter.

Looftlighter requires electricity. That eliminates portability. FiAir is battery powered and works anywhere -- even in the woods for camp fires.
You can locate your grill anywhere you like. Indoors, you won't be tethered to an electric outlet that may be just out of reach of your fireplace or stove.

Amazon and others are selling Looftlighter for $80. FiAir will likely retail for under $30.
Affordability is one my primary goals of FiAir.

Thanks for pointing out the competition.
So far, I've seen all the competing products mentioned and still believe FiAir has them beat due to the combination of portability, efficiency, convenience, safety and affordability.

Many thanks for all your comments! Please keep them coming.

FiAir Chief
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:17 PM   #34
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Re: I'm back to grilling with Charcoal because of FiAir

I refer back to Nicks post early in this thread "What is wrong with a charcoal chimney?" $15.00, a book of matches, 2 pieces of newspaper, it just doesn't get any easier and I can drink beer for the 10 minutes it takes to get up to heat, no hands needed.
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