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Hearth & Home April 2019

Smiles, Tears, and Ovations

By Richard Wright

The Vesta Awards Program turns 19 amid displays of pleasure and emotions.

Nineteen years ago – in 2001 – the Vesta Awards Program was launched in Salt Lake City. The goal was to honor those manufacturing companies that, through innovation, move the entire industry forward.

Without innovation, there’s stagnation.

Flash forward to March 15, 2019 in Dallas, and the Vesta Awards program is still going strong. As the day winds to an end, a large crowd gathers outside the Ballroom to enjoy a glass of wine, or a cold beer, all to the music of Queen, and various other singers.

Jack Goldman, president and CEO of the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), always opens the program – but not this time. Goldman was sidelined with a bad case of laryngitis, and replaced by Amie Ryan, owner of Ryan Bros. Chimney Sweeping, the outgoing chairperson.

She highlighted key association projects that are underway, such as a drive to increase membership. That project was first tackled by Ingrid Schroeter of Napoleon; it was then carried forward by Ryan.

Continuation of such efforts is key. Increasing membership should be an important goal of every chairperson who comes on board. So it is with Joe Burns, president of Bernard Dalsin and newly-installed chairman of the HPBA.

In addition to membership, Burns wants to tackle the problem of losing retail stores. He indicated that a network of brokers should be set up to help retailers who want to sell their store. That will be his main goal during his term.

Following Burns, Stan Hays of Operation BBQ Relief (OBR) described the growth of the organization, and the many deployments they fielded in 2018. It’s remarkable that OBR has already served over 3 million meals, and remarkable that it already has over 6,000 volunteers signed up and ready to help in their areas.

During his presentation, Hays received not one, but two, standing ovations. Stan Hays is a very unique individual.

Vesta Awards for Innovation in Design and/or Technology

This year, the Vesta Awards had 64 product entries, 44 were in the Hearth Products category and 20 in the Hearth category. The 10 judges who decided on winners and finalists had complete control of the process. It was their decision whether to designate a Winner, or one Finalist, or two, or none at all. No employee of Village West Publishing (Hearth & Home) has a say in the selections.

The following descriptions of products are the words of the manufacturers.

Vesta Awards – Best-in-Show

Joe Ponzo.

Outdoor Room Products

Solaira Radiant Systems

Solaira Ziro Disc Radiant Heater

Turn up the heat using the latest patented technology with the sleek Solaira Ziro Disk NO-LIGHT radiant heater. With its sleek profile and clean lines, this heater has been designed with the architect in mind.

This ceiling-suspended heating Disc is both a radiant and convective heater; it was designed and UL tested to provide safe and comfortable heating in enclosed and semi-enclosed areas in moderate climates. The disc delivers no-glow radiant technology, primarily heating objects and people while increasing ambient air temperatures in a given space.

Suspended from the ceiling or cantilevered off the wall, it provides optimal warmth where you need it – for indoor or outdoor use. High efficiency radiant heating is generally associated with some visible light; achieving comfort with no visible light has been a technical gap, until now. While some radiant efficiency is reduced, the radiant performance of Solaira Ziro is still exceptional. The product’s shape and design provide an efficient transfer of radiant heat to the subject area.

  • Patented high emissivity disc utilizes ridged surface area to maximize radiant heat transfer.
  • Disc shape creates a uniform heat pattern for targeted area.
  • Solaira Ziro Disc focuses on function and design unlike traditional linear heater shapes.
  • UL approved for both outdoor and indoor applications.
  • Controllable through Solaira Integrated systems including (Lutron, Control4, Crestron, and others).

Call (866) 321-8373 or visit

Outdoor Room Equipment

Solaira Radiant Systems

Solaira Ziro Disc Radiant Heater
(Category Winner)

L to R: Shane Spencer and Bret Watson.

Daniel J. Melcon Award
Best-in-Show Hearth Products

Jøtul North America

F 500 V3

Jøtul’s best-selling large wood stove, the Jøtul F 500 V3, is now EPA 2020 compliant. Able to heat up to 2,300 sq. ft., burn for nine hours, and with an emission rate of 0.5 g/hr, the Jøtul F 500 V3 is the perfect whole-house heater. Utilizing patent-pending Fusion Technology, Jøtul was able to combine the best aspects of traditional, non-catalytic, secondary combustion, baffle technology, and catalytic technology to create a clean-burning wood stove that operates without the need for a bypass. The F 500 V3 remains passively engaged in clean-burn mode 100% of the time.


User friendly. No clumsy mechanisms to operate.

Closer clearances to combustibles than hybrids because there is no open bypass mode.

Not draft-sensitive like typical catalytic systems.

The large, free-flow catalyst resists ash and soot accumulation; it is effectively self-cleaning of fly ash.

The ultra-high, temperature-tolerant metal alloy catalyst is rated for 2,500 F; it won’t crack or crumble like ceramic.

The catalyst begins to clean up the emissions almost immediately as there is no way to bypass the catalyst.

The EPA weighted-average particulate emissions rate is 0.5 g/hr.

All emissions points < 1.0 g/hr.

A high efficiency of 83.2% HHV at low-burn rate.

EPA’s interest in air-shed emissions spikes now requires first-hour emissions monitoring for Step 2 compliance. Jøtul’s Fusion Technology provides the industry’s lowest first-hour emissions profile.

Call (207) 797-5912 or visit

Wood Products

Jøtul North America

F 500 V3
(Category Winner)

Outdoor Room Products: Category Winners

L to R: Carsten Brogger, Susanne Brogger, Brendan Sipple, and Maher Hakim.

Charcoal, Wood Barbecues & Smokers



The bio-degradable CasusGrill sets up in minutes and lights quickly, without requiring lighter fluid. Plus, it cooks evenly for over 60 minutes at an even 600 degrees (Fahrenheit).

The CasusGrill is the world’s only portable, instant, biodegradable grill.

It’s constructed from four simple, 100% natural components.

  • A cardboard frame provides a foldable, yet sturdy, base material.
  • The 100% bamboo grill-grates guarantee that you’ll always start with a clean, fresh cooking surface every time you grill. No more greasy, grimy, and unsanitary metal grills.
  • A lava stone thermal bed acts as a lightweight insulation material that directs the heat upward, producing a hot, even, cooking surface.
  • The 100% bamboo briquettes light easily and provide high, uniform heat for over an hour.

Call (307) 200-7387 or visit

Jim Ginocchi

Barbecues, Other Fuels

Coyote Outdoor Living

Coyote Pellet Grill

Coyote Outdoor has created a highly-stylized wood pellet grill with great versatility and superb value. Grill, smoke, bake, or barbecue on our outdoor appliance that cooks as evenly as your indoor oven. Consumers will enjoy the Green, easy to load gravity pellet system, as well as the digital control system for a perfect cook every time. This is truly the first premium pellet grill available with such features at such a great value. Available as a built-in or on a cart.

Call (855) 520-1559 or visit

L to R: Max Lavoie and Pierre Luc Darveau.

Barbecue Accessories

House of BBQ Experts


The All-in-1 BBQ is the ultimate accessory because it lets you turn any fire into an incredible cooking system. Turn a camping fire or a kettle barbecue into a wood-fire pizza oven, a smoker, a cold smoker, a tandoor, a Santa Maria grill, an Asado, a churrasco and, of course, a rotisserie option.

The All-in-1 BBQ is available in two sizes – 22 and 26 inches. It’s made out of 304 Stainless Steel in Quebec, Canada. It is made split in three parts so it’s adjustable to fit any 22- or 26-inch kettle barbecue. It can be used with any fuel; most every kettle is used with charcoal/wood, but there are some fueled by gas or pellets; the All-in-1 will fit them without a problem. Only one finish is offered. Since the All-in-1 has been designed to cook perfectly, it’s been kept pure by offering an uncoated and rustproof product. The All-in-1 BBQ offers a way to cook everything you want on only one barbecue.

Call (418) 559-2183 or visit

L to R: Greg Muir, Andrew Brown, and Lindsay Keegans.

Gas Barbecues

Ooni Pizza Ovens

Ooni Koda

Ooni launched the first-ever portable wood-fired pizza oven in 2012, and has since continued to define this new cooking equipment category with the release of further, ambitious pizza-oven models. Ooni Koda, an innovative, gas-powered pizza oven, is the latest release from the award-winning brand. Ooni Koda brings authentic, flame-cooked flavor to an even broader group of pizza lovers – all at the flick of a switch.

Key features:

Compact: Small enough for fitting into any outdoor space, with no extra attachments to think about.

Easy: No assembly, built-in gas ignition, and adjustable heat-control dial.

Fast: Heats to 932°F (500°C) within minutes; cooks pizza in just 60 seconds.

Commercial grade, cold-rolled carbon steel shell with high-temperature resistant, powder-coated finish.

Call 011 44 131 677 8780 or visit

Outdoor Room Furnishings

NatureKast Weatherproof Cabinetry

The Ultimate Outdoor Game Cabinet

Tired of seeing the kids on their tech devices all the time? Put this cabinet outside and score a bulls-eye with your family and friends. Make your backyard THE place to hang out. At just over 8-ft. tall, this cabinet is full of fun and games. Enjoy darts, the addictive Mölkky, bone-crushing Kubb and Kan Jam, all aesthetically integrated so that each game is ready for hours of outdoor fun. Game on!

Call (844) 880-6314 or visit

Outdoor Hearth Products

No Winner

Hearth Products: Category Winners

Tony Solecki receiving an award.

Hearth Accessories

Caframo Limited


Combination of form and function. The 8200 Series of Ecofans uses thermoelectric technology to convert a temperature difference into electricity. The base of the unit collects heat from the wood stove, and the top, or heat sink, pulls cool air across the fins, thus creating a temperature differential.

The 8200 series offers a patent-pending design developed to increase performance over traditional Ecofans. We have disconnected the vertical fins in the heat sink from the top horizontal curve, and reduced their overall length. The impact of this change is that the heat that is transferred to the horizontal, curved arch is not conducted to the vertical fins, as they are not thermally connected. The vertical fin temperature is reduced, which results in a higher temperature gradient from the base of the top heat sink and the top of the vertical fins.

The higher temperature gradient improves the overall efficiency of the heat sink, resulting in what we are projecting to be the highest-performing Ecofan on the market.

Call (519) 534-1080 or visit

L to R: Jacob Wiltshire and Chris Schroeter.

Electric Products


Clearion Elite Electric Fireplace

Introducing a first to the industry, a 100% see-through electric fireplace equipped with switchable privacy glass. With the push of a button, this privacy glass turns from a once-transparent state to an opaque state, which does not allow visible light to pass through. This patent-pending technology is an innovation to the hearth industry because it incorporates an advancement of polymer-dispersed liquid crystals to be used as a medium for visual light to be blocked or passed-through a once opaque fireplace.

There are tiny liquid crystals embedded in the polymer solution that are randomly arranged. When light hits the crystals, it scatters and cannot pass through. Now the customer who wanted a see-through fireplace, but also wanted privacy, can have both. Problem solved, and dealers will sell more fireplaces.

Call (602) 615-4334 or visit

L to R: Paul Van Der Eems, Dan Hayes, and David Walters.

Central Heating Systems

HY-C Company

Fire Chief

Manufactured for a smaller footprint, our entry-level customers enjoy heating their homes with the EPA Phase 2 Certified FC1000E wood-burning indoor furnace. The well-engineered FC1000E provides longer burn times and distributes more heat than pre-EPA approved furnaces. Initiated by our thermostatically-controlled draft blower and self-regulating secondary air control system, our longer burn times eliminate worry between loads.

Fire Chief’s use of the industry’s strongest blower provides whole-home circulation to deliver uniform warmth while the digital thermostat monitors the temperature to maintain comfort, ensuring maximum performance with less user interaction. Loaded with features that the competition considers options or upgrades, the Fire Chief furnace heats up to 2,000 sq. ft. comfortably with its Clean Burn Technology. Featuring a 4.0 cu. ft. firebox, the FC1000E furnace is equipped with a fixed grate system and standard ash pan.

The Fire Chief meets and exceeds 2020 EPA Step 2 emissions standards at an entry-level price point, providing homeowners the ability to install an efficient, whole-home, wood-burning appliance. The benefit of a thermostatically-controlled draft blower eliminates manual adjustments to burn rates and allows the consumer the ability to control heat output from the convenience of their living room.

Call (314) 241-1214 or visit

L to R: David Cowie, Kevin Lee, Derek Johnson, and Ken Warren.

Hearth/Barbecue Components & Controls



The Firebug is the smallest remote control available for millivolt fire features. Although compact in size at roughly 1.5 inches square, 1/2-inch thick, and weighing in at only 1/2 oz., the Firebug is big on features.

A single coin-cell battery powers the unit, and it has a built-in battery health monitor. This is the smallest, lightest remote available for millivolt fires. Its small size makes it easy to hide the receiver in the fireplace, preserving the aesthetics of the logs and fire.

The Firebug utilizes a smart device, such as a phone or tablet, as the transmitter, eliminating the need for keeping up with a traditional handheld transmitter.

Diminutive in size but not on features, the Firebug eliminates the hassle of trying to camouflage a traditional remote control.

Call (844) 352-6383 or visit

L to R: Derek Krywalski, Aleksandra Nowicka-Piekarska, and Christiano Ferdandes Becker.

Gas Products

Planika USA

Planika DV 36"

The Planika Linear DV applies direct-vent technology that allows for optimal performance in any space, making the fireplace both a decorative and heat-efficient device. It can be fuelled with LPG or natural gas, and offers various control options such as, wall switch, handheld remote, mobile devices, and Smart Home system.

To enhance the visual aspect, the Planika DV can be decorated with different accessories, including ceramic logs, vermiculite, glass gravel, as well as LED lighting. To provide additional safety, the flame is covered with a glass and mesh barrier. The product is also available in numerous lengths and height options.

What makes the Planika DV different from the Traditional Collection is the shape of the burner. Planika applies innovative technological solutions, including the multidimensional, elevated burner, which was inspired by the appearance of a traditional wood-fired hearth, providing a natural and vivid look of the flame. The main part of the fireplace is a uniquely-shaped burner construction surrounded by an attractive composition of ceramic logs.

Decorative elements, such as glowing wires and coal chips, complete the final look of the fireplace. Another innovative solution is that the product design allows the installation of an inspection door anywhere below the fireplace surface.

Call (201) 993-7787 or visit

Hearth Products, Other Fuels

No Winner

Pellet Products

No Entries

The Art of Fire

No Winner

Vesta Awards – Finalists


1. Charcoal, Wood Barbecues & Smokers

a. DeliVita
DeliVita Wood
Fired Oven

View Website

b. Everdure by
Heston Blumenthal

4K Electric Ignition
Charcoal Barbeque

(949) 229-8927
View Website



2. Barbecues, Other Fuels

a. Dansons
Pit Boss
Silver Elite
6-in-1 Cook Center

(877) 303-3134
View Website


3. Barbecue Accessories

a. Grill Guardian
Ultimate Care Kit

(714) 348-2796
View Website

Blazaball Cage

+61 4 0796 0443
View Website



4. Outdoor Room Equipment

a. Flame-tec
IF-20 Remote

(844) 352-6383
View Website


5. Outdoor Room Furnishings

a. Cal Flame
Cal Flame Outdoor
Kitchen Modular

(909) 623-8781
View Website

b. TRU Innovative Outdoor
The One Hour
Outdoor Kitchen

(405) 771-6625
View Website



6. Gas Barbecues

a. Beefer USA
Beefer by Porsche Design

(800) 597-4514
View Website


Outdoor Hearth Products

No Winner

Hearth Products: Category Winners


1. Wood Products

a. Hearth Stone

(877) 877-2113
View Website


2. Hearth Accessories

a. Aegean Mantels

View Website


3. Electric Products

a. Glen Dimplex Americas
Faber's e-MatriX

(800) 346-7539
View Website


4. Hearth Barbecue
Components & Controls

a. Flame-tec

(844) 352-6383
View Website

b. Napoleon
Silhouette Ultra Low
Profile Terminal

(800) 461-5581
View Website



5. Gas Products

a. Empire Comfort Systems

(800) 851-3153
View Website


Hearth Products, Other Fuels

No Finalists

Pellet Products

No Entries

Electric Products

No Finalists

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