A good fire pit is an essential need for many home owners who enjoy outdoor serenity at night or a feast of grilled food with their friends and family.
For most people, it has become a basic need in their lavish lifestyle to own an outdoor fire pit, for either luxury, heat or both.
Fire pits usually come with metal housing with wood inside, that not only creates an outdoor fireplace, but also keeps you warm ofcourse while you enjoy the fresh breeze in your backyard.
Whether you’re an old hand at the fire pit game yourself or you’re looking for your first one ever, you’re shopping at in a golden age of fire pits, to use admittedly lavish language.
There are multiple great fire pit options out there, most of which arrive ready for immediate enjoyment. Also, there’s been a trend of using a fire pit as an amenity in your backyard, together with the pool and lighting, as the warmth and shimmer of searing light it provides really elevates the atmosphere.
For those of our readers who are new to the fire pit game and wondering how exactly a fire pit works, well we’ve got you covered, but for those who already know the 101s of the fire pits, then head over to our amazing buyer’s guide of the best fire pits for sale available out there. Also check out our guide on best fire pits tables
Things You Should Know Before Buying An Outdoor Fire Pit And Setting An Outdoor Fireplace
Backyard fire pits bring with them loads of benefits that do justice to the investment you’ve made. After all, who doesn’t want to be known as the one who’s got a cool backyard?
You can enjoy a cold winter evening with friends or family members sitting around a fire pit in your own backyard or you may use the fire pits as a catalyst for bringing together conversations all the while looking attractive and being the center of attention.
Hungry while talking? Why not roast marshmallows over the pit? It just keeps getting better with having a fire pit in your own backyard.
A fire pit must be constructed with materials that withstand high temperatures and blazing flames. The internal wall should be made of fire-brick and a fire-proof mortar or grout because it will come into direct contact with excruciating heat.
The rest of the pit can be built with masonry block, poured concrete, stone, brick or even pavers. Masonry block is especially appropriate if you plan to face your fire pit with a stone veneer, ceramic tile or stucco. Another option is to have your fire pit built using a steel-frame kit. A steel-frame is a simple way to get a sturdy structure that is heat and weather resistant.
The most common and well-sighted fire pits are pre-made, which can be purchased from a store or online. Commonly made of pre-cast concrete or metal and/or a combination of metal table and stone, they are usually fueled by natural gas, propane (LPG) or bio ethanol. Wood burning fire pits constructed out of metal are also quite common but under increasing scrutiny due to fire bans and air particulate emissions and regulations.
If you plan to use natural gas, propane, or ethanol as the fuel for your fire pit, the first thing you will need to do before beginning construction is to make sure that gas lines have been run. To create an even flame effect, a gas ring will be needed. Choose a stainless-steel gas ring because it will last longer than other metals under direct flame. Gas rings come in circular, square and rectangular shapes and are available in many different sizes. Install a generous number of gas rings to create the effect you desire so that you can adjust the flame to suit the mood of the evening and the unforgiving cold in the winter nights.
If you have opted for a gas-fueled fire pit, you’ll need a fill material to cover the fire rings. Fire pit fillers are mainly decorative, but also absorb heat, making the warmth radiate more evenly. Popular fill materials include lava rock, river rock and recycled glass which comes in a variety of colors, including black, clear, red, and blue and can be used to create unique effects.
This really elevates the entire fire pit game, taking it to the next level where your fire pit isn’t just another heat source, but a vital element to the backyard evening vibe.
Just like with any other equipment, your fire pit will need maintenance and it will vary depending on the material it is made of and the fuel it is using.
For best results, you should empty the ashes from your fire pit the day after you use it but if you are using a gas fire pit this will not be an issue. Some fire pits may require a touch-up of fire resistant paint every few years, in order for them to keep looking smokin’ hot.
In the case of wood powered fire pits, use a broom and sweep out any debris like leaves or left-over burned wood and ash on a regular basis. Use caution when using a broom on soot and ash as it can simply smear it around. If you have an outdoor vacuum, this would be a better option to remove dust and ash. You can also consider using a creosote sweeping log as the fire wood; these logs dry up the thick oil residue that accumulates, allowing soot particles to easily fall into the firebox.
Some modern fire pits are gas powered and thankfully, you won’t have to sweep away ash and residue because there won’t be any. However, there’s still need for maintenance and you should definitely not overlook it.
First and foremost, make sure the gas is turned off. Clean gas burners with a soft cloth and a soft bristle brush for burner holes. Follow manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning procedures and cleaning solutions for your gas fire pit, so you don’t risk voiding the warranty in case of punctured gas rings or pipes. Don’t forget to clean fake logs with a soft-bristled brush at least once a month to remove soot and ash. A great tip to keep your gas fire pit safe and healthy is to turn off the pilot in case you’re not really using it, instead of just letting it burn for long hours.
In harsh weather conditions such as rain and snow, a cover over your fire pit is recommended. You can find many different types of covers: vinyl, canvas, polyester with PVC lining and others that are weather resistant. Be careful to cover your fire pit only when it has cooled though. Also, make sure you protect it from water, as water and metal don’t make good buddies.
The US Environment Protection Agency has laid down some guidelines for burning of fire outside in your backyard. According to them, with the fire pits and outdoor fire places growing popularity, there’s been a rise in backyard burning as well.
It’s well advised to increase your enjoyment of outdoor fires by making sure that you’re doing all you can to burn cleanly, safely, and responsibly for your family, neighbors and community. Smoke emitted from burning wood or gas is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles, which are also called particle pollution or particulate matter.
Outdoor recreational fires, in case of wood fire, can become a considerable source of fine-particle air pollution, especially in some urban areas. Children and teenagers, adults, and people with heart or lung diseases, including asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to the health effects of particle pollution in wood smoke.
Your enjoyment shouldn’t cause problems for others so be a good neighbor when burning and consider your neighbors safety, as well as wind direction.
Another thing to consider before buying a fire pit is to make sure you understand your city or county’s regulations regarding their use. Some cities prohibit their use completely, and hefty fines are levied on you if you don’t follow the rules and regulations. If you’re looking forward to a natural gas and propane burner in a pre-fabricated vessel, they are certified under ANSI (American), CSA (Canadian) and CE (European) standards.
So, make sure you get a permit for your pit fire first, as unregulated and uncertified fire pit burners are being scrutinized by regulatory authorities more than ever now.
Basics and Safety
Basically, to make a fire pit, you only need to make a hole in order to safely contain a fire. This can be as simple as digging a hole in the ground, or as complex as hollowing out a brick or rock pillar.
If you’re using a wood burning fire pit, it should be located at least ten feet away from structures for safety. You should also avoid use of a fire pit in adverse conditions and apply basic fire safety precautions. Read the manual that comes with your fire pit and follow instructions. Call the manufacturer regarding any questions you might have.
Fire pits add drama and beauty to your outdoor space. But fire is fire, and to fully enjoy your fire pit, safety should always be a top consideration. There are a few things you should be wary of in order to have a safe fire pit session in your backyard.
Firstly, be aware of your surroundings. Never place your fire pit under a tree or near anything flammable. Sparks hover and a gust of wind can blow the flames near flammable surfaces. Furthermore, avoid the use of accelerants. Actually, never use accelerants or combustible materials to start a large fire as it’s quite dangerous and can damage your fire pit as well.
Start your fire small and only use the recommended fire starters; Gasoline should never be used to start a fire. Like with most combustible materials, never use any plastic materials around a fire pit. If you have a fire pit that uses wood as the fuel, never pile on wood too high because you don’t want burning pellets to spill out and ruin your backyard’s grass.
For people living near oceans or plains, with strong winds, use wind-screens for protection and to prevent sparks from flying out, avoid using a fire pit when it is very windy. Plastic can melt if anywhere near a fire pit, and it’ll be a pain to remove the residue later, together with the toxic fumes that’ll erupt with the burning of the plastic residue.
In case you are using a gas fire pit, you must inspect and clean the burners and valves regularly. Dirt, insects and other buildup can block the flow of air and can cause fires. Best way to go about this is to get a professional checkup of your gas fire pit atleast once a year.
As we mentioned earlier, you might be tempted to barbeque over your fire pit and that means residue and dirt on the pit. Always clean up properly after using the grill so there is no residue left on or around the fire pit, keeping your fire pit clean, healthy and cracking hot.
In the end, make sure you keep a fire extinguisher handy and that it is in good working condition. Check for its expiration date so that you don’t get trolled in case of a fire emergency, and trust us, no one will be laughing at that troll.
For people who might want to use their fire pit in a covered area, just don’t. Using a fire pit in an enclosed area will cause fumes from it to smother around and that can be harmful if there is no proper ventilation. If it’s necessary for you to touch the fire pit, always use safety gloves and keep your adventurous hands safe from burns. Now for families, safety hazard can spike up as kids don’t care if fire burns, until it burns them. So, children should not be allowed near fire pits, which should be supervised by adults at all times.
Long story short, never leave the fire unattended.
Closing the fire pit
The most important thing once you’re done with the fire pit is to make sure you extinguish the fire completely. Follow the instructions in the user manual for proper extinguishment. Best practice is to use a fire extinguisher or kill the oxygen supply to the fire using a closed lid.
A thing to remember here is not to pour water into a hot fire pit to put out a fire as the sudden change in temperature is not good for the fire pit and may result in breakage or at the very least, deterioration of the pit. Once the fire is out, cover the pit with a lid. Do not store the coals or wood in bags right away, instead use a metal ash bucket.
Fire and fashion
Once you are the master of your fire pit and possess all expertise about safely while using a fire pit, it’s time for the fun part: creating the decor for the ambiance you want.
If the campfire experience is what you revel, you can surround the fire pit with large rocks, casually laying them around it with stacks of firewood nearby. With fire pits, simple looks better so create a minimalist decor with a sunken area covered with gravel for the fire pit with raised, built-in wooden benches surrounding it. Add rustic chairs for the cherry on top effect. This will deliver a fire pit experience parallel to none and great for late-night conversations. For a modern look, use large limestone boulders to surround a mound of gravel with a fire pit in the center. Use modern outdoor furniture to finish the look.
Now that we’ve explained everything you’d need to know before you decide which fire pit is best for you, we have got some amazing fire pits in this article that are best suited for your needs.
Some of the fire pits in this article require the quick and easy attachment of a propane tank, while others require a bit of basic knowledge on how to build a good fire. Some are designed to be readily portable and are perfect for occasional and seasonal use, while others are best suited to being permanent fixtures on your patio, deck, or beside the pool.
In case you’re worried that getting your hands on a fire pit (no pun intended) may be costly, you should know that in this day and age, there are plenty of affordable options. Your choices should be based on the space at hand, your budget and, of course, local ordinances as some municipalities ban open burning of any kind.
So, let’s dive straight into the quick options we have got for you and help you get the hottest fire pit you can get in the market, but if you’re looking for more fire pits, then don’t forget to check out our buyer’s guide on the best fire pits for sale. . 🔥
The Blue Rhino Endless Summer Outdoor Propane Fireplace is a beautifully crafted fire pit which is surely going to make you and your guests talk about it. With hundreds of positive reviews, it seems like this is the ultimate fire pit for everyone who’s looking forward to a rather fashionable heat solution.
Features & Positives: Talking about its most obvious feature, the fire; this pit can create 30,000 BTUs of heat, which is more than enough to keep you and a few friends warm and toasty even when winter’s chill has settled in.
Lighting it up to enjoy the flames requires nothing more than the push of a button, once you have a standard propane tank hooked up, it’s designed to deliver all the warmth and coziness of a real fire, without the hassle and mess of wood and ashes. Not only that, for all you fashion conscious folks out there, the fire pit has a very sleek, design with decorative twin peak side panels which hide the heat source for a polished look.
The Blue Rhino also comes with lava rocks that add aesthetic charm and help to more evenly disperse the dancing flames, though many people find they need to add more rocks to complete the look and the effect. You can also always remove the rocks in favor of glass for a truly dazzling effect. And what’s great is that now, even a novice can ignite it with the push of a button.
The design provides ample space to stock up with a beverage, a snack, or even to put up your feet. Just don’t put food-stuffs or feet too close to the actual flames or you may need to call in 911. Also included is a cover that helps protect the unit from weather which makes sure this fire pit will remain looking great and working well for years even if subject to snow, rain, heat, cold, and everything else nature can throw its way. That, together with its ability to be portable is a major go for those who’d want to move it around in case it’s wet outside.
Customers who’ve bought this fire pit seem to be in love with it. For most people, setting up the fire pit is a charm with results being even better. A lot of young people are digging the fact that it looks exotically unique in its own way, it’s modern yet classic and serves a perfect balance. Its strongest suit is that it leaves no dirt, nor smell, which makes it perfect, rendering stargazing even special.
Negatives: A few of the users complained about it falling very easily while some argued that the instructions provided weren’t clear enough. Interestingly, a couple of users talked about the fact that it’s fairly difficult to ignite, even with the push to start button.
The Blue Rhino is indeed our top pick if you’re looking for a really good fire pit with thought given towards aesthetics. It is beautifully crafted, burns propane cleanly without any carbon, dust or smell and is a great addition to your backyard. However, there are some issues with its igniter and that’s where you might have some reservations. Other than that, it is a work of beauty!
There’s a major chunk of people who prefer having the basics of an instrument, without the fancy shenanigans. The AmazonBasics – Steel Lattice Fire Pit is the one for those people, with its minimalistic design and considerably cheaper cost.
Features & Positives: The first thing you’d notice about this fire pit is that it’s basic. It’s the vanilla version of all the fire pits we’ve covered in this article and that’s its strongest suit as well.
A fire pit need to burn and provide heat and that’s exactly what you’ll get. As the name suggests, it is designed to fulfill the basic need of a fire pit, with almost no fancy shenanigans and that helps keep the costs low. The lattice design of the fire pit allows for a full 360-degree view of the fire as well as for an even warmth distribution all around the fire pit.
Some solid safety features can be seen as the chance of an errant spark that will cause injury or potential damage are reduced with the help of a steel-screen built behind the bands of latticework, while an included spark screen that fits over the unit helps catch embers.
It’s also quite portable, sitting at only 23.5 inches across, and weighing only 22 pounds, you can move it around your property at will until you have found the perfect spot for it. And again, with its low price, it’s a great buy even if you can’t use it on certain windy days. Installation of the AmazonBasics fire pit is easy and quick, and it comes with a free fire poker included.
With a lot of positive reviews, this fire pit has a good rating on Amazon. One customer speaks for many when he says it was “easy to assemble and looks great” and “is a good value,” adding that the “lattice sides cast really nice light.”
Negatives: Covering just 23.5 inches, this fire pit is better suited to smaller fires, and due to the exposure created by the lattice design, it’s not a great fire pit for use in spaces subject to steady breezes or wind gusts, as the flames are easily fanned, and the smoke can get a bit thick, ruining your social event or a pleasant evening. Also, if you don’t take proper care of it, especially from weather, the frame of the pit starts to rust easily.
The AmazonBasics – Steel Lattice Fire Pit is a great choice for anyone looking for an affordable fire pit but content with a basic design. It’s portable and small, and creates a limited diameter of fire, and if that’s alright for you, don’t think twice and go for it. Taking care of it can be a major concern for some people, as this fire pit doesn’t come with weather proofing, so keep that in mind. Except for that, this is a major go if your budget is low.
Much similar to what we covered previously, we’ve got another simple yet fantastic fire pit for you.
The Sunnydaze – Décor Cast-Iron Wood Burning Fire Pit Bowl is nothing more than a broad, deep basin designed to hold plenty of weight and stand up to intense heat, so you can load it up with lots of logs and have yourself a hot, blazing fire.
Features & Positives: Talking about its construction, the pit is made from durable cast iron, colored to look like steel which gets a rustic finish over the time due to oxidization. Its four 10-inch legs keep the 35-pound bowl stable on all sorts of surfaces, from pavers to grass to a wooden deck. And when you need to shift the fire pit from one place to another, there are two built-in handles that’ll make it easy for you.
Just be careful about the temperature. You can do plenty of things with this fire pit, bring it along to the campsite, beach, park or enjoy it as a permanent fixture of your property at home. This fire pit will last for years even with heavy use. To ensure it remains in optimal condition, you will want to get a cover though, and you’d be well advised to drill a few drainage holes into the bottom of the bowl, so water doesn’t collect and sit in the piece.
The fire pit wins itself multiple positive reviews, with one proud customer calling it plenty “big enough for a comfortable fire in cooler weather.” Others seem to admire the fact that the fire pit is made of durable material.
Negatives: There isn’t much that the customers didn’t like about this fire pit, however, it has to be covered in order to keep it safe from rusting. Some of the customers pointed out that the “attaching hardware (nuts/bolts)” are subject to rusting and losing some of their durability and effectiveness over time.
The Sunnydaze – Decor Cast-Iron Wood Burning Fire Pit Bowl is another simple yet functional fire pit which provides great utility with minimal design elements. It’s portable and can generate a large amount of heat. However, care must be taken in order to keep it going for longer periods.
A lightweight and portable fire pit which runs on gas is what many people sought after. The Outland Living – Firebowl Deluxe provides the same and is a fire pit which can be enjoyed at a campsite, on a balcony, or in the backyard.
Features & Positives: Good things come in small packages and this one is surely a fine example of it.
Measuring at just 19 inches across and weighing less than 25 pounds. That means it’s small and portable enough for use during any car camping trip, not to mention making it easy to store it on a garage shelf or even in an apartment’s closet. However, don’t let the small size fool you. This fire pit can create more than 55,000 BTUs of heat, bringing plenty of warmth to even the coldest night.
The fire pit works with any common five-gallon propane tank. The size and intensity of the flame is controlled using a simple dial, and the fire can be started with just a push of a button. You also get decorative rocks included in the package that help spread the flames around as well as a carrying strap system that hooks onto the unit for easy portability.
This little outdoor fire pit is a great alternative to campfires at places where burning wood is illegal or unsafe. Also, its 10-foot long gas hose allows you to set gas tank well away from the burner, which you’ll appreciate both for aesthetics and safety.
Negatives: We couldn’t find many people who had anything negative to say about this fire pit. However, do keep in mind that the exterior paint on it chips and falls off easily if contacted with a rough element.
There are only good things to say about the fire pit and that shows how great a value for money this fire pit is. It’s compact and lightweight, provides excellent heat output and is easy to use and maintain. Just keep good care of its exteriors and this might be the best portable fire pit you can get your hands on.
After thorough research and critical analysis, we’ve covered the best four fire pits you can get your hands on right now, but if you’re looking for more fire pits, then don’t forget to check out our buyer’s guide on the best fire pits for sale.
Starting with the Blue Rhino – Endless Summer, this is the best fire pit overall, as it serves well for people who’re concerned about the looks and aesthetics of the fire pit, together with its burning capabilities.
The AmazonBasics – Steel Lattice Fire Pit is another option if you’re not looking forward to spending a lot and instead opt for a basic fire pit that requires extra care.
Then comes the Sunnydaze – Décor Cast-Iron Wood Burning Fire Pit Bowl which is great for portability, but light on the fire output. Go for it if you don’t live in a really cold area, and if portability is your number one priority.
However, if heat output is also crucial to your fire pit needs then there’s the best portable option for you, the Outland Living – Firebowl Deluxe Portable Gas Fire Pit. An amazing fire pit which is not only small but also very fiery!
Whichever fire pit you decide to go for, make sure you remember the basic requirements that we talked about earlier in this article. So, choose between these four and enjoy your very own fire pit!
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