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7 Best Fire Pits for Outdoor Heat: Reviews & Buying Guide

A fire pit is a wonderful versatile outdoors invention. You can use it for providing warmth on a cold winter's evening while sitting out on your patio, create a camping-style ambiance in your backyard, while sharing a bbq with friends, or you can even take it with you on a road trip.

There is something magical about watching the flickering flames and feeling the warmth on your face, while you sip mulled wine, and roast marshmallows or potatoes in the glowing embers. So now that winter is here, and the Christmas/Holiday season is almost on our doorstep, it is the perfect time to buy a fire pit.

Our pick

THE BEST FIRE PIT

Landmann USA 28347 Big Sky Fire Pit

It combines strong steel construction with very attractive wildlife designs that are cut into the surface of the fire pit, which allows the mellow glow of the fire to flicker through. As well as being the highlight of the conversation at your next camp-out or Christmas party under the stars, the fire pit can also be used as a mini barbeque. Although the firepit is only ideal for small fires, you might find that you like it so much that you might decide to buy two!

Fire Pit Designs

There are so many different styles of fire pits for you to choose from, they can be made from a range of materials from stainless steel, 100 percent copper or cast iron, and they come in different designs: a steel bowl with an open basket-weave design that combines heating functionality with an attractive artistic pattern, a fire pit table with a ceramic table top, or a more basic romanesque style fire pit that has a steel bowl that is mounted on legs.

Fire Pit Bowls

Fire pit bowls offer you a source of light and warmth, but they are also be used for cooking. They come with a cooking grate or grill that you can place over the pit and you can then use the fire pit as a convenient BBQ area.

Fire Pit Table

These fire pit tables function in multiple ways. They will provide heat while you are relaxing in an outdoor area, and they also give you a table top where you can conveniently place drinks during outdoor gatherings.

Fire Pit Art

There are a number of artistic looking pits with an array of different patterns that also add to the overall style and ambiance of your garden. Some of these designs can portray various scenes like wildlife flames, or cross weave abstract design.

How to Choose a Fire Pit

1. Fire Pit Size

Small fire pits range from 22 inches to 24 inches. They are more lightweight and portable, so they are the ideal choice for a partly enclosed barbecue, patio or deck area, or you can use them on a camping holiday. Some small sized fire pits are designed with handles or a safety ring and carrying cases that make them easy to transport and store away.

Medium sized fire pits range in size from 30 to 36 inches and they can hold a generous amount of wood and generate good flames and heat, and they work best in small to medium sized yards. They are also relatively easy to maneuver, and like small sized fire pits, the receptacle that holds the fire looks a bowl that can be made out of stainless steel or cast-iron. The bowl comes with stands or sturdy legs, and a fire screen to protect you from any straying embers.

Large fire pits are ideal for medium sized gardens or yard, and they range in size from 40-45 inches in diameter. Large fire pits can resemble a low table where you can put your drinks, while others are made out of stone or copper in a round shape. They can hold a large amount of wood and boast a lot of flames and generate a lot of heat.

If you are having a barbecue or just have some friends over for some drinks around the fire, a large fire pit is a great choice. Due to their size and weight, large fire pits can be bulky and heavier to move, so many homesteaders leave them as an attractive permanent fixture in their garden and cover with them over with a special weather resistant cover to protect them from the weather.

As well as the size and design of the fire pit, there are some other features to consider when you are looking for a fire pit that will be the perfect fit for your entertaining needs.

2. Wood-burning or Gas-powered

Wood Burning Fire Pits

A wood burning fire pit is generally less expensive than a gas-powered model, but it creates a hotter fire, and creates an authentic camping atmosphere. As well as the aesthetic appeal of the flames and the heat, you can use the embers to roast marshmallows or cook potatoes or even barbeque meat.

The downside of using a wood-burning fire pit, is that you have to buy the wood and have somewhere to store it. You have to think about how you are going to dispose of the ash that is left over, and the wood creates a lot of smoke. It can also be harder to start the fire as well: you will either have to use newspaper and kindling to kick-start the fire or use firestarters. But for a rip roaring fire that gives you that feeling of the authentic outdoor camping experience, a wood-burning fire pit is the best choice.

Gas-powered Fire Pits

Gas-powered fire pits give you the look of a traditional fire pit, with fake lava rocks and logs included.

Although the coals or logs are for decorative purposes only, and are coated with heat resistant coating, the flames are real and are produced by the gas. Some gas-powered models have the propane tank attached to the fire pit on the outside, but if you do not want the gas fittings to show and detract from the overall aesthetic look of the fire pit, some table designed fire pits have a painted steel or aluminum housing where the gas tank is hidden underneath the fire pit.

Gas-powered fire pits are also available in the decorative bowl design and they might include sand, gravel or stones to add to their attractive artistic look. They will have a mesh cover over the burners to prevent any clogging, and there will be an ignition switch or a push-button ignition that can be adjusted to control the level of heat and height of the flames.

As opposed to wood burning fire pits, gas-powered fire pits are easier to start, they do not require any wood or fire starters, they generate less smoke and are easier to cleaner. But they cost more, and you will have to refill or replace the gas bottle. Some of the larger gas-powered fire pits use a lot of gas, so if you are going to be using the fire pit a lot during the winter months, you may have to purchase an additional tank.

3. Weather resistant coating

As well as being designed with heat resistant coating, there are many fire pits that have been constructed with a special powder coated finish or rust resistant coating to protect the fire pit from being corroded or destroyed by rain, snow, or hail damage.

4. Fire Pit Screen or Lid

There are some fire pits that come with a handy spark screen that can protect you from stray sparks or embers, as well as providing you with a cover to protect the fire pit, or a elastic vinyl cover that fits over the entire fire pit when you are not using it for long periods..

A good tip for maintaining your fire pit. If you have a smaller fire pit, and even though it has rust resistant paint, it is a good idea to move the pit into a storage shed if you are not going to be using it for long periods. This way you will be able to get long term use out of the pit and keep it in tip tip condition.

5. Other Handy Fire Pit Tools

There are some fire pits that can double as a mini barbeque with a cooking grate. Some fire pits also supply you with a very handy screen lift tool so that you can safely lift and replace the lid. For the smaller fire pits, some models have foldable legs and a carrying case, which is ideal for taking the fire pit away on camping holidays.

12 Outdoor Fire Pit Safety and Maintenance Tips

Fire pits are a wonderful addition to your homestead, but as they generate heat and flames, and as you may using a gas-powered fire pit, it is best to keep some safety or maintenance tips in mind.

  1. Before you start to use the fire pit read and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  2. If you have a wood burning fire pit, use the mesh spark cover, if available, as it will protect you from sparks and flying embers.
  3. Use a fire poker to adjust the logs in the fire pit.
  4. If you are using a gas-powered fire pit, always check the gas fittings and the gas tank before you start to use it.
  5. Clean out the ash leftovers on a regular basis so that the fire will burn more effectively.
  6. Do not move the fire pit when it is hot, wait until it has cooled down.
  7. Once you have finished with the fire pit and the embers have died down, cover it with its lid. This is especially important if there are any high winds as any remaining embers could fly away and catch fire in any surrounding trees.
  8. Do not use your fire pit too close to low hanging tree branches.
  9. Do not overfill your fire pit, as you could damage it or cause a fire hazard.
  10. Place the fire pit on a level surface to avoid the pit from tipping over.
  11. Never leave the fire pit unattended and keep an eye out for children and pets while the fire pit is in use.
  12. If you are using a fire pit that is made from copper, add a shallow layer of sand to the base of the fire pit to protect the surface from extreme heat The sand will also help to maintain the appearance of the copper surface.

7 Best Outdoor Fire Pits — Reviews

Woodburning Fire Pit:

1. Sunnydaze 36 Inch Large Bronze Crossweave Fire Pit

The Crossweave Fire Pit from Sunnydaze is not only functional, but it features a beautiful cross weave pattern that will make this fire pit an attractive showcase piece in your garden.

It has a width of 36 inches and the bronze accentuated steel bowl is 11 inches deep, which gives you ample room for a good size fire. The patterned exterior allows air to circulate, therefore giving the fire room to breathe, which allows for a longer lasting fire, and the criss-cross pattern allows you to view the glowing fire inside.

The fire pit weighs approximately 29 pounds and the safety rail around the top of the pit makes it easy to move the pit. The steel construction has high-temperature oil-rubbed bronze paint which gives that old world feel, and the sturdy legs gives the pit that extra stability.

The fire pit comes with a heavy duty spark screen that helps to contain the fire’s embers from escaping, the wood grate provides better air circulation, and a vinyl cover can prolong the life of your fire pit. There is also a firewood log poker that you can use to safely arrange the burning logs.

What we like:

  • Good value for money
  • Plenty of space in the pit
  • Ideal for a small to medium sized fire
  • Attractive design
  • Cool touch handling rail
  • Screen and protective cover and log poker

What we don't like:

  • Needs to be placed on a level surface
  • Cannot be left out in the rain

2. Landmann 28347 24 Inch Big Sky Fire Pit

Whether you are sitting with friends in your backyard or holidaying in a camping-site under a star studded sky, the Big Sky Fire Pit by Landmann is the ideal heating and cooking companion.

The pit is made from durable steel construction with a black painted finish and the pit's surface features attractive wildlife cutouts that reflect the golden glow of the flames inside the pit. The fire pit is lightweight with a wrap around safety ring, so it is easy to move it around your backyard, and it is portable enough for you to take it away with you on your camping trips.

As well as providing a warm ambience for all of your outdoor social gatherings, the 24 inch fire pit gives you ample room for a small fire, and it also comes with a full size cooking grate, so you can grill all of your favorite barbeque treats.

The fire pit is well balanced on study feet, and it also includes a long poker to turn the wood and cook your food, as well as a large spark screen to keep any stray embers away from you and your guests.

What we like:

  • Ideal for a small fire
  • Affordable
  • Solid construction
  • Works well as a grill
  • Portable: perfect for for camping
  • Beautiful animal cut-out design
  • Wrap around safety ring
  • Spark protective screen

What we don't like:

  • Not ideal for medium gardens
  • Cover is not rust proof

3. Fire Sense 22 Inch Folding Fire Pit

The Folding Fire Pit by Fire Sense is the ideal choice for a small garden and it is especially perfect for those camping trip where there are no barbeque facilities available. Although it is very lightweight at 7 pounds, it is made from durable heat resistant painted steel, and its sturdy legs can be folded, so that the fire pit can fit inside the carry bag.

The fire pit can also be used as a grill as it comes with a cooking grate and it also has a wood grate to easily place the wood into the bottom of the pit. The pit comes with a screen to protect you from any stray embers, and a screen lifting tool, so that you can safely lift the lid.

What we like:

  • Ideal for a small garden
  • Very good fire pit
  • Designed for camping
  • Lightweight
  • Carrying bag and screen lifting tool
  • Easy to clean

What we don't like:

  • Not ideal for a large fire
  • Fire pit cover is not rust-proof

4. CobraCo SH101 Hand Hammered 100% Copper Fire Pit

The very stylish CobraCo Fire Pit with a contemporary stand design will not only impress your guests, but it has ample space in the pit for a medium sized fire for those long winter evenings under the stars. The 30 inch fire tub is made from hand-hammered 100 percent solid copper and the durable contemporary looking stand is made from black wrought iron.

The CobraCo Copper Fire Pit is fully portable, so it can be easily moved around your backyard. The copper tub is un-coated so that it can main its rustic appearance, which means it has to be stored inside. In order to maintain the beautiful copper shine from the heat inside the tub, use some sand as an insulator. The fire pit comes with a heavy-duty screen and a elastic vinyl cover to provide the fire pit during storage.

What we like:

  • Large pit for a medium sized fire
  • Beautiful copper finish
  • Generates a lot of heat and light
  • Easy to set up
  • Lightweight
  • Portable

What we don't like:

  • Expensive
  • Not rust-proof
  • Not recommended for cooking purposes
  • Not ideal for heavy-duty use

Propane Gas Fire Pit:

5. Endless Summer GAD860SP Gas Outdoor Firebowl/Firepit

If you do not want to mess around with wood and coal and struggle to maintain a rip roaring fire, then the Endless Summer Gas-powered Fire Pit/ Bowl is the ideal choice.

The Endless Summer fire pit not only provides you with the radiant heat and ambience of a wood burning pit, but this sturdy gas-powered fire pit boasts a beautiful multi-colored slate and marble tile table top that will be the pride of your patio.

The housing material is made from durable steel with a bronze finish and the stand is made bronze painted steel. Even though this fire pit is powered by gas, you do not have to worry about an ugly gas tank marring the look of this elegant fire pit as the tank can be stored inside the fire pit's housing.

The fire pit gives out a lot of heat as the gas tank can produce up to 40,000 BTUs and it can heat up to 150 sqft. It is easy to light with a multi-spark electronic ignition, and there are variable settings to set the heating temperature. The fire pit also comes with lava rocks and logs.

What we like:

  • Good value for money
  • Stylish design
  • Beautiful slate and marble table top
  • Generates good heat and flames
  • Propane tank can be hidden inside the fire pit's housing

What we don't like:

  • Hard to read instructions
  • Takes time to assemble
  • Logs are not very good quality

6. Outland Firebowl Mega Gas-powered Fire Pit

If you are looking for a fire pit that can replicate those idyllic holidays spent chilling out in front of a cozy campfire, but you don't want to worry about the mess and fuss of trying to start the fire, then the Outland Firebowl/Fire Pit is your best choice.

You can use this firebowl during those wintery nights while you curl up on the sofa on your patio, or you can use it as an attractive feature that can spark up some conversation around the pool on those unexpected cool nights during summer.

The 24 inch fire pit is made from high-temperature powder coated steel with a protective enamel finish., and the bowl is well balanced on sturdy legs, and it is large enough for a substantial fire.

The design of the pit will have your friends eying your new fireside buddy with envy. As well as the shiny black surface, the fire pit is decorated with cut-outs of dancing flames that give you a glimpse the glowing embers within.

The gas tank can generate a lot of heat up to 58,000 BTU's and the flames burn clean so you do not have to worry about your party guests being blinded by smoke. The pit is relatively lightweight at 34 pounds and depending on your entertaining plans, you can easily move it around your garden.

Besides its heating power and attractive design, the Outland fire bowl is CSA approved, so you can use it during most campfire bans. The fire bowl has a stainless steel burner & fasteners, and a chrome knob with rubber comfort-grip, and it comes with a weather resistant cover, a 10 foot gas hose, regulator, tank stabilizer ring, and a decorative rock set.

If you prefer natural gas, you can purchase the conversion kit separately, and the standard 20 lb (5 gallon) propane gas tank has to be purchased separately as well.

What we like:

  • Ideal for a small backyard or patio
  • Great quality fire pit
  • Generates a lot of heat and light
  • Beautiful, realistic looking fire
  • Portable
  • Stylish design

What we don't like:

  • Fire pit sits low to the ground
  • Uses a lot of gas

7. Best Choice Products BCP Gas-powered Outdoor Fire Pit Table

The Gas-powered Fire Pit from Best Choice Products will make an elegant, yet functional fire pit centerpiece for your next social event. It is well made from extruded weather proof aluminum and the dark brown paint gives it a smart looking finish.

At 45 inches and weighing in at 80 pounds it is sturdy and well balanced, but it is also lightweight enough for you to move it to your desired spot in your yard.

It generates a lot of heat and light, and the table top has a lid that you can open to display the fire or close it to use it as a table for drinks and party food.

The gas tank produces up to 42,000 BTS, and the flames can reach a maximum of 18 to 20 inches high. You can also adjust the heat and height of the flames. The pit comes with several accessories, including a bronze hammered fire pit, a rain cover, and glass beads that give the fire pit a stylish look.

Although the fire pit's cover is not made from good quality material, which can result in the paint fading after being exposed to the weather’s elements, this can be solved by purchasing a heavy-duty cover.

What we like:

  • Ideal for a medium sized garden, patio or decking
  • Great looking fire pit and design
  • Solid construction
  • Easy to set up
  • Adjustable heat and flame control
  • Gives out a lot of heat
  • Can be used as a fire pit and a table
  • Gas tank is stored inside the housing

What we don't like:

  • Low-quality cover
  • Propane hose sticks out awkwardly to the side

Our Top Pick

Our pick

THE BEST FIRE PIT

Landmann USA 28347 Big Sky Fire Pit

It combines strong steel construction with very attractive wildlife designs that are cut into the surface of the fire pit, which allows the mellow glow of the fire to flicker through. As well as being the highlight of the conversation at your next camp-out or Christmas party under the stars, the fire pit can also be used as a mini barbeque. Although the firepit is only ideal for small fires, you might find that you like it so much that you might decide to buy two!

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