Best Fire Pit: Product Reviews & Buyers Guide
Fire pits have become a focal point of the backyard, especially after sunset. The area is a beautiful gathering point for a get-together. No matter what size yard you have, you can find a fire pit to meet your design needs. Many fire pits are also portable and easy to carry so you can move them to different locations if you decide to rearrange your outdoor space.
When picking out a fire pit, there are several things to consider such as if you will be burning wood or gas plus the dimensions and shape that best suits your outdoor living space. Many are even designed for cooking over so you can break out the s'mores to make the night memorable. Remember, your new fire pit is going to become the focal point of an backyard gathering, so you will want to make sure that you choose the best one!
Top 8 Outdoor Fire Pits: Wood & Gas
Outland Living Series 401
L 44” x W 32” x H 23”
5 out of 5
Legacy Heating CDF-WMGB28
L 28” x W 28” x H 24”
4.5 out of 5
Solo Stove Bonfire
D 19.5" x H 14"
5 out of 5
Catalina Creations AD364
D 29.5" x H 19.7"
4.5 out of 5
Endless Summer GAD1401M
L 30” x W 30” x H 24.2”
4 out of 5
Outland Firebowl 893
D 19" x H 11"
5 out of 5
Endless Summer GAD1429SP
L 30” x W 30” x H 24.2”
3.5 out of 5
Sun Joe SJFP35-STN
D 29" x H 13"
3 out of 5
Our star ratings are based upon features, reliability, safety, ease of use and price. Your needs may be different.
HOW WE RATED THE FIRE PITS
We compared hundreds of reviews of fire pits with the singular goal of providing you with accurate and well-researched information so you can make an informed purchasing decision. The 8 fire pits listed here are some of the best available. They vary from wood burning to gas units. All perform well.
We use an easy-to-understand star rating system when reviewing the fire puts. A fire pit with a rating of 5 stars has the highest possible score we can assign. We feel confident that the reviews of the fire pits listed here will help you make an informed and definitive purchasing decision that will leave you happy with your final product.
EASE OF USE
All of the fire pits listed here are user-friendly.
The gas powered fire pits have the following features for ease of use:
- Electric start
- Adjustable knob to regulate the flame
- Easy access to the propane tank
The wood burning fire pits have the following features for ease of use:
- Fire screens to prevent unwanted sparks from escaping
- Screen hooks to remove the screen for easy access to the fire
- Fire grates/cauldron to adequately hold the wood in place.
The fire pits reviewd are all designed from a variety of different and very individualized materials to create durable units. Depending on which model you choose it may feature the following durable components:
- Steel construction
- Aluminum frame
- Powder coating
- Outdoor cover
- Weather resistant wicker
- Stainless steel knobs
- Plastic safety grip on control regulator
- Stainless steel hooks to secure the propane tank
If you opt to purchase a wood burning fire pit, then your heat output will be created by burning logs in the fire pit. A fire with a larger cauldron will generate the most significant amount of heat.
Gas powered fire pits depend on propane to create warmth. You should take into consideration the BTU of each unit. The gas-powered fire pits featured here have either 30,000 BTU to 58,000 BTU.
The 8 fire pits listed here range in price from around $100 to $500. You will be able to find cheaper and more expensive models available at a variety of retailers. Some will lack specific features, and others may boast additional perks. Size is also a significant deciding factor in price. Fire pits come in small, medium, and large. They are typically priced accordingly with size. Ultimately, you can expect to spend around $200 or more for a well-built fire pit that will be a valuable addition to your outdoor living space.
HOW TO PICK THE BEST FIRE PIT FOR YOU
The appeal of a backyard fire pit is undeniable.
However, you might be wondering exactly how to pick the best fire pit. You will need to decide if you want a large fire pit that will more than likely remain in one place in your backyard and quickly become the focal point of the landscape or if a small portable unit might work better for your needs. Many people choose a portable fire pit so they can take the unit camping or to other functions.
The style is another consideration. You will need to think about what fits in with your outdoor decor. Many people choose wicker or steel based on personal taste.
Finally, your decision will more than likely revolve around a gas unit or an old-fashioned wood burning fire pit. If firewood is not readily available in your location, then you might want to forego the wood burning models and instead choose a cleaner and more accessible to obtain propane model.
There are 2 fire pit design types to choose from: the fire pit table or the fire pit bowl. Both have their pros and cons. Ultimately you will need to consider how you will be using the fire pit to determine what style will work best for your specific needs.
Portable fire pits are lightweight and small so you can easily transport them to various locations in the yard or pack them away on a camping trip. Large table fire pits are made to be a focal point of the backyard and are not portable.
FIRE PIT TABLE
The fire pit table is designed to be the focal point of your backyard decor. Some feature glass or slate mantels, a steel burner surrounded by picturesque lava, and a steel or wicker base. They are indeed designed to be a gathering point in the yard. A fire pit table looks visually stunning lit or unlit. When not in use they can be used as a small table to set drinks or other items. Some even feature a cover that quickly turns them into a table when not in use.
Fire pit tables are usually gas.
FIRE PIT BOWL
The fire pit bowl is like a large cauldron. Its primary function is to create the ambiance of a fire in your backyard or on a camping trip. It does not double as a table, and many feature a bare-bones appearance in an attempt to make the unit more lightweight and portable.
Generally fire pit bowls are wood burning.
The size of an outdoor fire pit varies significantly. Large, tabletop models often double as tables and allow users to set drinks on their large surfaces. Medium sized fire pits are great for a couple to sit beside and perfect for a smaller landscape. Small, portable units are designed to be packed away for picnics or camping trips. If your landscape is not overly vast, then you can also opt for a medium sized fire pit.
A small fire pit is ordinarily portable which is ideal if you want to take the unit camping or on a picnic. The Outland Firebowl 893 is a small portable unit that measures only 14" tall, 19.5" diameter and comes with a carry case.
A medium fire pit is ideal for any size yard. Its size means that two to four people can easily huddle around the warm glow of the fire. These units are also light enough to move to other areas. The Endless Summer GAD1401M, the Legacy Heating CDF-WMGB28, the Catalina Creations, Sun Joe SJFP35-STN Cast Stone Fire Pit, and the Endless Summer GAD1429SP all measure around 28 to 29 inches in diameter and are considered medium sized.
The Editor’s Choice Outdoor Living Series 401 measures L 44” x W 32” x H 23”. It is the ideal size to be a focal point in any landscape. Six people can comfortably sit around this fire pit table. When not in use, the table top model can also hold beverages and act as an actual table in your backyard decor.
The fuel source is an important factor when deciding on which outdoor fire pit to purchase. All of the fire pits we have listed either use propane or wood. Propane tends to be more readily available then timber, and many people consider it to be cleaner burning.
Most people automatically think of a wood burning fire pit when they think of a fire pit. Undoubtedly, wood has been the go-to-fuel source for years, but recently propane has become popular as well. Ultimately, personal taste will dictate which fire pit you choose. Many people want only an all natural wood burning fire pit to enjoy its authentic feel.
In the last few decades, the popularity of gas (propane) powered fire pits have risen. Some users consider them to be more comfortable to use than traditional wood burning fire pits. Propane is also readily available.
Many people buy a fire pit for the sole purpose of cooking s'mores or roasting hot dogs. All of the fire pits listed here can be used for such simple pleasures. Although you are not going to be able to cook a gourmet meal on them, you can easily roast a marshmallow or hot dog over the warm, cozy flames.
FIRE PIT SAFETY TIPS
Unfortunately, fire pits can be dangerous if precautions are not taken. Here are a few fire pit safety tips:
- Position your fire pit so it is at least 10 feet away from any structure or neighboring yard - 25 feet is preferable.
- Never use the fire pit indoors
- Place the fire pit out in the open away from overhanging trees and porch covers.
- Position the fire pit on a non-flammable surface, such as patio blocks or concrete.
- Take extreme caution when placing a fire pit on a wood deck or grass
- Always clear away flammable material from around the fire pit before using it. Ideally, there should be nothing flammable within a 5 foot radius.
- Placing dirt or rocks around the base of the fire pit will keep the fire from escaping onto the ground.
- Never leave a fire pit unattended
- Keep children and pets away from the fire pit without proper supervision
- Always use the spark cover on a wood burning fire pit.
- Never burn garbage in your fire pit
- Do not wear loose-fitting clothing or store flammable items near a fire pit.
- Always keep a container of water close or a hose handy.
- If using a wood burning fire pit then always dispose of ashes in an approved ash container. Wood ashes can remain hot for two to three days after burning.
Here are a few maintenance tips to keep your fire pit properly functioning.
- Always remove the fire screen and scrub it with a wire brush to remove debris.
- Dispose of all ash from the fire pit in an approved ash container.
- Keep all undergrowth beneath the fire pit cleared away.
- Allow flames to naturally extinguish on a wood burning fire pit to prevent warping or cracking of the fire bowl or cauldron.
- Keep the burners on a gas fireplace clean.
- Regularly check the hoses and regulator on a gas fire pit to make sure they remain in good working order.
- Store your portable fire pit in a shed or garage when not in use.
- Cover your fire pit with a cover to protect it from the elements and prevent rust.
- Remove any rust on the fire pits surface with a wire brush.
- Avoid getting the fire pit wet which can cause rust.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHEAP AND EXPENSIVE MODELS
Cheap gas powered fire pit models are often made of more inexpensive materials so are less likely to last long. They also tend to be smaller and come with far fewer bells and whistles. A gas-powered high-end fire pit is usually larger and may boast lava rock, glass, slate tiles, and be made of heavier duty materials.
A wood burning fire pit that is cheap is often flimsy and may not hold very much wood. Expensive wood burning models are well-built and boast large cauldrons that will comfortably fit big logs to create a more substantial and longer-lasting fire.
Overall, the most significant differences between cheap and expensive models are the following:
- Size: Cheap models are generally smaller
- Durability: Expensive models are made of more durable material than their cheaper counterparts. Inexpensive wood burning models have a tendency to rust out.
- Appearance: An expensive fire pit is often elegant, and a valued addition that complements outdoor furniture and a cheaper model may lack the eye-catching presence of upscale fire pits.
BEST SELLING & TOP RATED BRANDS
HOW MUCH SHOULD I EXPECT TO PAY?
The 8 fire pits listed here vary in price from around $115 to $550. With an average price of around $175.
The low-end fire pit on the list is the Outland Firebowl 893. Its portable design makes it ideal to take camping or for use in your backyard. The negative about this unit is that it does not boast the visual appeal of many of the higher end fire pits. It is a bare bones type of fire pit which often has a difficult to see flame with a hard to control knob.
The Editor’s Choice is the Outdoor Living Series 401. The fire pit is visually appealing with an Arctic Ice fire glass and black tempered glass tabletop. Its base is made from weather resistant wicker. Although it does not put out as much heat as other fire pits, it is indeed a stunning piece of furniture that will become a focal point in any backyard.
A fire pit is a welcome addition to any outdoor living space. The warm glow of the fire expands the hours that you and your loved one can enjoy being outside. The warmth emitted by the fire pit allows you to sit beside the unit even as the temperature dips.
Overall, a fire pit will more than likely become the hub your backyard oasis that affords you the luxury of added hours of entertaining or the pure joy of just snuggling beside a roaring fire.