One of the many marvels of the modern age is that the abundance of certain materials and items are available for us to craft things that we enjoy and want to have as part of our lives. One such thing is the improvement of the home that we live in and the surrounding area.
Home improvement and renovation has become one of the biggest avenues for any homeowner as this busy life pushes us to seek out more and more simple comforts. You can expect to see homes getting extensions, improving and updating the design style of the exterior and interior as well as adding additional features that improve the overall ambience of the home environment.
One such addition is a fire pit, becoming more common as more and more people look for a different and invigorating way of becoming more social as well as soaking up the enchanting atmosphere of the world we live in. However, purchasing a premade fire pit or having a fireplace installed in the home is not always cheap nor is it able to be easily done. To contrast this, outdoor fire pits provide a much more affordable and new experience on the roaring flame that will light your ghost stories and toast your marshmallows.
Your Ultimate Fire Pit Guide
Types of Fire Pits
There are multiple types of fire pits styles to choose from, with the best one a choice you must design on and determine if it is appropriate for your home. There are four distinct varieties, with two of them being gas powered. They are wood burning, natural gas, propane, and gel fire pits.
Wood fire pits are one of the more popular choices for a number of reasons. They can be cheap, efficient and easy to manage. Natural Gas fire pits are more permanent due to the need to connect them to your home, but ensure that foraging for fuel is not necessary. Propane fire pits are similar to natural gas fire pits however they use a gas can and do not need to be permanently installed. Gel fire pits come in cans that can be purchased very cheaply.
Making the decision on your choice of fire pit should be determined by how much you intended to use it, what you are expecting your budget to be and if that can accommodate the cost it will take to use the fire pit for extended periods of time. Size can also be a determining factor, as smaller fire pits will be easier to handle and easier to manage, as well as require less fuel to keep them burning.
Reviews of the Best Fire Pits
UniFlame Hex Shaped Outdoor Fire Bowl with Lattice
- 24 in. diameter bowl
- Wood burning for convenient heating
- Spark guard included for safety
This fire pit uses wood as fuel and is constructed with steel with oil rubbed bronze finish. It stands out among other fire pits because of its unique hex-shaped design and crisscrossed metal pattern, which allows it to look stunning when lighted at night. It gives out bright yellow diamond glows all over the place, a look that will entertain guests and at the same time keep them warm.
Assembling the unit is very easy; it will require at least an hour of your time, and a handy person who knows how to use simple tools like screw driver and pliers. The deep and wide fire bowl has decent space to hold a lot of firewood, making it possible for you to create a big fire and warm up a number of people. The tray that holds the firewood is made of thick and durable metal but it is recommended to add sand on the surface to prolong its life.
With its price, this fire pit is definitely a good purchase. It is lightweight but the materials are sturdy, especially the legs, it is portable and can be moved around, and it is nicely designed while being practical. With the low price compared to other fire pits, the UniFlame Hex Shaped Fire Bowl has great craftsmanship that will surely last you a while.
Landmann USA Ball of Fire Outdoor Fireplace
- 28 in. Porcelain fire bowl and lid
- Sturdy base with wheels for easy movement
- 360 Degree chrome plated Steel spark screen
This fire pit is a favorite among households not only because of its uniqueness but also because of its ability to dispel heat onto a wider radius. Because of its round design made with durable wire mesh coated in black matte, it gives out a 360-degree unobstructed view of the fire. Everyone around it can easily benefit with the warmth.
It features a large pivoting door with safe, wide handle for easy refueling. The 30-inch diameter fire pit is also made of sturdy steel with three thick steel legs that is able to carry the weight of big, heavy logs. Like all wood-fueled fire pits, the metal pan for the firewood should be filled with sand for prolonged life. The design also looks awesome at night when lighted, as it looks like a big floating fireball.
The only complaint owners have for this fire pit is the complexity of installation. You’ll need a lot of time and patience to complete this, especially if you have no previous experience with putting together stuff like these. The package comes with a lot of parts that at first glance, may seem like a big puzzle. Fret not however, as it comes with a very detailed assembly instruction with helpful diagrams. After the hard work, you won’t regret buying this because of its superb quality.
Blue Rhino Gas Outdoor Firebowl with Slate/Marble Mantel
This fire pit, powered by gas, is an expensive choice if you are purchasing it for the sake of having warmth during chilly days. At its price, you’ll be able to construct your own fire pit and design it however you want. But if you’re the type of person who would skip with the stress of planning and building, and would want something fancy looking for your patio or backyard, then consider purchasing this fire pit.
The most famous feature of this fire bowl is its wide mantel made of high quality slate/marble. The stone is handcrafted and looks luxurious. It can dress up any venue and easily function as a high-class centerpiece. The tabletop also boasts of its full iron body with secure doors that allows for easy access to the propane gas tank.
The 40,000-BTU cast iron burner is also capable of spreading heat at a wide radius. It securely houses a hidden control panel used for turning your fire pit on and off. With a turn of a knob, you’ll instantly ignite a fire without exerting effort.
This fire pit is extremely heavy, weighing 162 pounds. You have to assemble it near to the spot where you will place it because moving it is difficult. Owners recommend at least two hours of your time, and two people working together for assembly, as it is quite perplexing. Once put together, it is very sturdy and easy to use. The mantel has a wide size, with enough room for food, drinks, and putting feet up. Though expensive, the Blue Rhino Firebowl is worth it for its quality and function.
AZ Patio Heaters Propane Fire Pit
- New and Improved Packaging to ensure safe and complete delivery
- 38 square tabletop, 28 tall. 19 inch square lid, 17 inch square burn area
- Integrated Piezo ignition; Must use fireglass of at least 3/4 inch diameter
This fire pit that comes in a tabletop design is a cheaper alternative to the Blue Rhino fire pit. Although it looks less elegant than the Blue Rhino, it serves its function well and is equally made with sturdy materials. The nicest thing about this fire pit is that it can double as a center table when not in use due to the fire pit cover fitted on top. Because of its height and appearance, it is a good addition to your furnished patio or backyard.
The fire pit comes with a hidden cabinet underneath, accessible by secure twin doors, which houses the propane gas tank (not included). The pulse-ignition system is battery operated and can instantly ignite the fire pit with 40,000-BTU output that heats at an approximately 15’ radius, enough to warm a number of people huddled around it during a chilly night gathering. The fire pit comes with beautiful fire glass beads to make the fire look more alluring.
It is also easily assembled that takes about less than an hour. The fire pit also looks really nice at night even though the height of the fire is limited because of the space and fuel. Some owners complained about the table rusting/corroding easily. To avoid this, make sure to have your fire pit protected by a waterproof vinyl cover. The cover costs less than $20 and will surely extend the life of your fire pit.
SEI Black Arch Top Wall Mount Gel Fuel Fireplace
- Ventless Ethanol Wall Mounted Recessed Fireplace Finish: Stainless Steel - Dimensions: 53.5W x 21.3H x 5.7D
- Completely vent free ethanol fireplace and perfect for any modern or traditional home. BTU: 18,000; Flame 12 - 14" High - Burn Time: Approximately 4-6
- This indoor ethanol wall mount recessed fireplace requires no electric, gas, chimney or gel cans.
This fire pit is powered by gel fuel that mostly come in cans. Each can of fuel loaded in the SEI fireplace can last up to three hours on a single burn and warm up to 3,000-BTU. Although it is not capable and not recommended to be the sole source of warmth during the chilly days, this fireplace is a good addition to the warm, cozy ambiance of a room, office, or patio. This can be safely used indoors or outdoors, recommended to be hung on a wall. With its matte black and gold finish with arch top design, it is definitely a captivating piece that doubles as a heat source and accessory.
Because of its fiberglass insulation behind, it is safe to be hung on the walls despite the heat it produces. This unit measures 25.75 inches tall by 27 inches wide by 6 inches deep and can hold up to three cans of gel fuel. Gel fuel cans are not included and are purchased separately at about $5 apiece but cheaper if you buy in bulk. This fireplace doesn’t require assembly; it can be hung right away.
Southern Enterprises Loft Portable Indoor/Outdoor Fireplace
- The Ameriwood Home Chicago Electric Fireplace TV Console gives you the perfect combination of storage with an added fireplace bonus
- The TV Stand supports up to a 50" flat panel TV with a maximum weight of 70 lbs. and is constructed of laminated particleboard and MDF with an espresso finish
- Top divided open shelf is great for keeping your cable box or Blu-Ray player and the 2 side cabinets have 2 additional shelves behind glass doors for books and DVDs. The 18" fireplace insert plugs into a standard 120V outlet and can heat a room up to 400 sq. ft. The insert can be used with or without heat so you can still enjoy the flame effect in the summer
This tabletop indoor/outdoor fireplace is your most elegant take to a portable and classy gel-fueled source of heat. It has double-glass design that sandwiches three provisions for gel-fuel cans. The materials are made of 8mm tempered glass and durable metal. For maximum durability, the floating glass panels are held into place by a brushed nickel base where the gel cans are fixed.
The glass panels provide an unobstructed view to the fire that makes it look very modern. Each of the gel-fuel cans produce heat output of 3,000-BTU for that warm, cozy feeling during chilly days. Unlike the SEI fireplace, this loft fireplace can’t be mounted on the wall because of its heavy materials. It weighs about 50 pounds, making it difficult to be moved, especially when in use because the glass can get really hot. It also requires assembly, which is easy. All you need to do is follow the steps provided in the manual.
Overall, this is a very modern and luxurious fireplace especially when lit afire. It makes your place warm and at the same time provides eye-pleasing aesthetics.
Benefits of a Fire Pit
The benefits of a fire pit are many, with a somewhat differing list depending on the style of fire pit that you choose.
Wood fire pits are very versatile in the sense that collecting firewood is usually cheap (unless you opt to purchase premium brands of firewood). Additionally, it is suggested that the fire of a wood burn emits a much different flame than that of a gas powered one.
If you a an eager cook looking to use this fire pit for the purposes of cooking a delicious snack or grilling the dinner for the night, the flame is said to not be as strong but will help to give it some flavor, especially if you decide to use different types of wood to add a wood smoke smell and taste to the meal.
Comparatively with the gas fuelled fire pits, constant attention is required of the wood fire pit to ensure that the flame remains strong and that the fire is stocked often. The lack of a constant stream of flammable gas means that it will not stay running forever.
Natural gas fire pits are a permanent option, as they require a direct connection to your home’s as line and cannot be done on the fly. A professional must come in and install the system itself, as well as verify and ensure on the installation of the fire pit is safe. Whilst this obviously incurs costs, it is a definite must for safety reasons to prevent any faults in the gas line and ensure that any use of the fire pit is safe and with many laughs and fun.
One of the big selling points of the natural gas fire pit is the fact that is directly connected to the home, ensuring a fast and long lasting flame to the fire pit that requires minimal maintenance and is very easy to start up then turn off when you’re finished.
Finally there are propane fire pits, a similar option to the previously mentioned natural gas fire pits. They hold some of the same benefits of the natural gas fire pit, including the easy to use nature and quick and efficient fuel source that ensure you won’t need to watch it all night and that it can be started and turned off at will.
However, with the use of the propane gas tank you will need to ensure that you have enough fuel to keep the fire going for whatever period you require it. In most cases you might already have a propane gas tank that is not in use for your grill or BBQ, which can easily be transferred and used in the fire pit.
How to Make your Own Gas-Powered Fire Pit
Choosing the fire pit you want is a simple step, and getting your gas powered fire pit installed is a relatively simple step that can be done efficiently. This is not to say that it does not require any professional help, and if any problems or concerns arise it is always best to consult a professional to assist with the installation to ensure everything goes smoothly.
The first step in making your own gas powered fire pit is to decide on the location that you want to install it. It is crucial that you choose an area where there are no low hanging branches above; the area above the fire pit must be completely clear to prevent you from creating any wild fires. Additionally, the surrounding area of the fire pit must be clear for the same reason.
After you have chosen your area, you will need to prepare it in order to create the base of the pit. Measuring out the dimension of the pit and making markings in the ground with spray paint will help to show what the size will be. The entire area also needs to be completely level and balanced.
Once the area has been fixed up and the ground dug out to make the pit, you will need to fill it in with concrete to provide the non-flammable base of the fire pit that cannot possibly catch fire or spread the controlled flame. You will also need to make the preparations for installing the propane tank and having the appropriate tubing and connections in the fire pit base. This will have to be done by a professional to ensure that the procedure is done correctly and without any faults.
After the base of the fire pit is created, you will need to start placing cinderblocks to create the surrounding wall that will cover the fire pit. These cinder blocks are important, as they will help to contain the fire that will roar in the pit. Cinderblocks are the most useful as their design helps to prevent them from being adversely affected by the flames over time and prevents an excess escape of heat as a result of the flame.
After you have created the surrounding wall, you can opt to add additional features such as a stylized design of stone on the fire pit. If you just wish to have it as simple cinder blocks then that works as well.
The final step before you are ready to get your fire pit roaring is to have the gas line connected. Once again, this step is recommended for a professional and will not only put a guarantee on the quality of the gas line work but also ensure overall safety for the entire location.
When the fire pit is done, you’re ready to have more excitement in the backyard, filled with fun, laughter and most likely deliciously cooked food.
There are a whole number of reasons you would want to have a fire pit included in your home, so it is important to first decide whether it is the right thing for you and if you have the ability to accommodate it.
Determine first if you’ll get the most use out of it, as it would be a waste if you decide to install a fire pit and do not use it as regularly as you would like. Additionally, determine what reason you would use it, if you will be spending most of your time with your immediate family of if you’re planning on having a big social gathering to enjoy the whole experience.
Regardless, the choice to have a fire pit will not only add a new and exciting twist to your home and backyard but provide a great reason to spend more time out amongst the stars, offer a greater bonding experience for you and your family as well as an excellent way to cook some delicious meals, all without having to pay top dollar.