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Best Backyard Firepit-The Complete Buyers Guide for 2019

One of the highlights for summer is sitting outside by a cozy fire in the backyard. Whether you’re toasting marshmallows or simply enjoying the company of family and friends, there’s nothing quite as enchanting as sitting around a fire. In this article, we have listed out the best backyard firepits available in the market.

Also, building a backyard firepit can be a fun weekend project that requires only a small amount of time and effort. Since most firepit projects only take about a day, you and your favorite people can likely be ready to enjoy a fire before sunset.

If, on the other hand, building a firepit is not an option, there are a lot of options for purchasing one that can meet all of your needs. With various price ranges and fuel types, there’s sure to be something that will work with what you need.

Whether you choose to build or buy, here’s a comprehensive guide to backyard firepits.

Best Firepit 2018

I think that any backyard leisure space is not complete without a fire pit. It is the centerpiece of many patios because it is an almost living piece of art. Fire pits don’t just look great in the backyard; they also offer warmth and a place to cook hotdogs and s’mores. Good fire pits are not inexpensive, but when you take good care of them, they will last you a long time. If you are buying a fire pit for the first time or were not happy with your last purchase, you are probably worried about getting burned. By following this buyer’s guide, you will be sure that you find the fire pit that you are happy with for all of your memorable nights.

Where Do I Even Start?

There are a lot of factors that go into picking the perfect fire pit, many which will not cross your mind until it’s too late. Though there are many features and functions to think about, it is important not to be overwhelmed by all of the options. Just because a fire pit claims to be the best on the market doesn’t mean that it is the best fit for you. Before you get started you want to ask yourself the following questions:

 

  • What Kind of Fuel Source Do do I want to Use?
  • Does the Type of Material My Fire Pit is Made Out Of Matter to Me?
  • For What Purpose do I Mainly Plan on Using My Fire Pit?
  • Are There Other Items I Should Purchase at the Time I Buy My Pit?
  • What Kind of Space Do I need?

 

All of these questions and more are thoroughly answered throughout this buyer’s guide.

The Different Types of Fire Pits

Wood burning Fire PitTraditional Woodburning Fire Pit

Traditional fire pits are still the most popular because they are less expensive than other options and they are what most people think of when they think of a fire pit. These fire pits have the most variations of all types of pits and can vary in almost every factor, but some features are universally true of wood burning fire pits.

Pros

  • Woodburning options are less expensive to buy and require minimal ongoing maintenance.
  • Nothing beats the smell of a campfire or the way that the sound of crackling wood makes you feel.
  • Wood burning fire pits are usually warmer than other options, and you can control the size of the fire.

Cons

  • Traditional fire pits have an ongoing need for wood which can cost more money in the long run and wood is not a rapidly renewable resource.
  • Wood burning fire pits have an added element of danger since they can grow to be large and the wood can fall out or even explode on rare occasions.
  • They are metal, and some metals will rust quickly when not covered creating a potentially dangerous situation.

Traditional Propane Fire Pit

PropaneFirePitPropane fire pits are trendy and modern and seem only to be growing in popularity, though they are primarily for fashion over function. They lack in many of the areas that make woodburning fire pits charming, but they have the benefits that make them great for city living.

Pros

  • As long as you have propane, the fire pit will always work, even in wet conditions.
  • Propane fire is a safer alternative to wood fires because the flames are smaller centralized.
  • Propane fire pits don’t produce smoke and are better for the environment as a whole.

Cons

  • These pits require the use of heavy propane tanks.
  • If you run out of fuel in the middle of the evening, you are out of fire until you can replace the propane.
  • It is rare, but propane tanks will explode if they are misused.

Natural Gas Fire Pit

NaturalGasFirePitFire pits that use natural gas are a lot like propane fire pits but with enough differences to warrant their own category. These are probably the least common form of fire pit since they take a lot of extra work and planning to install.

Pros

  • The fire will never go out, and you don’t need to worry about wet materials.
  • It has a smaller and more controlled flame than a wood burning fire pit.
  • You will never run out of fuel as long as you pay your gas bill.

Cons

  • Easily the most expensive option and requires a professional to run a gas line to your backyard.
  • Once you decided where the fire pit will be, you can never move it from that spot unless you want to run a new gas line.
  • It’s not impossible, but these tables are not as easy or fun to use to cook.

Tabletop Fire Pit

TableTop FirePitTabletop fire pits are not as common as other options, but they are growing in popularity especially with city dwellers who don’t have a ton of room.

Pros

  • They use a gel fuel that is clean, odorless, and safe to use indoors.
  • This option is small, light, and portable so it can move with the party.
  • The pit and the fuel are relatively inexpensive.

Cons

  • The flame is small and more for ambiance than warmth or function.
  • One can of gel fuel only lasts a few hours.
  • When moved indoors they become a fire hazard if not properly watched.

Best Backyard Above Ground Firepit for 2019

Zeny 32” Outdoor Firepit

Backyard FirepitThe Zeny outdoor fire pit is a great budget-friendly option. A wood-burning outdoor fireplace, this is a great all-inclusive option. While you will have to make sure you have plenty of firewood on hand when it’s time to get it out, this fire pit comes with a mesh lid and poker to make sure the fire stays safe and under control. This fireplace also comes with a cover if you want to leave it outside. With the cover, the firepit is sure to stay in good shape for many fires to come.

 

Landmann Big Sky Stars & Moons Firepit

Backyard FirepitThe Landmann Stars and moons fire pit is another great wood-burning option. This fireplace is also on the lower end of the budget spectrum making a great option if you don’t have a lot to invest, but still, want to be able to enjoy summer night by the fire.

Made of cold-rolled steel, this fire pit is made to stay looking great, even though whatever weather the summer brings. This fire pit also comes with a cooking grate for making snacks and meals over the fire. It also comes with a mesh over and a poker to make sure you are prepared for fire safety.

This firepit is on the smaller side, so if you’re planning on having large gatherings, you might want to consider a larger option, but it should still be sufficient for small gatherings.

 

Pure Garden Firepit Set

Backyard FirepitThe Pure Garden Fire Pit Set comes with everything you need for a great night out by the fire. The set comes with a mesh screen, a poker, and a cover to make sure you’re prepared for a safe fire and to protect your firepit when it’s time to call it a night.

This wood-burning pit is 30 inches and should be suitable for whatever small gatherings you’re having this summer. Made of powder coated steel, this fire pit is ready to stand up to the elements so you won’t find yourself running out to make sure it’s put away at the last minute. With its sturdy design, this pit has you covered for this summer and many summers after.

 

Outland Firebowl Mega Outdoor Propane Gas Firepit

Backyard FirepitThe Outland Firebowl is a great option for people who do not have a ready supply of firewood or who are uncomfortable with starting a wood burning fire. While the recommended ceramic logs are sold separately from this fire bowl, it is an option that will not need to be replaced like traditional logs.

If you’re not a fan of propane, but still want an option that doesn’t require an endless supply of firewood, this is still a great choice! There is an optional natural gas conversion kit that is compatible with this fire bowl that can keep the fire going!

Since this is a gas burning firepit, there is no need for all of the usual supplies. If the fire seems a little too big, there is a knob on the side that can help you control the flame, much like your gas stove in the house.

 

Endless Summer Gas Outdoor Firepit

Backyard FirepitThe Endless Summer Gas Outdoor Firepit is a great option for people looking to entertain. Rather than everyone trying to find a place to sit on or near the ground, this fireplace is closer to table-height so your friends and family can roast marshmallows at a more comfortable height.

The Endless Summer Firepit also comes with the lava rocks that you will need at the base of the bowl. Since this is a propane-fueled fireplace, it is a very safe option and also a great choice for people who do not have access to firewood.

The one downside to this firepit is that does not come with a propane tank. This is something that can be easily solved at a local gas station or hardware store, so you should still be able to be up and running in no time.

 

The Different Types of Materials Used

Like with any product, fire pits come in a range of different materials that have different price points, durability, and aesthetics. It is overwhelming to sort them all out, so I did it for you.

Materials

Steel

  • Steel is a popular material for outdoor fire pits because it is easy to mold into different shapes.
  • Steel will rust if it is not powder coated and properly covered.
  • Don’t believe your eyes because steel is often stained to look like other metals including copper.

Stainless Steel

  • Stainless steel has a contemporary and industrial design that people either love or hate.
  • This material repels rust and is unaffected by weather and high heat.
  • Stainless is available in a few finishes, but you will pay a little more for them.

Copper

  • Copper is a more expensive material, but it is worth the price.
  • It is resistant to weather and won’t rust, but it does take on a beautiful patina over time.
  • Copper fire pits come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Cast Iron

  • Cast Iron is sturdy but also incredibly heavy.
  • It is rust-resistant, but it will rust with enough exposure.
  • Cast-Iron is an excellent heat conductor which makes your fire pit extra-hot which is a good source of heat but also adds an element of danger.

Aluminum

  • Aluminum is a popular metal because it does not rust, warp, or crack due to the elements.
  • It is inexpensive and doesn’t need maintenance which makes it one of the most popular materials for fire pits.
  • Aluminum is a lightweight material, so these fire pits are easy to move to wherever the party is.

Stone

  • Stone is a beautiful material that does well with heat.
  • These fire pits are incredibly heavy and often remain stationary.
  • Stone does not rust, but it can crack if it goes through a lot of cycles of heating and cooling.

Polyresin

  • Polyresin is made to look like stone but without the drawbacks of stone.
  • Fire pits made with polyresin are lightweight and easier to move.
  • The synthetic material makes these fire pits sturdy and easy to clean.

What is the Fire Pit Function?

A fire pit is not just a place to dump a fire, there are many reasons why you want one in your backyard, and it is important to think about all the ways you plan to use it before you buy.

Heat

Of course, the main function of a fire pit is to warm you up on a cold night, but there are a few ways to do it. Wood fireplaces have the potential to give off a lot of heat, sometimes too much, and will get hotter depending on the type and amount of wood that you use.

Gas fire pits also give off heat, but it is a more consistent heat, so it is always the same no matter how cold it is outside.

One more factor that plays a small part in the heat of your fireplace is how much heat your fireplace material conducts. Materials that are heat conductors will heat up and radiate more heat; however, there is an added danger to these fire pits as they can stay hot long after the fire goes out.

Cooking

Cooking with a fire is a tradition that has died out over the years, but there is something to be said about the experience. People who do it love it, and it goes far past hot dogs and marshmallows on a stick. If you plan on using your fireplace for cooking, you are going to want to find one that comes with a grill cover, but is also big and sturdy enough to hold a Dutch oven.

Table

If you are working with a small space or are trying to add a bit of style to your patio, a fire pit table is an excellent option. They offer all of the benefits of a fire pit, but they also give you a place to put your drink. They are a centerpiece to a patio that is just as much for function as they are a conversation piece.

Art

Sometimes a fire pit is nothing more a piece of art in the middle of your patio. These pieces tend to be a lot more expensive and depending on their design; you may not even want to have a fire in them. Nevertheless, it is the main function of a fire pit and fire is beautiful in its own right. Most fire pits made for décor are designed for the fire to add character to the design.

What Accessories Do I Need?

A fire pit is cool in its own right, but it gets so much cooler when you start adding accessories. It is important to know what kind of accessories you are interested in and if they fit with your fire pit.

Spark Screen

Spark screens are the most common accessory you will find since most wood burning fire pits come with a basic spark screen. These screens are meant to prevent stray ashes from flying around and landing on bare skin or flammable material in the yard.

Grill Covers

If you plan on making your fire pit double as a grill, you are going to want a grill cover that fits perfectly over your fire pit. Grilling over an open flame is an amazing experience, and the wood adds flavor that you can’t get anywhere else. The best part is that different woods add different flavors which makes the culinary possibilities almost endless.

Decorative Glass

Decorative glass is a popular option especially for gas fire pits, and they will set your pit apart as nothing else will. These treated glass options are safe to touch and come in almost any color you can imagine. Watching the flames dance off of the reflective glass turns an ordinary fire pit into an extraordinary work of art.

Not all fire glass is the same, and you should have an idea of what you want before you buy.

Classic Fire Glass 

 Your traditional fire glass that looks like a bag of jagged glass. Don’t worry; the sides are tumbled first to dull the edges.

Fire Beads

These beads are oval shaped and similar to beads used in fish tanks and other decorative craft products.

Eco Fire Glass

Eco fire glass is a fantastic option because recycled glass materials are its main component. This glass usually comes in a misshapen oval.

Recycled Fire Glass

Recycled fire glass is classic fire glass that has been melted down and re-tumbled for re-use.

Zircon Fire Glass

Named for its diamond-like shape, this fire pit glass is the best at reflecting fire and makes your fire pit seem more extravagant.

Glass isn’t the only option; there are also decorative rocks that you can use in your fire pit. Rocks look great and add style, but they are not reflective like glass, so they lose that fun element.

Tools

If a wood burning fire pit is the choice for you, then there are certain tools that are must-haves to go along with it. These pieces get sold separately or in a set and include items like bellows, pokers, and tongs that help you control wood burning fires. One more tool to keep on hand for all fire pits, but especially wood burning varieties is a fire extinguisher for peace of mind.

Fire pit Cover

This is an often-overlooked accessory to fire pits that can save you a lot of money and hassle. Keeping water out of your fire pit prevents the bottom of your pit from rusting out, but it also keeps all of the parts, including the wood, dry so when it is time to start the fire you can light it up without delay.

Size and Space

size_spaceSize and space are an often-ignored factor when choosing a fire pit. Everyone wants a big pit so they can have a massive bonfire, but space doesn’t always allow for that. An undersized fire pit will underperform, but an oversized one is potentially dangerous. Knowing what size is best for your space will save you a lot of headaches and keep your home and the people in it safe.

Large (3+ Feet Diameter)

Large fire pits have a lot of appeals, but they also come with a whole host of drawbacks.

  • them as they can hold a lot more fire. Not only is the fire going to be bigger, but it will be hotter, so people and flammable objects need enough space around the pit to move away as needed.
  • Bigger fire pits are heavy and harder to move so rearranging your patio or traveling with your pit is difficult.
  • Larger fire pits cost more to purchase and operate, but they also have larger fires which is an appealing feature, especially if you live in a rural area.

Small (2 Feet and Less Diameter)

Small fire pits have more benefits than one may initially think. While they are not the most popular, there is a need for a smaller sized option.

  • Small fire pits are light and compact, so they travel well and are great for those who like to spend nights under the stars in different locations.
  • They are almost always the most affordable option even with extras like carrying cases or wheels to make them more portable.
  • Small fire pits make small fires, so they are not great for groups of more than four people.

Mid-Sized (In Between Averaging about 2 ½ Feet)

Much like baby bear’s porridge, a mid-sized fire pit is just right for most people. It offers many of the benefits of both small and large fire pits while cutting down on the drawbacks.

  • Since they are the most popular size, there are more styles and options for mid-sized fire pits.
  • They hold more wood and can accommodate more people around the fire, but they are still light enough that moving them around the yard or even packing them up in the car to take to a campsite are options.
  • Just like their size, their cost averages out between the other options, so they carry a lot of the benefits of a larger fire pit at a more budget-friendly price.

Space

The area where you home your fire pit is just as important and the size of the pit itself. For safety and function, there are a lot of pieces to consider when choosing the right sized fire pit for your space.

Safety

The most important thing to think about is the safety of humans, pets, and objects around your fire pit. Is there enough space to safely move around the area without getting too close to the fire? Are there highly flammable objects close to the fire that will pose a risk if stray ash flies from the fire pit? If the pit gets too hot can you easily move away from it? Is there an easy way to get fire suppressing materials to the fire pit if things go wrong? These are all important questions to ask yourself when evaluating the space you plan on putting your fire pit.

Function

Another reason to examine your space is the way you plan on using it. If you plan on having an entire boy scout troop around it to roast marshmallows the smaller options are most likely not for you. If you plan to use it mostly for the heat, you need to gauge your space appropriately because a pit that is too small will not give off enough heat in a large area and vice versa. You can do this by using more or less firewood, but there is only so much wood you can put in a small pit.

Backyard Firepits lead to Countless Fires under the Stars

Whether you end up building your own firepit or purchasing one, there are many options to make sure that you are able to enjoy many summer nights around the campfire. All of these options will give you the perfect ambiance for any summer gathering.

best backyard firepit

By keeping all of these things in mind, you will have everything you need to make sure you are happily entertaining your friends and family with your firepit for many summer nights. A great compliment to an outdoor fire pit can be a beautiful set of Wicker Adirondack Chairs or a wood Adirondack chair like the Highwood Classic Westport Adirondack Chair.

Related Questions

Am I Allergic to Wood Smoke?

It is possible to be allergic to smoke made by burning wood. Even if you are not allergic to it, you may be more sensitive to it than others. Some people hate the smell of a campfire. If any of these ring true for you a gas or propane option is probably a better choice.

What is a Fair Price for a Fire Pit?

This is an impossible question to answer because there are so many variations with firepits. You can get a basic pit from a home improvement store for around $30, but you can also find large gas fire pits or artsy wood burning fire pits that easily cost over $4,000.

What Should I Use to Start My Fire?

There are a lot of fire starters on the market. I usually use a combination of dryer lint and match. If those aren’t available, my favorite store bought fire starter is the Cricket fire starter. Never use butane or gasoline to start a campfire as they can be dangerous and unpredictable.

Can I Burn Wood or Charcoal in a Gas Fire Pit?

No, gas fire pits can’t stand up to the heat that a wood fire puts out. Plus, cleaning the ash out of a gas fire pit would be nearly impossible.

PropaneFirePitHow Long Does a Propane Tank Last?

There are a lot of factors involved here that can swing the needle both ways. Your standard 20-pound propane tank will average about 10 hours of use with the fire at its maximum size.

Final Thoughts

Buying a fire pit is not the most stressful home accessory purchase you will ever make, but there are some important factors to consider. While they are on the cheaper end, you don’t want to keep buying until you finally find the one that fits. By following this buyer’s guide and thinking about the questions that it answered, you should be in a good place to choose a fire pit that is going to make you and your family happy for a long time.  

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