Ready to curl up around the fire, but not sure where to start? From materials to fuel, choosing the right fire pit can be a daunting task. But never fear. Our buying guide is here to help you choose the pit that will light your fire.
Choosing the Right Materials
Keep in mind that some materials will last longer than than others. Permanent, built-in fire pits made of stone or brick are the most long-lasting option, but they require a more serious commitment than some people are willing to make. If you're not ready to invest in built-in stone/brick solution, there are several options to choose from that are more portable and less expensive.
A cast iron or cast aluminum fire pit is the best investment in terms of low maintenance and a long life span. Cast aluminum won't warp, crack, or rust, and is lightweight, so you can easily reposition your pit when you feel like it.
|Permanent or portable? Wood or gas? Choosing the fire pit that's perfect for your backyard is as important as who you'll invite to your first campfire.|
Clay fire pits like chimineas provide a unique, visually interesting solution and are sometimes preferred because of their ability to direct smoke up and away from you and your guests. Chimineas are also a safer option since they fully enclose fire … but, clay requires more upkeep than others and need to be kept dry and warm.
Wood Burning or Gas?
Beyond material, the biggest question before you make your purchase will be what type of fuel you prefer to use - wood or gas? Wood-burning fire pits are a great way to go au naturale and provide the sounds and scents of a campfire without leaving your backyard. Wood is also less expensive than gas. However, there are some tradeoffs. Wood-burning pits tend to require more maintenance since wood fires are messier than gas fires. Also, they'll require a consistent wood supply to keep your fire burning, which means a bit more work in terms of stoking the flames.
If you're looking for a quick and easy solution, gas is the way to go. A gas fire pit offers a clean-burning fuel and a variety of decorative options that can't be obtained with wood. If you choose to go this route, be prepared to provide a propane tank or run a gas line to the fire pit. Natural gas fire pits can be installed in a raised container or at ground level and turn on with the flick of a switch.
Permanent vs. Portable
A built-in fire pit is, in a word, permanent. If you're ready to make a serious, long-term commitment, this is the way to go. A built-in pit begins as a hole dug into the ground that is then lined with a wall of stone that extends above the ground. These rocks or bricks help insulate the fire from the soil and block the wind. Built-in fire pits offer more permanence and stability than their portable counterparts and can be easily incorporated into existing landscape design, creating a lasting focal point in your backyard for guests to gather around.
For a less expensive option, check out a freestanding portable fire pit. These pits tend to be more affordable if you're not ready to drop some serious cash. Plus, they are extremely easy to install. Simply choose your desired location, stock up on firewood, and enjoy. As an added bonus, your fire pit can be relocated with relative ease if you decide you want to change locations.