Nothing sets a mood or a scene quite like the sensation of wood burning in a fire pit. Whether you want to generate some warmth, cast a calm ambiance, or coerce conversation on those winter nights, our list of best wood-burning fire pits will have something to ensure all of your guests feel right at home.
A fire pit is arguably the most appealing focal point on a back patio when you want to have guests over or enjoy a relaxed night with the fam. Not only will a fire pit provide ample heat on a cooler night, it will certainly spark conversation and bonding experiences among those present, providing that content feeling which seems to open those introverts up like a bottle of Whiskey on a Friday night.
When searching for the best fire pit for you, though, there are three things you must consider: Size, safety, and maintenance.
Size: The size of your wood-burning fire pit is going to depend on how much room your backyard provides and how many helping hands you think you can grab. All of the fire pits presented here are portable, meaning you’ll want to find something you can carry with one, two, or three people at most.
Safety: At the end of the day, you are kindling a flame, so it’s utterly important to make sure your fire pit is not going in a patch of dry grass or on a wooden porch. Also, be attuned to any coverings you have in your backyard — such as an EZ-up canopy, tree limbs, or a covered porch — as these can also present a fire hazard.
Maintenance: Lastly, maintaining your fire pit is exceptionally important for assuring longevity, especially if you plan to use it often. Make sure to empty out all ashes and coals 24 hours after the fire has gone out. Use a wet towel to clean any leftover debris. Ashes can become very acidic over time and will start eating away at the metal of your fire pit.
If you’re ready to build a fire in your backyard, here are some of the best wood-burning fire pits on the market:
The HotSpot is a unique option for those who have a smaller patio or yard. A hardwood top transforms the small pit into a functional side table once the embers die down. It even comes with a grill, making this fire pit a three-for-one (fire pit, side table, and grill) deal.
Ohio Flame Patriot Fire Pit
Considering the price for a private backyard fire pit, you should be prioritizing quality construction. Ohio Flame makes all of its fire pits by hand with first-rate American steel, supplying both added longevity and a rustic steel attractiveness that ages like wine. The Patriot design pulls from all the Ohio Flame-family genes while adding a drain in the bottom of the pit to resist pooling water during the wet season.
Landmann Ball of Fire
Landmann’s Ball of Fire pit shows its beauty when logs are set ablaze inside, making it a standout among other wood-burning fire pits. This pit is a bit wide and awkward, but extremely light at just 40 pounds, making it perfect for smaller spaces or even as a beach and camping companion. Landmann’s fire pit also features a side-access door so you can keep the party going without fully opening the sphere.
Terrain Low Profile Round Fire Pit
Buying a fire pit is a big decision to make, especially for those working with limited space or complementing patio furniture. Terrain offers a simple yet beautiful round fire pit that looks like you just built a campfire out of a tree stump. Its low profile will mesh with just about any patio furniture you own without taking up all the breathing space out back, and it boasts Terrain’s coveted, durable, and low maintenance COR-TEN steel.
Sun Joe Cast Stone Fire Pit
If you’re looking for a rustic, countryside ambiance, then this cast stone fire pit has your name all over it. Sun Joe’s pit is a safe centerpiece made from lightweight stone and a wire mesh screen and screen hook to protect you and your company from flying sparks. The fire bowl itself is removable, which makes maintenance an easy task, but it does not come with a cover. This means you’ll have to purchase one separately or stash it away during wet weather.
BALI OUTDOORS Fire Pit
What good is a fire you can’t cook on? We’re firm believers in the traditional method of cooking your culinary favorites over an open flame, or at the very least, leaving open the option to do so. This decently sized pit from BALI OUTDOORS dons a heavy-duty cooking grate attached above the pit so you can grill your brats or kindle some hearty chili on a Sunday night. Or, you can swivel the cooking grate away and simply enjoy the warmth of a smoldering fire.
Curonian Phoenix Blossom
The Phoenix Blossom fire pit is surely one of the most eye-catching on the list. With an open fire bowl resembling, well, a blossoming flower, this fully assembled pit kindles some of the nicest flames and you get the option of a rusting or stainless steel silhouette. If you’d like to sift through some more quirky yet classy alternatives, check out Curonian’s Memel Fire Pit.
Bad Idea The Blaze Tower
Now we get into the heavy hitters with this fire tower pit from Blaze Monolith. This pyramid-shaped monster stands over six feet tall and weighs over 430 pounds. However, the caster set comes with wheels, making it easy for one person to reposition once the tower is assembled. Another cool perk for this pit is its vertical stature, which includes a chimney that sends smoke from the fire straight up into the air rather than into the face of your company.
This sleek, steel chiminea was designed to match mid-century modern sensibilities — and to roast marshmallows. The conical shape funnels the smoke up and away from your face, while the two-sided opening provides twice the access to the fire for some s’mores-making action. This version will slowly patina over time, but if you want to embrace the mod feel, Modfire also offers this fire pit design in a slew of other bright color ways.
Fire Pit Art Third Rock Globe
Oh what a metaphor for the world we live in. If you have a little money to burn, then you could opt to go for this awesome globe-shaped pit from Fire Pit Art. This particular piece was made by Rick Wittrig, a Mennonite from a farming village on the Illinois prairie. It’s safe to say Wittrig knows a thing or two when it comes to metal. Now, it is technically a portable pit, but the sucker is about 275 pounds of pure stouthearted steel. We suggest having a spot picked out before you put in an order, and don’t try maneuvering the pit alone. Orders are backed up at the moment, but Fire Pit Art will begin accepting new orders in mid-September — just in time for fall.
Originally published on June 26, 2017.
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