Most of the best summer memories I have from growing up in rural Pennslyvania happened around a fire pit. Whether it was roasting marshmallows, trying my first sip of beer, or sneaking away with my boyfriend when the embers were dying down, there’s something about a crackling fire on a warm night that feels somewhat magical to me.
While a pool can enhance a backyard, a fire pit defines it. It’s a setting where conversation is encouraged, where food is made on-site, and where all you need is some wood, a lighter, and a 12-pack to have a good time.
What Makes a Good Fire Pit?
You’ll want a fire pit that’s worth its money and one that can be used year after year. The best option is to go with a fire pit that’s made of durable and heat-resistant material, like cast iron or steel. Not only will this help mitigate risk, it’ll also keep the heat in and not tarnish or break as easily.
While you definitely don’t want an eyesore, make sure to not be too distracted with form over functionality. You’ll want to find a design that allows for adequate air flow and ventilation, which will give you a hotter flame while also allowing for smoke to disperse better.
Types of Fire Pits
Wood-burning fire pits: These are traditional fire pits that use firewood as fuel. They provide a classic, rustic ambiance and the soothing crackle and aroma of burning wood.
Gas fire pits: Gas fire pits use propane or natural gas as fuel, providing a convenient and easily controllable fire. They often come with ignition systems, adjustable flame settings, and can be turned on and off with a switch or knob.
Chimineas: Chimineas are freestanding fireplaces with a vertical chimney and a rounded body. They are typically made of clay, cast iron, or steel and offer a cozy, contained fire. Chimineas are known for their efficient heat output and distinctive design.
Tabletop fire pits: These compact fire pits are designed to sit on tables or other surfaces. They usually run on pellet or gel fuel and provide a smaller flame for ambiance rather than substantial heat. Tabletop fire pits are great for smaller spaces or outdoor dining areas.
Portable fire pits: Portable fire pits are lightweight and easy to move, making them ideal for camping trips or picnics. They come in different styles, such as collapsible metal pits or portable fire bowls, and are often fueled by wood or charcoal.
The Best Fire Pits You Can Buy
Pit Boss Smokeless Fire Pit
Pit Boss has made a name for itself for their grills, but have since used their know-how to expand into the fire pit territory. This smokeless fire pit uses wood pellets, circulated air, and fire gel to keep your nights warm and conversation going. At less than 23 inches wide, it takes up a small amount of real estate to either be placed on the ground or a table, while being able to burn for hours at a time.
Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0
Make memories anywhere with Solo Stove’s Bonfire 2.0. The design couldn’t be any simpler, being a cylinder of stainless steel that can easily integrate into your existing patio set-up. At just 23 pounds, it’s easy to move and take with you, whether it’s to a nearby beach or just to your friend’s house for an impromptu get-together (just don’t forget the s’mores). And, best of all, the accessory bundle gives you the option of a carrying case, lid, and ash pan for easy clean-up when you’re ready to head home.
Breeo’s X30 firepit will be the centerpiece of your backyard, all while providing a comfortable cooking experience and the ambience that’s perfectly paired with a glass of wine or cold beer. Made from durable and aesthetic Corten steel, the X30 will naturally patina in the elements, giving it a homier vibe compared to a stainless steel option. At 34.5 inches in diameter, this is a fire pit that’s big enough for the whole family and provides a consistent heat source for cooking over the fire.
Frontgate Copper Fire Pit
If you’re looking for a more traditional fire pit complete with wood logs and the smell of smoke, then Frontgate is a great option. Combining the warm charm of copper with the rustic crackling of a roaring fire, the Frontgate fire pit can be enjoyed well into fall. The added spark guard is a great addition for this type of fire pit.
Anson Wood Burning Fire Pit
Sometimes simple is all you need. Anson’s Wood Burning Fire Pit provides all the basic needs to have a great evening outdoors. The pit is made of heavy steel that’s reinforced for longterm use and many summers ahead. With a deep basin, you’re able to fit a few logs in the pit to get a good blaze going. The low basin will also mean more oxygen can flow through easily for a hotter overall fire. Anson’s fire pit comes with a spark guard and log poker, giving you all the tools needed for cookouts and bonfires whenever the mood strikes.