Fire Pit The Definitive Buying Guide
Tips & How-To's

Fire Pit: The Definitive Buying Guide 2022

by bluu Carol on Sep 03, 2022

You're relaxing on your back porch on a cool autumn evening and felt like something was missing. We bet that something was a fire pit. There’s nothing quite like basking in the outdoors from the comfort of your backyard. Being at peace with a warm, ambient fire burning to keep you comfortable on a chilly night is unmatched.

They’re the perfect gift for captivating conversations and a hypnotizing flame. You’ll throw the best parties and have the most euphoric hang-out spot.

A fabulous thing about a patio fire pit is how versatile they can be. They’re a perfect fit for your patio or balcony ambiance, and you can choose from a large variety of ways to enjoy them.

If you’re still stuck in the daydreaming stage astonished by the fire pit you wish you could have, you’re in luck. We’ll help guide you through everything you need to know about the best outdoor fire pit to make your dreams a reality.

Check Local Regulations Before You Buy a Fire Pit

Before you dive into the realm of the fire pit building or buying, it’s important to look at the big picture. There are rules in place that will help protect you from the dangers involved. After all, you are playing with fire.

It’s best to contact your HOA or city hall to check and make sure you’re not breaking any rules. Some regulations are quite simple. Some include not setting your fire pit too close to fences, walls, trees, or other structures.

Then there are local laws that restrict your ability to burn wood. In some cases, you will need to file permits and hire professionals to build and properly measure your outdoor fire pit.

The Environmental Protection Agency has an outreach campaign called Burn Wise which is a partnership focused on promoting education on wood burning. They advocate for clean wood burning technologies and improved safety regarding burning wood. Check-in with the EPA for more guidance in the case of wood-burning techniques, tricks, and tips.

Following these regulations will mean the difference between committing yourself to a warm and comfy evening and committing, well, arson.

Check Local Regulations Before You Buy a Fire Pit

7 Things You Need to Consider

Now that we have a bottom-line understanding of the rules of the fire pit world, it’s time to start planning. When you start searching for the right fire pit for you, there will be so many options out there. How do you find the right one?

First, you need to contemplate why you want a fire pit. The purpose of your fire pit will provide you with the primary step forward. You can begin to choose the style that suits you, what type of fuel you’re going to need, and what size and placement are most convenient.

If you’re in the market for a decorative fire pit to enliven your backyard’s social spot, there are certain options. Certain firepits will be perfect for a charming piece to spark a conversation. You might enjoy fire pit tables, fire pit bowls, or a portable fire pit.

For cooking or heating, you might consider an outdoor fireplace. A chiminea or a DIY outdoor fire pit will also meet your best cooking needs.

Maybe you’ll want a fire pit embedded in the ground to keep your flame from smoldering or undercooking your chicken. Will an above-ground fire pit be the better fit so that you can stay warm in the cool autumn night air?

Consider the people who will be utilizing your fire pit the most. Will you have guests? Children or teens? Maybe this is what you need for your personal mental vacation away from everyone. You’ll need to acknowledge the best fuels, styles, and placements for the best outdoor fire pit.

Types / Styles of Fire Pits

Having the ideal location for your fire pit can help you choose the best style. Not every fire pit has to be the same, and they don’t have to be elaborate to provide you with the comfort that you desire.

In-ground fire pits implicate a campfire environment, and they tend to be much safer. In-ground fire pits will give you the perfect opportunity to build a DIY outdoor fire pit since it doesn’t take many materials or physical labor.

Fire pits that are above ground are a little more extraordinary, though.

Fire Pit Table

Fire Pit Table

Fire pit tables are one of the most fashionable and convenient types of outdoor fire puts you can have. They come in the shape of rectangles, squares, circles, you name it.

These types of outdoor fire pits are exactly what they sound like. These conversation pieces are coffee tables, end tables, or even dining tables with the fire as the centerpiece.

They provide a fashionable and accommodating feature to your outdoor seating space. They can be circular, square, or scaled down the entire length of the center of your table like a decorative runner.

If you’ve settled on the need for natural gas or propane-fueled fire pit with a central purpose of entertaining, you’ve found your match. Upgrade your boring porch and add a patio table with a built-in fire pit for the most talked about décor.

Fire Bowl

Fire Bowl

These fire pits look exactly what they sound like. They’re large bowls made from metals or concrete with a fire burning in the middle. Unlike a fire table, these can be easily transported to other locations in your yard or outdoor area.

Fire bowls are best for small social gatherings around a communal fire. They can be as huge or as small as you want them to be, and some of them even have legs for an extra bit of safety. 

Fire bowls are best for small social gatherings around a communal fire. They can be as huge or as small as you want them to be, and some of them even have legs for an extra bit of safety.

There are also tabletop fire pits out there. These combine the properties of a fire table or fire bowl into a convenient, smaller fire pit. These are typically an outdoor propane fire pit and placed on a table as a focal point. Tabletop fire pits are convenient for smaller decks and patios, and they’re easy to maneuver out of sight.

Outdoor Fireplaces
Outdoor Fireplaces
If you have a fireplace indoors, you can imagine the gratification you’ll get from an outdoor fireplace. These are larger, more permanent builds. They're either connected to your home or stand alone on the edge of your outdoor living space.
Having a fireplace in the shade of a patio umbrella is weather-resistant and great for
The type of fuel you decide to use will depend on your decision to install venting systems.
In the spirit of DIY, you might be able to get away with building this. If you want your outdoor fireplace soundly constructed and permanent, it will be a better idea to call your favorite contractor or mason.
Chimineas
Chimineas

Chimeneas are some of the oldest official fire pits. Created nearly 400 years ago by Mayan tribesmen, chimeneas were hand-made from clay. Modern renditions of these add a historic and exclusive look to your patio fire pit

These traditional fire pits were built for heat, but you can use them for cooking as well. Today, you can find them built from metals, and using wood or gas for burning. They are rounder at the bottom and made from heavy materials. That said, this type of fire pit is not designed to move around as much.

Types of Fuel for Fire Pits

There are various fire pits which each provide a way to fuel the fire. Some fuel types are more convenient in the matter of sturdiness. Or perhaps you need more leeway when it comes to portability.

Does it matter more to you to be efficient, or costly? Maybe all you’re thinking about is the type of fire you get with the fueling type.

Wood Burning

Nothing can quite compare to the customary feeling of a campfire. Wood-burning fire pits allow you to laze around a fire with the sound of cracking, and the nostalgic smell of burning wood.

Wood-burning fire pits are likely the cheapest option. The wood needed to fuel your fire can be found in nature as long as you don’t have to chop down your neighbor’s tree to get it. Bundles of firewood can be found at local stores and sometimes even gas stations.

There are only minor downfalls from using a wood-burning fire pit. Firstly, of course, is the wood. Burning objects give off smoke, so if you’re sensitive to smoke inhalation, this may pose a problem. Also, unless you have a knack for outdoor fires, lighting, maintaining, and cleaning up after a wood fire can be a little challenging.

Wood Burning
Wood Burning Laws
Don’t forget, depending on your state, there could be wood-burning laws in place.Some areas forbid the use of wood-burning. Many locations ban the burning of any toxic material. Many others need you to limit the amount of smoke you exude when burning.
Gas/Propane

32 inch Propane Fire Pit Table

An outdoor gas fire pit needs a little more maintenance. Gas or propane fire pits need to be hooked up to a tank, so it will make portability a little more difficult. Contrary to what you might think, gas is actually pretty affordable in this form. You won’t have much trouble igniting your flame, and you can make your flame as quaint or as roaring as you need it to be.

Liquid propane burns the hottest. As long as you keep an eye on how much propane you have left in your tank, your outdoor propane fire pit will be perfect to make some small barbecue. You can buy longer hoses to hook up to your tanks so you can move your outdoor propane fire pit around a tiny bit more easily. Propane is also extremely flammable. It is imperative that you know how to properly store your tank, so gas leaks don’t occur. A Bluu fire pit comes in an outdoor propane fire pit style.

A natural gas outdoor fire pit may be the most effective for cost and convenience. Your natural gas outdoor fire pit can hook these up to your existing gas lines, so your outdoor fire pit usage will be picked up on your monthly gas bill.

Probably the best parts about gas and propane usage are the control. You won't have to place your fire pit a certain distance away from structures or your home, and best of all, no smoke!

Sizes of Fire Pits

So far, you can imagine that they all come in many different shapes and sizes. Luckily, each type of outdoor fire pit will provide you with choices as far as the sizing goes.

Your only exceptions are the obvious ones. Firepits designed for cooking might need to be a little bigger. Tabletop fire pits tend to run smaller because obviously, they need to be able to fit on a table.

Other than that, your outdoor fire pit table will only need to be as big as you want it to be. Your outdoor fire bowl can be as round and huge as you want to help company sit comfortably around its warmth. Your patio fire pit can be as small as you need it to be just enough for you and your companion.

Permanent or Portable?

How long do you plan to keep your fire pit exactly where it is? Are you traveling from campsite to campsite? Is your outdoor gas firepit a sturdy structure made for your backyard?

If you don’t plan on going anywhere, consider outdoor fireplaces that can be as immaculate as you want them to be. These are usually on the sturdy side anyway and aren’t meant to be pedaled around.

Some campsites come equipped with an in-ground fire pit. Before you head out to the woods, think about bringing your patio fire pit with you. You might need a bit more warmth than a built-in fire pit can provide on those winter trips.

Material Constructions for Fire Pits

  • Stainless Steel

    • Fire pits constructed from this material are sleek, modern, water resistant, durable, and lightweight. They have many options for the type of finish you want them to have.

    • Stainless steel is undoubtedly strong and heavy, so keep that in mind for portability. Stainless steel can be impervious to rust. This is a great quality to have in climates that are susceptible to moisture.

  • Cast Aluminum

    • This metal is heavy, sturdy, a little cheaper than stainless steel, and holds heat like a champ. Think about your favorite cast iron or cast aluminum skillet works.

    • Cast aluminum fire pits are classic looking, and won’t rust, warp, corrode, or crack over time. Cast aluminum is as heavy as stainless steel, so try not to haul it around too much.

  • Fiberglass

    • Fiberglass is a strong material made from reinforced plastic. A fiberglass fire pit is lightweight and malleable enough to replicate other materials.

Price

Fire pits are actually not as hard on your budget as they may seem. In this case, you can use a little prior knowledge to estimate your target price. Some types of fire pits can be as inexpensive as $80, and some DIY outdoor fire pits can be even cheaper.

Portable fire bowls may run you just $50. Fire pits that use more elaborate items might be a little more on the pricey side.

Wood-burning fire pits tend to be much more affordable than gas-powered fire pits. Stainless steel fire pits are usually more expensive than fiberglass ones.

Keep in mind all the summer deals you see on TV and in advertisements right before autumn starts. Businesses will be eager to help you save money on a fire pit as they’re getting their inventory ready for fall.

Accessories You’ll Need

Is your fire pit missing something? Remember to get the right accessories to tie your fire pit up in a nice bow.

If you’re a chef, you can’t forget your cookware; grates, hooks, flues, and tables. A natural gas outdoor fire pit will come equipped with grills and racks that can easily be removed and replaced. Consider getting some special steel sheets and spatulas that withstand high heat. Don’t forget the metal skewers for marshmallow roasting!

If you’re the decorative type, try adding a collection of fire glass or lava rocks. Fire glass can come in many colors for an extra touch of embellishment. Lava rocks provide the same enhancement with a more natural look. A Bluu fire pit comes with ornamental pebbles that add beautiful adornment to your outdoor experience.

Safety Tips

When in doubt, use your common sense. Fire is hot. Hot things burn. Burns are bad. If your fire pit will be in the company of small children or animals, please go over certain safety concerns. It's important to cultivate protection from harm at all costs.

One of the most important safety lessons is to always watch your fire. Never leave a fire burning without a responsible party there to watch over it. Make sure your flames have been thoroughly extinguished before walking away. In the case of wood, stay until the last log is no longer red. In the case of gas fuel, ensure the gas is turned completely off.

In case it wasn’t already clear, it is not ok to burn anything that isn’t clean, dry, and non-toxic. You should never burn garbage, plastics, rubber, or any other unnatural materials. Backyard fire pit laws are very straightforward. Keep the fire pit at a safe distance, never leave it unsupervised, and only burn clean, dry materials.

Finally, and probably most obviously, keep a safe distance. Remember to keep your hands, feet, fingers, and toes out of the flames at all times. Safe enjoyment of your new firepit could become your favorite pastime.

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