Which Fire Pit Is Best? A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Right One for You

which fire pit is best
Which fire pit is best for your yard? We look at all the options and give you a step-by-step guide on how to choose.

In Australia, fire pits have become a must-have for outdoor entertainment, and it’s easy to see why. They provide heat and atmosphere to any backyard shindig and make it simple to relax and chill with friends and family. But with so many choices on the market, it can take a while to determine the best fire pit for your needs. Which fire pit is best?

In this thorough guide, we will break down the different types available and help you find the best fire pits for you.

father and son enjoying warmth from a gas fire pit
A gas fire pit is a good choice for smaller spaces.

Wood Burning Fire Pits

When it comes to traditional fire pits, a wood burning fire pit is the way to go. They’re generally constructed with metal, stone, or brick and designed to burn wood or charcoal, allowing you to experience the natural crackling sounds and scents that come with a wood fire.

Another advantage is that in most cases, wood burns hotter than other materials so it’s perfect for winter warming.

Of course, a wood burning fire pit comes with some risks, including the potential to produce smoke that might annoy your neighbours, as well as flying embers that can be dangerous if not properly managed. A spark screen and grill grate are simple ways to reduce the potential of fires spreading, and causing damage to your patio furniture and wooden deck.

Wood fire pits are the most authentic camping experience, though and are well worth the hassle. Also, if you invest in a portable fire pit, then you can pack it down and take it on camping trips too.

Pros:

  • Provide a traditional wood burning fire pit experience with the natural sounds and scents of a campfire
  • Typically more affordable than other fire pit options
  • Easy to find fuel, as wood is readily available by collecting or purchasing
  • Available in a variety of sizes and shapes, like a fire table, fire bowl and even a tabletop fire pit.

Cons:

  • Wood burning fire pits require more maintenance and cleaning than other fire pit options
  • It can be dirty, leaving behind ashes and soot
  • It can create smoke, which may be a problem in areas with strict fire regulations
what is the best fire pit
Take your time and weigh up all the options when choosing the right fire pit for you.

Smokeless fire pit

Smokeless fire pits are designed to make minimal smoke and ash, providing a cleaner and more environmentally friendly burning experience. These fire pits can be powered by a variety of fuels but have been engineered in a way to maintain the optimum airflow and keep the fire burning hot and producing way less smoke than a traditional fire pit.

The key advantage of smokeless fire pits is that they don’t produce the smoky and sooty residue associated with traditional wood-burning fire pits. This makes them ideal for use in areas with strict fire regulations or for people who are concerned about the environmental impact of their fire pits.

The best smokeless fire pits are also generally easier to use and maintain, as they don’t require the maintenance and cleaning associated with wood-burning fire pits. They also come in a variety of sizes and styles to suit different outdoor spaces and your personal style.

Pros

  • Reduced smoke: One of the biggest advantages of a smokeless fire pit is that it produces less smoke compared to classic fire pits, making it a better option for those who are susceptible to smoke or have breathing difficulties. By the way, we wrote an entire article on how to reduce smoke if you are looking for more information on this.
  • Better visibility: With less smoke, you’ll have a clearer view of the flames, which can create a more satisfying experience.
  • Convenient: This type are commonly fuelled by propane, which means you don’t have to deal with gathering and storing firewood.

Cons:

  • Cost: Smokeless fire pits tend to be more pricey than traditional fire pits, so you may need to invest more upfront.
  • Limited flame size: Some smokeless fire pits may not deliver the same level of heat as traditional fire pits, so you may not be able to build a large, roaring fire.
  • Dependency on fuel: As noted, smokeless fire pits rely on propane, which means you’ll need to have a supply of fuel on hand and replace the bottle when it runs out.

    Gas Fire Pits

    Gas fire pits are powered by either natural gas or a propane tank. They are a favoured option for those looking for a fire pit that’s clean, easy to use and eliminates the hassle of dealing with wood, smoke and ashes. A gas fire pit is also ideal for those with limited space, as they can be quite compact.

    If you live in an apartment or townhouse, natural gas fire pits are also a convenient way of providing the warmth and ambience of a wood burning fire pit without the mess.

    Pros:

    • Easy to use and don’t require any maintenance or cleaning
    • Don’t produce any smoke or soot – a smokeless burn
    • Ideal for small outdoor spaces or areas with strict fire regulations
    • Amazing brands like the Solo Stove and Tiki Fire Pit are readily available here in Australia.

    Cons:

    • More expensive than wood-burning fire pits
    • Require a steady supply of fuel (natural gas or propane)
    • It may not provide the traditional fire pit experience of burning wood
    • Doesn’t produce as much heat as wood burning fire pit
    A smokeless fire pit is great is you are sensitive to wood smoke

    Gel Fire Pits

    Gel fire pits are a newer option that runs on a specific type of gel fuel. They’re convenient, portable, and don’t produce any smoke or soot, making them an excellent choice for those living in areas with strict fire regulations. You can easily pick up this gel fuel from local retailers like Target etc

    Gel fuel is a clean-burning fuel that is made from a mixture of alcohol and water, with a thickening agent added to create a gel-like consistency. Because gel fuel is non-toxic and easy to use, it is a popular choice for indoor and outdoor fireplaces, as well as for use in emergency preparedness kits.

    Pros:

    • Convenient and portable fire pit
      • Don’t produce any smoke or soot
      • Ideal for areas with strict fire regulations
      • Safer than a wood fire pit

      Cons:

      • Limited fuel options, as they require specific gel fuel
      • Not as powerful as wood or gas fire pits
      • It may not provide the traditional fire pit experience

      Bioethanol Fire Pits

      Bioethanol fire pits run on bioethanol, a renewable and environmentally-friendly fuel source derived from plants. They’re the ideal option for eco-conscious people who want a fire pit that’s easy to use and doesn’t produce any smoke or soot.

      Available in a bunch of different styles, including the very popular fire pit table, bioethanol fire pits make the perfect choice for a small courtyard or balcony.

      Pros:

      • Eco-friendly, as they run on a renewable fuel source derived from plants
      • Don’t produce any smoke or soot
      • Ideal for areas with strict fire regulations

      Cons:

      • More expensive than wood-burning fire pits
      • Limited fuel options, as they require bioethanol fuel
      • It may not provide the traditional fire pit experience of burning wood
      group of friends enjoying a fire pit at night
      Nothing creates more atmosphere than a blazing fire!

      Which fire pit is best?

      Fuel Type

      The fuel type you choose will depend on your personal preferences and the regulations in your area. If you prefer the traditional fire pit experience, a wood-burning fire pit may be the way to go. If you want something more effortless and less messy, a gas fire pit might be your best choice.

      Fire Pit Size

      The size of your fire pit will be decided by the size of your outdoor space and how many people you want to accommodate. For example, a more enormous fire pit might be the way to go if you have a large backyard and love entertaining. On the other hand, a smaller fire pit might be perfect if you have a smaller space or prefer a more intimate setting.

      Material

      The material of your fire pit will impact its durability, appearance, and heat resistance. For example, cast iron fire pits are durable and heat-resistant but may not look better than stone or brick ones in a larger back yard.

      Fire Pit Style

      There is a fire pit style to suit any taste, from traditional and rustic to modern and sleek. Consider your personal style and the look of your outdoor space when choosing. Sometimes, less is more, so a simple fire pit made from raw steel can look aesthetically pleasing, especially if it is custom designed for you.

      How to prepare for your new fire pit

      Total Time: 15 minutes

      Choose a suitable location

      Make sure the fire pit is placed on level ground, away from trees, bushes, and any other flammable items. Also, ensure it’s not too close to your house or any other building.

      Clear the area

      Remove any grass, leaves, or other debris from the area where the fire pit will be positioned. This will prevent the spread of fire and keep the area clean too. Tripping over and landing into a hot fire pit is not high on your list of things to do this weekend!

      Create a fire pit pad

      To protect the ground from heat and sparks, you can create a fire pit pad using bricks, stones, or other heat-resistant materials to stop the embers and sparks from hitting the grass.

      Build a protective fire ring

      To contain the fire and keep it from spreading, you can build a fire ring using bricks, stones, or other materials. Make sure the ring is large enough to contain the fire but not so large that it becomes difficult to control.

      Create proper ventilation

      Ensure there’s enough air flow to help the fire burn efficiently. You can do this by placing the fire pit in an open area or installing a chimney to help dissipate smoke.

      Level up your safety

      It’s always a good idea to have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency. Make sure it’s easily accessible and in good working order.

      Estimated Cost: 15 AUD

      Tools:

      • Tape measure, Shovel, Garden Tools

      Materials: bricks, rocks, stones

      Should I buy a wood burning fire pit?

      In conclusion, the best fire pits for you will depend on your individual preferences and needs. Consider factors like fuel type, size, material, and style and check the regulations in your area. Regardless of which fire pit you choose, you can enjoy many sociable and cozy nights under the stars!

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