The 8 Best Fire Pits of 2022

Keep living in your outdoor space when the weather turns cool with our top pick, Tiki Brand’s 25-Inch Patio Fire Pit.

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The Best Fire Pits for 2022
Courtesy of Amazon

As temperatures drop in the fall, fire pits naturally become the gathering points of outdoor spaces. Indeed, thousands of years of encoding tell humans that fire represents safety from predators, warmth, and communing. It's no accident that fire pits are often placed around hotels and resorts, according to Marcus Latner of the Valencia Hotel Group. His company recognizes people's natural attraction to fire pits and utilizes both gas and wood pits of various sizes to create gathering and seating areas for guests.

For home use, most people will settle on one pit. Selecting gas or wood, the ideal size, aesthetics, and extra features for that one piece takes some consideration. After speaking with Latner about what makes a good pit and researching the market, we pulled eight top-performing pits that fit the most common criteria. Ultimately, we named Tiki Brand's 25-Inch Patio Fire Pit the Best Overall. Read on to find out why we recommend it and for our full list of the best fire pits.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Tiki Brand 25-Inch Patio Fire Pit

Tiki Brand 25-Inch Patio Fire Pit
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: It's clean-burning and stylish.

Cons: It's heavy and expensive for its size.

Selecting our top choice came down to the Tiki Patio and the Solo Bonfire 2.0. In the end, the Tiki edged out the competition in a few areas, including its more stylish design. The mouth of the firebox is 16 inches wide, which allows for a greater amount of wood than the Solo, and more people can share the warmth. The airflow design allows recirculation of hot air, resulting in better combustion, which leads to the "smokeless" declaration and fewer unburned coals to clean up later. The removable ash pan makes cleanup easy, and the fire pit ships with a weather-resistant cover. In addition to proprietary wood packs, the Tiki can burn standard, dried firewood at lengths up to 16 inches.

Price at time of publish: $395

  • Size: 25 x 25 x 19 inches
  • Weight: 45 pounds
  • Fuel: Wood or wood packs

Best Propane Fire Pit: Endless Summer 30-Inch Outdoor Fire Pit

Endless Summer 30-Inch Outdoor Fire Pit
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: Assembly is easy and has high output for a small footprint.

Cons: At 80 pounds, it's one of the heavier models reviewed here, and it doesn't come with a solid cover for the burner.

In researching the best fire pits, we looked for ones with BTU output, shapes other than fire tables, and built-in propane storage, as a tank sitting awkwardly near the pit ruins the aesthetic, and the hose between the tank and the pit can pose hazards.

With a respectable 50,000 BTU output, the Endless Summer checks the boxes. It's not quite a fire table, and it offers concealment of the LP Gas canister in the base. It features piezo ignition, so there are no batteries to change, and the heat/flame height is fully adjustable. Assembly is easy, but it is heavy for its size.

Price at time of publish: $352

  • Size: 30 x 30 x 25 inches
  • Weight: 80 pounds
  • Fuel: LP gas

Best Entry-Level Fire Pit: Hampton Bay Piedmont Steel Fire Pit

Hampton Bay Piedmont Steel Fire Pit
Courtesy of The Home Depot

Pros: This well-priced unit is solidly constructed and aesthetically pleasing.

Cons: It's prone to rust with weather and requires dumping the whole pit when emptying ashes.

The Piedmont is a good place to start for those who prefer an older school aesthetic or for whom cost is a barrier to entry. Its mesh and steel design ensures good airflow to the fire while allowing 360º viewing of the fire and sharing in the heat.

High heat-resistant paint on the 12-inch bowl keeps the unit looking good but is prone to rust quickly when left in the elements. The spark shield does an adequate job of containing most pops and crackles. It comes with a grill grate that can function directly over the coals or mounted on the included pole for raising, lowering, or swinging the grill away for indirect cooking.

Price at time of publish: $129

  • Size: 30 x 23 inches
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Fuel: Wood

Best Fire Table: Yardbird Rectangular Fire Pit Table

Yardbird Rectangular Fire Pit Table
Courtesy of Yardbird

Pros: The table is stylish and can serve as a regular table when not in use.

Cons: The battery-operated ignitor can be troublesome, and some might want more fire glass than is shipped with the unit.

Veering from the pit design of our other picks, the Yardbird is both furniture and a fire pit. It features a 55,000 BTU burner that is adjustable to your liking and comes in a brown aluminum finish with an enclosed propane tank storage underneath the tabletop. The unit can also be attached to your house's natural gas.

The rectangular model can comfortably seat six to eight people and has a wide rail around the firebox for resting food, drinks, and the like. When the firebox is not in use, the cover protects its inner workings and allows the unit to function as a standard table. The manufacturer prefers a vertical fire from the burner purely for aesthetics. A more dispersed flame is accomplished by adding more fire glass, should that be your preference.

Price at time of publish: $1,500

  • Size: 61 x 32 x 25 inches
  • Weight: 61 pounds
  • Fuel: Propane or natural gas

Best Wood Burning Fire Pit: Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0

Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: It's stylish, compact, and nearly smoke-free.

Cons: It's a little low to the ground without purchasing the optional stand, and it may be too efficient; it burns wood quickly.

The Bonfire 2.0 is a sleek, bare-bones fire pit. But don't let that description fool you; it effectively burns clean and hot. The stainless steel construction offers durability and the airflow design allows near-complete combustion of wood. You won't have to move your seat when the wind changes.

The removable base plate and ash pan make cleaning easier when coupled with the combustion power of the firebox. The Bonfire ships with a carry bag, and that's about it. Any add-ons, such as a stand, lid, or cooking surfaces, are available separately.

Price at time of publish: $300

  • Size: 20 x 14 inches
  • Weight: 23 pounds
  • Fuel: Wood

Best Portable Fire Pit: Blue Sky Outdoor Living Ridge Portable Smokeless Fire Pit

Blue Sky Outdoor Living Ridge Portable Smokeless Fire Pit
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: This fire pit is lightweight and substantially built.

Cons: It requires pellets or smaller pieces of wood to operate as a smokeless pit and can be accidentally overloaded.

There are multiple good choices for a smokeless portable fire pit. We chose the Ridge for its simple design, longevity, and ease of carrying. The two-piece design consists of a firebox and an ash collector, which nest when packed and sit on top of each other for use. Recommendations call for pellets for optimal performance, but small wood pieces up to 10 inches long will fit in the firebox.

The Ridge's design will burn to temperatures up to 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit to create a "smokeless" pit, and the body is constructed of heavy-duty steel and coated with high-grade, heat-resistant paint. The grate contains extra welds to facilitate flexing that occurs at such temperatures. The Ridge comes with a storage and carrying bag, and an optional swing-away grill is available, should you wish to cook on it. It's also available with licensed team logos if that appeals to you.

Price at time of publish: $110

  • Size: 16 x 13 inches
  • Weight: 15 pounds
  • Fuel: Pellets or wood

Best Fire Pit for Cooking: Breeo X24 Smokeless Fire Pit Firemaster Bundle

Breeo X24 Smokeless Fire Pit Firemaster Bundle

Pros: The smokeless design provides a more intense heat source, and the accessories have a long lifespan.

Cons: It has no built-in ash management system. The cost of the bundle's many accessories adds up.

This is a bundle designed with live fire cooking enthusiasts in mind. It includes Breeo's 24-inch X Series Fire Pit in a weathered steel finish that will develop a natural patina over time. You also get a pole-mounted system that includes a grill, a searing plate, and a 1.5-gallon cast-iron kettle with a hook for hanging it over the fire. The pole mount allows you to position the accessories vertically and swing them horizontally to control the heat for direct or offset cooking. The all-encompassing live-fire aspect of the bundle separates it from the rest of our choices. Additional components include an ash shovel and lid to protect from the elements when not in use. As the shovel implies, there is no built-in ash management in the X series. It's available in 19-, 24-, and 30-inch models. The bundle's components are available separately, at a comparable price, if you'd only like some aspects of the whole package.

Price at time of publish: $1,549

  • Size: 28 x 15 inches
  • Weight: 62 pounds (fire pit only)
  • Fuel: Wood

Best Large Fire Pit: Cowboy Cauldron Ranch Boss

Cowboy Cauldron Ranch Boss
Courtesy of Orvis

Pros: A large group can sit around this fire pit. The plate steel construction has a long life span.

Cons: It's heavy and expensive.

With a 42-inch diameter, the Cowboy Cauldron Ranch Bossis big and bold. Its straightforward design nods to the past; a tripod holds a large basin from a chain. Smaller basins include one with a modest 24-inch diameter, which has a comfortable seating suggestion of three to four people. As the largest model, the Ranch Boss claims to accommodate "everyone." Latner says the Valencia group uses the Cowboy Cauldrons at their properties, most of which are in Texas, because of their unique aesthetic. People find them so attractive and unique that his company frequently receives requests for information on where to purchase them.

In addition to the tripod, basin, and chain assembly, the Ranch Boss ships with a rain cover, charcoal grate, and cooking grill. It can be cooked in or cooked on for those who want to use their Cauldron beyond a fire pit. One can build a fire under the basin and live out their Bugs Bunny fantasies while stewing or frying large projects, or the cooking grill can be used for both grilling and as a cooking surface for pots, pans, and skillets.

Price at time of publish: $1,999

  • Size: 42 x 78 inches
  • Weight: 304 pounds, basin and tripod
  • Fuel: Wood or charcoal

Our Favorite

We selected the Tiki Brand 25-Inch Outdoor Fire Pit for its aesthetic appeal, fuel efficiency, capacity, and clean burning. If you'd like something more multi-functional, the Breeo X24 Smokeless Fire Pit Firemaster Bundle offers a smokeless design and great accessories for live-fire cooking.

Factors to Consider

Size

The first considerations for selecting a size are what space you have to work with and how many people you expect to gather around it. Don't just consider the space you have available for sizing your fire pit. You'll need to allow an extra two feet or more on all sides of the pit to allow space for people to walk safely, arrange chairs, access the pit, add wood, and the like.

Also for safety reasons, you'll need to place the fire pit between ten and twenty-five feet from houses, fences, and other structures to prevent accidental fires. While your outdoor space may allow for a larger fire pit on paper, add these factors to your equation when considering how large or small of a pit you can fit safely into the design.

Outdoor Surface

Most manufacturers recommend a fire-resistant surface for your fire pit. Sand, gravel, rocks, and concrete blocks are all suitable surfaces to place your pit. Be cautious of grass or uneven surfaces, as they can result in the fire being exactly where you don't want it. When placing your pit on wood decks, table tops, finished concrete, or even unfinished concrete slabs, heat-resistant pads made for this purpose reduce the dangers of fire marring your surface.

It's also imperative to never place a wood-burning pit under a roof or under trees where errant sparks can cause accidental fires.

Fuel Type

Before deciding on wood versus gas, ensure that you can have a ready supply of either. After that, the two main factors to consider when deciding what type of fuel you want are the space you have to work with and how much effort you want to put into starting your pit. A wood-burning pit requires more room to operate safely. A gas pit has more predictable flames and doesn't require as many fire-prevention measures.

Most gas pits – provided your propane tank is full or you have it connected to your home natural gas line – are a matter of turning a knob and pushing an ignition switch. Many wood-burning pits list the time between lighting and having a full fire in their advertisements, most around the 15-minute mark.

A third but important consideration: gas may be a safer choice in high-drought and fire-prone areas to help mitigate risks.

The Research

We consulted an industry expert to get his thoughts on what makes a great fire pit, then scoured the market for the best options. After combing the market for volumes of online reviews for these products, we weighed them against several criteria, including value, ease of use, consistency, and quality of construction.

Pro Panel Q+A

Q: What is a smokeless fire pit?

A: By nature, a gas fire pit is smokeless. So that's one version. Recent innovations in wood-burning pits result in significantly reduced smoke – hence, smokeless. Airflow design creates convection, drawing cool air in from the bottom, which is heated as it rises through the device. As the hot air reaches and escapes the top of the fire pit, it ignites the small, unburned particles that compose smoke. This process results in higher temperatures in the fire pit and more thorough combustion of the wood inside.

Q: Can you cook with a fire pit?

A: Depending on the design, yes, you can. Some pits, like the Cowboy Cauldron, are designed with cooking in mind. Others reviewed here have available add-on components to facilitate cooking. Cooking creates char, water vapor, and grease, so the resulting mess can require special cleaning or affect the performance of the pit, especially in cases such as a fire table. Check with the manufacturer's recommendations before cooking on your pit.

Q: Can you put wood on a gas fire pit?

A: Although one can sometimes purchase a gas log lighter for their fire pit, most manufacturers draw a strict line on their pits; they are gas or wood-fired. Latner explains that accumulated ash can clog the burner jets from burning wood in a gas grill. These clogs can affect performance and lead to pressure buildups in the burner, which may yield catastrophic results. Additionally, the direct heat of coals and the weight of wood logs on a gas burner can warp or bend the burner element, again leading to decreased performance and dangerous circumstances.

Our Expertise

Greg Baker is an award-winning chef, restaurateur, and food writer with decades of experience in the food industry. For this piece, he interviewed Marcus Latner, Corporate Director of Operations for Valencia Hotel Group, Courts Division, to find out what the pros look for when selecting fire pits. He then used their insights and his expertise combined with market research to curate this list.

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