For 8 years, Richard had been working as an HVAC specialist and AC unit installer since his student years. Now, he’s our main consultant on every technical aspect that may read more
Last updated: August 31, 2022
HVAC Life Hack is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
While backyard parties and barbeques are great, popular pastimes across the world, they can be made even better and more enjoyable with the help of a fire pit. As you enjoy a barbeque with your loved ones, a fire pit can improve the atmosphere and create a camp-style ambiance that would imbibe more fun in your gathering. Additionally, the best fire pit can provide adequate warmth on your patio on cold evenings, making everything cozy as you enjoy the outdoors.
That said, it’s also important to warn you that choosing the best fire pit isn’t always a straightforward process. That’s not to worry though; we’ve streamlined the process for you here, and with our expert guidance, you should be able to pick the right fire pit for your patio. Overall, we’ve picked and reviewed the top 5 fire pits out there, with the Catalina Creations Heavy Duty Cast Iron Fire Pit taking the top gong. It’s the most practical fire pit on this list, and with its heavy-duty construction, you’re certain to be enjoying it in years to come.
As is custom, we made these selections based on important factors like fuel type, materials used, and dimensions. The fuel type determines the versatility of each product, so we considered it for obvious reasons. We also considered the materials used and dimensions, as the later determines longevity while the later determines where you can use each product. With the comparison table, reviews, and buying guide, this article aims to guide you through this journey.
Thanks to its impressive durability, sheer size, and a rather simple-but-elegant design, the Catalina Creations Heavy-Duty Cast-Iron Fire Pit is the best fire pit on our rundown. Apparently, it’s a traditional wood pit that is produced using heavy-duty cast iron. Due to this, you can easily forget it’s outside in different weather conditions without being afraid of damaging it. However, this heavy-duty construction also means the pit is quite heavy, so we don’t think anyone will be excited about moving it around. There’s no good thing without a bad side, so that’s understandable.
Another good side to the big size of this fire pit is it can easily take a lot of logs, which eliminates your need to refuel frequently when using it for long periods. It also means it can produce enough warmth to keep you and your friends comfortable. Despite all that, the manufacturer didn’t also forget to account for safety. The pit features a mesh screen that prevents sparks from flying off and creating troubles. Besides being good for safety, the mesh spark screen also allows users to enjoy the views of the dancing flames without any safety concerns.
Apart from its unbelievable safety and functionality, the Catalina Creations Heavy-Duty Cast-Iron Fire Pit is also beautiful on the eyes, with its body designed with whimsical moon and stars cutouts. It also makes sense that the cutout carvings double as windows for effective airflow, which is important for the continuous burning of the fire. For its assembly, it’s easy and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
More features: comes with Black Fire glass, a table insert, and a protective cover
Gone are the days when summertime was the only period you could hang out with your loved ones in the outdoors. With excellent fire pits like the Endless Summer GAD15257SP Fire Pit, you can easily enjoy the outdoors whenever you want, regardless of how cold the weather is. Apart from being capable of providing you with enough warmth to make you feel comfortable, this fire pit also has an elegant feel to it, coming with a lovely tile mantle and a unique stamped steel base. For a stunning functionality and effect, the manufacturers also added a lava rock.
However, as wonderful as this unit is, it doesn’t come with a propane tank, which means you will have to shell out extra money on it. That’s not ideal, and it’s potentially a significant drawback for many people. That said, one thing that can’t be denied is that this unit has a really sleek appearance. It’s also convenient to use, featuring an automatic ignition system. In terms of power, it’s also one of the most powerful models around, with its 50,000-BTU capacity. The unit can also be quickly converted into a full-service table, coming with fire glass, a table insert, and a protective cover.
Without a doubt, this is an amazing fire pit that can improve your outdoor experience. While it’s a little complicated to assemble, you can do it by yourself if you follow the included instructions. In general, this amazing product from Endless Summer is a must-have for every outdoor lover. It’s beautiful, it’s stylish, and it gets the job done, which is the most important part.
If you are looking for a portable fire pit that you can easily move around and take along on your trips, the Sunnydaze Large Copper Finish Outdoor Fire Pit Bowl is one of the top choices you have to look at. This amazing fire pit isn’t only functional, but beautiful as well. It sports a unique traditional design that will surely make it the centerpiece of your patio in no time at all. For maximum airflow, the unit comes with a patterned exterior, which gives the fire space to breathe and allows it to last for a long period.
Furthermore, this portable fire pit comes with an effective spark screen, which acts as both a viewing screen and a protector. First, it allows you to view the dancing flames while you enjoy the outdoors, then it protects the sparks from falling off and causing mayhems. That apart, the manufacturer also had convenience in mind during the production of this unit, which explains why it comes with a handle. Another thing you’d like to know about this model is that it has a quick and easy assembly, so you can use it right out of the box.
When it comes to construction quality, the unit is well-constructed. It’s produced using thick steel metal, and for improved resistance, the metal also has a high-temperature copper finish, which also gives the old-world feel. The durable legs are also well-constructed, thereby enhancing stability. However, being a very portable model, it’s not suitable for a large space, so you might want to keep it in mind.
More features: comes with a log grate, fire tool, and fire screen
Not everything styled old-school is inferior, as the AmazonBasics 34-Inch Natural Stone Fire Pit will make you concur. With its natural stone that contains copper accents, this fire pit is easily one of the prettiest models around. While it comes at a very affordable price, it delivers a lot of value for money, while uniting friends and loved ones and being the focus of happy moments that will never be forgotten for a whole lifetime. Combining both durable construction and aesthetic beauty, this portable stone fire pit with copper accents from AmazonBasics produces a wonderful setting for that crackling fire.
To be honest, a lot of thought has gone into the design of this fire pit, apparently. That explains why it comes with a dome-shaped fire screen that sits over the bowl’s top, allowing you to have a clear, 360-degree view of the fire without being at risk of catching any sparks. Of course, they also had safety in mind during the construction of the fire pit, which is nothing surprising from a company as detailed and as thoughtful as AmazonBasics. For safety, the screen has a broad, handy handle, making it effortless to shift the pit without getting exposed to the heat.
It’s also worth mentioning that the pit is rather portable and is outfitted with stabilizing feet, making it suitable for both even and uneven surfaces. It also makes sense that the feet are adjustable. In terms of assembly, you won’t have a hard time doing that since the unit is extremely easy to assemble. As a lot of users have indicated, however, the packaging on this unit is nothing to write home about. Another downside to it is that it can’t cover a really large space.
More features: includes a 3-ft. hose with regulator, 8mm black tempered glass tabletop, and 15.5-lb. Arctic Ice decorative glass rock set
The Outland Living Series 401 Fire Pit Table makes a perfect option if you are looking for a fire pit that perfectly matches every outdoor setting. It will be an extremely unique addition to any outdoor furniture. The first spectacular thing about this product is its extra-large table, which offers sufficient space to place your utensils and tools during meals. The glass table can also be easily converted into a full-service one when necessary. Of course, a large table such as this isn’t common with most fire pits, which definitely makes it a big plus here. Needless to say, this unique fire pit from Outland Living is a premium option that’s certain to delight you and your guests for years.
In terms of construction, you can hardly question the durability of this incredible unit. Its frame is produced using weather-resistant, powder-coated aluminum, which makes it robust enough to provide adequate support to both the fire pit and the propane tank. Another special feature is the automatic ignition, which completely eliminates the need to light the unit manually. Apparently, automatic systems are always less strenuous compared to manual systems. The table’s base conveniently accommodates a regular 20-pound-propane tank, and in style at that.
To make it more stylish, the table is also equipped with an attractive set of glass rock, which allows you to admire the image of the swaying flames. And if you are wondering if this unit provides sufficient warmth to keep you cozy on cold nights, we believe the 35000 BTU it outputs should conveniently do the job. Like we said earlier, it’s very hard to fault this unique product. In fact, the only complaint we could find about it is its rather heavy construction.
What are our favorite features?
Automatic ignition system
Decent power output
What could be better?
The glass tabletop needs regular cleaning
Things to Consider
If you’re a first-time buyer, there’re chances that you don’t know a lot about fire pits. With that in mind, we’ve put together a detailed buying guide that aims to inform you about everything you need to know when shopping for the right fire pit for your home.
Benefits of a fire pit
For people who are not familiar with the benefits of fire pits, below are some of the most important ones.
Makes your outdoor atmosphere cozy – Whether you just want to just enjoy the outdoors with your family or you want to host a party outdoors, a fire pit can be the centerpiece of your party. It will create an ambient glow that no one will be able to resist throughout the evening.
Fire pits illuminate the night – Apart from the fact that a fire pit provides warmth during the cold evening, it can also alter your home’s aesthetics and give a brilliant warm glow to your garden. While the garden is often the most underused space in the house, when there’s a fire pit there, there is no excuse about it being excessively cold.
A fire pit can extend your house – A fire pit is perfect if you want to create a lounge space. That space can be your home’s extension, where you can always socialize and relax. Like the fireplaces indoors, fire pits offer the ideal centerpiece for an outdoor sitting space. On top of that, they also look great when surrounded by a built-in bench or outdoor sofas.
It can be used all year round – Gone are the days when you could only enjoy the outdoors in the evening during the summer season. With great fire pits like the Catalina Creations Heavy-Duty Cast-Iron Fire Pit, you can easily enjoy the outdoors all year round. Enjoy your bonfire, Christmas Eves, and bonfire nights with the comfort and warmth of a fire pit.
You can cook on it – Another good thing about some fire pits is that you can cook on them. No more sitting outdoors and being bothered about going inside to cook your meals again. Depending on the model you buy, you can easily transform your fire pit into a cooker by popping a grill plate over its top.
Helps unwind and relax – When the sun sets, there isn’t anything better than relaxing and unwinding while watching the dancing flames. In fact, several studies have shown that the fire effect helps human beings to be calmer. Not only that, but it also causes a drop in our blood pressure.
Features to consider while choosing a fire pit
Apart from reading reviews, there’re also some features you need to consider before paying for that fire pit you have in mind. The worst thing that could happen is you ending up with a model that does not meet your needs, so make sure you take the following factors into account when in the market.
There are many fuel sources available to run fire pits, with the most common ones being wood, natural gas, and propane. Depending on your preference, each type has certain benefits and drawbacks. To make sure you identify the right type for your needs, we have talked in detail about the different fuel sources below.
Wood – The most common type of fuel for fire pits is wood. Using this fuel, you can burn wood pieces in a heat-proof area, enabling the heat to completely radiate. While you’ll need to stock it with wood, this type enables you to cook marshmallows and relish the campfire smell and will offer the crackling spectacle that can only be offered by wood.
Natural gas – The next popular option is natural gas, as it enables you to ignite your pit just like you would ignite a stovetop. Unlike wood though, the heat on this one is a lot more direct, and to be an effective heat source, it will have to be spread by the fire pit. It will also need a different connection, which isn’t something everybody has readily in their yard.
Propane – The third fuel option is propane. Logically, propane works in a way that is similar to natural gas, but it requires no gas line. If you’re using a propane grill, there are chances that you will be familiar with the way propane fire pits are fueled. While this one won’t give you the campfire-look that’s offered by a wood fire pit, it will be cleaner and less smoky to use. With this fuel type, you have more portability and versatility than natural gas options. However, propane fire pits aren’t as versatile as wood fire pits.
Easy maintenance and durability are two of the primary things everyone expects when buying a fire pit, but these two will depend hugely on the materials used to construct the unit. Using your fire pit outdoors makes it susceptible to weather changes, therefore, it should be durable enough to withstand any weather conditions. Below are some of the most popular materials for making fire pits.
Steel – The majority of fire pits are produced using steel as it’s proven to be sufficiently solid and sturdy to take regular heat and prolonged usage. However, the common worry with this material is that it has a tendency to rust. That said, it’s still important to note that manufacturers usually prepare against corrosion on high-end models, by covering them with a powdered coating. An example of a model made using steel is the Endless Summer GAD15257SP Fire Pit.
Cast Iron – Another popular material used to make fire pits is cast iron. Typically, this material is lightweight but sturdy at the same time. If you want something that can be easily transported, then this material is ideal for you.
Slate and tile – Slate and tile are usually used to manufacture patio fire pits because of their rustic appearance that serves as an element for decoration. In terms of construction, it’s durable and sturdy as well, but they may be a bit more difficult to maintain compared to others.
You also need to consider if the model you’re looking at comes with some important accessories, like a guard. One of the most frustrating things when it comes to fire pits is that sparks tend to fly everywhere, which puts your skin at risk. Of course, you don’t want that, so you need to find a model that includes a guard.
Many models come with a mesh screen that prevents the sparks from coming out, so you should definitely consider one of those models.
Depending on the size of your backyard and the reason for which you want to buy a fire pit, fire pits are made in different sizes. Do you want a portable or permanent pit? This is where you make that decision. If you plan to move your unit around often, then you should go for a small unit. However, if you don’t intend to be carrying it around, then you should opt for a mid-sized or large fire pit.
Always consider buying a model that comes with a warranty. consider the fact that these products are exposed a lot to fire, there’s a risk of them getting damaged after a while. However, if your unit gets damaged too early, you have to ensure you won’t completely be on the losing end. While some models come with only a year warranty, some are backed for a longer period. If you want to ensure your unit will last, check what the duration of the warranty is, and the things covered by the warranty also.
Most fire pits can be transformed into a grill, enabling you to cook your meals over either charcoal or wood fire. The only thing you need to make this happen is a grill grate, a tripod, or a rotisserie. With these items, you will be able to use your fire pit to cook literally anything you would normally make on a grill.
No fire pit should ever be used or placed in an enclosed area. If not ventilated properly, a fire pit is likely to cause an accumulation of harmful gases and toxic smoke, such as carbon monoxide. Ensure you always utilize a fire pit in the outdoors where there is sufficient airflow.
First of all, you must make sure that the ashes are totally cool before removing them from the fire pit. Once that is guaranteed, remove the spark screen from the pit. Then, move the wood bits and ashes around with a long metal-ended tool or fireplace poker to make sure there aren’t any hot embers. Now use a spade, shovel, or scoop to pack out the ashes and deposit them in an empty lid-having metal container.
More often than not, efficiency equals superiority, and that’s why the Catalina Creations Heavy-Duty Cast-Iron Fire Pit is the number one fire pit on this list. Simply put, while it’s nowhere the biggest or most powerful unit on our list, it’s the most efficient. Apart from its high efficiency, this fire pit is also a beauty to behold, sporting a unique traditional look that’s certain to catch the eyes of your guests. Without any doubt, it’s the best fire pit on our list.
In the second place, we have the Endless Summer GAD15257SP fire pit. It’s very similar to the second-placed unit in terms of features and design, and on a different day, it could have been ahead.
The Outland Living Series 401 Fire Pit Table is worth mentioning since it’s not only powerful but also stylish enough to be the focal point of your yard. On top of that, it’s totally convertible, so you can easily turn it into a full-serviced table as required.