Best Fire Pits - 2020 Reviews

Best Fire Pit: Illuminate Your Summer Evenings!

Gathering around the campfire on a cool evening is a popular pastime, and investing in a good fire pit for those special occasions can make your experience even more enjoyable. Pits provide specific areas just for gathering, and many also often have added amenities for safety, cooking, and even help with putting it out.

They also come in a wide array of sizes, and can even be a more portable product if you want to take your pit with you during a camping trip or move from house to house. Plus, gas and wood burning models are also available. Taking a look at fire pit reviews can help you narrow down your options, find great deals, and help you find the best fire pit for your needs.

Quick Comparisons of 5 Best Fire Pits

IMAGE BRAND FEATURES
byb2-table__imageHillenbrand & Co Portable Fire Pit
  • Type: Steel Collapsible
  • Fuel Source: Wood
  • Portable: Yes
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byb2-table__imageBALI OUTDOORS Wood Burning Fire Pit with Cooking Grill
  • Type: Fire Bowl Style
  • Fuel Source: Wood
  • Portable: Yes
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byb2-table__imageBond Manufacturing Propane Firebowl Column
  • Type: Column Style
  • Fuel Source: Propane
  • Portable: Yes
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byb2-table__imageCOSIEST Outdoor Propane Fire Pit Table
  • Type: Fire Pit Table
  • Fuel Source: Propane
  • Portable: Yes
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byb2-table__imageBALI OUTDOORS Outdoor Wooden Fire Chimenea
  • Type: Chiminea
  • Fuel Source: Wood
  • Portable: Yes
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Definition of a Fire Pit

A fire pit, by the classic definition, is any depressed area that is cleared of flammable material in which to have a fire. However, this is not an option many backyard enthusiasts can take advantage of, especially if you live in a more urbanized area.

Luckily, this definition has expanded in recent years to include a wide array of various sizes and models of a fire pit. These include compact designs for small spaces, as well as more permanent structures for when you have the room to expand.

In general, a fire pit will have a protective enclosure that may or may not have some sort of cover to help keep blowing embers at bay. They can be both wood burning, or work with a propane or natural gas line.

Why Have a Fire Pit?

Large outdoor fire pit

Fire pits are not only a great place to gather around socially, but they also provide a decent amount of heat to the immediate surrounding area. This makes them a great addition to outdoor areas that you would like to utilize during the colder months, as well as chilly summer evenings.

Fire pits can also serve as a fun way to prepare a meal, with various dishes easy to cook either over an open flame, or tucked into the pit embers. If you have children, this is a great way to help teach them about food preparation, as well as provide some outdoor skills.

Types of Backyard Fire Pits

As mentioned, there is an excellent selection of various pit models from which you can choose. Everything from apartment dwellers to rural ranches can take advantage of one of the many types of quality pits that exist. Also, be aware you can always build your own or look for DIY kits as well.

Permanent Features

Technically, depending on the size and how they are made, many of these types of pits may also be used as a portable option, but are more likely to be semi-permanent, if not completely built into the existing landscape. These have a tendency to be a bit more expensive overall, especially if professional installation is required.

Concrete or Stone Options

Pergola with patio area. Tile floor decorated with flower pots. Stone trimmed fire pit, patio table set and barbecue

Many concrete or stone pits provides a quality, long-lasting choices that are built into other landscape features. These can include campfire-style options that are both inexpensive and easy to make, or more intricate options that are considered a way to help raise your property value. These are often some of the best wood burning fire pit options you can invest in, but they can also be gas fed with proper installation.

Gas Pits

Some gas pits often tie into an existing propane or natural gas lines and are therefore considered a more permanent structure. These are often made of concrete or stone and can be either a DIY project, or be professionally installed. Smaller styles that utilize propane tanks also exist.

Fire/Water Combinations

Water and fire combination features are a popular choice for more permanent placement, although there are some smaller fountains that also include a place for a small fire pit. The more portable choices generally are more for aesthetics, rather than heat or other practical purposes.

Portable Features

Semi-permanent or portable fire pits are often a cheap, and easy way to add a pit to your backyard. There is a wide array of products from which to choose from and sizes to accommodate your specific needs.  Many of the larger choices fall well under $200, and many more under $100- making them an obvious choice for many people.

Fire Bowls

Fire pit in a modern backyard with patio furniture.

Fire bowls are probably one of the most popular backyard fire pit designs out there. These come in a wide variety of materials, such as concrete and metal, and can be sized to fit on tabletops or spread a few feet across. They are often a great option for the money.

Fire Columns

These are similar to a bowl, but are column-shaped with fire at the top. They are generally designed to fit into smaller spaces and may have a protective covering for the flame. They are often square, or cylinder in shape.

Chiminea

Chiminea literally means chimney in Spanish, and is a stylized oven like a pit that has an opening (or two or three) at the bottom for adding wood, and a tall chimney top. They are made from terracotta and metal (when you want a more modern look). These are great for directing heat into an area. They are the best buy for heating small spaces and easy portability.

Fire Tables

Fire tables are specialized tables that have space for a small fire pit in the middle. You can often use a gel fuel canister for these as a means to provide flame and ambiance. They don’t always put off a lot of heat, but it can be fun for cooking certain dishes, such as fondue!

What to Consider Before Buying a Fire Pit

Cozy patio area with comfort settees and fire pit. Deck with Puget Sound view. Tacoma, WA

If you have been considering investing in a fire pit, but are unsure of what you might want, you may want to consider a few of the following questions:

What do you plan on using a fire pit for?

What are you considering the use of a fire pit? Are you looking to add interest to your landscape for social and personal enjoyment? Do you want to add a heated element to your outdoor space? Would you like to be able to cook with it? Knowing what you want to do with it can help narrow down your initial choices.

What space, or location do you want to place your pit in?

Consider where you want to place your pit. If you have limited space or are a city dweller, a portable option is definitely something you may want to consider. If you own your property and have room, perhaps a more permanent structure is something you would like.

Do you want your pit to provide heat, or just ambiance?

Luxury backyard fire pit at sunset

Not all fire provides a good ambient heat. The design of the pit or the fuel being used may limit what is being felt. If you are looking to warm an area, look to those that help direct the heat, or are designed to burn hot. If you just want the look, then you don’t have to worry as much about the overall design.

Are you concerned about portability?

Renting your home, looking to move, or not sure about overall backyard plans in the future? Look for a portable option that you can move when needed, or take with you! Some are even easy enough to load up for camping trips!

When do you want to use your pit?

Consider the times of year you would like to utilize your pit. If it is just a summer thing, then the heat it puts off might not be that important. But if you are looking for fall, winter, or even spring use, you might want to have the comfort of the heat. Also, consider the material it is made from. Not all weathers well, and you might need to keep it protected from adverse weather.

Top 5 Fire Pit Reviews

Remember, there are SO MANY great styles of fire pits out there, including DIY pit options as well as permanent structures that you can take advantage of to help save on the overall price. The following reviews highlight popular backyard choices for a variety of spaces, and are an excellent sample of what is out there. We like these options based on their excellent ratings, unique style, and good overall affordability. They are definitely some of the best outdoor fire pits you can consider.

Hillenbrand & Co Portable Fire Pit

Hillenbrand & Co Fire pit Outdoor in Thick Weathering Steel Made in Australia.
  • Type: Steel Collapsible
  • Fuel Source: Wood
  • Portable: Yes
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The Hillenbrand & Co Portable Fire Pit is a unique design created to provide an array of stylistic looks to wherever you decide to place it. Made from 3 thick steel plates, they fit together in just seconds to create a raised pit anywhere you want one. Perfect for any situation, the style can elevate your landscape decor or provide a safe, and easy way to build a fire while camping.

Pros

  • Lays flat to store
  • Very easy to clean up
  • Incredibly durable

Cons

  • May take a bit to get used to set up

Pro Tip

If you are looking for a unique, portable pit that can work in just about any situation, this might be the perfect solution. It also comes in its own waterproof, canvas bag.

BALI OUTDOORS Wood Burning Fire Pit with Cooking Grill

BALI OUTDOORS Wood Burning Fire Pit Backyard with Cooking Grill
  • Type: Fire Bowl Style
  • Fuel Source: Wood
  • Portable: Yes
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Place this 32” pit anywhere you are looking to enjoy an evening around the fire and a place to cook over an open flame. This fire bowl style pit has an attached grill top that allows you to swivel or raise or lower the height to your needs. It comes complete with a pocker and log rack and provides a multifunctional design for you to take advantage of.

Pros

  • Very easy to assemble
  • Lightweight enough to move when needed
  • Very sturdy and great for cooking

Cons

  • Will patina with time and weather (not expected by many consumers)

Pro Tip

This is the perfect rustic backyard BBQ for when cooking ‘out’ is on the menu. It also doubles as a great place to gather ‘round’!

Bond Manufacturing Propane Firebowl Column

Bond Manufacturing 63172 Newcastle Propane Firebowl Column
  • Type: Column Style
  • Fuel Source: Propane
  • Portable: Yes
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Made with natural stone, this column style pit is easy to place wherever you would like heat and light, and is fueled by a hidden propane tank. With controls to manage flame height and heat located on the outside, this is a convenient option that provides a decorative touch to your landscape as well. The bowl on top comes with lava rocks, and is made for outdoor use. A protective cover is also included.

Pros

  • Super fast to set up
  • Easy to make
  • Emits a lot of heat

Cons

  • Stones may not always be variegated
  • Sometimes need to hold the fire down to stay lit

Pro Tip

If you want both a great looking pit, and provide heat to your space, this product can provide up to 40,000 BTU’s to the surrounding area.

COSIEST Outdoor Propane Fire Pit Table

COSIEST Outdoor Propane Fire Pit Table
  • Type: Fire Pit Table
  • Fuel Source: Propane
  • Portable: Yes
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The Cosiest brand offers a wide range of fire pit table models from which to choose from, with their rectangular option being one of their most popular. Spacious and aesthetically pleasing, this table has a concrete looking finish, a stainless steel burner bowl enclosed by a flame retardant tempered glass top, and natural lava rocks. A 20-gallon propane tank fits comfortably beneath the table and is easy to access for changing. An external adjustment knob is also easy to access.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to operate and provides a steady flame
  • Very high quality looking

Cons

  • Not extremely heavy, but takes two people to move

Pro Tip

If you love to entertain, this is a perfect option for you. The spacious tabletop allows a lot of room for drinks and plates without the worry of ambient heat ruining anything.

BALI OUTDOORS Outdoor Wooden Fire Chimenea

BALI OUTDOORS Wood Burning Chimenea, Outdoor Round Wooden Fire Pit Fireplace, Black
  • Type: Chiminea
  • Fuel Source: Wood
  • Portable: Yes
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Chimineas have a long history of use in Mexico, and are a great addition to any landscape. Their compact, upright nature allows them to work in many different spaces, and they also put out a decent amount of heat overall. This particular style has a 360-degree opening so you can sit around it rather just in front to fit as many other styles are designed. Sturdy and built of cast iron, this is a durable, long-lasting product.

Pros

  • Sturdy and durable, but not too heavy to move
  • Great way to direct smoke up and away
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Steel webbing may begin to warp after a few years of use

Pro Tip

This is the perfect fire to gather around, especially if you hate having smoke blown in your eyes. It works to heat the area you sit in, and provides excellent ambiance.

Conclusion

Lovely outdoor deck patio space with white pergola, fire pit in the backyard of a luxury house.

A fire pit is a great addition to any landscape, even if all you have is a small balcony in the city. The wide array of sizes and fuel types provide ambiance and heat to your social gatherings, and allow you to enjoy your outdoor spaces in comfort.

These fire pit examples are all excellent choices to choose from and illustrate the wide array of options you have for your own needs. Choose a pit that works for what space and needs you have. We’d love to see which are your favorite, as well as how you use them! And, as always, please share!

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