The best wood fire pit
A wood fire pit is a fire pit designed to burn wood. It's perfect for keeping you warm when you wish to spend time in your yard in spite of the chill.
If you want to find the right wood-burning fire pit, keep reading our helpful buying guide, which includes a few reviews of our favorites at the end. Our top choice is Sunnydaze Cosmic Outdoor Fire Pit, a large, sturdy model that comes complete with a spark guard and fire tool and has attractive celestial cutouts.
Considerations when choosing wood fire pits
Steel is the most common metal for wood fire pits since it's strong, heat-resistant, affordable, and relatively lightweight. High-end fire pits may be made from cast iron or copper. Cast iron is extremely heavy-duty, but it's so heavy that your fire pit will be difficult to move. Copper gains a nice patina over time, so it's a great choice for a pit that gets plenty of use.
Find out both the diameter and the depth of your chosen fire pit. The diameter alone isn't a great indicator of capacity, because a fire pit could be 40 inches in diameter, but if it's just three inches deep, it won't fit a huge amount of wood. Consider the size of the area where you intend to place your fire pit and how many people you tend to entertain. This gives you a better idea of what size fire pit you require.
Cutouts are the shapes or patterns cut into the sides of a fire pit. These may feature interesting shapes such as animals or stars, but they may just be circular. Not only do cutouts create attractive shadows, they also improve airflow for more efficient combustion.
Some fire pits come with a grill or grate included that you can use for cooking. If you choose a model with a cooking grate, you're getting both a fire pit and a barbecue for the price of one.
A spark guard is a mesh dome that sits over the top of a fire pit to catch large sparks that would otherwise fly out of the fire and could burn someone or something.
Many fire pits have a fire tool included. This is often a multipurpose tool that can act both as a poker to stoke the fire and a kind of hook to lift the spark guard without touching it.
You can find some basic wood fire pits for around $50 to $100, but larger and more durable models generally cost $100 to $300. Custom-built fire pits can cost up to $1,000.
Q. Are there any regulations around wood fire pits?
A. In most areas, you can use a wood fire pit in your backyard without any rules or regulations. However, some local governments have laws regarding fire size, distance from trees or buildings, and fire extinguishing methods (particularly in areas prone to wildfires). There may also be rules about using fire pits in public spaces, such as parks and beaches. Always check local laws before you commit to a purchase.
Q. Are wood fire pits safe?
A. There's always some danger surrounding fire, but a wood fire pit is relatively safe if you use caution and common sense. Always keep a couple of buckets of sand or water close at hand in case your fire gets out of control.
Wood fire pits we recommend
Best of the best: Sunnydaze Decor's Cosmic Outdoor Fire Pit
Our take: We love the gorgeous moon and stars cutouts on this cosmic fire pit.
What we like: The large bowl measures 34 inches across and 10 inches deep, which is great for building big fires. Made from steel with a black paint finish to hide ash and soot.
What we dislike: Must be covered in poor weather to avoid rusting.
Best bang for your buck: Fire Sense's Folding Fire Pit
Our take: This highly affordable wood fire pit can double as a small barbecue.
What we like: Folding design makes it easy to store when not in use. Available in 22-inch and 29-inch diameters. Spark cover, poker, and storage bag included.
What we dislike: On the flimsy side -- best for occasional use.
Choice 3: Solo Stove's Bonfire Fire Pit
Our take: Thanks to its incredible combustion efficiency, it generates almost no smoke and leaves just ash behind (no chunks of half-burned wood).
What we like: No real assembly or setup to speak of. Large enough to create plenty of warmth but small enough to be portable. Includes a carry case.
What we dislike: Discolors quickly.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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