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The idea that a fire pit is no more than a big hole that you dig in the ground, fill with wood and set alight has long since passed.
Today, outdoor fire pits are stylish, stand-alone units which not only allow you to keep yourself and your guests warm, they can also be very attractive features in your garden.
There are several styles and designs, so to help you choose the best outdoor fire pit for your garden, decking or backyard, we are going to review 5 top fire pits and explain how their main features benefit you.
This is a large, round fire pit which reminds us of a witch’s cauldron that you'd see at Halloween time. It is simple to use and provides tremendous heat when fully ablaze.
Whilst it is nigh on impossible to predict the amount of heat that wood burning will produce, it is logical to assume that the more wood you have burning the hotter the fire will be. We mention this because Sunnydaze’s fire pit has a bigger diameter than many other round fire pits.
What this means is that it can hold more wood; therefore, the fire you can create in it is going to be more intense, and thus generate more heat than the others.
To help you prepare the fire and have the wood placed correctly within the fire pit, there are strips on the base of the grate. This keeps the wood in the optimum position to both light the fire, and for it to burn properly. When the fire is burning, a mesh dome prevents any embers from escaping.
The fire pit is constructed from thick steel so it is durable, and the high-temperature paint which coats it, should not deteriorate due to the heat.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that this outdoor fire pit looks very like a coffee table and because of its square shape – it had us thinking that too. Its attractive design means it would make a great centerpiece in a garden or on decking.
This is a fire pit which needs to be assembled; however, it is very easy to do, and within a few minutes, you should have it ready to use. Not only is it easy to assemble, but you can disassemble it easily too, should you wish to take with you on a camping or RV vacation.
Surrounding the square fire bowl is a ledge which provides a convenient place for guests to place cups or glasses and gives you somewhere to place your tools and accessories as you light the fire. This ledge has a stone type finish which gives it a very attractive appearance.
After each fire, you will want to clean out the fire bowl, and this task is made easier due to the grate in the base of the bowl. This can be lifted out so that you can get to the ashes underneath it and remove them
The finishing piece is the mesh cover which is also square but is shaped like a house roof. It prevents embers from being blown from the firepit and creating a fire risk. From a visual perspective, it provides a great finishing touch to a very attractive piece of garden furniture.
When it comes to outdoor fire pits, this one is as decorative as they come. Its hexagonal shape is unusual, and the cutouts on the firebox give it even more style.
Despite it looking like a very heavy item, this fire pit is quite lightweight, so it can easily be repositioned or moved whenever the need arises, albeit its shape makes holding it somewhat challenging.
The hexagonal bowl is wide and deep, so it can certainly hold plenty of wood. On the base of the bowl, there are fixed strips which hold the wood in position to make lighting the fire easier. This also makes the wood burn more readily, akin to a bonfire when all the wood is standing upright.
The fire bowl has diamond-shaped cutouts all around its circumference which has mesh on the inside to prevent ash etc. from falling out. After dark, when the fire is burning, these provide a wonderful visual experience as you can look at the hot glow of the burning wood inside the fire pit. Adding to the eye-catching design is the bronze finish which has been applied to the fire pit.
On the top of the fire pit, there is a large fire-retardant ember shield, which consists mainly of mesh. with a circular loop on top to allow you to remove it using the poker which is supplied.
If you are looking for a feature for your garden, then this outdoor fire pit fits the bill perfectly. It looks great, is easy to use, and will allow you and guests to keep warm when it is being used.
One of the reasons we feel this fire pit would make a great feature in the garden is because of the ledge which surrounds the firebox in the center. It is wide enough for guests to place cups or glasses, so you can all gather around it, have a drink, and savor the ambiance created by the burning wood just next to you.
The fire pit's frame is made from strong steel, so it is solid and secure. In the base of the firebox is a grate which aids the clean-up afterwards, as the ash and embers collect underneath it. You simply remove the grate, scoop out all the ash, and now your fire pit is ready for the next time you wish to use it.
To protect those in the vicinity from being burned by a stray ember blown from the fire, a large mesh ember shield sits over the firebox. This can be removed using the raking/poker tool which is supplied with the fire pit.
This can be used to rake ashes or remove unwanted debris from the firebox. Another accessory which comes with the fire pit is a waterproof cover which protects the metal from rain.
If you want an outdoor fire pit that is convenient, clean and allows you to set its heat output to your preferred level, then this gas-powered fire pit is exactly what you need.
We'll start right away by saying that, unlike the others we've reviewed, this fire does not use wood as its fuel. Instead, it uses propane gas from a tank that is stored inside the unit. Obviously, burning gas means there are no ashes or embers to remove afterwards so if you hate cleaning up you should love this.
Lighting the fire pit is the simple matter of pressing the ignition button, and away you go. The flames then heat up the lava rocks which are sitting in the fire bowl and provide an excellent visual feature in the center.
Once you have the flame lit, you can adjust the heat output using the control panel. This fire pit can produce up to 30,000 BTU which means even on the very coldest of days or evenings it is going to keep you warm.
The control we've just mentioned is hidden from view which means any children (or adults) won't be tempted to mess around with it, plus with it keeps the design nice and clean. Talking of design there is a stone effect ledge around the edge of the fire pit which can be used by guests to place glass or cups.
Outdoor fire pits obviously provide a practical use, in terms of keeping you and your guests warm outside, but they also make very eye-catching features in your garden too.
All the products we reviewed did both very well so picking which one we considered to be the best outdoor fire pit wasn't easy. After some heated debate (get it?) we chose the Endless Summer 30-Inch Outdoor LP Gas Fire Pit.
Admittedly it doesn't have the appeal and aromas of burning wood, but what it offers, that the others don't, is an easy, clean and convenient way to provide heat outdoors.
The fire pit can be lit with the press of a button, the flame adjusted to your preferred level, it provides an enormous amount of heat, and it is an ideal centerpiece which you, your family or guests can sit around and stay warm.