Best Wood Fire Pits

Updated July 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

32 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
418 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best wood fire pits

Last Updated July 2020

If you like to entertain outside, you need three things: ample space, good friends, and a wood fire pit. Even if you'll only be holding your evening get-togethers in the summer, a wood fire pit can create the perfect ambience for your outdoor gatherings.

The best wood fire pit is the right size for your needs. You don't want one that's too big if you plan on taking it on camping trips or to friends’ houses. Depending on your preference, you can find wood fire pits manufactured from a fairly wide variety of materials, so you'll want to choose the one that best meets your needs.

If you'd like to dive a little deeper to learn precisely what you should look for in a wood fire pit, keep reading. If you already have a good idea of what you want and are just looking for a few highly rated options, consider one of the models we've spotlighted in this article.

Besides being functional, a wood fire pit can add an attractive focal point to your backyard landscaping.

Key considerations

Purpose

The first decision to make is what you want to use a wood fire pit for. Various models have features that make them better suited for different functions.

Socializing: The most common use of a wood fire pit is to provide a place for friends to gather. A model that serves this purpose is usually an aesthetically pleasing, permanent focal point in your home's landscape because its main function is to create atmosphere.

Grilling: If you want a wood fire pit that can also serve as a grill, that is a definite possibility. Many models include a detachable cooking surface or have some clever way that your wood fire pit can be converted to a grilling device. If that is something you desire, be sure the model you are considering has this functionality.

Traveling: If you aren’t interested in setting up a permanent backyard gathering space and instead would like a wood fire pit that you can take along when you go camping, you'll want to get a very basic, lightweight model that is specifically designed to be portable.

EXPERT TIP

When your wood fire pit isn’t in use, it’s best to cover it with a weather-resistant top to protect it from the elements.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Once you’ve decided how you’ll be using your wood fire pit, it’s time to look at some of the other aspects.

Shape and size

Shape: The two main shapes are round and square. Choose the shape that best fits your space and aesthetics.

Size: How big of a wood fire pit do you need or have room for? If you purchase the smallest model, such as 20 to 24 inches, only two to four people will be able to enjoy the benefits. If you’d like a larger wood fire pit that measures about 44 inches and can accommodate six to eight people, you'll need adequate space on your property to safely position the fire pit.

Depth: Some inexpensive wood fire pits aren't very deep, maybe 10 inches. In order to have the best experience, look for a wood fire pit with a considerable depth, such as 24 inches; otherwise, you won't be able to fit a great deal of wood in it.

Material

Wood fire pits are made out of steel, stainless steel, copper, cast iron, and stone. Copper fire pits tend to hold up the best, but most of the mid-range models are made of steel. Be sure to read the owner's manual to learn how to properly take care of your wood fire pit to get the longest life out of it.

Style

If your wood fire pit is going to be part of your backyard décor, you’ll want to be sure to get something you enjoy looking at. If you’re unhappy with how your fire pit looks, you won't be as eager to show it off, so choose wisely and pick the model that speaks to you. Many wood fire pits come with attract covers, as well as whimsical cutouts of animals or stars that let the light of the fire shine through.

EXPERT TIP

Don't get discouraged. Learning to regulate the flames to produce a comfortable, even temperature may take a little bit of practice.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Spark screen: Catalina Creations Spark Screen
The downside of having a wood fire pit is the occasional stray ember that makes its way out of the pit. Catalina Creations' lightweight, weather-resistant, hinged spark screen can help keep the embers in the fire pit where they belong.

Cover: Porch Shield Fire Pit Cover
Leaving your wood fire pit exposed to the elements can almost guarantee that you’ll need to purchase a new model next season. Porch Shield's heavy-duty, vented, water-resistant cover will give your fire pit the best chance for a long life. This cover is available for both round and square fire pits.

Firewood rack: Landmann Firewood Rack
If you have a wood fire pit, you need a constant supply of wood. Landmann's adjustable firewood rack is a great place to store that wood so you never run out. You can make this firewood rack as long as you want and use it to elevate the logs off the ground.

Fire blanket: Inf-way Fire Blanket
The more eventualities you’re prepared for, the safer you’ll be. Inf-way's fire blanket is a lifesaving device that can be used in the event that something near the fire pit catches fire and needs to be put out quickly. If you use this fire blanket in an emergency situation, the company will replace it for free.

Fire extinguisher: Kidde Pro 210 Fire Extinguisher
If you have a wood fire pit, you should also have a fire extinguisher. Kidde's Pro 210 model is a multipurpose fire extinguisher that features an easy-to-read gauge and large, clear instructions.

Wood fire pit prices

Inexpensive: Although it’s possible to find a small wood fire pit for $25, you’d be better off searching for a budget model that costs around $60. At this price, you can get a small, freestanding fire pit with a spark screen and poker.

Mid-range: From $70 to $120, you can find more durable 30-inch wood fire pits. These models may have a detachable cooking grate and feature a decorative edge for aesthetics and safety.

Expensive: If you’re looking for a large, freestanding wood fire pit with an eye-catching design, you’ll need to spend between $120 and $200. These models are likely constructed using steel. For a stone fire pit that is a more permanent part of your backyard, you could spend between $200 for a prefab design to over $1,000 for a custom build.

EXPERT TIP

If you want to get the most out of your wood fire pit, clean it thoroughly between uses, removing any ash and soot buildup.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

Since you’ll be burning wood in your new fire pit, there are a number of elements to consider when it comes to placement. Here are a few common-sense tips to keep in mind when choosing the best location for your wood fire pit.

  • Follow all of your local municipality's regulations regarding open fires.
  • Use your wood fire pit outside only.
  • Position the fire pit on level, well-drained ground. Be sure the space that you’re considering is level so there is no chance of your wood fire pit tipping over. And find an area with adequate drainage, so the fire pit isn't sitting in an area with excessive moisture.
  • Be aware of local wind patterns. Don't place your wood fire pit in a location that regularly experiences strong winds.
  • Keep the fire pit away from combustible materials. Keep it at least 10 feet away (farther is better) from any potentially combustible materials. Position it away from all trees and bushes. Do not store or pile any leaves, grass, pine needles, or other combustible items near your wood fire pit. Don’t place your wood fire pit  beneath an overhang, under a gazebo, or near your home or shed.

Other products we considered

Since every backyard is a little different, the options we've spotlighted elsewhere in this article might not be a perfect fit for your needs. If you'd like a few more highly rated options, keep reading. The extra-deep Pleasant Hearth Wood-Burning Fire Pit is a 26-inch rectangular unit with a mesh cover that helps reduce wayward sparks. The fire pit also includes a chrome cooking grill and a poker.

The Sunnydaze Decor Outdoor Fire Pit Bowl is a 30-inch round wood fire pit with a deep, rust-resistant bowl that has handles for portability. The unit comes with a mesh spark screen and a poker and features effortless setup.

If you need something a little larger, the Sunnydaze Decor Crossweave Outdoor Fire Pit is a durable 36-inch unit that comes with a mesh spark screen and poker, as well as a protective cover for when you aren’t using the fire pit.

A wood fire pit can produce heat for several hours, and it creates a wonderful ambiance that is very conducive to outdoor social gatherings and parties.

FAQ

Q. Do I need to hire someone to install my wood fire pit?
A.
If you’re looking for a custom-built fire pit, you might need help with design and installation. Fortunately, most wood fire pits are freestanding or prefab kits that don’t require much more than the ability to follow directions and a basic knowledge of working with tools.
 

Q. What kind of wood can I burn in my wood fire pit?
A
. Unlike an indoor fireplace, outdoor wood fire pits aren't limited by the type of wood you can burn in them. However, some types of wood may be better suited for burning than others due to their particular properties. Oak and maple burn slow, steady, and hot. Hickory burns hotter than both oak and maple, but it can be tougher to split. Ash burns easily and doesn't create as much smoke as other wood, and cedar and cherry produce pleasant aromas. Feel free to experiment. You will quickly discover which wood is not to your liking due to excessive smoke or speed of burning.
 

Q. Are there any safety precautions I need to follow when using my wood fire pit?
A.
Yes. Burning wood can be extremely dangerous if you aren’t careful. If your pit doesn’t include a fire screen, purchasing one will help protect the immediate area from sparks and flying embers. Remember to never leave a fire unattended or leave children unsupervised by an active wood fire pit. Also, it’s important to determine if you need a permit to burn wood in a fire pit, so you must first check with your local municipality to learn the regulations pertaining to wood fires in your community.

The team that worked on this review
  • Allen
    Allen
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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