Insider's Guide to Choosing the Perfect Backyard Fire Pit | Rock the Grill

Insider's Guide to Choosing the Perfect Backyard Fire Pit

AustinPublished: December 6, 2023
Insider's Guide to Choosing the Perfect Backyard Fire Pit

As the chill of winter descends, there's nothing more inviting than the warmth and glow of a backyard fire pit. A fire pit not only creates a cozy atmosphere but also extends the use of your outdoor space throughout the colder months. However, with a wide array of options available, from traditional wood-burning fire pits to sleek propane-fueled models, choosing the perfect fire pit for your backyard can be a daunting task.

But that's where we come in. We've got everything you need to find the perfect fire pit for your backyard oasis.

Fire PitWhat We Love the Most
Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0- Smokeless and efficient
- Durable and easy to clean
- Extremely portable
Bali Outdoors Wood-Burning Fire Pit- Multi-functional design (doubles as a grill)
- Sturdy construction
- Easy assembly and portability
Tiki Fire Pit- Smokeless technology
- Complete package (includes stand, cover, and wood pack)
- Easy maintenance and warranty
CosmoLiving Astra 23" Fire Pit- Stylish design
- Enhanced safety features
- Versatile functionality
Breeo X Series 27- Smokeless design
- Versatility (wood-burning or compatibility with gas inserts)
- Durability

What to look for in a fire pit.

When you're buying a fire pit, there are tons of features to consider before making your purchase. Here are some of the most important features to look for in a backyard fire pit for the winter:

Type of Fire Pit

There are three main types of fire pits - wood burning, propane, and natural gas. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks.

  • Wood burning. These fire pits use wood logs as their main source of fuel and are ideal for those who enjoy the traditional campfire experience. They also tend to produce more heat and provide a cozy ambiance with crackling sounds and mesmerizing flames. However, they require regular maintenance and can be messy.
  • Propane. These fire pits run on propane gas and are easy to light up with just a push of a button. They also offer more control over the flame and can be turned off instantly, making them great for quick sessions. However, they may not provide as much heat as wood-burning pits and require refilling or replacing gas tanks.
  • Natural gas. These fire pits are connected to a natural gas line and provide the convenience of never having to worry about refilling or replacing fuel sources. They also give more control over flame size and can produce a significant amount of heat. However, they require professional installation and may not be as portable as other types.

Size and Location

The size of your fire pit will depend on the available space in your backyard and the number of people you plan to gather around it. It's also important to consider the location, as fire pits should be placed at least 10 feet away from any structures or flammable materials.

The bigger the fire pit, the more people can gather around it. However, larger fire pits may also require more fuel, and they're not nearly as portable as some of the smaller ones.

Material and Design

Fire pits come in various designs and materials, such as stone, metal, and clay. When choosing a material, consider the overall aesthetic of your backyard and opt for one that complements it. 

Also, make sure to check the durability of the material and its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. This will sit out in the elements (unless you get a cover, but more on that later), so you want something that will last.

Safety Features

Safety should always be a top priority when choosing a fire pit. 

Look for features like spark screens, safety lids, and heat-resistant handles to prevent accidents. It's also important to have a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case.

For the most part, the gas and propane fire pits are a bit safer than the wood-burning ones, but as long as you use caution and follow proper fire pit safety guidelines, you can enjoy any type safely.

Additional Features

Some fire pits come with additional features that can enhance your experience

  • Cooking Grills. Some fire pits come with removable or built-in cooking grills, allowing you to grill food directly over the flame.
  • Spark Screens. Spark screens are mesh covers that help prevent embers and sparks from escaping the fire pit while still providing a view of the fire.
  • Smokeless technology. Some fire pits use smokeless technology to minimize the amount of smoke produced, making it more enjoyable for everyone. They're generally a bit pricier, though.
  • Ash Pans. Fire pits with ash pans make it easier to clean and dispose of ashes after use.
  • Rotisserie Kits. Certain fire pits offer the option to attach rotisserie kits, enabling you to cook food slowly and evenly over the fire.
  • Fire Pit Covers. Covers are available to protect the fire pit from the elements when not in use, helping to extend its lifespan.
  • Decorative Elements. Fire pits may feature decorative elements like intricate designs, ornamental cutouts, or stone accents, adding aesthetic appeal to the backyard.
  • Storage Compartments. Some fire pits come with built-in storage compartments to hold firewood, propane tanks, or accessories.

Top firepits.

We've been burning wood and propane for a long time, and it seems like we've tried every possible fire pit imaginable. With that, these are the five best fire pits we've ever tried.

Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0

Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0 Fire Pit

Upgrade your outdoor space with this stylish and functional fire pit by Solo Stove!

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  • Vibrant and eye-catching design. The unique pop of color adds a visually appealing element to any outdoor space.
  • Smokeless and efficient. The double wall and bottom vent holes ensure a smokeless experience, allowing you to enjoy the warmth without the discomfort of smoke.
  • Durable and easy to clean. Crafted from stainless steel, this fire pit is built to last. The removable ash pan makes cleaning a breeze, ensuring convenience and maintenance.

The Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0 with Stand is a standout fire pit that offers a unique combination of functionality and design. 

One of the things I love the most about this fire pit is its smokeless feature, achieved through its innovative airflow design. This not only enhances the overall experience but also reduces the discomfort of dealing with excessive smoke. 

The durable 304 stainless steel construction ensures longevity, while the removable ash pan simplifies the cleaning process. 

On top of all that, the portable nature of the Bonfire 2.0, along with its stylish color, adds a touch of personality and convenience to any outdoor setting.

Bali Outdoors Wood-Burning Fire Pit

Bali Outdoors Wood-Burning Fire Pit

Go with the more traditional but functional route with the Bali Outdoors fire pit!

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  • Multi-functional design. This doubles as a grill, allowing you to enjoy the warmth of a fire and cook delicious meals simultaneously.
  • Sturdy construction. Built with durable materials, ensuring long-lasting performance and resistance to outdoor elements.
  • Easy assembly and portability. Designed for easy setup and can be easily transported, making it ideal for camping trips or backyard gatherings.

The Bali Outdoors Wood Burning Fire Pit is a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts. 

One of the aspects I love the most about this fire pit is its versatile design, which includes a built-in grill grate. After all, sometimes you want some heat, sometimes you want some ambiance, and sometimes you want to cook something up.

This feature allows you to transform the fire pit into a convenient cooking surface, perfect for grilling delicious meals outdoors. 

The 32-inch size provides ample space for a cozy fire and can accommodate larger pieces of wood. 

This isn't a cheap fire pit either (not price; we're talking construction). The durable steel construction ensures long-lasting performance, and the protective mesh spark screen enhances safety during use.

Tiki Fire Pit

Tiki Backyard Firepit

Create unforgettable memories around warmth and smokefree fire of the Tiki fire pit!

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  • Smokeless technology. Equipped with an internal airflow system, this fire pit reduces smoke and ash for a cleaner and more enjoyable outdoor experience.
  • Complete package. Comes with a stand, weather-resistant cover, and wood pack, providing everything you need to get started.
  • Easy maintenance and warranty. With a removable ash pan, cleaning this fire pit is a breeze. Additionally, it offers a 2-year limited warranty for added peace of mind.

The Tiki Fire Pit is a rising star in the fire pit industry. In fact, they're giving bigger names like Solo and Breeo a run for their money. It's a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts for its innovative smokeless design. 

One of the things that many people love about this fire pit is its ability to minimize smoke output, creating a more enjoyable and comfortable experience for everyone around the fire. It uses the same principle as the other smokeless fire pits, but it does a really good job of keeping that smoke at bay.

The Tiki Fire Pit also offers versatility in fuel options, allowing you to choose between wood or propane, depending on your preference and convenience. Not everyone loves wood like we do.

But this fire pit stands out due to its sleek and modern design, which adds a stylish touch to any outdoor space.

CosmoLiving by Cosmopolitan Astra 23" Fire Pit

CosmoLiving Astra Gas Fire Pit

Transform your evenings with the mesmerizing glow of the Astra propane fire pit!

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  • Stylish design. It boasts a modern and chic aesthetic, adding a touch of elegance to any outdoor space.
  • Enhanced safety features. Equipped with safety measures such as a protective mesh guard and a safety ignition system for peace of mind during use.
  • Versatile functionality. Offers multiple functions, including a heat source for chilly evenings and a gathering spot for friends and family.

Of all of the fire pits we listed, this is easily the most modern design. It's also by a brand you don't necessarily think about when you're looking for a fire pit.

The CosmoLiving by Cosmopolitan Astra Collection fire pit is a stylish and functional addition to any outdoor space. 

One of the things I love the most about this fire pit is its sleek design, featuring a dark gray finish that adds a modern touch to the surroundings. Not everyone appreciates the style, but we sure do.

The 23-inch size provides ample space for a cozy fire, while the durable construction ensures longevity. 

The best part is that the easy-to-use ignition system and adjustable flame make it convenient to control the fire's intensity and create the perfect ambiance.

Breeo X Series 27 Fire Pit

Breeo X Series 27 Smokeless

Elevate your outdoor entertaining with the Breeo smokeless fire pit - shop now and be the envy of your neighbors

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  • Smokeless design. Uses innovative technology to reduce smoke production, enhancing the overall fire experience.
  • Versatility. Offers options for wood-burning or compatibility with gas inserts, providing flexibility in fuel choices.
  • Durability. Made with high-quality materials, it is known for its durability and ability to withstand outdoor elements.

For those who want a monster, the Breeo X Series 27 is the way to go. It's the biggest fire pit on our list, but it also has the features to back it up.

One of the standout features that many people love about this fire pit is its smokeless design. Actually, this design is what Breeo is known for.

The innovative technology used in the construction of the fire pit allows for efficient airflow, reducing smoke production and creating a cleaner and more enjoyable fire experience. 

To pile on top of that, the Breeo Fire Pit is known for its durability and versatility, with options for wood-burning or compatibility with gas inserts.

Get the accessories.

One thing you won't want to pass up with any of these fire pits is the accessories. They're the cherry on top of your outdoor experience.

Some of the fire pits come with some or all of these, and others do not.

  • Fire Pit Cover. A protective cover designed to shield your fire pit from rain, snow, and debris, helping to extend its lifespan and keep it clean.
  • Fire Pit Spark Screen. A mesh screen is placed over the fire pit to prevent sparks and embers from flying out, offering safety and peace of mind during use.
  • Fire Pit Poker. A long, sturdy tool used to safely move logs and adjust the fire, allowing you to keep the flames going without risking burns.
  • Fire Pit Grate. A metal grate that elevates the firewood, enhancing airflow and promoting better combustion for a more efficient and consistent fire.
  • Fire Pit Cooking Grate. A detachable grill grate that can be placed over the fire pit, turning it into a versatile outdoor cooking station for grilling meats, vegetables, and more.
  • Fire Pit Heat Resistant Gloves. Insulated gloves are made from heat-resistant materials to protect your hands and forearms while tending to the fire or handling hot accessories. Welder gloves work, too.

Keep in mind that most fire pits have specific products designed for that specific fire pit. However, there are some generic accessories out there that you can get for it.

You're ready to make your backyard a magical retreat!

These are some of the finest and best backyard fire pits available in the market, each with its unique features and offerings. 

Whether you're seeking a smokeless experience, a versatile design for grilling, or a modern and stylish addition to your backyard, there's a fire pit that fits the bill. 

The right fire pit can transform your backyard into a magical retreat, creating an ambiance for enjoyment and relaxation.



Professional Backyard Chef

Austin, a trained chef and graduate of the The Art Institute of Washington, has a deep passion for locally sourced ingredients. He spent several years working in farm-to-table restaurants, forging relationships with local farmers and learning about the benefits of fresh, local produce. As a regular contributor to various food and lifestyle magazines, Austin specializes in creating delicious, seasonal recipes for the backyard bistro. His dedication to local ingredients helps readers discover new flavors while supporting their local economy.