Add style and warmth to your garden – and appease your inner caveman – with a contemporary outdoor fire pit.
Fire pits make a fabulous addition to any outdoor space, providing a natural source of heat, and creating a centrepiece for your garden seating area. They can make sitting outside on chilly summer or autumn nights infinitely more enjoyable.
And it’s not just the warmth that’s appealing; whether you’re toasting marshmallows and playing tunes on the guitar, or drinking whiskey and putting the world to rights, the smell of wood smoke and open flames will add cosy ambience, and heighten the experience.
Last update on 2021-04-16 / All Pricing & Imagery from Amazon Product Advertising API
Sold on the benefits of a fire pit, and ready to add one to your garden? Check out our pick of 5 of the best fire pits on the market, based on their style, functionality and value, to help you choose the ‘hottest’ option for you.
Our best garden fire pit is made from cast iron, and features a simple yet stylish tripod design
Cost: Price not available
We think the best fire pits are the ones which keep it simple, and allow the fire to shine – which is why we’ve chosen this sleek Cast Iron Fire Pit by Harbour Housewares as our top pick.
It’s made from sturdy cast iron, and measures 38.5 cm high, and 87 cm wide, including the handles. The large, open bowl has a diameter of 75cm, and is designed to give your fire the maximum exposure to oxygen.
The design also includes tripod legs, which offer the fire pit excellent stability, even on uneven ground, and serve to keep the flames away from the ground, preventing unsightly scorch marks.
Side handles help with the portability of the fire pit, so you can easily move is around your garden as required. It’s also easy to assemble, and comes with all the necessary fixings, and an Allen key, so you’re ready to go straight from the box.
This sleek, industrial fire pit makes a stylish and practical addition to your garden and is the perfect way to keep warm and toasty after the sun has set.
- Made from durable cast iron, which gives it a stylish industrial look.
- Tripod construction offers good stability, even on uneven ground.
- Large bowl design gives your fire maximum exposure to oxygen and ensures your fire is capable of warming a large area.
- Legs protect the ground from scorch marks.
- Side handles enable easy transportation.
- Includes all required fixings, and an Allen key.
- Easy to assemble.
- 2-year warranty.
- No grill included, for BBQ-style cooking.
- Finish on some units is not the best.
This affordable garden fire pit comes with a cooking grate, fire screen and carry bag, and we think it offers excellent value for money
Cost: Price not available
Thanks to the low price and plethora of included accessories, this Portable Folding Fire Pit by AmazonBasics is the one we think represents the best value.
The fire pit is made from heat-resistant, painted steel. It measures 45 cm high, and 66 cm across, so it’s a little taller and narrower than our top pick, which might make it more suitable for smaller gardens.
It comes with an included fire screen, which will protect you from any flying sparks, without obstructing your view of the flames. A fire tool allows you to safely move logs, and manage the fire. There’s also a log grate and a cooking grill included, so you can easily turn your fire pit into BBQ.
A carry bag is helpful for storing the fire pit when not in use, and the folding design of the legs makes it easy to pack it up for transportation in the car, to the beach, or on a camping trip. Once you reach your new destination, simply unfold the legs, and it’s ready to use.
Overall, this affordable fire pit comes with everything you need to make the most of your outdoor fire, and we think it’s a real bargain.
- Made from heat-resistant, painted steel.
- Comes with a dome-shaped fire screen, to protect you from sparks, and a fire tool, to manage the fire.
- Log grate keeps logs off the base and encourages airflow around the fire.
- Cooking grate enables you to grill burgers and indulge in BBQ-style cooking.
- Carry bag helps with easy storage and transportation.
- Folding legs improves the portability of the fire pit.
- Tool-free assembly.
- Some online users report missing nuts and bolts on arrival.
This contemporary outdoor fire pit has an easy-to-control, gas-powered fire, and doubles as a table – but it comes at a high price
Our next fire pit offers a more luxurious option. This 35” Outdoor Gas Fire Pit by Peaktop doubles as a stylish outdoor coffee table, and features a square, retro wood design, with the fire pit in the centre.
The table measures a sizeable W 86 x L 89 x H29 cm. The fire is powered by propane gas, and features an electronic ignition, allowing you to start it instantly. Once lit, the flames are adjustable, so you can easily control your fire, and it throws out a decent amount of heat.
It comes with the necessary gas regulator and a 3m hose, but you will need to provide your own gas bottle. If you don’t want this hanging around looking unsightly, it is possible to purchase matching gas canister storage boxes, in the same style. A heavy-duty waterproof cover will protect your fire pit when not in use.
This is by far our most expensive fire pit, and the modern ignition style perhaps takes away some of the thrill of making your own fire – but if you prefer contemporary convenience over rough and ready, this might just be the one for you.
- Stylish and contemporary wooden design.
- Powered by gas – includes gas regulator and hose.
- Comes with 3kg of lava rock.
- Electronic ignition for instant lighting.
- Adjustable flames.
- Includes heavy-duty waterproof cover.
- Matching gas canister storage available to purchase separately.
- Expensive, compared to traditional fire pits.
- Might be too large for some gardens.
This garden fire pit has a built-in BBQ shelf, so you can fulfil all your outdoor cooking dreams
If you like the style of our previous fire pit, but not the price tag, you might be more interested in this FOBUY Fire Pit, which showcases a similar design to the Peaktop, for a much more affordable cost.
Whilst this one doesn’t have the stylish wooden aesthetic of the Peaktop, it does feature a square shape, and the border provides a convenient table-like surface for food and drinks. The dimensions of this one are 81 x 81 x 45 cm, with the central fire area measuring 30 x 30 cm.
It comes with a grate for cooking food, and a poker for tending to the fire. A mesh lid helps to prevent embers blowing in the wind, and a waterproof cover protects the fire pit from the elements when not in use.
Some online users report that the nuts and bolts on this don’t line up, making assembly difficult. However, the vast majority of units don’t seem to have a problem, and ultimately, this is a highly multi-functional fire pit/table/BBQ, for a very reasonable price.
- Made from power-coated steel, with heat resistant basin.
- Contemporary square design.
- Can be used for warmth, BBQ cooking, and as a table.
- Comes with wood grate and fire poker.
- Safety mesh lid helps to prevent embers blowing in the wind.
- Includes a free waterproof PVC cover.
- Fire pit is comparatively shallow, and you can’t add too many logs at once, or the mesh lid won’t fit.
- Some units can be difficult to assemble, thanks to incorrect alignment of nuts and bolts.
- Waterproof cover is a little tight, and prone to tearing.
A small and stylish outdoor fire pit, with a unique, natural rusted look – perfect for modern courtyards
Cost: Price not available
The last fire pit to make it into our top 5 is this La Hacienda Kala Oxidised Fire Pit. This fire pit consists of a durable cast iron bowl, with a steel stand, and comes in a modern shape.
The rusted look of this fire pit makes it perfect for anyone who wants to add style to their garden, as well as a cosy source of warmth. It also means you won’t need to worry about it going rusty – further oxidation will only enhance the look!
With dimensions of H 38 x Dia. 56 cm, it’s relatively small, and could be a great choice for a patio or courtyard. It’s easy to assemble, and the finished product is lightweight and can be moved around your garden with minimal effort.
The welded base means it’s strong and sturdy, and there are no weak points at the rivets. This is a high-quality and stylish fire pit, and will look fabulous paired with modern, colourful garden furniture.
- Durable cast iron bowl, with a steel stand.
- Stylish, natural rusted look.
- Unique, contemporary shape.
- Lightweight and easy to move around.
- No need to worry about it going rusty!
- Easy to assemble.
- No drainage holes.
How To Light A Fire Pit
In order to light a fire pit, you should first lay a few pieces of kindling in the base of the pit, in a criss-cross shape, and place a firelighter in the middle. Take some small, kiln-dried logs, and stack these vertically around the kindling and fire starter.
Use a match to carefully light the fire starter in the middle of your structure. The kindling will light first, followed by your logs, and within minutes, you should have a roaring fire!
Can You BBQ On A Fire Pit?
Your fire pit is a fire, and therefore can be used to cook anything you normally would on a BBQ. Some fire pits are better equipped for this purpose than others – for example, the FOBUY fire pit has a built-in BBQ shelf.
Other fire pits simply consist of an open fire, so you will need to source your own appropriate grill rack, to go over the top, or wrap your food tightly in tin foil, and place it directly on the flames. To BBQ food with direct heat, place it in the centre of the grill, and for indirect cooking, move it to the edge.
Can You Burn Paper In A Fire Pit?
You can burn most types of paper in a fire pit, including newspaper and letters, and it generally makes for an excellent fire starter. The exception to this is coloured, glossy paper, such as that used for magazines, flyers and wrapping paper. The inks in this type of paper can release toxic fumes into the environment when burnt, and should not be placed in your fire pit.
Can You Burn Wood In A Fire Pit?
Wood in the form of logs and kindling is the main material you are likely to burn in your fire pit. However, not all wood is created equal, and there are a few types that should be avoided.
Wooden pallets, for example, are not a good choice, as they are often treated with methyl bromide, a harmful chemical which is released when the wood is burnt. Other types of wood to avoid include painted wood, MDF and particleboard, as paint and the high-strength adhesives used in these can again release toxic fumes when burnt.
How Long Do Copper Fire Pits Last?
Copper is one of the most durable and long-lasting materials you can choose for your fire pit. It has a high melting point, is a good conductor of heat, and will not corrode or rust – in fact, it’s virtually indestructible. The metallic finish is also very on-trend. It is usually the more expensive option, but it can be well worth it for the superior look and longevity.
April is a freelance writer who specialises in writing about home and garden design and the environment. She is an avid wildlife-enthusiast and adventure-seeker, and feels happiest when in the Great Outdoors.