Looking for an outdoor fireplace? Outdoor fire pits are great if you’re looking for that feel of being around a campfire but you want it in the comfort of your own back yard. An fire pit will provide you with a 360 view of the fire and provide a circular area for guests to stand around while enjoying the warmth and glow of the fire.
Outdoor fire pits can be as rustic as a fire ring in the ground surrounding the dancing flames, or something more decorative like a raised metal bowl with shapes cut into it, or a mosaic tile table surrounding a sunken fire bowl. If you can imagine it, it’s probably available somewhere.
A fire ring, sometimes known as a campfire ring, is a circle of metal, stone or sometimes concrete that wraps around the outside of the fire to help contain it. Certain fire rings are designed to fit a sort of grate over it allowing you to cook over the fire. You can find a fun assortment of fire rings that have designs, like animals or trees, cut into them so you can see the silhouette of the decorative shapes as the fire is burning.
Fire rings shouldn’t be used on any surface that’s not considered fire safe, like a deck. Instead you may want to look into a raised fire pit for those areas.
Wood Burning Fire Pits
Think about the kind of wood you want to burn before buying a wood burning fire pit. If you want to use the same wood you use for your fireplace make sure you buy one that’s big enough for them to fit. You’ll also want to make sure you have a screen or cover for your outdoor fireplace to add a layer of protection from sparks and embers that may be created from the crackling, burning wood.
You can burn different types of wood for different reasons. Pinion wood is popular for it’s nice, pine scent and because it helps repel mosquitoes, but you can burn other woods like apple or hickory. Eco Logs are another great option because they burn longer and are very inexpensive. Never burn pressure treated logs as they release toxic gases when they are burned.
Patio Fire Pits
Outdoor patio fire pits come in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials. There are many benefits of these types of outdoor fireplaces. For starters they generally don’t take up much space. They are also portable, so you can move them if you want to redecorate, rearrange your patio, or of course you can take them with you if you move.
Because they come in so many designs, colors and shapes you can easily find a backyard fire pit that matches the decor of your yard, or if you find one with a look you love you can have fun decorating around the design of the patio fire pit.
Some patio fire pits come with an attachment that will allow you to cook with them. With these you can use a mesquite wood for the fire to add that smokey, outdoor flavor to you foods. One flavor you won’t want is the faint taste of a new fire pit. If you are going to use it for cooking it’s good to have a few fires in it first to burn off that new smell. This is especially important if they are coated with enamel or paint.
Gas Fire Pits
If you’re looking for something that’s easy to light and low maintenance you may want to look at outdoor gas fire pits. Gas fire pits burn cleaner, since you aren’t burning wood you don’t get the smoke you would get from a wood burning option and they are easier to maintain because you aren’t left with ashes after every fire.
They come as outdoor propane fire pits or natural gas fire pits. With these you can use lava rock, ceramic logs or fire pit glass rocks in the bowl. Lava rocks and ceramic logs provide more of a natural, outdoor look, while the colored glass — often called fire glass, fire ice or fireplace glass — has a modern, elegant shimmery quality.
Copper Fire Pits
If you like a warm colored metal, copper fire pits are a fun option. They won’t retain that shiny, light color after a fire or two, but copper is a durable metal that will last for a long time. A copper fire pit won’t rust and it can handle the heat well, unlike some of the cheaper metals used in low quality patio fire pits.
Fire Pit Tables
Fire pit tables are nice because they can be multifunctional. Since they have the table space they can be used at anytime when you’re outside enjoying a drink or a snack, then later you can light a fire in the bowl to keep you warm to watch the sunset. They also make a great portable outdoor fireplace as they are easy to move.
They are often the center piece of the patio furniture and they come in fun designs including mosaic tile table tops. And if you like the idea of a gas fire pit and a table fire pit no problem you can get a propane fire pit table.
Fire Pit Covers
There are a few outdoor fireplace accessories you will want to consider. To keep your patio fire pit protected from the elements so it will remain in good shape you’ll want to look at fire pit covers. If you have a wood burning fireplace a fire pit cover will also keep the ashes from blowing around on your patio.
Always check with your local Fire Marshall to see what is allowed in your area before you buy anything. But once you’ve verified you can have an outdoor fireplace there are some fire pit safety considerations.
Do not place an outdoor fire pit on a flammable surface or near anything flammable, like under a tree with low hanging branches. Keep it out in the open away from you house and away from overhangs.
Never leave the fire unattended especially if there are kids nearby and always keep a fire extinguisher handy.
With a little common sense outdoor fire pits can make your evenings cozier and help transform your outdoor living space.