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Outdoor Fire Pits

Outdoor fire pits are great if you’re looking for the feel of being around a campfire but you want it in the comfort of your own garden or patio. 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.

These 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.

Fire Ring

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

Gas Outdoor Fire Pit
Gas Outdoor Fire Pit

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.

Safety Considerations

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.

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Portable Outdoor Fireplace

A portable outdoor fireplace is a perfect choice if you’ve decided you want to enjoy a fire outside, but you don’t want to commit to a fixed structure. For some it is a good place to start when planning out the design of your outdoor living area as these units can be relatively inexpensive and because they are movable you can test them in a few different areas until you find just the look and feel you want.

Types Of Portable Outdoor Fireplaces

Portable outdoor fireplace can mean few different things. It can refer to above ground fire pits that are portable, many of them are. It can refer to freestanding outdoor fireplaces that aren’t attached to the ground. Or it can refer to a non-traditional style of chimineas.

One of the most common types seen in home improvement stores are the raised fire pit versions, a fire pit table. Many of these are considered to be portable because they are small enough to easily pick up and carry to a different location. They work well for a small patio, in fact some even double as a table during the day and a fire pit at night. But a truly portable fire pit will be one you can fold and easily carry with you.

Another option is a freestanding outdoor portable fireplace. These are different from a fire pit in that these outdoor fireplaces often keep the fire a bit more enclosed. These are sometimes a little larger than the simple patio fireplace style fire pit so they can be better for a larger area. You can find some that have wheels which makes them really easy to move.

Portable Outdoor Fireplace
Portable Outdoor Fireplace

Standard chimineas are often made from clay or heavy metals like cast iron so they aren’t truly considered portable because they can be pretty heavy. But there are some other styles of chimineas that are easier to move and considered portable. Some have a slightly different design and a wire mesh instead of solid clay or metal which both makes them lighter and it provides a full view of the fire.

I’ve recently found a portable fireplace that is so portable you can use it either indoors or outside. It’s called EcoSmart Fire as it is not only portable but environmentally friendly.

Portable Outdoor Fireplace Fuel

It is important to decide what kind of fuel you want to use for your patio fireplace. You can find portable fireplaces that use either wood, gas, gel or things like denatured ethanol.

Before you decide which you prefer check with your city for any rules and regulations. Certain types of fuel may not be allowed in your area, for example some areas have wood burning restrictions.

Wood provides that feel of a campfire with the crackle and smell of smoke. But if you don’t like to smell like smoke after sitting out on the patio you may prefer a different fuel like gel or gas. An outdoor gas fireplace will be easy to light and it less messy than one that burns wood.

Always consider how much the fuel will cost and how easy it is to replenish when you run out.

Patio Fireplace Safety

Before you buy an outdoor fireplace make sure you are allowed to have one in your area. Once you’ve verified that remember to be careful and safe. With a portable outdoor fireplace you need to be attentive when you move it to a new location. Make sure you aren’t too close to the house or any other structure and stay away from trees or dry brush. Always keep water or a fire extinguisher nearby as well.

With just a few outdoor fireplace accessories, an outdoor fireplace cover and some safety guidelines your portable outdoor fireplace should provide you with some great experiences and good memories of cozy evenings outside in your own yard.

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Outdoor Propane Fireplace

There are a couple of reasons why you might want an outdoor gas fireplace instead of one fueled by wood. One of the popular options for this is one fueled by propane.

But before you get too attached to any specific outdoor fireplace be sure to see what is allowed in your area, there may be restrictions about what you can and can’t have in that area. Also check with your homeowner’s association if you are a part of one to see what type of patio fireplace is allowed.

Outdoor Gas Fireplaces

Outdoor gas fireplaces are popular in areas where there are wood burning restrictions. Not only do they burn cleaner but they are cleaner to use in general because you don’t have to worry about ashes or soot and you don’t have the mess of wood storage. They don’t provide the sound or smell of crackling wood, but with gas log inserts you can get more of a traditional fireplace look and feel.

Propane fireplaces have a couple of advantages over outdoor natural gas fireplaces. Propane burns hotter than natural gas so you can get more heat from a propane fireplace. This can make a difference when you’re sitting outside where the breeze may be blowing some of the heat away. Another benefit is that propane is available almost everywhere so if you are in a rural area and don’t have access to natural gas you can still enjoy a nicely landscaped patio with a propane outdoor fireplace.

Gas Outdoor Fire Pit
Gas Outdoor Fire Pit

Propane can be turned into a liquid under a lower pressure which makes it easier to store in small containers and transport. Because of this you can easily find a portable fireplace that uses propane. This is nice if you have a couple areas in your yard where you want to use it so you can simply move it around instead of having two separate outdoor fireplaces. A small portable fireplace can also be nice to take on a camping trip.

A propane fireplace is easy to start, generally with a switch or button, and easy to extinguish by turning off its fuel source. This makes it nice option for a portable campfire as well.

Outdoor Gas Fire Pits

You can find outdoor propane fireplaces that are fixed, portable or designed as outdoor fire pits. Outdoor propane fire pits can be installed as a fixed unit in your back yard or you can find portable versions. Either way the fire pit style can provide a different look and feel with a 360 degree view of the fire. Gas fire pits are available in designs ranging from rustic to contemporary. For a really distinct, contemporary look you can even add clear or colored fire glass to many outdoor patio fire pits.

But remember even though you won’t have the cost or hassle of wood when you have an outdoor propane fireplace you need to make sure you have access to propane either through a direct line or with portable propane tanks.

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