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Fire pits are one of the most sought-after features when it comes to backyard entertaining. They create a focal point for gatherings, adding ambiance and a feel-good nostalgia to any space.
The problem is, regular fire pits create an enormous amount of ash, odor, and mess, plus it’s difficult to know what the local regulations are concerning your bonfire.
This is where smokeless fire pits come in! All the fun without the stress, smokeless fire pits are growing in popularity for all types of homeowners. This guide breaks down the different factors to consider when choosing a backyard fire pit, where to put them, and how to choose the best smokeless fire pit for your needs.
Smokeless Fire Pits: Designing a Cleaner Burn
While they aren’t completely smoke-free, smokeless fire pits come pretty close. Instead of burning wood, the flames are fueled by the combustion of propane or natural gas.
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Without the same compounds of water and sap that firewood has, smokeless fire pits provide a much cleaner burn. The benefits of a smokeless fire pit include:
- Safe under most zoning regulations, making them patio and small-space friendly
- Better for the environment
- Better for your health
- Won’t leave your clothes and hair smelling like smoke
- No black powder left on the ground
- Won’t disturb your neighbors
- No sparks
- Long burn times
- Easy clean up!
Features to Look For in a Smokeless Fire Pit
Not all smokeless fire pits are created equal, so it's important to do some research to make sure you don't fall for false advertising. From the materials to the ease of use, consider the following features when deciding on a fire pit to make sure you get the right one for your space.
Materials: The materials that your fire bowl or fire pit is made of should be durable and rust-resistant. The best fire pits are made with enamel and powder-coated steel with stainless burners and fastening hardware, which won’t rust or be ruined by the rain if they are left outside. Keep in mind that materials like copper can stain and iron is very heavy.
Ease of Use: If a smokeless firepit requires assembly, keep looking! Your fire pit should come fully assembled and ready to use with a simple owner’s manual. No batteries or electric power source needed.
Auto Ignition: Certain higher-end models of smoke-free fire pits, like the Outland Premium will include auto ignition, where all you have to do is turn the knob to ignite the flames. Standard models will require you to use a barbecue lighter to manually start the fire.
Adjustability: The best smokeless fire pits will have an adjustable knob for flame height so that you stay in control of the range of your fire. There should also be plenty of vents for airflow.
Portability: For patios and small backyards, a small, portable fire pit or a smokeless fire pit insert is a must. Many homeowners like to have the option of moving their fire pit around so that they can take it camping or store it when it is not in use. This requires it to be lightweight and easy to carry. A carry-bag can help you move your fire pit safely.
Natural Gas Converter Hose: When you are using a fire pit in your backyard, you might prefer to use the natural gas from your home, rather than more expensive fuel from a portable propane tank. Make sure your fire pit is compatible with natural gas and that you have the right type of converter.
CSA Approved: All fire pits must be CSA approved for safety in North America. Check that yours is also approved for use during a fire ban so that you can turn on your fire pit whenever you like.
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Important Factors to Consider
Choosing the best fire pit for your needs will ultimately depend upon where and how you plan to use it. Consider the following factors while making your decision:
- Amount of Space: If you have a spacious backyard and don’t plan on moving your fire pit, then a large, heavy-duty fire pit, like our Mega will suit your purposes. On the other hand, if you have a small patio or plan to use your fire pit as a campfire, then a lightweight, portable model is preferable.
- Base: Keep in mind that your fire pit should be used only on non-combustible surfaces. Brick, stone, concrete, and gravel made of granite, marble, or slate are the best options.
- Number of Guests: Planning to have large family get-togethers with burgers and barbecue? Opt for a large fire pit, like our Mega. While it's not recommended that you cook over your smokeless fire pit, it creates the perfect ambiance for parties. You could also look into a large permanent fixture like a fire table for your patio. Or, if you’re going to create a solo stove bonfire, a small Standard model will do nicely.
- Fees: Of course, your budget will be a factor in your decision-making. While you don’t want to overspend on a fire pit, investing in one that is durable and safe during fire most bans will help you avoid problems down the road. Outland makes high-quality fire pits at an affordable price, with the Standard model priced at less than $120.
Fire Pit Vs. Fire Table: Which Is Right for You?
Still unsure of which fire pit to get? What about a fire table? Read on to learn about the best backyard fireplace solutions.
Best Large Smokeless Fire Pit For Family Gatherings
For large groups of people, consider a fire pit that is large enough for everyone to gather around and stay warm. With a 24 inch diameter, our Mega Fire Pit is the best choice. Our Rectangular Grey Fire Table is also perfect for entertaining a large group if you prefer a more permanent fixture with an upscale aesthetic.
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Best Compact Smokeless Fire Pit For Travel
If you are always on the move and want your fire pit to come with you, be sure to pick a lightweight, small Outland firebowl like the Standard model. This is the perfect option for two people to use on a patio or in a small backyard. You can then store it in a carry bag when it is not in use to free up your space.
Best Budget-Friendly Smokeless Fire Pit
You don’t need a huge budget to afford a great fire pit! All of our fire pits are reasonably priced. The Standard Fire Pit is $119.99, but if you want to add on a Cover + Carry Kit, it makes sense to go with the Deluxe model.
Best Looking Fire Pit
If you want a really sleek and unique-looking fire pit, the Cypress Fire Pit was made for you. It has a Helios burner, which creates more full, natural flames. You’ll also love the low-profile bowl with a protective powder coating as well as flame-shaped vent holes.
Best Smokeless Fire Table
For a more luxurious and permanent fire fixture, consider our Rectangular Brown Fire Table. This beauty blends form and function with an award-winning design and plenty of space to gather.
Must-Have Fire Pit Accessories
Add on some extras to your fire pit to make your life easier. Here are some of the most popular accessories to accompany your fire pit.
Protecting your tank can also make a style statement with Outland tank covers. Without a cover, your tank can get damaged from the sun. This could result in cracking of the rubber on the edges of the tank, which could eventually lead to gas leaks. You also want to protect your tank from dirt, which could clog fittings or gauges.
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A carry bag is a necessity if you are going to be moving around your fire pit. Outland’s carry bags are designed not only to help you easily transport your fire pit but also to protect it from the elements.
Stylish and streamlined, a glass lid will protect your fire table from rain and wind when not in use.
Glass Wind Guard
If you live in a windy area, or simply like a safety guard against the flames of your fire table, consider a Glass Wind Guard. Our wind guard is made of crystal-clear glass with sleek, polished edges.
Natural Gas Kit
If you are using an Outland Standard, Deluxe, or Mega Fire Pit and want to convert from propane to natural gas, a natural gas kit makes it easy.