In North Georgia, we are blessed with long springs and falls, allowing us to spend more time in our backyards than, say, those in New England. And although we get some cold winter days and nights with a touch of snow (when we’re lucky!), we can continue spending time in the crisp air, beneath the stars, when gathering around a fire pit. There are a few steps to take before you sit back and enjoy your cozy new nook. Here’s what to ask before you make a purchase.
1 HOW MUCH HEAT IS OMITTED ON THE BOTTOM?
One mistake is purchasing a fire pit and placing it on a deck thinking the heat rises. Certain fire pits, such as a simple drum can on legs, can omit heat on the bottom. This can be especially troublesome to a composite deck, which can begin to melt at high temperatures. A smokeless pit radiates less heat, but you can use a temperature barrier such as fire mats or ceramic tiles.
2 IS IT SMOKELESS?
While the sound of crackling wood and the smell of a real fire is appealing, sitting in a cloud of smoke is never fun. A number of firepits now offer smokeless options, using vented technology to pull the smoke inward so no guest has to struggle to escape the smoke that always seems to blow their way. One to try: Solo Stove Fire Pit 2.0.
3 IS IT PORTABLE?
There are a number of sizes and styles to fire pits and some are installed as a permanent fixture, while a portable option can be used anywhere on your property and can accommodate gatherings. A portable fire pit can also be packed up and brought to friends’ homes or on camping trips. Some portable fire pits can be folded up and stored when not in use. One to try: BioLite FirePit.
4 GAS OR WOOD FIRE?
While we may love the smell of a real-wood fire, gas fire pits have a number of benefits. They are easy to keep clean, but propane fire pits are also safer as there will not be any flying sparks. The heat and flames are also easier to maintain in a gas to invest in a fire pit that also serves as a pit. A wood-burning fire pit is not recommended – and sometimes illegal – to use on certain porches. With a propane pit, you’ll also have more decorative options, such as tables.
5 CAN YOU COOK ON IT?
If you’re hoping for a fire pit that you can grill over as you may use when camping, a grill or a sear plate can often be used to cook. But if you really want to invest in a fire pit that also serves as a grill, there are a number of options, such as the Big Horn W Black Steel Wood-Burning Fire Pit that features a 27-inch grill area and a charcoal pan holder to help control your flames.