An outdoor fire pit is a great way to create a campfire atmosphere in your own yard, and it’s great for entertaining. You may have seen a fire pit at a neighbors’ house or online, but be aware that there are many different kinds of fire pits used for different applications and with different levels of maintenance and upkeep required.
In general you have to decide whether you want an above ground portable fire pit that can be brought out when needed or a permanent built-in stone or brick fireplace, created by digging down into the earth and building up a wall, which will forever be a part of your landscaping.
Another consideration for either permanent or portable fire pits is what kind of fuel you will use, as in wood versus natural gas. A lot depends on the availability of these materials in your area and your lifestyle as well.
Even if you prefer a traditional wood burning fire pit that allows you to experience a camp fire in your own back yard there may be certain times of the year when finding firewood is difficult in your area, or you may realize that chopping wood for the fire is not something you’re prepared to do, in which case you must factor in the cost of pre-cut wood bundles. There may also be local burning ordinances in your area. With a gas burning fire pit you must have a source of gas that can be connected at a safe distance from the flames. If your house already uses gas for heating or cooking it should be easier for you to connect your fire pit to the house, if set up professionally you could have fire at the flick of a switch as with indoor fireplaces.
Once you have decided, there are also different kinds of fire pits in each category. For portable wood burning fire pits you can go very simply with a fire pit ring, which is literally a ring of metal that lays on the ground while you start a fire within it, these rings are light enough that you can have a fire wherever there is some bare ground.
A fire pit grill consists of a cast iron or cast aluminum pot on legs, over which a grill can be placed for cooking food (or roasting marshmallows), some models also have grates to keep inquisitive hands out. Or if you do have children or animals running around outside with you, then a fire pit table is a safer unit and it comes in either wood burning or gas burning options. It consists of a raised coffee-table-like outdoor table with the fire pit in its center that places height and some tabletop between the flames and your guests. Such tables can also be used to store cool drinks at parties if you clean out the metal bowl and fill it with ice.
This Kaleidoscope cast aluminum wood burning fire pit table is being used to ice drinks in the daytime.
This lovely Oakland Living pentagon 24-Inch Fire Pit & Grill has a grilling shelf in its center to grill food items while you enjoy the firelight.
This gas-fueled fire pit from Landscaping Network shows how a built-in fire pit can become the focal point of your landscaping.
This Decehedron fire pit from DogBiscuitDesigns on Etsy gives the more modern shape of some gas enclosed fire places in a wood-burning vessel.
Fire pits can also be quite artistic. This amazing design from TheFirePitGallery on Etsy creates a safe forest fire every time you light it.
This simple Red Ember Castle Pines 34 inch Square Slate Fire Pit table is wood burning and comes with a cover, grill and grilling fork.
There doesn’t seem to be a limit to the creative shapes you can display on a fire pit, whether you get one custom designed or find an existing design that suits you and your space like this 31 inch Patina Safari fire pit.