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The Best Fire Pits For The Perfect Outdoor Setup

We’ve previously talked a lot about fire pits in general and how you can organize them and make it more comfortable and inviting. What we didn’t really focus on until now is the actual fire pit.

Best Fire Pits

Yes, the seating and the decor are important but everything ultimately revolves around the pit which sits at the center of this entire setup. Before anything else, it’s important to make a distinction between the four main types you can choose from: wood-burning, gel fuel, propane fire and natural gas fire pits.

Types of Fire Pits

There are currently four main types of fire pits on the market which have been divided into larger categories based on the fuel they require but also have some subcategories based on the materials used to make them or their intended purpose.

Wood-Burning Fire Pits

These are basically like having a contained campfire and are the closest you can get to the authentic experience. Wood-burning fire pits can be:

  • Made from brick or stone, with a classic design that’s simple and focused on the aforementioned materials.
  • Wood-burning grills, which double as cooking surfaces by placing a grate over the fire.

Propane-Based Fire Pits

These are considered more elegant and contemporary options that provide attractive flames and variate designed to choose from. You can select between:

  • Fire pits with copper bowls, which tend to be more expensive but are a more beautiful and aesthetically-appealing choice.
  • Portable propane pits, which can be moved to a different location because of the caster wheels that facilitate movement.
  • Fire pit tables, which have some of the elements of a traditional fireplace, with vast ledges and spicy costs.

Gel-Fuel Fire Pits

These options are portable and have a beautiful design, and are mostly available in the following two options:

  • Tabletop fireplaces, designed to offer a cozy ambiance inside and outdoors, but without requiring to build an actual fireplace.
  • Gel-fueled logs, which are a clean alternative to burning fuel and are characterized by portability. 

Natural Gas Fire Pits

This is the last main category, offering two different types of fire pits that have an endless supply of fuel because they are permanently connected to a gas line:

  • Sunken models are the underground version of a propane fire pit, with flames that barely reach ground level.
  • Raised versions, which have round or square designs, are often called “tabletop fire pits”, and can be made with copper, stone, or brick foundations. 

How to Choose a Fire Pit

How to Choose a Fire Pit

Choosing a new fire pit isn’t easy if you have no clue what to search for. To help you with that, let’s talk about the features and considerations to have in the back of your mind while shopping for such a product:

  • As you saw in the previous chapter, there are multiple types of fire pits to choose from. Knowing all these styles will help narrow down your options to find something convenient for you. For instance, if you have a gas pipe running through your property, it would be a shame not to opt for a natural gas-powered unit. Of course, there’s also that stuff about style, materials, and personal preference to consider.
  • The size of the fire pit is important and it has to match the budget, location, and how many people will usually want to sit around the fire pit. Built-in units tend to be bigger (ranging from 35 to 58 inches in diameter) while store-bought units have around 24 to 30 inches in diameter. The height of the fire pit will also vary from one model to another and, as a reference point, you want to choose fire pits that are lower compared to the height of the seat.
  • You will have to choose between portable and permanent units. Portable models are great for those that plan to move the fire pit around, but also for those who like to camp often and would love a fire pit to sit in front of at the end of the day.
  • Local regulations have to be taken into consideration and they are not identical across all states. You want to check with the local building codes, your homeowners’ association (if you live in an apartment complex), and the local authorities to see what are the requirements related to outdoor fire pits. This is to ensure your own safety, but also the safety of those around you, as a fire can get out of control in the blink of an eye. You might even be required to pass a local fire officials inspection before you are allowed to install a firepit.

Backyard fire pit design ideas

DEsign by SEED Studio

The wood-burning kind give you that authentic campfire-like experience which you can’t really recreate through other means. They’re usually made of steel and some in a variety of different styles and sizes. The size of the bowl dictates how big the fire can get so keep that in mind and choose a fire pit that suits your space. Gel fuel fire pits don’t give off any smoke but they also don’t give that burnt wood smell which some actually enjoy.

Concrete fire pit design by Slava Balbek of 2B Group

They also don’t give off as much heat as the other types. They have reservoirs which need to be constantly replenished with gel fuel. In comparison, propane fire pits don’t need to be refilled as they use propane tanks. They’re also usually larger than the other previously mentioned types. The flame rises from beneath pebbles or faux wood. Natural gas fire pits are similar to the propane ones but need a permanent connection to a natural gas line.

Firepit seating by Seattle-based McClellan Architects
Sunken fire pit seating by architecture studio Ezequiel Farca
Corten steel by Lake|Flato Architects
Traditional fire pit seating with swivel chairs from Allbackyardfun

Best Outdoor Fire Pits To Spruce Your Backyard

Prine 24” H x 28” W Steel Propane Outdoor Fire Pit

Prine 24'' H x 28'' W Steel Propane Outdoor Fire PitView in gallery

Small and discreet are just two of the qualities of this outdoor fire pit. We love how it conceals the propane tank behind a closed door so there’s nothing ever truly unaesthetic about it. It features hammered black coating, uses a standard gas tank, and has an exterior made from steel. It can also be turned into a small coffee table once the pit is covered.

Pros: 

  • High heat output.
  • Modern design with enclosure for propane tank.
  • Can be turned into a low-profile table.

Cons:

  • Prone to rust.

Izzo 24” H x 32” W Steel Wood Burning Outdoor Fire Pit

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When it comes to nice-looking fire pits, the Izzo is here to play with the big boys. This crossweave fire pit is a great addition to any patio or deck. It features a stylish cutout pattern that will make a great addition to any yard. This fire pit comes with a large fire bowl and a steel frame that is durable and resists rusting. This fire pit features a spark screen and a safety ring that are designed to prevent sparks from flying around all over the place.

Pros: 

  • Rust-resistant powder-coated steel.
  • Cover included.
  • Easy to transport. 

Cons:

  • Spark screen tends to wobble.

Dolcho 24” H x 28” W Steel Propane Outdoor Fire Pit

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The attractive Dolcho can be used as a fire pit, a dining table, a coffee table or a lounge bar. It can also be converted into an outdoor dining room or a coffee table. The powder-coated iron material and streamlined design of this fire table make it look very attractive. If you want to place this on a wooden deck, the manufacturer recommends adding heat-resistant barriers. This propane fire pit has a heat output of 50,000 BTU which is impressively hot considering its compact size. 

Pros: 

  • High heat output.
  • Can be versatile when covered. 
  • Concealed fuel tank.
  • Adjustable flame.

Cons:

  • Cover is not included.

Kayden 21.25” H x 40” W Steel Wood Burning Outdoor Fire Pit

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The Kayden is another compact fire pit that comes with a sturdy steel construction that’s clearly built to last. It also sports a bunch of intricate design elements that make it gorgeous. The weave design of this fire pit allows for a decorative fire to be enjoyed for hours. Its deep bowl allows for plenty of room to accommodate guests. The included spark screen and wood poker make this fire pit easy to use. It is a wood-burning unit that measures 21.25” H x 40” W x 40” D and weighs 27 pounds.

Pros: 

  • Spark screen included.
  • Fire poker included.
  • Removable fire bowl.

Cons:

  • Cover not included.

Gabrielson 17” H x 32” W Steel Wood Burning Outdoor Fire Pit

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This Darby Home Co. Gabrielson Backyard Fire Pit is the perfect item to relax in front of after a long day at work. Its metal frame makes it strong and durable, thanks to the powder-coated finish that will keep your fire pit looking new for years to come. This fire pit features a steel inner mesh screen that encloses combustible materials such as coals and sparks. It comes with a safety mesh lid and a smokescreen. The design is meant to provide a 360-degree view of the fire that burns using wood as a fuel source.

Pros: 

  • Poker included.
  • Safety mesh screen design.
  • Comes with a ledge to keep hot beverages warm.

Cons:

  • Paint tends to peel off.

Delshire Polyresin Wood Burning Outdoor Fire Pit

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This stylish outdoor fire pit has a modern design with a removable brazier and a sturdy fiberglass base. The black metal brazier is removable for easy cleaning, while the gray fiberglass console provides a safe and sturdy base. The simple and practical design provides a stylish minimalist style. When your guests come over, enhance your outdoor atmosphere and light a fire. 

Pros: 

  • Can be placed directly on a wooden deck.
  • Removable bowl for easy cleaning. 
  • Modern and sleek design. 

Cons:

  • Very small. 

Flanigan 23” H Steel Outdoor Fire Pit

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The Flanigan fire pit can easily become the focus of your outdoor space. From grilling marshmallows in the summer to warming up on cool autumn nights, this outdoor fireplace will turn your yard into a wonderland. It’s made of 0.7mm thick weathering steel, designed to fade from the original metallic color over time, giving you a vivid look. The black finishes seem to blend perfectly with the gold rings and details so that this cauldron-inspired style can match a variety of outdoor aesthetics. Spark screens, grate, and poker are all included, so all that’s left is to start the fire to keep you properly warm.

Pros: 

  • Spark screen and fire poker included.
  • Made from quality steel.
  • Log grate included.

Cons:

  • Screen is prone to rust.

Woodcroft 23.2” H x 41.7” W Concrete Propane Outdoor Fire Pit

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If it’s a concrete fire pit you’re after, may I suggest the Woodcroft? It’s made from MGO and has a gray finish that makes it look like a giant block of cement. The door conceals the spot for the propane tank which will serve as a fuel source. It comes with a PVC cover and measures 23.2” H x 41.7” W x 20” D. It has a BTU output of 50,000 and comes with fast ignition.

Pros: 

  • Cover included.
  • Features an intuitive control panel.
  • Comes with decorative lava rocks.

Cons:

  • Not the best quality.

Colis 22.83” H x 29.92” W Concrete Wood Burning Outdoor Fire Pit

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The Colis is a 30″ outdoor round wood-burning fire pit with a concrete base that will add warmth and modern decor to your outdoor space. This low-wood burning fire pit has a stone appearance to bring warmth to your yard, porch, deck, or patio. It also has an open design, making it easy to load wood. A screen is provided to protect your deck or porch from any sparks. It is made of durable concrete and will not crack or tip in extreme weather conditions. This stylish fire pit has a burning area of 22.24 x 22.24 x 5.71 inches, and its overall dimensions are 30 x 30 x 22.83 inches.

Pros: 

  • Sturdy construction.
  • Includes poker.
  • Comes with a spark screen.

Cons:

  • Not as warm as one might think.

Moises 24” H x 45” W Iron Propane Outdoor Fire Pit

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Everything about the Moises fire pit is just stunning, from the sleek iron slats to the octagonal style that blends in so well with different kinds of yard setups. It is described as being a portable unit that measures 24” H x 45” W x 42” D, but those 90 pounds in weight pretty much contradict that statement. It uses a propane tank for fuel and renders a heat output of 50,000 BTUs.

Pros: 

  • Rust-resistant construction.
  • Cover included.
  • Push-button ignition. 

Cons:

  • Complaints about door not closing all the way.

Graciela 32” H x 32” W Steel Wood Burning Outdoor Fire Pit

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With a beautiful design, the Graciela outdoor fire pit creates the perfect spot for a get-together. It comes with a mesh lid designed to keep flying sparks at a distance, a poker to spread the logs around, and a cover to turn this into a table if needed. It is made from steel and uses wood as a primary fuel source. It measures 32” H x 32” W x 15” D and, at 22 pounds in weight, it’s also quite portable.

Pros: 

  • Spark screen included.
  • Comes with a poker.
  • Can be converted to a table.

Cons:

  • Metal construction can easily bend.

Janke 13.5” H x 27.55” W Steel Wood Burning Outdoor Fire Pit

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Creating a relaxing outdoor experience has never been easier with products like the Janke. This one comes with a practical design that’s basic enough to blend in anywhere, but not too basic as to look unattractive. It’s made from sturdy stainless steel and three solid legs that provide stability. The storage cover is made from PVC and will keep the bowl water and debris-free when the fire is not burning.

Pros: 

  • Easy to set up.
  • Cover included.
  • Compatible with multiple setups.

Cons:

  • Prone to rust.

Collegiate Series 16” H x 30” W Steel Outdoor Fire Pit

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If you ever wanted to show your support for the college team, here is an outdoor fire pit that can make that happen. It comes with cold-rolled steel to provide extra ruggedness and durability. It has welded legs for maximum stability, plus a gorgeous rust patina finish to admire for years to come. It can support a weight capacity of 50 pounds and uses wood as a primary fuel source.

Pros: 

  • Comes with a spark screen.
  • Empowers the local community.
  • Weather-resistant construction.

Cons:

  • Collects rainfall.

Blue Rhino Outdoor Propane Gas Fire Pit

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The blue Rhino fire pit features a square-shaped fire bowl made of black steel. It’s a propane fire pit and it has a storage compartment for a 20lb tank beautifully concealed by solid steel side panels. It features a safety valve and piezo ignition for easy start and its total dimensions are 30 inches x 30 inches, height 24 inches. It weighs 65 lbs. 

Safety valve
Blue Rhino Outdoor Propane Gas Fire Pit
Blue Rhino Outdoor Propane Gas Fire Pit

Sleek solid steel side panels to conceal propane tank (20lb tank not included)

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Pros: 

  • Compact design that fits anywhere.
  • Push-button ignition.
  • Hidden control panel for elegant design.

Cons:

  • Complaints about not staying lit.

Sunnydaze Cast Iron Outdoor Fire Pit Bowl

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As you can tell by its design, this is a wood-burning fire pit. It has a large fire bowl which measures 34” in diameter and it has a simple, heavy-duty design. It’s made from a cast iron material which a steel-like finish and it has handles which allow it to be moved around with ease.

1-year manufacturer's warrant
Sunnydaze Cast Iron Outdoor Fire Pit Bowl
Sunnydaze Cast Iron Outdoor Fire Pit Bowl

Assembly is very easy: just attach the three legs and the handles and you're done.

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Pros: 

  • Heavy-duty design.
  • Portable function (included handles).
  • Easy to assemble.

Cons:

  • Prone to rust.

Deluxe Outdoor Portable Propane Gas Fire Pit

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The compact size is one of the best features of this propane gas fire pit. It doesn’t give off any smoke or smell and there’s no leftover ash at the end, making this fire pit perfect for camping trips. It’s lightweight and portable and you can assemble it without any tools. The overall dimensions are L 19” x W 19” x H 11” and it comes as a kit which includes a cover. 

high quality steel construction
Deluxe Outdoor Portable Propane Gas Fire Pit
Deluxe Outdoor Portable Propane Gas Fire Pit

You can also be sure it will last for a long time thanks to its durable steel construction and protective enamel finish. 

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Pros: 

  • Compact size, high portability.
  • Easy to ignite.
  • Create a natural-looking flame.

Cons:

  • Manual ignition.

Rectangular Extruded Aluminum Gas Fire Pit Table

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This is also a propane fire pit, this time with an adjustable stainless steel burner and extruded aluminum body. It’s durable and weather resistant and although it has a heavy-duty construction it looks sleek and elegant. It comes with a lid and its bowl is filled with glass beads.

Adjustable stainless steel burner
Rectangular Extruded Aluminum Gas Fire Pit Table
Rectangular Extruded Aluminum Gas Fire Pit Table

The propane tank can be conveniently stored inside, out of sight.

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Patio Natural Stone Gas Fire Pit for Backyard

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Unlike the other designs mentioned so far, this propane gas fire pit has a more natural and organic appearance. It features a natural stone shell which helps better blend in with the landscape. It has a stainless steel burner but there’s no storage compartment for the propane tank, hene it needs to be stored outside of the fire pit. The overall dimensions 27.6″(Dia) x 9.5″(H). 

Multicolor
Patio Natural Stone Gas Fire Pit for Backyard
Patio Natural Stone Gas Fire Pit for Backyard

Fire pit’s complete design features a stainless-steel burner, decorative lava rocks, a cover, and propane hose

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Pros: 

  • Flame control adjustment knob.
  • Quick ignition button.
  • Natural appearance.

Cons:

  • Very small.

Big Sky Stars and Moons Firepit

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The sky lights up with this eye-catching fire pit, in a metaphorical sense of course. It has a very quirky design and a sturdy and durable steel construction with a black finish. There’s are cutouts into the exterior shell of the fire bowl shaped like the stars and the moon.

Includes cooking grate
Big Sky Stars and Moons Firepit
Big Sky Stars and Moons Firepit

It's also small and portable and it includes a cooking grate and spark screen.    

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Pros: 

  • Interesting star and moon cutout design.
  • Includes a cooking grate.
  • Safety ring to facilitate transport.

Cons:

  • Prone to rust.

Fire Pit Art Bella Vita

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The Art Bella Vita fire pit is made to order and is fueled by liquid propane. It has a very sleek and modern design and it’s portable meaning you can take it with you on your camping trips and easily relocate it if you ever want to redesign your backyard. It has a brass burner and all-weather electronic ignition system as well as an iron oxide finish which gives it a nice patina over time.

portable fireplace
Fire Pit Art Bella Vita
Fire Pit Art Bella Vita

It can be left outside without having to worry about rust.

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Concrete Outdoor Propane Gas Fire Pit Table

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This is another case where the propane tank needs to be stored outside the fire pit which can be an inconvenience. However, it also allows the fire pit to have this low, coffee table-like structure and design. You can connect it to the propane tank via a gas hose and it’s also possible to convert it to natural gas using a separate kit. It’s made of lightweight fiber concrete and steel and it comes with a protective cover, a burner lid and a pack of lava rocks.

comes with lava rock
Concrete Outdoor Propane Gas Fire Pit Table
Concrete Outdoor Propane Gas Fire Pit Table

Cast from lightweight fiber concrete and steel that is tinted to the finish color for increased outdoor durability

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Fiber Concrete Outdoor Propane Gas Fire Pit Table Bowl

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Concrete fire pits look modern and stylish, as also proven by this beautiful design. This is a propane gas fire pit which works with standard 20lb tanks and can offer up to 28 hours of burn time on its low setting. The tank is one again stored outside of the fire pit and connected via a gas hose. Again, you can convert it to natural gas if you want to and that can be done using a separate conversion kit.

Modern design
Fiber Concrete Outdoor Propane Gas Fire Pit Table Bowl
Fiber Concrete Outdoor Propane Gas Fire Pit Table Bowl

Fire pit Table comes with lava rock, protective cover, stainless steel burner lid.

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Ohio Flame Patriot 48-inch Wood Burning Fire Pit

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We end the list with a beautiful wood-burning fire pit made of durable steel. It has a large fire bowl and it practically requires no maintenance whatsoever. It’s built to withstand everything nature can throw at it and it develops a nice patina over time which gives it a rustic appearance.

rain drain
Ohio Flame Patriot 48-inch Wood Burning Fire Pit
Ohio Flame Patriot 48-inch Wood Burning Fire Pit

There's also a rain drain at the center in case water gets inside.

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Pros: 

  • Long-term durability.
  • Multiple size options.
  • Quality welding. 

Cons:

  • Prone to rust.

FAQ

How to start a fire in a fire pit

In order to start a fire in a fire pit, you have to follow these steps:

  • Collect the fuel necessary to do so if you have a wood-burning pit. You will need kindling and tinder. You will also need fuel consisting of large firewood pieces to keep the flames going. 
  • Place the tinder first in the center of the firepit. Then place some kindling on top to form a teepee around the tinder. 
  • Light the tinder using a knife or a special firestarter. You should notice the flames from the tinder as they start burning the kindling. 
  • Add smaller firewood pieces once the kindling starts burning. Place them carefully to avoid the teepee from collapsing.
  • As smaller firewood pieces burn, start adding larger pieces.
  • Supervise the fire at all times.

How to put out a fire pit

When you want the fire to stop burning, don’t add any more firewood to it about an hour before the time you want it to burn down. If you want to put out the fire without waiting for the fuel to naturally burn, use water to extinguish the fire. Stip and spread the ashes to allow them to cool down, but keep supervising them until they’re cool to the touch. It’s easy for embers to reignite and start a fire.

Always make sure that you have a fire extinguisher at hand. Alternatively, you can have a garden hose connected to a water supply or a bucket of sand, as they can both be useful in putting out the fire.

How to light a fire pit

If you want to light a fire pit, you have to follow the steps listed under the “How to start a fire in a fire pit” section.

How to build an outdoor fire pit

The instructions for building an outdoor fire pit depend on a lot of different factors, mainly the type of fire pit you want to build and the materials you want to use:

  • With most fire pit kits, you don’t have to cut and size the block. Instead, just lay the block on the prepared location and add finishing touches. These fire pit ring kits are made from the same materials as the fire pit blocks and are ideal for creating a variety of shapes and stone patterns.
  • Creating your own fire pit can be a simple and fun project with a few basic skills and creativity. You can easily make your own custom-sized fire pits. You’ll need to add some fire brick to the retaining wall to protect the structure from the heat.
  • A simple and elegant in-ground fire pit makes the perfect place to gather with family and friends. This project involves building a patio around the pit.

Can you roast marshmallows on a propane fire pit?

Yes, you can. In fact, propane-based grills are wonderful for cooking foods, so a propane fire pit should do an excellent job in bringing your marshmallows to that delicious warm consistency. 

Can you put a fire pit on a wood deck?

You should never place your fire pit on a wooden deck for obvious safety reasons. It’s easy for flying sparks to land on the deck and damage it or, even worse, start an uncontrollable fire.

How to clean a fire pit

Cleaning a fire pit is a relatively simple process if you follow these steps:

  • Remove any debris that might be leftover from previous fires. Debris can also come in the shape of leaves or fallen twigs that ended up in the fire pit because it was left uncovered. 
  • To clean a stationary fire pit, create a mixture of muriatic acid and water (in a 1:9 ratio). Use protective gloves and a sturdy brush to scrub the interior and exterior part of the fire pit. When you’re done scrubbing, use a hose to spray it down and let it dry. 
  • If you have a steel or a copper fire pit, you need to use hot and soapy water plus a soft cloth for cleaning. Make sure you rinse the soap and wipe the interior and exterior with a dry clean cloth, as sitting water leads to rust.
  • If you have a cast iron fire pit, grab a hot water bucket and a steel wool piece to scrub the surface. Make sure you dry it right after, as cast iron is sensitive to rust.
  • To clean a gas fire pit, use soapy water and a cloth to wipe the interior, then a dry cloth to soak up moisture.

Conclusion

A fire pit can be an integral part of any space, and there are many options when it comes to choosing one. A fire pit is an integral part of any home. Not only does it provide warmth, but it can also transform the look of your garden. It can be used as a seating area or a focal point for an entertaining area. When the fire gets too hot, pop the grill plate over the fire pit and you can cook anything you like.