There’s nothing quite like gathering around a warm, inviting outdoor fire pit with family and friends. But with so many options available, how do you choose the perfect fire pit for your backyard?

Welcome to our post! Bertie here! We’ll explore the various factors to consider when selecting the right outdoor fire pit for your backyard, like the differences between a wood burning fire pit and one that burns gas. We'll also introduce you to ifferent styles on the market.

So let’s begin our journey to transform your outdoor space into a cozy oasis!

Key Takeaways

  • Consider size, style and material when selecting a fire pit for your backyard.
  • Compare the advantages of wood burning vs gas fire pits.
  • Have fun by hosting gatherings, using accessories and following safety regulations.

Choosing the Right Fire Pit for Your Backyard

Outdoor firepit made from stone

Selecting the ideal fire pit for your backyard involves more than just aesthetics. You should take into account aspects like size, style, and materials to make sure the fire pit fits your backyard space and personal preferences. Considering these factors will guide you towards finding a fire pit that not only complements your home but also enhances your backyard gatherings.

Size and Space Requirements

Choosing a fire pit requires you to think about the space available in your backyard and the number of people you want to accommodate around the fire. A general guideline is to maintain a clearance of approximately 7 feet around the fire pit for comfortable seating, especially when burning wood. This ensures everyone can enjoy the warmth and ambiance without feeling cramped or overwhelmed by the heat.

In addition to the fire pit itself, consider the surrounding outdoor area and seating arrangements. A well-designed seating area can greatly enhance the overall experience, making your fire pit the focal point of your backyard gatherings. For example, a poured-in concrete surrounded with streamlined Adirondack chairs creates a cozy fire element that invites guests to relax and unwind.

Relaxing scene with Adirondack chairs around a fire pit

Style and Design Options

Outdoor fire pits are available in a wide range of styles and designs to suit any backyard aesthetic. Some options include:

  • Traditional brick
Round brick fire pit
  • Modern concrete designs
Modern square concrete design with lava rock
  • Portable tabletop fire pits
Portable fire pit
  • Permanent installations
Permanently installed stone fire pit

You’re sure to find a fire pit or a patio heater that aligns with your personal taste and outdoor space.

Some popular outdoor fire pits include: fire bowls, portable tabletop fire pits, in-ground pits, and chimineas. Here is an example of a chiminea:

Example of a chiminea fire pit

Each style offers unique advantages and design elements. For instance, smokeless fire pits provide an elevated aesthetic value and some can even be used as tables, while rectangular designs offer added versatility in terms of placement.

Feel free to be creative when choosing your fire pit style; personal touches like a mosaic design can make it uniquely yours.

Material Choices

The materials used in constructing your fire pit can greatly affect its performance and longevity. Some common materials include:

  • Steel: known for its sturdiness and portability
  • Aluminum: also known for its sturdiness and portability
  • Cast iron: robust and rust-resistant, albeit heavier
  • Stone: crafted with materials such as retaining wall blocks and pavers, can be designed with individual touches to complement your outdoor décor

Each material has distinct advantages and drawbacks, so consider your specific needs and preferences when choosing the material for your fire pit.

For instance, designer Gonzalo Bueno recommends poured concrete as the best option for an outdoor fire pit area.

One example of a high-quality steel fire pit is the Solo Stove Yukon 2.0, which features a removable ash tray and a ring to safeguard the ground beneath it.

Ultimately, the choice of material will depend on your preferences, intended usage, and budget.

Wood Burning vs. Gas Burning

While both wood burning and gas burning offer their unique advantages, your personal preferences and priorities will play a crucial role in determining which type is best for you. A wood burning fire pit will provide a more natural and rustic ambiance, with the crackling sounds of burning wood and the ability to cook over an open flame.

On the other hand, gas fire pits are simpler to ignite and manage, offering consistent heat output and minimal smoke and soot production.

Advantages of Wood Burning

A wood burning fire pits offers a genuine outdoor experience, complete with the nostalgic smell of burning wood and the opportunity to roast marshmallows or grill food over an open flame.

The sound of crackling wood adds to the atmosphere, creating a cozy and inviting environment for socializing or simply enjoying a quiet evening under the stars as the roaring fire burns. A fire poker can be a useful tool to safely adjust the burning wood in the fire pit.

Keep in mind, though, that wood burning pits demand more maintenance and can produce more smoke and soot compared to gas fire pits.

Advantages of Gas Burning

Natural gas and liquid propane fire pits both offer the convenience and ease of use that's hard to beat. Here are some key advantages they share:

  • They are connected to a steady and consistent fuel source, with natural gas fire pits utilizing a gas line and propane models relying on a refillable propane tank, ensuring an uninterrupted cozy ambiance.
  • Both natural gas and propane fire pits are remarkably easy to ignite, providing instant warmth and a welcoming atmosphere.
  • They offer consistent heat output, maintaining a comfortable and balanced temperature for all your outdoor gatherings.
  • Additionally, natural gas and liquid propane fire pits produce significantly less smoke and soot compared to their wood-burning counterparts, making them cleaner and more efficient choices for those looking to minimize their environmental impact and ensure guest comfort.
  • However, it's important to note that not all gas fire pits are suitable for cooking, so whether you're leaning towards natural gas fire pits or propane, select the model that aligns with your intended use.
  • While enjoying the numerous benefits, it’s also crucial to be aware of the potential safety risks associated with both natural gas and propane gas fire pits to ensure you can safely enjoy their warmth and ambiance. 🔥🧯

Materials to Consider Using in Gas Fire Pits

In gas fire pits, various materials are used both for aesthetic appeal and functional purposes, enhancing the overall experience. Here are some commonly used materials:

  • Lava Rock: These are porous, lightweight stones formed from cooled volcanic lava. They're excellent for use in gas fire pits because they distribute heat evenly and withstand high temperatures without cracking or exploding. Lava rock has a natural, rugged appearance that offers an earthy, organic look that suits outdoor environments well.
  • Fire Glass: This is tempered glass that has been tumbled and polished to remove sharp edges. It's designed to withstand high heat and comes in various colors and shapes. Fire glass reflects light from the flames, creating a dazzling effect, and doesn't produce ash or soot, making it a clean-burning material. A more in-depth look at fire glass is below!
  • Ceramic Logs and Stones: Designed to mimic the look of real wood logs and natural stones, these ceramic materials can withstand high temperatures. They're used in gas fire pits to create a more traditional fireplace aesthetic while benefiting from the cleanliness and convenience of gas.
  • Fire Beads: Similar to fire glass, fire beads are smooth, glass beads that come in various colors. They offer a more uniform and modern look compared to fire glass's irregular shapes and are also effective at dispersing heat.
  • Fire Balls: These are round, ceramic balls that can withstand high temperatures and add a contemporary, minimalist aesthetic to your fire pit. They come in different sizes and colors, allowing for customization of your fire feature.
  • Eco-Friendly Burning Media: Some manufacturers offer eco-friendly alternatives made from recycled materials. These options are designed to be sustainable while still providing heat resistance and aesthetic appeal.

When choosing a material for your gas fire pit, it's important to consider not only the look you want to achieve but also the material's heat tolerance and maintenance needs. Always ensure that the material is compatible with your type of fire pit (natural gas or propane) and follow the manufacturer's recommendations for use and safety.👨‍🚒🧯

Different Styles

When it comes to selecting the best fire pit for your backyard, the style plays a significant role. It not only reflects your personal taste but also determines the functionality and overall aesthetic of your outdoor area. Here, are some popular styles of backyard fire pits: round vs. square and patio vs. yard.

Round Ones!

Round fire pits are classic and versatile. They offer a 360-degree view of the fire, making them an ideal choice for social gatherings. They often come in a bowl shape, which adds to their charm and appeal. They can be made from a variety of materials, including metal, stone, or concrete, and can either be portable or permanent fixtures in your backyard. Check out our article Round Patio Fire Pits That'll Redefine Your Summer Nights!

Square Ones!

Square fire pits, on the other hand, provide a modern and sleek look. They are perfect for contemporary backyards and some can double as a table when not in use.

Square ones are usually larger than round ones, offering more heat output and space for larger fires. They can be built into your patio or deck, or stand alone in your yard. We reviewed some great square fire pits in this article: Patio Fire Pits: The Key to Igniting Your Outdoor Living Experience!

Patio Fire Pits

These are designed to be placed on your patio. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, and can be built-in or portable. Built-in patio fire pits often serve as a focal point for outdoor living spaces, while portable ones(often referred to as "tabletops") offer flexibility and convenience. Patio fire pits are perfect for those who want to enjoy a fire without leaving the comfort of their patio.

Yard Fire Pits

These are typically larger and more permanent structures. They are often built directly into the landscape and can be surrounded by seating, such as built-in benches or garden chairs.

Yard fire pits can be designed to match your landscape, whether it's a rustic stone for a woodland backyard or a sleek, modern design for a contemporary look.

Each style offers its own unique advantages. The best fire pit for your choice depends on your specific needs, preferences, and the layout of your outdoor space.

Budget-Friendly Fire Pits

If you’re on a budget but still want to enjoy the warmth and ambiance of a fire pit, there are plenty of affordable options available.

Keep in mind that while these budget-friendly ones may not have all the bells and whistles of their high-end counterparts, they can still provide a cozy and inviting atmosphere for your backyard gatherings.

High-End Fire Pit Designs

For those looking to splurge on a high-end fire pit, there are many luxurious options available, featuring premium materials, innovative designs, and additional features like cooking grates.

You might like to consider one that offers a smokeless experience and an even burn due to the pellets.

Investing in a good fire pits that is a high-end option can elevate your backyard experience and provide years of enjoyment and warmth.

DIY Fire Pit Ideas

For the creative and hands-on homeowner, DIY fire pit ideas offer endless possibilities for customization and personalization. In-ground and above-ground fire pit options allow you to tailor your fire pit to your specific preferences and requirements, ensuring a one-of-a-kind backyard feature that reflects your unique style.

Here's a link to a DIY brick fire pit for your backyard:

How to Build a Brick Fire Pit
Upgrade your yard with a DIY fire pit. Learn how to build a fire pit yourself in just a few steps with these tips from an expert bricklayer.

Still can't decide what you want to build? Here is more info and detail about both in-ground and above-ground DIY fire pit ideas.


In-ground fire pits are built directly into the ground, providing a natural and cozy setting for backyard gatherings. Built with materials such as brick, stone, or metal, in-ground pits can be tailored to fit the dimensions and layout of your outdoor space.

In addition to their aesthetic appeal, in-ground fire pits are also considered safer than above-ground options, as they reduce the risk of tipping over and spreading fire.


Above-ground fire pits can offer the advantage of:

  • Portability and versatility, allowing you to easily relocate your fire pit as needed or experiment with different designs and materials
  • Customization to suit the size and shape of your space
  • Construction from wood, metal, or stone

Whether you opt for a simple metal fire pit or an elaborate stone structure, above-ground fire pits provide endless design possibilities to give you hours of enjoyment in your backyard oasis.

Let's Talk About Fire Glass

Blue fire glass on a tabletop fire pit

Fire glass is a type of tempered glass that's designed for use in fire pits and fireplaces. Unlike regular glass, fire glass has been treated to withstand high temperatures without melting, burning, or discoloring. Here's why it's become a popular choice in both outdoor and indoor fire features:

Aesthetic Appeal: It comes in a variety of colors and shapes, offering a modern and decorative element to fire pits. When ignited, the flames dance beautifully across the glass, creating a mesmerizing effect that enhances the ambiance of any setting.

Efficiency and Cleanliness: Fire glass is not only stylish but also practical. It retains and radiates heat effectively, contributing to a warmer and more inviting atmosphere. Moreover, it doesn't produce ash, soot, or smoke, making it a cleaner option compared to traditional wood logs.

Durability: Due to its tempered nature, fire glass is durable and resistant to heat, ensuring it lasts for many years without losing its color or clarity. This makes it an excellent investment for anyone looking to add a touch of elegance to their fire pit without the need for frequent replacements.

Fire glass transforms any fire pit into a stunning focal point, combining aesthetic appeal with functionality. Whether you're aiming to create a cozy outdoor retreat or enhance the design of your indoor fireplace, fire glass offers a clean, modern, and safe option.

Enhancing Your Backyard with Fire Pit Accessories

People cooking hotdogs over inground firepit

To maximize the enjoyment and functionality of your fire pit, consider investing in accessories that complement your space and enhance your fire pit experience. From cooking tools to safety equipment, there’s a wide array of fire pit accessories designed to elevate your backyard gatherings and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all. Here are some ideas!

Cooking Accessories

Cooking accessories, such as grill grates, skewers, and marshmallow roasting sticks, can add a fun and interactive element to your fire pit gatherings, allowing guests to prepare their own food over the open flame. Whether you’re grilling burgers, roasting vegetables, or making s’mores, cooking accessories provide an enjoyable and engaging experience for guests of all ages.

Just be sure to always exercise caution and follow proper safety guidelines when using cooking accessories near an open flame.

Safety and Maintenance Accessories

Safety and maintenance accessories, such as mesh guards, spark screens, and fire pit covers, not only help protect your investment but also ensure the safe usage of your fire pit. These accessories can prevent accidents and damage to your fire pit, as well as make it easier to maintain and clean your outdoor fireplace.

By investing in safety and maintenance accessories, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that you and your guests are protected while making the most of your fire pit experience.

Fire Pit Safety Tips

Damaged fire pit with comic fire extinguisher for safety

As enjoyable as fire pits can be, it’s important to remember that safety should always be a top priority. Proper placement and surrounding materials, as well as safe fire-building practices, are essential to ensure the well-being of you and your guests.

Proper Placement and Surrounding Materials

Proper placement of your fire pit involves situating it at a safe distance from structures and flammable materials. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the surrounding materials are noncombustible to prevent the spread of fire.

Safe Fire-Building Practices

When building a fire in your wood burning fire pit, it’s crucial to use dry, seasoned wood and avoid flammable liquids or accelerants, which can lead to rapid fire spread and potential danger.

Also, be sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure proper usage and safety. By following safe fire-building practices, you can enjoy a cozy and inviting fire pit experience without compromising the safety of you and your guests.

Maximizing Your Experience

People gathered around a fire pit having fun

To truly make the most of your fire pit, consider hosting gatherings. Create a relaxing ambiance with seating, lighting, and decor. This can be a fun and memorable way to bring people together.

Provide comfortable seating along with blankets if needed and throw pillows. Add some string lights for ambient lighting or candles and a menu of beverages and yummy eats.

When hosting a fire pit gathering, it’s also important to be mindful of safety regulations and noise ordinances in your area.

Keep a fire extinguisher close at hand, never leave the fire unsupervised, and ensure the fire is fully extinguished before leaving the area. 🔥🧯

By taking these precautions and planning a well-organized event, your fire pit gathering is sure to be a hit.

Beautiful sunset scene with "Questions?" in print for FAQ section

Can you put a fire pit on a patio?

A wood burning fire pit is not advisable for a covered patio due to the possibility of toxic smoke build-up. It is best to use them in a clear, open space.

Are patio fire pits worth it?

We think they are a worthwhile investment, providing warmth, ambiance, and versatility that can help create an inviting outdoor living space.

What do you put on the bottom of a build-in fire pit?

For a safe and sturdy foundation, the bottom of a fire pit should be lined with a gravel paver base or other fire-resistant materials such as sand, lava stones, dirt, fire glass, or concrete slabs.

How to build a fire pit?

Plan a location and layout for your fire pit at least 15 feet away from any structure, then determine the size of the metal fire ring.
Next, dig a hole that is four inches deeper than the large circle, line the hole with sand, add a base row of bricks, and insert the metal ring.
Finally, add pea gravel to complete the construction of your fire pit.

What are the main factors to consider when choosing the best fire pit for my backyard?

When choosing a fire pit for your backyard, consider size, style and materials to get the best fit for your space.

People eating pizza around a fire pit with "Conclusion" printed above

In conclusion, a backyard fire pit can transform your outdoor space into a warm and inviting oasis for family and friends to gather.

By carefully considering factors such as size, style, and materials, and following safety guidelines, you can create a fire pit experience that is both enjoyable and secure.

Whether you opt for a budget-friendly option, a high-end design, or a DIY project, a fire pit can become the centerpiece of your backyard, providing countless hours of warmth, ambiance, and memorable moments.

Thanks for stopping by our bee hive and reading our article on how to go about choosing a backyard fire pit for your corner of the world!

Thanks for stopping by our bee hive!


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