The Best Firepits for Backyard Cooking, Hanging Out, Camping, and Even Day Trips
While many folks invested in a fire pit last winter because we were all trying to stay outside (and warm) safely, this summer is really the time to go all in. Whether it's for a little open fire cooking, just some s'mores, or merely the perfect summer night magnet for hanging out, a fire pit is an addition to your backyard that you'll find yourself using more and more. They're also great to bring along for camping adventures (provided open fires are approved where you're pitching your tent). We tried the newest fire pits on the market, and these are our top 5.
Best All-Around: Solo Stove Bonfire
When it comes to the wood burners, look no further than Solo Stove. These sleek beauties come in three sizes for every need and have a proprietary design that creates minimal ash and cleanup with maximum fire experience. We had a large outdoor area to set up, so we tested the Yukon, which is the largest one they make, and it was amazing for a nice long burning fire with the full complement of great big flames to start, but also glowing embers as it died down. Really perfect outdoor fire experience. If you've got a smaller space, the Bonfire is perfect; for folks with little yards or who love beach camping, the 15-pound Ranger is ideal.
Buy it: Solo Stove Bonfire ($279.99), solostove.com
Best for Grilling: Breeo X Series 19 Smokeless Firepit
It is nice that a lot of the pits out there will do double duty as grills. After all, if you have a fire going, can burgers be far behind? We love the Breeo Smokeless Firepit's ability to accessorize with a grill grate that can be set up over the flames, or a sear plate rim where you can make burgers, steaks or chops! This is a versatile unit for folks who want to experiment with open-flame cooking (and eating!). These beauties come in 3 sizes and 2 finishes.
Buy it: Breeo X Series 19 Smokeless Firepit ($349), breeo.com
Best for camping: BioLite FirePit+
Finding a portable firepit that can give you that same combo experience can be difficult. But BioLite has your back with a combo firepit/grill that can use either firewood or charcoal. This little powerhouse puts off plenty of heat for your cozy evenings if all you want is the flames, and comes with a grill grate for simple cooking. A complete cooking accessory kit upgrades you to grill master, including a lid, griddle, and other cooking tools. This one and done investment is small and portable enough to take wherever your adventures take you. Perfect for beach picnics and campgrounds alike.
Buy it: BioLite FirePit+ ($249.95), bioliteenergy.com
Best for convenience: TIKI Low Smoke Firepit
Wood pellets are a great way to have a firepit that flames like a real wood burner, but without the hassle of loading in logs. A perfect halfway between a log burner and a propane unit, the TIKI firepit uses small bags of wood pellets-just place the bag on the center cone, then light the four corners of the bag and let it burn. You can add another bag of pellets as the first dies down, or feed with real wood, your choice. The size is big enough to provide great warmth to a small gathering, but small enough to be fairly portable. An easy-to-remove ash tray makes it simple to clean. Even better, it comes with a cover to keep it dry, so you can leave it outside and not worry about the elements.
Buy it: TIKI Low Smoke Firepit ($350), amazon.com
Best for propane users: BALI OUTDOORS Gas Firepit Table
Don't want to worry about wood pellets, logs, or starter materials, and have a firepit that can flare up at the press of a button? Need to have something that you can use in a smaller space safely? We bought a BALI propane unit last year and really enjoyed it. It provided enough heat to keep us warm but was still safe to use on our covered porch with flames that were only a few inches tall. Be prepared: One tank of propane will last about 2-4 sessions depending on how long you let it run. It comes with blue fire glass, but we swapped ours for natural lava rock, which was more our speed.
Buy it: BALI OUTDOORS Gas Firepit Table ($229.99), amazon.com