An outdoor fire warms an outdoor space and draws people in to relax. However, fire pits in urban and suburban landscapes can present dangers if the sparks land on structures and catch fire. Fire pits also create acrid smoke, which irritates eyes and lungs for everyone exposed, especially people with asthma or other breathing difficulties.
A more environmentally friendly alternative is smokeless fire pits. With little to no smoke, fewer harmful particulates are being released into the atmosphere. Smokeless fire pits have gained a lot of momentum over the last few years. This blog reviews their features and installation considerations.
Features to consider
Portability, ease of lighting the fuel, durability, assembly, quantity of wood needed to maintain high heat, weight, material, carrying handles, types of fuel: coal, propane, wood or pellets. Some pits are easy to light and others require a specific quantity of fuel prior to lighting to create the heat needed to be smokeless. Consider how you plan to use the fire pit. If you want to grill, you will want to choose one that can use wood and coal. Keep in mind how much space is available for storing wood and pellets as well as your budget for purchasing fuel. Some pits are painted and may become discolored over time. Read reviews and decide if this affects your choice. If your pit is surrounded by stone or pre-fabricated stone, this may not be an issue.
Where to use
Since high heat makes the fuel smokeless, it means the metal gets extremely hot. The benefit is that it creates a warm, cozy spot for gathering. But, keep in mind that the intense heat may melt or damage certain patio and deck materials, as well as home siding. Just like a standard campfire, a smokeless fire pit poses serious burn risks, especially for children and pets. If there are kids or pets around any fire pit, there should always be adult supervision. If this is a particular concern, you might look for a model with a protective 360 degree enclosure, such as the Solo Stove Surround. Some fire pits are light and portable with handles so they can be taken to campgrounds, tailgates and picnics. If you don’t plan to move the fire pit, a stone or pre-fab interlocking paver helps tie it into your outdoor space and secure it in the wind.
Look at size and weight. A 15- inch is a reasonably portable size for a smokeless pit. Foldable fire pits are easier to move and transport. Larger ones are for a more permanent solution. Just be sure to purchase an appropriate weather cover, handles and/or carrying case.
Cover: protection from outdoor elements.
Grilling: Swing away grill and tong stand, sear plate
Screen / shield: For sparks
Heat deflector: maximizes hot airflow
Removable Ash Pan: Makes clean up easier
Carrying Case / handles: For making fire pit portable
Lid: Contains leftover ash and embers as an overnight safeguard
Stand: For use on decks, grass and turf
Smokeless fire pits offer a cleaner-burning experience, without the tear-inducing smoke of a traditional wood-burning campfire. As they grow in popularity, new brands will likely emerge on the market. Think about which features best meet your specific needs before making your choice.
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