The evenings are beginning to lengthen, it’s starting to feel warmer, and the end of lockdown is approaching. You know what that means right? More time to spend outdoors in your garden! If you want to be able to spend as much time in your garden as possible, then it’s a good idea to invest in a fire pit. But what type should you buy? Find out with our complete fire pits buying guide.
What is a fire pit?
Before we dive into the finer details, let’s start with defining what a fire pit is.
In the most basic terms, a fire pit is a wood or gas burning structure that is designed to contain a fire. A fire pit keeps the fire off the ground and inside of the structure. This has many benefits which we will elaborate on later in this article.
Fire pits have many different uses - they’re not just for keeping warm. Some fire pits can be used for cooking or even as an ambient light source on those dark summer nights.
What types of fire pits are there?
Fire pits are available in a wide range of different materials. Which material is best for you depends on how you will be using your fire pit.
Steel fire pits
Steel is one of the most commonly used materials for fire pits and for good reason. Steel is a corrosion-resistant metal which is great if you’re intending to leave your fire pit out in the open. Steel is also relatively lightweight, so if you want to be able to move your fire pit around regularly, a steel fire pit could be the perfect option.
Cast iron fire pits
Cast iron fire pits are great if you’re aiming for a rustic, traditional look for your garden. Whilst cast iron works very well as a heat conductor it’s also very heavy and a cast iron fire pit will be difficult to move.
Stone & concrete fire pits
Stone and concrete fire pits are the low-maintenance option. They’re also durable - however stone and concrete fire pits can crack if exposed to extreme changes in temperature (so if you live in an area that receives hard frosts, stone/concrete fire pits might not be suitable). Stone and concrete fire pits are also extremely heavy, so you’ll need to decide on a near-permanent location if you choose to buy one.
Copper fire pits
Although not very common, copper fire pits offer a nice, shiny aesthetic to your garden. If you leave a copper fire pit outside for an extended period of time you will find that the copper oxidises and develops a green patina. Therefore, if you want to maintain that beautiful copper colour you’ll need to clean your fire pit regularly.
Fire pit fuel types
As well as being available in a wide variety of materials, you can also buy fire pits which are designed to burn specific types of fuels. Which type of fuel burning fire pit you should buy will be determined by what you want to do with the fire pit.
Wood burning fire pits
Wood burning fire pits are by far the most popular on the market. Wood is natural, generates warmth, is readily available, relatively inexpensive and provides that genuine campfire feel.
Using seasoned wood is generally the best type of wood to use on a fire pit. It creates a lot of heat along with those nice popping and cracking sounds that create a lovely, calming atmosphere.
Alternatively, you can use kiln dried logs. These are very similar to seasoned wood, but with one key difference. Kiln dried logs have a much lower moisture content which results in higher heat output and less smoke (once they’ve reached optimum burning temperature).
Charcoal fire pits
Charcoal fire pits are an ideal option if you want to cook on your fire pit. Charcoal will give you that BBQ experience and produces a long lasting, even heat which is perfect for grilling meats, vegetables and cheeses. However, charcoal fire pits can be quite dirty (a problem which can become even worse in the rain). If you want to keep your charcoal fire pit looking great, you’ll need to be willing to put hours of cleaning work in.
Propane fire pits
On the slightly more complicated side of things are propane fire pits. These fire pits are connected to a propane tank which gives you more control over the way the fire burns. However, propane fire pits do not generate as much heat as more traditional wood burning fire pits.
Natural gas fire pits
If you want to go ‘all out’ on a fire pit, then natural gas fire pits are a good option. Like propane, natural gas gives you more control over the way the fire burns. Natural gas is also generally one of the cheaper fuel sources, but bear in mind that installing a natural gas fire pit will have a large upfront cost. You’ll need to connect it to your domestic gas supply - plus, you won’t be able to move it once installed.
Gel fire pits
A slightly more unusual fuel source is gel. The main advantage of using gel as a fuel source on your fire pit is that the fire doesn’t produce any smell and is smokeless because of the properties of gel. Gel fire pits are normally only used for decorative purposes - to enhance the ambience of a garden. If you’re looking for a fire pit to generate warmth or to cook on, you are better off choosing a wood burning fire pit.
The most popular fire pits for 2021
Now that we’ve looked at the different types of fire pits based on materials and fuel types, let’s take a look at the most popular fire pits currently available from Cotswold Teak.
Erizo 50 Garden Fire Pit
(Shop now: Erizo 50 Garden Fire Pit).
The Erizo 50 Garden Fire Pit is a high-quality free standing fire pit crafted to be not only functional but decorative too. When not in use, the Erizo 50 Garden Fire Pit is unobtrusive and blends in well with other garden furniture and features. It incorporates a series of ‘fins’ which are designed to help radiate heat outwards.
Gamma Garden Fire Pit
(Shop now: Gamma Garden Fire Pit).
If you’re looking for a high-quality free standing fire pit which features a modern, contemporary design, the Gamma Garden Fire Pit is it.
With a steel construction, the Gamma Garden Fire Pit is a long-lasting, robust option which is also portable and easily moved around your garden or terrace. When you’re after a fire pit with a unique look, the Gamma Garden Fire Pit should be your first choice.
Hex Garden Fire Pit
(Shop now: Hex Garden Fire Pit).
With its eye-catching hexagon design, the Hex Garden Fire Pit will make a perfect addition to your garden or terrace. This is the ideal option if you’re looking for a fire pit that will radiate warmth and be something that you and your friends and family can sit around in comfort.
Pit Garden Fire Pit
(Shop now: Pit Garden Fire Pit).
When you want a fire pit that is easily moved or transported, you’ll want the Pit Garden Fire Pit. This fire pit includes three integrated carrying handles and features a lightweight steel construction, making this the perfect option if you’re looking for a fire pit you can store and get out as and when needed.
Pyramid Garden Fire Pit
(Shop now: Pyramid Garden Fire Pit).
As the name suggests, this is a pyramidal fire pit. The design helps to maximise heat radiation making it a fire pit that’ll be a pleasure to sit around. Like the Pit Garden Fire Pit, the Pyramid Garden Fire Pit is a great option if you’re looking for something that can be moved around with ease and even stored in a shed or garage.
Sunny Fire Pit
(Shop now: Sunny Fire Pit).
This beautiful free standing fire pit does not only offer a high level of performance, but will bring an ornamental flourish to any garden or terrace.
As with the other most popular fire pits, the Sunny Fire Pit features a lightweight yet durable steel construction making this one of the best value fire pits on the market.
Are you ready to add some warmth and style to your garden with a fire pit?
Shop the complete range of fire pits at Cotswold Teak now.
Find more garden furniture buying guides and advice on the Cotswold Teak blog…