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Introduction

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE… Make sure you scroll down to our section on SPHERE FIRE PITS. They are absolutely amazing, and you won’t believe the image templates they portray!


Looking up at the stars, sitting around with great friends, surrounding a nice warm fire is one of life’s pleasures. I remember my friend’s dad often firing up the outdoor fire pit, and us 15-16-year old’s keeping the fire lit with pre-selected pieces of wood and cut branches. Today we’d be selecting the timber from a nice outdoor firewood storage rack.We we’re very lucky, as this was a safe way to learn about drinking and fire safety as we had adults with us.

Outdoor fires are more of a country thing, even though it’s not undetected in the suburbs.

Although I prefer a traditional timber fire pit, living within the inner suburbs does not always allow for this. This is where a smaller and more contained gas fire can be an alternate option. The benefits of a gas fire are that when you’re ready to hit the sack after a few drinks with friends, simply turn it off. You don’t have that luxury with a timber wood burner.

Below is a brief buying guide for outdoor gas fire pits & non-gas fire pits. We’ve offered a few considerations to think about and hope it comes in handy. Following this is a list of the best fire pits for both options, gas & non-gas, that we’ve found for this year.

Outdoor Gas Fire Pits & Non-Gas Fire Pits Buying Guide

Size

It goes without saying that if you can’t fit a round peg in a square hole, don’t even bother to try. What I’m trying to say is, don’t buy an open fire pit that is too large for your desired location.

This is more relevant to outdoor apartment spaces. Most apartment balconies don’t fit more than a small furniture, maybe a few pot plants. Some balconies are large enough for a smaller fire pit, but make sure you measure the space you have available to you, before making a purchase.

Obviously if you have a reasonable sized backyard, there’s no requirement for taking measurements, unless you intend to place the fire pit in a particular section of your garden where space is limited.

Gas or Non-Gas

When talking about gas fire pits, the gas used is propane. The reason for this is, that firstly, it’s the most commonly used gas for this purpose and secondly, it’s a gas that produces clean flame and can be stored in a propane tank. If you wanted to use natural gas you’d want a built-in fire pit that can connect to your household gas supply. This would require a professional to connect your permanent fire pit.

So, with a portable propane gas fire pit, you’ll appreciate the convenience of portability, but you may be put off with the slightly higher cost of the propane gas.

Material

As far as fire pit materials go, you have several options. Most of these options will be available to you if you’re searching for a gas fire pit. That’s because a gas flame is much more controlled and therefore you can use a specific material as a surround, that will not be impacted by flame.

Common materials used for this purpose are fibreglass, bronze, stainless-steel and aluminium. You can also get decorative surrounds such as wicker or stone, although the stone is often a poly-resin made to look like stone.

When it comes to wood/coal fire pits you’re basically looking at steel, ceramic or cast iron. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Stainless-steel is a great option as it’s lightweight compared to other materials. If this is the material you like, my advice would be to get it powder coated to protect the pit from the elements such as rain & wind.

Outdoor Gas Fire Pits image1

The benefits of ceramic are that the outside surface will not get as hot as steel. This is a good option if you are buying a Chiminea. Young children may not notice the Chiminea is alight if they are on the back side of it. You cannot see through a Chiminea as there’s only an opening at the front and a smoke hole above. So, if little hand touches a ceramic Chiminea they are less likely to have a major injury as they would if it was steel. Mind you, it would still leave a nasty mark.

Cast iron on the other hand are gaining in popularity but also become very hot when touched. They are also heavy but on the plus side, they are extremely durable and keep their warmth well.

If you’re looking for a fire pit like the sphere fire pits further down this page, they are made from steel or cast iron which is perfect for the sphere style. You’re always going to see that they are alight as you can see through them. They’ll also keep as much heat as possible, keeping you warm whilst you sip on a cold beer from your beer fridge!

Mobility

Stainless steel is an ideal material for mobility as its light, allowing you to manoeuvre it into various locations. It also goes without saying that the smaller the fire pit, the easier the mobility. There’s also the option for wheels on your fire pit, otherwise a low base trolley with wheels may be an option to place your fire pit on.

Now just a safety tip on open non gas fire pits. It can be a good idea to wear a BBQ apron to protect you from embers that may fly from the fire. We have an article on BBQ aprons and some of them are extremely robust and perfect for this kind of protection.

There’s a lot more we could talk about but I bet your itching to see out list of the best outdoor gas fire pits & non gas fire pits, so lets get going.

Gas Fire Pits

#1 - Stonecrest Outdoor Propane Fire Pit

Customer Reviews

4.9

Pro’s

👍 2 x Styles, Square/Round
👍 No Assembly Required
👍 Natural Stone or Grey color

Con’s

👎 No propane gas included

Your wife will love you for buying this classical designed gas fire pit that would enhance any outdoor area. All you need to add is the propane gas cylinder, which is not included. Then you can relax and enjoy that beer or glass of wine in front of an elegantly styled feature gas fire pit.

You’ll be inspired by the 4 variations available, 2 colours and 2 styles. The colors available to you are Grey or Natural Stone and you can choose from a square fire pit like in the attached image, or a round fire pit if this would suit your desired location better.

You will not have to worry about assembling it once you get it home either, the fire pit comes fully assembled so you only need to connect the propane gas tank to the internal connection. No more assembly instructions like Ikea! Then simply light it with the starter ignition.

Don’t worry about your deck burning either. There is a plate for the propane gas tank to sit on which is off the base surface and the heat is roughly 3-feet above the ground.

Before purchasing, you may want to take note of the dimensions which are as follows:

  • Height=24”
  • Width=34.5”
  • Depth=34.5”
  • Approx.36” Diameter
  • Weight =Approx. 120lbs

You will also receive a cover for the fire pit, so if left outside, it’s a good idea to secure it under this supplied cover. The pit also comes with lava rocks, but you may prefer to change these lava rocks with rocks of a different color. You will have to buy these separately, but some customers have suggested using blue glass rocks, they look amazing. You’ll need approx. 25-30lb of glass rocks.

Great features include:

  • Square or Round design
  • No assembly required
  • Grey or Natural Stone finish
  • Cover & Care instructions included

If outdoor gas fire pits are your thing then this is a great option that’s had over 20 great customer reviews giving a 4.9-star rating. Click the image to check out more specifications or the reviews.

#2 - Wine Barrel Fire Pit Table

Customer Reviews

5.0

Pro’s

👍 3 x Sizes available
👍 High quality craftsmanship
👍 Adjustable flame height

Con’s

👎 No propane tank included (standard)

Now isn’t this a beauty! Can you just imagine sitting around this wonderfully crafted barrel gas fire pit enjoying a few bevies with the boys? Of course you could, and it could be yours with a bit of coin. Admittedly, they are not cheap, so you’ll be paying over 1K, but just look at the quality of this barrel fire pit.

It’s the signature piece from this company and the craftsmanship is first class. The timber for the table used is reclaimed barn wood and fence boards, stained to your liking. You’ll be given 5 different variations of color including Red Mahogany, Golden Oak, Espresso, Weathered Grey and White Wash.

Once stained, the timber is given a coat of polyurethane for added protection of the workmanship. The centre burner is a stainless-steel ring surrounded by crystal snow fire glass. You’ll notice a small door on the side, this is where you enter the barrel for the propane gas tank to sit inside.

You’ll be given 3 different sizes also. The image shown is the full-sized barrel, but you can order a ¾ size or even a ½ size barrel fire pit. The larger two sizes will fit a 20lb/5-gallon propane tank.

If that’s not enough, there’s even a push button start ignition with 3 adjustable flame heights, low, med & high.

Great features include:

  • High heat paint for safety
  • 3 sizes available
  • High quality craftsmanship
  • 5 stains available

As you can see, there’s a lot to love about this Wine barrel fire pit. You can check out the reviews on Etsy by clicking on the accompanying button. You will also find the specifications and returns & exchange details.

#3 - Wine Barrel Fire Pit Coffee Table

Customer Reviews

5.0

Pro’s

👍 3 Flame Settings
👍 2 Styles of table available
👍 Highest quality craftsmanship

Con’s

👎 No starter ignition button

From the same manufacturers as the fire pit above, you’ll love the coffee table version!

Nobody wants to see old wine or whiskey barrels falling apart and destined for the scrap heap. So, if you appreciate the recycling of materials then you’re going to love the way these barrels have been carefully looked after and used so effectively in a coffee table fire pit.

The craftsmanship is high quality and the various finishes to each individually made piece are smooth, yet strong.

Hypnotize your mates with the dancing flames as they sit around this awesome fire pit enjoying a few laughs. Trust me, the complementary comments you’ll receive will flow after every occasion and will warm the cockles of your heart.

There are two variations of this fire pit coffee table with the first being exactly shown as in the image. This is the ‘plank style’ with straight timber planks crafted for the table top surround. The second option is the ‘cross hatched style’ which is a different cross hatch pattern. Both look amazing and the preference will be to your personal liking. Coated in a high heat paint to keep the timber and barrel protected, it also shows off the authenticity of the timber.

Unlike the previous barrel fire pit, there is no start up ignition button, instead you’ll have to get your matches out! Although very much like the previous one, there are 3 various settings of low, medium and high.

Great features include:

  • High heat paint coating
  • 3 Flame setting
  • 2 x Styles available
  • High quality craftsmanship

This company pride themselves on making quality wine barrel fire pit products that will last for a long time. The hand crafting makes each piece unique and due to this, the dimensions may vary slightly.

Click on the ‘Check it Out’ button if you’d like to find more details & specifications.

Wood or Gas Fire Pits

#4 - Sphere Fire Pits

Customer Reviews

5.0

Pro’s

👍 Numbered plate to show unique
👍 ¼” Thick steel
👍 Various sizes and styles

Con’s

👎 Gas kit not included

You can only imagine the amount of work that has gone into crafting one of these amazing outdoor fire pits. Can you picture yourself and a few mates ‘chewing-the-fat’, beer in hand, huddled around one of these extremely functional sphere fire pits? You will be the envy of anyone that encounters your new addition.

Each fire pit has its own unique cut-out like the one featured here. This is known as the ‘Appel Crisp Farms’ theme which depicts a hobby farm with ducks, chickens, farmhouse, cow, child with mother, windmill and dad on the tractor. You may even find a few other small extras such as squirrels. All surrounded by trees which hold the sphere together.

Watching flames from an open fire pit is one great pleasure in life but watching the flames through a story is just in another world. You’ll appreciate the handcrafting that’s gone into these fire pits when fully lit and glowing through the artwork.

You will also find that most pits come in size variations of 30”, 37” or 41” diameter. This may give you an option if you cannot afford the largest preference or you only have minimal space. Some themes will offer you a variation of the base plate such as a flat steel base or a Craggy Tee base.

Each of these fire pits come with a rain drain at the bottom so that it won’t fill up with water. They’re made from ¼” thick steel with a rust patina finish so you can be assured they’ll last a long very time.

And just to make you feel even better about your purchase, each fire pit comes with a numbered metal plate to assure you that your fire pit is a one-off and is completely unique. It may even be an worthwhile investment into the future.

Great features include:

  • Unique with numbered plate
  • Made from ¼” thick steel
  • Various sizes
  • Various Styles

These come as wood fire pits but can be converted to outdoor gas fire pits, however, there is no conversion kit included.

All fire pits come with a lifetime warranty which gives you peace of mind when paying this sort of money.

For more information, specifications and reviews, click on the ‘Check it Out’ button below each image.

Wood/Coal Fire Pits

#5 - Decorative Metal Custom Cut Fire Pits

Customer Reviews

5.0

Pro’s

👍 Made from Recycled Materials
👍 Lightweight
👍 23-24″ diameter

Con’s

👎 No gas conversion

Well they may not be as elaborate as the sphere fire pits above but its amazing what you can achieve with a used oil drum. If you enjoy admiring an open fire whilst sitting in your favourite outdoor chair, then this could be your No.1 preference.

What I love about these unique fire pits is that you can either use one of the ideas already proposed by these guys or have a new idea custom made. This is a great idea if you have a design that has been lingering in your mind for years, and you want it displayed for all to see.

They will carve out your design into a recycled oil drum and make it pop. The oils drums are approximately 23-24” in diameter, so a great size for any backyard. Without legs they are 10″-14” tall and weigh approximately 18g. You’ll find that these are an ideal size for portability, so you could even take one camping. Which can kill two birds with one stone, as you can just fill up the fire pit with all your camping essentials.

Great features include:

  • Recycled materials for your environmentally friendly side
  • Approximately 23-24 inches in diameter
  • Lightweight for manoeuvrability
  • Custom made

All fire pits are handmade in the United States from recycled steel oil drums. They’ve been given great reviews which you can check out with all other specifications by clicking on the accompanying image.

#6 - PlantationSpoiled Fire Pit

Customer Reviews

5.0

Pro’s

👍 Custome templates available
👍 Gift messages
👍 High temperature powder coated

Con’s

👎 Can not place on timber decking

Dear, horse or duck, which would be your preferred option as a cut out design to be placed in the well-made fire pit. In-fact you’re not restricted to animals either, how about a monogram, surname or a logo of your choice?

As these pits are custom made, you can have a scene of your liking put on the side of the fire pit. Of course, you can use any of the standard templates they already have or have a custom one made for you.

There’s three size options available so you can purchase the right size for your perfect area. The sizes are known as small, Plantation (medium size) and Spoiled fire pit which is the largest. There’s also three styles of feet for the fire pit. Square, Turkey or Deer feet. Yep, unusual I know. So bring out your bar stools and sit around this lovely little fire pit and watch the flames burn into the night.

Octagonal fire pits are very nice on the eye, and the sides keep the fire well contained.

Great features include:

  • Custom cut-outs available
  • Octagonal design
  • Gift message availability
  • High temperature powder coated

Each fire pit is high temperature powder coated, an essential addition to any fire pit that will protect your fire pit for years to come.

It’s advisable that you don’t place this fire pit on timber decking as the fire pit gets extremely hot and it close to the base surface.

For more information and reviews, click on the image that accompanies this review.

#7 - Backyard Art Unique Cut Fire Pit

Customer Reviews

4.8

Pro’s

👍 8 or 10 Panel designs
👍 12″ High x 12 ¾” Wide
👍 Standard or custom templates
👍 Mesh added option

Con’s

👎 No base plate

If you’re after a cheaper fire pit option and one which you don’t require a metal base plate, this could be the fire pit you’re after. Full base plates are not for everyone, but they are advisable. You may find a location which has gravel or similar, this can be a perfect place to light a fire with this type of fire pit.

The great benefit though with this fire barrier, is that you can take it anywhere due to the fact it can be taken apart. The standard fire pit size comes with 8 pieces which fit into an octagonal shape. When clearing up you can simply pull each piece apart from each other and stack them for easy storage.

Each piece of the fire pit is made from 16-gauge steel and is 12” high and 12 ¾” wide. The approximate diameter of the 8-piece fire pit is 30”. As with all good fire pits, it’s coated in high temp paint and then cured for the correct amount of time.

As you’d expect, all instructions are included with such a fire pit which include safely procedures and assemble instructions. Connecting 8 pieces of a fire pit can get confusing after a few beers pitching the tent!

Each fire pit panel comes with standard animal templates but custom orders are also welcome. This is a nice touch as not everyone likes the same designs. You can also have mesh added to any panels for added protection.

Great features include:

  • 8 or 10 panel fire pits
  • High temp taint coated
  • Safety and assembly instructions included
  • Custom orders welcome

A portable grill attachment is also offered (for an added cost) which consists of four pieces and can be attached to the fire pit or as stand alone.

Great reviews have come in for this fire pit so it’s worth consideration.

#8 - Death Star fire Pit

Customer Reviews

5.0

Pro’s

👍 One of a Kind
👍 Made from durable steel
👍 Custom built

Con’s

👎 Overly expensive

Look what’s been shot down from a galaxy far away! Have you ever seen anything like this? At 6 feet in diameter it’s a huge Death Star fire pit, big enough to swallow a human. Made by the MilwaukeeBlacksmith company, it’s made from strong steel that will last a lifetime.

We’re not sure if any of these have been sold (we can only assume a few have) but we were not prepared to fork out the cool 10K to review this fire pit! What we can tell you is that the Death Star fire pit is a handmade custom item so each and every one of these is a unique one-of-a-kind product.

We don’t have a lot more information regarding this fire pit, we’re just showing you what’s out there.

Great features include:

  • 6-feet in diameter
  • Strong steel for durability
  • One of a kind
  • Custom made

You can also have a gift message attached if you’re brave enough to part with that sort of money for somebody else!

For more information, reviews and specifications, click on the “Check it Out” button.

#9 - Octagon Modular Steel Fire Pit

Customer Reviews

5.0

Pro’s

👍 Made from thick steel
👍 Plates interlock
👍 Measures 44″ x 12.5″

Con’s

👎 Heavy

Fire pits need to be well crafted from great materials to last a long time, and this is exactly what you get here. Not many others come close for this price range as the materials used are so strong. You’ll benefit from the 0.25″ mild steel plates which the panels are cut from. You will find that the shipment comes as heavy plates but that’s why it’s so durable. In total it’s 190lbs but the great thing is, shipping is free!

The octagonal design allows for interlocking of the panels and in doing so, does not require welding. However, once you’ve assembled the fire pit, you can weld it yourself if you don’t intend to pull it apart.

Your fire pit size here is 48-inches from corner to diagonal corner and 44-inches from angled panel to perpendicular panel. The pit is also 12½ -inches high from the base plate. It comes with assembly instructions (which can be a little vague) but is fairly simple to put together. The base pieces interlock and use some bolts for stability. The outer panels then slip into the base and connect to the panels beside them with “hook and ear” type connecting.

It’s also possible to allow the bottom grate to open, allowing air to flow through. Alternatively, keep sealed and it will protect your ground surface more.

You’ll like the options available as the fire pit comes in bare steel, but you can add your own high temperature paint should you wish.
Great features include:

  • Measures 44”x 12.5”
  • Cut from strong 0.25″ mild steel
  • Locking plates for assembly
  • Extremely durable

It’s hard to fault this design and the reviews are very complementary. Apart from the weight of this fire pit, it is one of the best in this price range. This is one of our favourite fire pits for this year.

Conclusion

An investment in a good fire pit can improve your outdoor pleasures big time. Whether you’re on a farm, large estate or even a house in the suburbs, there’s a fire pit to suit your land size. There’s even small outdoor gas fire pits that would suit an apartment with small balcony.

Ultimately it all comes back to your budget, personal preference and land area as to which fire pit would be best for you. Some may prefer outdoor gas fire pits, others prefer the more traditional wood fire, including myself.

If you buy well and don’t waste your pennies, you’ll have made a good investment. I hope we’ve given you some good options to rack your brain over. Good luck with your decision.

If you’re after an alternate option to a fire pit, you could always check out the outdoor patio propane heater option.

If you’d like to share your favorite with us, please feel free to add to the discussion below.

2 Comments

  1. Derek Marshall

    Hi there Nudge,

    I gotta say a huge thanks for such an eye opener of an article regarding fire pits. Thanks for creating and sharing this article with us all. Really appreciated.

    You were not kidding when you mentioned the sphere shaped pits were amazing! For me the real eye catching one is the classy looking wine barrel coffee table, really classy and rather elegant looking.

    Reply
    • Nudge

      Thanks for your feedback Derek. 

      You’re spot on with the wine barrel coffee table, it makes a huge statement doesn’t it! To be able to craft such a piece must take so much work, but well worth the effort.

      All the best.

      Reply

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