Best Backyard Fire Pits for Outdoor Entertaining

fire pit

These days, having a patio heater is essential for dining outdoors, but if you’re looking to kick back with a group of friends, what you really need is a backyard fire pit.

Backyard fire pits make your outdoor space an attractive and welcoming setting for social gatherings, whether that includes relaxing with your family after a long day or hosting a weekend get-together with friends. These fire pits are more convenient than building or digging a permanent version in your yard, and most require little or no assembly to get set up.

They’re great to have now, with spring on the way bringing warmer early evening temps, and will be essential for summer entertaining. You’ll be able to find them in a range of sizes too, so even if your yard is relatively small, you should still find one that can fit your space safely.

What to Consider

The most important thing to consider when choosing a backyard fire pit is the type of fuel you plan on using, whether that’s wood or natural gas. Although wood-burning fire pits provide a warm and cozy atmosphere, they do take some time and effort to light and maintain, and can sometimes generate frustrating smoke and flying embers. It’s also important to remember that wood-burning fire pits should never be used on wooden decks.

Gas-fueled pits typically use a standard propane tank, making them simple to light, and making it easy to control the size and output of the fire itself.

You should also take your overall space into account. While larger fire pits can generate more heat, if they take up too much room, they can be more of an inconvenience and take away from the relaxing atmosphere you’re trying to create. Fire pits that don’t have adequate space around them to allow you to walk past pose a dangerous tripping hazard, as well.

How We Selected

We’ve used fire pits in backyards, and on decks and patios, for years, including both wood-burning and natural-gas fueled models. We kept this hands-on experience in mind when selecting the models for this list, as well as consulting reviews of these products from trusted outlets. To ensure that as many readers as possible would benefit from our picks, we also made sure to include a wide variety of sizes, materials, and fuel types, so regardless of your specific situation, you should find a backyard fire pit that fits your needs.

Key Specification

Material
Style
Brand
Item Weight
Fuel Type
Assembly Required
Item 
Dimension

Stone
Fire Pit
Sun Joe
57 Pounds
Wood
No
35 x 35 x 20.5 inches

Review:

This Sun Joe fire pit is available in two different styles—both made of durable and heat-resistant stone—and adds a stylish, sophisticated touch to your patio or yard. The large bowl can accommodate logs up to 21.5 inches long, and a convenient wire mesh screen protects nearby furniture—or bystanders—from any errant sparks or embers.

The included 24-inch hook allows you to place or remove this screen without risking injury, and also makes for a handy tool when you need to move logs and kindling around. If any issues arise, the two-year warranty should have you covered.

 
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Key Specification

Material
Brand
Finish Type
Item Dimension
Shape
Item Weight
Fuel Type
Assembly Required

Alloy Steel
Sunnydaze
Painted
29 x 29 x 24 inches
Round
12 Pounds
Wood
No

Review:

The light weight of this Sunnydaze model—just 12 pounds—makes it the perfect choice for those who want a portable, easy-to-transport fire pit.

Despite the lightweight design, this circular 29-inch model is still wide enough to handle a decent amount of wood, and the foldable legs make it easy to break down when you’re ready to store it away.

A protective spark screen on top of the bowl allows you to store the included poker inside during transport, and the entire unit fits inside a zippered case. Assembly is simple, straightforward, and should be easy to accomplish yourself.

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Key Specification

Material
Brand
Item Weight
Assembly Required

Dimension

Natural stone
Christopher Knight Home
71 Pounds
No
19.5 x 19.5 x 29 inchesinches

Review:

The small footprint of this column-style fire pit would be perfect for those who don’t have a lot of outdoor space. The 71-pound weight and stone body give it a solid, sturdy feel, and an included cover ensures that the column will be protected from the elements when not in use.

The column itself is just large enough to fit a standard size propane tank inside, so you won’t have to worry about storing it elsewhere or trying to hide unsightly gas hoses. It’s also simple to use right out of the box: just fill with lava rocks and you’re all set.

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