If you want to increase the ambiance in your outdoor space, check out this list of the best backyard fire pits.
Imagine spending a summer night sitting in your backyard with friends next to the warm glow of a fire pit. You may be surprised to learn that this dream is more affordable than you think.
We included 6 of the best backyard fire pits that money can buy, including smokeless, wood-burning, and propane options.
Whether you’re looking for an easy heat source on chilly nights or want to indulge your culinary fantasies by grilling on open flames, you’ll find the best backyard fire pit for your personal needs.
Our Top Picks
Sunnydaze Northern Galaxy Heavy-Duty Fire Pit
Fire Sense Roman-Brushed Fire Pit
Ciays Propane Fire Pit
1. Best Overall: Sunnydaze Northern Galaxy Heavy-Duty Fire Pit
We listed the Sunnydaze Northern Galaxy as our top pick for the best backyard fire pits for numerous reasons.
Let’s start with the perfect size. This fire pit measures 32″D x 32″W x 26″H, which is large enough to be a statement piece on your patio without taking up too much space.
This backyard fire pit is crafted from heavy-duty thick steel that has more strength than metal or iron fire pits. You’ll appreciate the bronze-colored finish, which is rust and heat-resistant and adds a nice rustic look to the pit.
There is a lovely 3-star pattern on every side of this fire pit and a mesh screen that allows your guests to catch glimpses of the fire, no matter where they sit.
Not only do these design features look nice, but they also promote healthy cross breeze, which helps ventilate the fire.
On top, you’ll find a multi-functional grill that allows you to turn your patio into a quick-order restaurant. The grill is removable, so you can easily switch between cooking and enjoying the fire.
It also has a spark screen and a poker tool that helps you control the flames. It’s easy to assemble, affordable, and one of the best backyard fire pits in our book.
- Comes with removable grill, spark screen, and poker
- Easy to assemble
- Stunning design
- Heavy since it’s crafted from steel
2. Best Budget: Fire Sense Roman-Brushed Fire Pit
The Fire Sense Roman-Brushed places first in the budget category on our guide to best backyard fire pits. If you’re looking for an affordable way to add ambiance to your outdoor space, this fire pit has you covered.
It looks simple on the outside but has many intricate details that make this worth your purchase. The pit is made from high-temperature antique bronze-painted steel that adds a traditional rustic look to your patio.
The fire bowl rests 35″ off the ground and features a hammered lip with galvanized details for extra visual appeal. When you purchase this pit, you’ll also find a wood grate and mesh fire screen made from high-heat paint that sits perfectly on top.
The brushed steel legs have a look reminiscent of copper but with the durability of heavy-duty steel. Despite being crafted from high-quality material, this fire pit is just 17 lbs, so you can easily move it around your backyard.
This backyard fire pit will definitely make a statement without stealing the spotlight if you have a small outdoor space. While it doesn’t come with a cooking grate, we still think it deserves a spot on our best backyard fire pit guide due to its affordable price tag.
- High-quality material yet lightweight and portable
- Comes with mesh fire screen and wood grate
- Doesn’t include cooking grill
3. Best Propane: Ciays Propane Fire Pit
We had to include a propane option on our best backyard fire pit guide, and the Ciays brand steals the top spot in this category.
If you’re looking to amp up the “cool factor” in your outdoor oasis, this is the one for you. The Ciays propane fire pit boasts a sleek design that makes it perfect for any patio.
The matte black exterior complements the amber lava rocks and the flame’s warm glow. The 28″ fire table is wide enough to hold drinks, food, and snacks while you sit around lounging with friends.
If you think this fire pit is all about aesthetics, you’ll be delighted to learn that it also produces 50,000 BTU of heat. You can cozy up next to it with loved ones and enjoy the fire when the temps start to dip.
Instead of chopping wood and trying to get the fire started, this propane fire pit offers a straightforward way to achieve the same ambiance without labor.
You’ll find an external fire level control that allows you to control the flames and heat level easily. It connects to a propane tank in an effortless process that takes under a minute. When you’re finished enjoying the fire, simply shut it off, then place the lid overtop to transform it into a stylish coffee table.
- Sleek design
- Easy to set up and use
- Provides warmth
- Large size not suitable for small outdoor spaces
4. TIKI Brand Smokeless Fire Pit
The TIKI brand smokeless fire pit is a great option if you like the look of propane fire pits but want the natural wood-burning smell.
The unique design allows you to enjoy a wood-burning fire without any pesky smoke invading your eyes and nose. It’s perfect for small backyards, patios, and decks and provides a heat radius of 4 feet.
The 16-gauge stainless steel material and the powder-coated exterior promise durability and longevity. It’s also weatherproof and holds its own against rain and other elements. When not using it, slide the included weather-resistant over on top for extra protection.
If you detest cleaning fire pits, you’ll appreciate how simple it is to reset this option. It includes a removable ash pan for an easy-breezy clean-up without getting your hands dirty.
While you can use traditional firewood, this backyard fire pit does best with sawdust pellets which you can easily buy at a local hardware store.
- Unique design wards off smoke and ash
- Easily transportable
- Simple to clean
5. Sunnydaze Cosmic Fire Pit
The Sunnydaze Cosmic fire pit is an ideal centerpiece for a large outdoor patio. This backyard fire pit measures 42 inches wide and definitely makes a statement wherever you place it.
The durable thick steel material is finished with a rustic patina-colored high-temperature paint that is heat and rust-resistant. You’ll appreciate the durable metal round spark screen, which provides extra safety from rogue flames.
This backyard fire pit also includes a built-in wood grate that enhances airflow and a poker tool for more accessible fire control.
If you envision cozying up to the fire pit on a starry night, then the decorative star and moon cut-outs enhance the ambiance. These cut-outs especially shine at night time when the glow of the fire lights them up.
Another impressive feat of the Sunnydaze Cosmic pit is that the assembly is a breeze. All you have to do is attach the 3 legs and outer rim, and you’re ready for a memorable backyard bonfire.
While this listing is pricier than other entries on our best backyard fire pit guide, we think it’s well worth the investment.
- Large size
- Pleasing design
- Crafted from long-lasting, heavy-duty materials
- Not suitable for small spaces
6. BALI OUTDOORS Wood Burning Fire Pit With Grill
The BALI backyard fire pit is the ideal choice for those who love cooking in the great outdoors. The smartly-designed grill swivels 360 degrees and is great for entertaining friends on your patio.
If cooking isn’t your calling, you can easily remove the grill to enjoy the wood-burning fire put in its entirety. You’ll appreciate the heavy-duty steel construction with an outer ledge around the fire area that provides a good safety barrier between you and the flames.
You’ll find a collapsible triangle frame rack in the box that holds logs in place for better ventilation. There’s also a poker included to make it easy to maintain your fire.
This fire pit is a breeze to construct, so you can spend less time fussing over assembly and more time enjoying the glowing embers.
- Great option for those who love to cook
- Large size is perfect for bigger backyards and patios
- Doesn’t come with spark screen
Best Backyard Fire Pits: Buying Guide
We can’t call this a complete guide to the best backyard fire pits without listing some key considerations. Before deciding on a pit, ponder the following concerns to ensure your purchase is sound.
Propane vs. Wood Burning
When you figure out the best backyard fire pit for your space, you’ll have to decide whether you want propane or wood burning. Both have their benefits and downsides depending on your personal wants.
Propane is ideal if you’re looking for the easiest way to enjoy a backyard fire with minimal work. All you have to do is install the propane tank, flip a switch, and you instantly have a roaring fire ready to set the mood.
Wood-burning fire pits take a little more work than just flipping a switch, and depending on your skill level, you may need to buy fire starters to get the flames started.
Cost is another factor here. Propane fire pits can get pricy since you’ll need to replenish the fuel.
Wood-burning pits might be cheaper if you have plenty of free firewood on your property. If you need to buy firewood or get it delivered, the costs of running the two types of pits might start leveling out.
Lastly, you’ll want to factor in the ambiance delivered from each fire pit. You certainly can’t beat a wood-burning pit’s crackling sound and smoky aroma. Propane can’t offer the same sensory experience.
Grill vs. No Grill
Another factor to consider when buying the best backyard fire pit is whether you want to use it for cooking.
Grilling dinner on open flames can be a gratifying experience. Not only does it help you appreciate modern conveniences more, but the fire from a wood-burning pit can enhance the food’s flavor.
Grilling over an open fire is not for everyone, however. In addition to maintaining the fire, you have to keep an eye on the food to ensure it doesn’t overcook or burn. It also adds an extra step for cleaning up after finishing, which can be time-consuming.
So ponder if you’ll want to use your backyard fire pit for cooking. Some of the options we listed don’t include a grill, so you may have difficulty finding one that fits that particular model after purchasing.
We recommend buying a fire pit with a removable grill, like the Sunnydaze Northern Galaxy fire pit. This way, you can experiment with outdoor grilling without committing to a model designed for cooking over ambiance.
Material is an essential aspect of choosing the best backyard fire pit.
Most of the listings in this guide are crafted from heavy-duty steel. This material is ideal since it warms up quickly and spreads heat efficiently. A fire pit made from steel ensures longevity and protection against the elements.
Best Fire Pit FAQs
If you have some burning questions (no pun intended), we have answers. Here are the most frequently asked questions about the best backyard fire pits.
Do fire pits attract mosquitos?
If you’re worried that including a fire pit in your backyard will invite swarms of mosquitoes to disrupt your evening bonfire, we have good news. Installing a fire pit is an effective way to discourage mosquitoes from hanging around your patio.
Mosquitoes don’t like smoke, so they’ll steer clear of a campfire and let you enjoy the nighttime air in peace.
The only caveat to this solution is if you have a propane or smokeless fire pit. Since these pits produce carbon dioxide instead of smoke, they actually counter the effects of wood-burning fire pits because the gas draws in mosquitoes.
If you’re thinking of purchasing a propane or smokeless fire pit, we recommend equipping your outdoor space with citronella candles or torches to help dissuade any bugs.
Where should you not put a fire pit?
If you purchase a wood-burning fire pit, you should be aware that there are certain materials you don’t want to set on fire.
You may already know that burning plastic isn’t a good idea since it releases dangerous toxins and chemical fumes that harm your health and the environment. This same logic also applies to magazines since the gloss on the pages is typically plastic-based.
While newspapers make great firestarters, burning the ink can also release dangerous toxins. The same goes for cardboard boxes.
Avoid burning any wood that has been treated or painted, including pallet wood which is almost always treated with methyl bromide, a hazardous toxin when burned.
Lastly, this might go without saying but never burn any aerosols, fire accelerants, or pressurized cylinders since they can cause explosions.
Can I put my fire pit on grass?
If you purchase a fire pit that’s elevated high off the ground, you can technically put it on grass. That being said, we recommend playing it on the safe side and placing your fire pit over a heat-friendly material like a cement pad or hard rocks such as granite, marble, or slate.
Is it safe to use a fire pit under a covered patio?
If you have a covered patio, you may be wondering about the restrictions of adding a fire pit to your setup.
It’s unsafe to use a wood-burning fire pit under a covered patio. For one, burning wood produces thick smoke that can quickly build up and deplete oxygen levels in a confined space. You also risk potentially damaging your patio ceiling over time.
The good news is that installing propane fire pits under a covered patio is usually safe as long as there’s proper ventilation. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for more details.
Best Backyard Fire Pits: Summed Up
We hope that by reading this guide, you were able to find the best backyard fire pit to suit your personal needs.
Whether you want to stare at the glowing embers, host a backyard cookout, or just listen to the sounds of crackling wood, you can’t go wrong with the Sunnydaze Northern Galaxy or really any fire pits in this guide.
Looking to upgrade your outdoor spaces at home? Then find inspiration for your Minnesota backyard with our landscaping ideas, outdoor furniture suggestions, gardening recommendations, and more!