6 Best Backyard Fire Pit Ideas to Create Your Ideal Outdoor Oasis
Our backyard fire pit ideas will have you making s'mores every night this season.
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Cooking food and telling stories while sitting around a roaring fire is one of the oldest human traditions. We’re happy that fire pits have evolved since the Neanderthal days—not to mention the fact that gathering firewood is as easy as driving to the store! Complete your patio with the best backyard fire pit ideas, and put a modern twist on this ancient custom. These top picks, including smokeless and stone options, are sure to encourage you to spend more time outdoors.
What to Consider When Buying a Backyard Fire Pit
After deciding how much you want to spend on your backyard fire pit, you’ll want to consider whether you want a gas-fueled fire or to use firewood, and how big of a fire pit you want. You may also need a cover to protect it during rain or wintertime.
“You can take 100 different things into consideration when selecting a fire pit,” says Ty Hancock, director of product marketing for Solo Stove. “[Think about] which fuel type you want to use, if you’ll take it anywhere with you, if you want to cook over it, where you’ll place it, how much space you have for it, what is your budget and what kind of aesthetic are you looking for.”
Types of Backyard Fire Pits
- Stone or brick fire pits: These are usually built into the ground or are freestanding structures, and have a hole in the middle where firewood can be placed.
- Electric fire pits: These modern fire pits can be made to look like brick or stone, but run on propane and are controlled via an electrical panel.
- Stoves: Usually made of some type of metal, large circular stoves can be used to hold firewood and often give off less smoke than a traditional fire pit.
Best Overall Backyard Fire Pit Idea
Bonfire Smokeless Fire Pit 2.0
The Bonfire 2.0 from Solo Stove is one of the best backyard fire pit ideas, because it’s portable, smokeless, versatile and doesn’t require assembly. It’s also relatively affordable compared to other options, which is a major plus! We’ll admit it lacks some of the old-school charms of more traditional fire pits, but the smokeless feature is a piece of technology we wish we had years ago.
The signature design burns off smoke before it passes the fire pit’s ring insert, so you can roast marshmallows all night long without getting smoke in your eyes or imbedded in your clothes. The removable ash pan also makes cleanup a breeze. Place a grill grate or other cookware on top and you instantly have an outdoor stove! (Just make sure any cookware can withstand the heat and flames, and never use anything with a plastic handle).
- Sleek design
- Can be used as an outdoor stove
- Can’t hold large pieces of firewood
Best Budget Backyard Fire Pit Idea
Colsen Tabletop Fireplace
For those who live in the city, don’t have space for a backyard fire pit or are simply on a budget, the Colsen rabletop fireplace is an A+ solution. It can be used both indoors and outdoors by filling it up with rubbing alcohol or other fuel (some customer reviewers say ethanol gel works, too).
If you’re OK with spending a little more money, you can get a custom engraving on the concrete bowl, which would make a unique anniversary or birthday present. This portable fire pit that’s available on Amazon is not going to keep you warm during the winter, but it provides a little light and can get a marshmallow nice and toasty.
- Very inexpensive
- Custom engravings available
- Runs on inexpensive fuel
- Flame lasts for about 45 minutes
- Very small
Best Splurge Backyard Fire Pit Idea
Palermo Seven-Piece Dining Fire Table Set
Picture this: You’re sitting around a table with your friends when all of a sudden a platter of graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows appears. The best part? You’re sitting at the Palermo seven-piece dining fire table set, so you don’t even have to leave your seat! This beautifully designed, weatherproof outdoor table has a fire pit built right in, and comes with six chairs that are available with five different cushion colors. All you need is to connect a propane tank underneath it and turn it on.
- Includes a fire pit, table and six chairs
- Fire pit is built into the table
- Available in five cushion colors
- Needs a weekly rinse if placed near the ocean or a saltwater pool
Psst! Take a look at the Pit Command Ranger to safely manage your backyard fire pit, too.
Best Portable Backyard Fire Pit Idea
Snow Peak Pack & Carry Fireplace
Whether you’re in your backyard or packed for a camping trip, the Snow Peak Pack & Carry Fireplace will be there to keep you warm. Load up the corrosion-resistant stainless steel container and keep flames off the ground. It folds up in seconds and comes with a carrying case, so bring it wherever you want. And since it only weighs 12 pounds, it doesn’t add much bulk or weight to your camping backpacks (which means more room for the important stuff, aka s’mores supplies).
- Comes with a carrying case
- Made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel
- Protects the ground from flames
- Can remain hot for a while
Best Stone Backyard Fire Pit Idea
Sunnydaze Outdoor Cast Stone Fire Pit with Lava Rocks
Want that stone fire pit look without the stone fire pit masonry costs? Go with Sunnydaze’s cast stone fire pit with lava rocks. This backyard fire pit has a stone look, but it actually runs on electricity. Simply connect a propane tank and control the flame’s intensity from an electrical panel.
The decorative rocks are made to withstand years of continuous use, and it comes with a weatherproof cover. The 30-inch diameter allows four to six people to sit around comfortably—and make s’mores under your fire pit lighting, of course.
- Stone look without the cost
- Relatively inexpensive
- Has an electric control panel and ignition
- Some customers say the propane hose is a little short
Most Unique Backyard Fire Pit Idea
Ukiah Note Portable Audio Fire Pit
The next time your friend tells you a song is “fire,” tell them to prove it by connecting it to this portable audio fire pit. This backyard fire pit comes with beat-to-music technology that syncs the flames to whatever you’re playing. The flames are fueled by propane, and the tunes are powered through Bluetooth with a range of 60 feet.This portable fire pit can be charged to give you 20 hours of playing time, which is more than enough time to get through Marshmello’s entire discography (get it?).
- Flames can be synced to music
- Has wireless Bluetooth connectivity
- Runs on propane
- Has 20 hours of battery life
- Music function can be difficult to initially set up
Why You Should Trust Us
I’m an award-winning writer and reporter with experience in various beats, with a degree in Print Journalism from St. John’s University. I also have extensive fire pit camping experience, so I know what a high-quality fire pit looks and feels like. As an expert shopping editor, I am constantly researching and reviewing the trendiest fire pits and accessories. I look at what customers are saying in online reviews and take those points into consideration when selecting products. This helps me share my honest opinions on equipment so you can make the best-informed shopping decisions.
We consulted with Ty Hancock, director of product marketing at Solo Stove for more insight on backyard fire pits. Solo Stove is one of the leading brands for outdoor fire pits, specializing in smokeless fire pits. Hancock has been with Solo Stove for over two years and knows the best features to look for in backyard fire pits and the safety protocols that you need to follow when using them.
How We Found the Best Backyard Fire Pit Ideas
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
Is it cheaper to build or buy a fire pit?
Generally, building a fire pit will be cheaper, though it may take several days and hard work to complete it. Building it yourself will also allow you to customize the look. On the other side of things, Hancock mentions that buying a fire pit allows you to take advantage of brands that offer a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, like Solo Stove, and add fun accessories that can give your fire pit a dual purpose, such as a pizza oven.
What do you put under a fire pit in your yard?
As long as your fire pit is on brick, stone, concrete or sand, there’s no need to put anything under your fire pit. Never put your fire pit on a wooden structure, such as a deck. Some fire pits come with stands to minimize the heat transfer to the underlying surface. You can also look into buying a heat-resistance pad to place underneath your fire pit.
Can you put a fire pit directly on grass?
We do not recommend putting a campfire stove or electrical fire pit on grass, because the container could overheat and start a fire. Either use a fire pit with legs or a stand to keep it elevated or place dirt or sand under your fire pit.