Why should you consider a smokeless fire pit?
What would you think of if I said the words “outdoors” and “coziness”? Fire pit of course! There’s nothing more enjoyable than lighting up a fire and gathering around it. Telling stories, cooking some tasty sausages or indulging in some sweet melted marshmallows, sharing a wonderful moment and enjoying. That is what it is all about. Conviviality.
There’s always, though, something that comes with the fire that is not so pleasant: smoke. As much as we can appreciate the warmth and the crackling sound generated by the wood burning, it’s not the case for the smoke. That’s where smokeless fire pits come into action.
First and foremost, we have to note that you can’t actually get a completely smoke free fire pit. Everytime there’s a combustion, you’ll have some sort of smoke. The idea of the smokeless, smoke free or low-smoke fire pits is to provide you with the minimal amount of smoke there can be. They are a perfect solution for those who want to benefit from all the advantages of a fire without suffering all the inconvenience of the smoke. We all have been in these situations where you have to constantly move around the fire to avoid having the smoke going directly in your face. If there’s a bit of shifting wind, you have to move constantly without ever being guaranteed a smoke free moment. Moreover, you might have kids or other people in your circle that have respiratory sensibilities, asthma or allergies and you don’t want them to be deprived from a joyful moment, but you don’t want to overexpose them either to unnecessary smoke. On a lighter side, other drawbacks of smoke is the smell that will stick to your clothes and the potential flying ashes that might land on a beautiful dress or shirt with the risk of ruining it.
If you consider moving over from a regular, full of smoke fire pit; you are on the right page. It will pay off in the long run as you’ll be willing to put a fire up more and more often. Smoke-free fire pits are available in many sizes and can also be suitable for home set ups such as patios and backyards. Thanks to this, you will also happen to be taking advantage more regularly of your outdoors space. After all, you would never consider doing a bonfire in your garden, but lighting a no or low smoke fire pit is definitely something easily doable.
We will have some top tips for a smokefree experience and general Q&A about smokeless fire pits at the end of the article, but now that we discussed partly on why it’s a good option to move to a smokeless fire pit, let’s have a look at the best choices on the market. The options that have been selling for years and that have convinced thousands of people already.
Top 5 Smokeless Fire Pits Reviews
Here is probably one of the most well known and adored low smoke fire pits. The Solo stove bonfire pit is a little revolution itself. The craftsmanship is really tangible in this sleek, stylish, robust 304 stainless steel item.
The engineering behind this solid piece of work makes the air enter the chamber from the bottom, thus feeding the fire. The air is in between two layers of stainless steel and heats up. Making its way up, it goes through the ash pan and the base plate, eventually reaching the fuel source. That’s where the secondary burn takes place. With the second burn, the particles that could have been smoke are burned, hence letting almost no smoke out. This creates an ultra efficient way of burning the wood. This way, you can enjoy some traditional wood fire with very little to no smoke and a beautiful flame.
Thanks to the Solo stove bonfire fire pit, experience a perfect ambiance whether you are in the wild or in your backyard. It’s size and weight make it suitable to be displayed in your backyard for quick access but also being taken into road trips. It does even include a heavy duty case to carry it.
- Height: 14 inches
- Width: 19.5 inches
- Weight: 20 lbs
- Materials: 304 Stainless steel
- Fuel: Firewood Logs
Here we have a really versatile low smoke fire pit. This BioLite fire pit really differs and stands out from all the other options on the market; through its look and also its technology. As for the look, it’s definitely not common to see a rectangular fire pit with foldable legs. But the real distinguishing point of this special fire pit is its X-ray mesh body. This makes it look as if it was see-through and you can see the flames from the bottom to the top from almost any corner of the fire pit. The most recent, updated mesh feature and enlarged design enables more heat to radiate from the fire, helping you keep warmer.
Technology wise, it boasts an advanced airflow system. An integrated fan pushes air into the fire through 51 jets. The goal of this increased air injection is to optimise combustion and burn down any particle before it leaves the fire, and this means less or no smoke eventually. The coated enamel finishing helps with durability and longevity. The burn chamber can contain up to 4 pieces of wood at once. You can adjust the burning of the flames to your liking by speeding up or slowing down the fans. To do this, you have two options: either manually or through the BioLite app which is easily connected to the airflow system. BioLite advertises that the airflow pack can provide up to 30 hours of burning on a single charge. You can detach it and easily recharge it with a usb cable. When not in use directly for the fire, you can actually use it as a power bank. This is really convenient in our modem hyperconnected society. If you want to switch off completely and just enjoy the sound of crackling wood you can, if you need to charge your connected device for any reason, you can too. You can now avail from fire and pure relax anywhere. It’s also easy to carry around thanks to its folding legs and durable carry bag.
Looking for more? The dual fuel system allows you to burn charcoal and with the provided grate top, your fire pit transforms in a grill.
Here you go, a complete outdoor tool to take away with you anywhere, anytime
- Dimensions: 27″ x 13″ x 15.8″
- Weight: 19.8 lbs
- Burn time: 30h on low, 14h on medium and 7h on high
- Fuel: woods or charcoal
- Grate dimensions: 18” x 7.25”
As far as the design goes, this Tiki brand fire pit is probably one of the most aesthetically pleasing fire pits out there. The durable weatherproof powder-coated exterior in black is really stylish and will fit any garden-backyard set up that you have. The little wooden touch on the handle of the ashtray pan just finishes it beautifully. In terms of shape, the fire pit itself is really similar to the solo stove: a cylinder. But this black exterior structure with delicate legs gives it a luxurious touch. The interior is built with 16 gauge stainless steel; it’s sturdy and durable. The airflow system is quite similar to the solo, the airflow goes from the bottom, heats up on the way upwards and finishes up by burning out the potential particles that could create smoke, ensuring you a very comfortable, low smoke or no smoke evening.
There is an assembly needed that basically can be summed up by screwing the legs to the burning chamber. The package arrives and consists really of just just these two pieces that you need to assemble together. It’s easy and won’t take long to complete. An easy way to do it could be to turn the main part upside down, put on top of it the arch with legs so that it’s easy to align the holes with the screw holes and then just screw the bolts in. Minimal effort for this.
Because the legs are not foldable, and the whole fire pit weighs about 45 pounds, it might not be the most portable fire pit. Also, you’ll be provided with a fire pit cover to protect it from the various conditions, and we know how much an outdoor furniture protective cover can be important. But this is not exactly the same as a carry case, which can make the transport a little less convenient. However, if you wish, you can still take this little gem by the beach or in the forest.
The little bonus of this fire pit is that it comes with a free Tiki brand wood pack. This allows you to test if it’s a format that will fit with your lifestyle as an addition to traditional wood logs or as a replacement. The wood pack, which is basically wood pellets, can be thrown as is in the fire pit (don’t cut, don’t open). Then, you simply light the bag up with some fire, which will ignite the wood chips. The fire will take off almost instantly, with no need of babysitting. The total burning time of a bag is about 30 minutes. When you want to get a little downtime in your backyard to wind down, it’s nice to know that you can have a fire started in about 5 mins and that lasts for approx 30 mins. The manufacturer advises about 4 feet heat radius, which is a nice perimeter to have if you have many people around the fire pit.
- Diameter: 25”
- Height: 18.75”
- Width: 24.75”
- Weight: 45 pounds
- Material: stainless steel
- Depth: 16 inches on the inside
- Plus: ash pan
- Fuel: wood logs/ pellets
The Flame Genie fire pits are made in the USA and come in two colours: black galvanised steel or simple silver/grey stainless steel. Which one you prefer is absolutely down to your own taste as both look very good. It is shipped and comes as two parts: a cylindrical base and the main burning chamber that sits on top of it. There is virtually no assembly as you just put the main part on top of the base.
It is probably the most portable and easy to store smokeless fire pit featured in this review as its dimensions are 9.6 x 19.5 x 21.5 inches (13.5 diameter), it only weighs 14.3 pounds and you can nest the bottom base part into the top one for easy storage and easy transport. As it is so compact and portable, it’s perfect if you have a quite small patio area or you know you’re going to light it up somewhere where you don’t avail from much free space (though, always be careful and make sure that the place you choose where to light up a bonfire is spacious, airy and safe). If you want to go for the same but bigger, a 19 inches diameter version is also available.
Easy to operate: this is a pellet fire pit, which means that you can’t use traditional wood or wood logs. However, pellets are easy to find, relatively cheap and will help, in this item, to go for a clean, efficient burn. The low moisture wood pellet will generate a small amount or no smoke. This is quite enjoyable if you’re hosting a small party in your backyard. In order to light it up, just add about two inches of wood pellets, to arrive at the fill line (for the 13.5 inch diameter). Then use a pellet gel or lighter fluid and carefully light the pellets in several spots around the ring. It will take about 15 min to get a full flame going. Then, you’ll need to keep feeding pellets to your fire pit in order to maintain a nice, large, flame.
- Dimensions: 9.6 x 19.5 x 21.5 inches
- Weight: 14.3 pounds
- Diameter: 13.5”
- Fuel: pellets only
- Material: stainless steel or black galvanised steel(will need to be stored in a dry, cool, protected place)
We could not really do a review of smokeless fire pits without including at least one propane fueled fire pit option. As you might know, almost smoke free burning is a great advantage that propane fire pits have over the traditional counterpart. And in this domain, Outland Living have absolutely been dominating the game with several models, sizes, features and overall great value for money.
Their 893 Deluxe fire pit has everything that people are usually looking for when buying a portable propane fire pit. It’s a high quality, durable, portable and easy to use. If you wanted, you could also get (not included) a natural gas converter kit.
There is the Outland Living signature high quality steel with powder coating and protective enamel finishing. It will be durable and sturdy. It will survive going even on the most adventurous trips.
Stainless steel burner: the burner and fastener are top quality and have an output of 58,000 BTU/HR (for use with a standard 20 lb / 5 gallon propane tank).
Chrome Valve knob: thanks to this simple to use knob, you can adjust the height of the flames. This is a cool feature that you don’t avail of with natural fire and that will help you set the right tone to your party/gathering/moment.
Firebowl/stones: the firebowl is lightweight, portable and all-weather resistant. It comes with 4.4 pounds of natural lava rocks to optimise your fire camp experience. The rocks will enhance the flickering of the flames for a more realistic feeling. It also includes a propane tank stabilizer ring and pre-attached 10′ hose with regulator to keep your propane tank safely out of sight. The propane tank is not provided.
- Size: 18.5 x 18.5 x 10.5 inches
- Weight: 23.3 pounds
- Fuel: propane – Liquified petroleum gas (LPG)
- Burning: 58,000 BTU/HR.
- Valve knob to control the height of the flames
- Cover(lid) and carry kit included
- Diameter: 19 inches
As we could see, there is no such a thing as a perfect smokeless or smoke-free fire pit, but you can totally get close to that same result by choosing one of the reviewed fire pits or a similar option. There’s definitely a perfect match for everyone out there: large fire pits, convertible fire pits, gas fueled fire pits or portable fire pits. We are sure that you’ll find an option to suit your very own needs.
Bonfires have been going on forever, but as the technology develops, there’s no reason why our general experience around the fire can’t be improved as well.
A nice atmosphere, a cozy ambiance, surrounded by your family and the people you love. Just chatting around or relaxing. Enjoying some food and drinks. That’s what you can get by lighting up a fire pit in your backyard, patio or in nature.
Smokeless Fire Pits Buyer’s Guide
What you need to consider when buying a smokeless fire pit
Depending on your needs or the size of your patio/backyard, you will not need the same type of device. Typically, if you have a smaller patio, you’ll need to make sure to opt for a fire pit small enough to give you enough safety room around it. If you have a big space/backyard and try to fill it up with a fire pit, you’ll need to go for a quite an impressive model to help you reach the wow-effect.
Like in every outdoor device you buy, you need to make sure that it is solid and it will last long enough. Sturdy materials are usually preferable to aesthetic details. Also, if you’re planning to leave it outdoors, it has to be weatherproof.
Yes. They are all fire pits, but not all can work on any type of wood. For your future expenses and convenience you need to check what type of wood or fuel works for the fire pit that you choose. Wood logs, pellets, charcoals or gas.
If you intend to use your fire pit with flexibility and use it as much at home as on the go, check how lightweight, easy to carry it is. Many brands of small, easy to carry, portable fire pits also offer carry bags.
The entry price for a decent sized, good, smokeless fire pit can be less than 100 $. Most of the popular models will be around the 200 usd mark. For larger, more decorative fire pits the prices can be way higher depending the brand, size, material and other factors.
Do smokeless fire pits work?
Yes. They are efficient in creating a fire/flame. At the end of the day, they are regular fire pits optimised for producing as little as possible; but this does not prevent them from forming a nice fire.
How does a smokeless fire pit work?
Usually, for wood logs and pellets fire pits, they manage to produce little to no smoke by a double combustion system where the smoke burns out too, hence burning any particle that could cause too much smoke.
Do smokeless fire pits give off heat?
Yes. The radius that the heat will reach will depend on the diameter and depth of the fire pit and the source of fuel mostly.
Can there be fire without smoke?
Yes. Technically speaking, some flames do not produce smoke. This is the case with pure hydrogen for instance. But this is really related only to chemistry and is not at all applicable in the case of leisure fire pits and bone fire. Regardless of the safe and suitable fuel you choose for your fire pit, you might have a little smoke.
What wood burns best?
In general, if you’re looking at which wood burns best, thus releasing as little smoke as possible, you’d have to look at the woods with low moisture. The best woods have a moisture content of 30% or less; the lower, the better. Seasoned, hardwoods work best as they contain less water. Good examples are : oak, maple, hickory, beech or ash.
Can you cook on a smokeless fire pit?
Many of the fire pits we’ve seen above are too small and not necessarily designed to host a grill grate. Probably it’s safe to hold a stick with some marshmallows or a sausage above the fire. The exception would be the BioLite fire pit that comes with a grate and where you can use charcoal not to burn directly your food. Also, be mindful that food drippings into the fire pit might cause it to release more smoke and you might have to clean a bit more thoroughly afterwards.
Top Tips To Minimize Fire Pit Smoke
Opt for a low smoke fire pit
It might sound obvious, but investing in a smokeless fire pit can be the easiest option to achieve an almost smoke free moment. The craftsmanship of building fire pits has progressed greatly and it would be silly not to take advantage of it.
Burn dry hardwood
The best wood to use is seasoned, dry, hardwood like oak, beech, maple or hickory. The lower the amount of moisture, the better.
Make sure your fire is “breathing”
Like we saw, the biggest advantage of these smokeless fire pits is that they have somewhat a system that allows more air, therefore oxygen to get into your fire. With a good, clean combustion, you’ll have less smoke. After all, it’s incomplete combustions that create smoke
Clean out the debris
Not only keeping your fire pit clean will help you make it last longer but it’s also a good measure to generate less smoke the following time you’ll light it up. Ashes, embers and leftovers from the previous fire might have become damp and/or will burn again creating some smoke.
Opt for gas fueled fire pit
Propane fueled fire pits might miss a little bit the charm of the more authentic wood fire pits, but they also work and they are probably the easiest option to achieve a low smoke ambiance.