Below, we’ll walk you through what you need to consider before buying a fire pit for your backyard or patio.
But first, our picks for the best fire pits currently on the market in Australia:
Best Value: Harbour Housewares Cast Iron Fire Pit
Crazy about campfires?
Love to sit outside for hours and watch the flames?
Then you need Harbour Housewares’ Cast Iron Fire Pit.
Made of sturdy cast iron, it’s designed to last for years.
Its oversized bowl allows you to add plenty of wood and get a nice, long fire going.
Its simple two-piece construction makes assembly easy, while its classic matte black finish looks good on any patio or deck.
And with a 2-year warranty, you’ll have peace of mind knowing Harbour Housewares stands behind its products.
Best for Camping: Kings Portable Steel Fire Pit
Kings Portable Steel Fire Pit is the latest and greatest in fire pit technology.
Weighing in at under 10kg, the sturdy steel fire pit is easy to set up, pack down, and transport. It comes in four pieces and packs down flat, so you can easily find space in your boot for it when not in use.
Also Great: Charmate Cast Iron Fire Pit
Made from durable cast iron and steel legs, this modern fire pit is the best of both worlds.
The large round dish is perfect for charcoal or wood for roasting marshmallows or simply enjoying the warmth.
Stylish, modern, and durable, the Charmate Cast Iron Fire Pit is exactly what you need to have an amazing time outside with friends and family.
Best for Grilling: UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit
You’ll always have a place to cook with the UCO Flatpack Grill and Fire Pit.
This portable grill makes it easy to pack up and go—just fold it flat, pop it into your backpack, and you’re good to go.
When you’re ready to cook, unfold it and set it up wherever you want. It keeps the flames contained and protected so that you don’t have to worry about them spreading anywhere. The sides of the grill serve as a wind-break which results in more effective cooking.
It also can be used as a fire pit, making this a super versatile option.
This grill/fire pit is constructed from durable stainless steel that is rust and corrosion-resistant for long-lasting durability.
Fire pit buying guide
Fire pit materials
Fire pits are primarily made from three different materials:
- stainless steel
- cast iron
Steel is the most common material for outdoor fire pits because of its durability, affordability and rust resistance.
Cast iron fire pits are also durable and affordable but can succumb to rusting, especially if they’re not properly cared for.
Copper has a high-end look with a long lifespan that resists corrosion. However, it’s the most expensive option as well as the heaviest choice.
You should choose your fire pit material based on how important durability and longevity are to you compared to how much you want to spend on your fire pit now and in the future.
Fire pit size
One of the first things to think about when buying a fire pit is how many people you want to be able to sit comfortably around it. The size you buy will depend on that number.
If you’re going to use your fire pit mainly for two or three people, a smaller one may fit your needs best.
Smaller fire pits generally measure 30 inches in diameter and can accommodate up to 4 chairs.
But if you plan on having more company, opt for a larger fire pit that can accommodate more chairs and hold more wood.
A larger fire pit (around 40-50 inches in diameter) is ideal when you want plenty of space so everyone can feel comfortable while sitting around the warmth of the fire.
Fire pit portability
Portability depends on the design of your fire pit and the material it is made from.
For example, a cast iron fire pit will be challenging to move around your backyard because of its weight. And of course, concrete and stone fire pits are not portable at all. Neither are ceramic or clay fire pits.
If you do go with a copper model, keep in mind that it will be heavy, although not as heavy as cast iron.
The most portable types are lightweight and compact stainless steel models that you can use while camping or for 4×4 or caravan trips.
Do you want to cook on your fire pit?
If you want to use your fire pit for cooking, make sure to purchase a cooking grate that is specifically designed for use with your fire pit.
This will ensure proper ventilation and airflow around your food as it cooks evenly in the heat.
Next, think about the types of foods you plan on cooking. Different accessories are best suited to different types of cooking.
You don’t want to purchase a cheap fire pit only to realise that it could be dangerous for your family and pets.
Look for a fire pit that has safety features such as:
- Cover – A cover is important so you can cover the fire pit when it’s not in use or if you’re expecting rain.
- Screen – A screen allows you to safely burn wood while also keeping sparks from escaping.
- Grate – A grate provides air flow to help keep your wood burning, but also keeps embers inside the unit so they don’t cause damage.
- Rug – This will protect your patio flooring from heat and embers that might escape.
Other safety precautions include:
- Fire Extinguisher – Have one handy just in case of emergency so you can safely put out the flames before they get out of control or cause damage to property or people/pets nearby.
- Fire Extinguisher Blanket – It’s good to have this on hand for emergencies!
- Access to water – For quickly putting out fires.
What do you put under a fire pit?
Fire pit pads are made from composite materials designed to withstand heat and fire, like concrete, slate or soapstone. Fire pit mats are usually square or rectangular sheets of flame-resistant material that can be set directly under your fire pit.
Fire pit rings and bricks simply rim the bottom of a fire pit but don’t cover the ground underneath it. However, these options should still protect your patio or lawn from scorch marks.
Fire pit pavers can be purchased in bundles, similar to laying bricks, and arranged in any shape desired under the grate of a fire pit. Stones and sand placed at the bottom of a firepit will help dispel heat as well.
Deck protectors are available for purchase as well, specifically designed to prevent excessive heat transfer to wooden deck flooring.
Is it OK to put a fire pit on grass?
Fire pits are not recommended for use on grass for two reasons: one, they can damage the lawn; and two, because grass is flammable, it carries a risk of starting a fire.
In terms of damage to your lawn, fire pits that are placed directly on top of grass can burn or scorch the grass beneath them. In some cases, this can kill the grass outright.
Fire pits should be placed on top of a non-flammable surface such as concrete, brick or pavers. These materials conduct heat safely away from the ground beneath them. You can also use gravel in areas where you might not want to install permanent hardscaping.
Keep in mind that fire pits heat up when in use and will remain hot for some time afterward; any material you put underneath your fire pit needs to be able to withstand high temperatures without cracking or melting.
Fire pit FAQ
Are fire pits worth the money?
With so many choices out there you might be asking yourself: is a fire pit worth the money? A fire pit completes any outdoor space with its comforting glow. A good one can last for years if cared for properly. If you think you will use it regularly, then fire pits are a great investment for your backyard.
Do fire pits keep you warm?
The answer is yes, but it depends on how far away from the fire you are, and what direction the wind is blowing. If you sit close to the fire, with the wind blowing toward you, then you can expect to feel toasty — but if the wind blows in a different direction, then your fire pit may not be as effective. Many people enjoy their fire pits anyway because they love sitting around an outdoor fireplace even when it’s not giving off much heat.
Can you use a fire pit on decking?
Depending on the type of fire pit you buy, you may be able to use it on your deck.
Portable fire pits are typically safe to use on wooden and composite decks, as well as concrete or stone patios. Portable fire pits come in a variety of styles and materials and often have removable legs that make them easy to move from place to place.
Not all fire pits are designed for use on a deck, however, so check with the manual for your specific product.
Can you put a fire pit directly on concrete?
While concrete is a great base for fire pits, you’ll want to check the manual of your specific model before attempting a direct setup.
Some pits require additional protection when used on this material due to their tendency to get very hot.