How to Choose a Wood Burning Fire Pit: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Choose a Wood Burning Fire Pit: A Comprehensive Guide

Josh Rowell

How to Choose a Wood Burning Fire Pit: A Comprehensive Guide

Picture this: the comforting warmth and glow of a crackling fire, the gentle sizzle of marshmallows, and the laughter of loved ones gathered around. A wood-burning fire pit offers a timeless and enchanting way to transform your outdoor space into a haven of warmth and fellowship. 

With more and more fire pits available on the market making the right choice can be tough.  Hopefully our comprehensive guide below will help you in making the right decision for you and your family.  

Choosing the Right Material

Durability and aesthetics are key considerations when selecting a fire pit. Popular materials include:

  • Cast iron: A classic choice for its durability and heat retention.  Cast iron fire pits can be hard to find and will often be on the higher price and weight of other fire pits. 

  • Copper: Copper fire pits radiate heat extremely well.  They can withstand the test of time and will price out on the higher end of the other options.  Copper fire pits can add a touch of elegance and ages beautifully. 

Check out these examples from Jatex International

  • Steel: Steel fire pits come in a variety of gauges (thickness of the metal).  You will want at least 12 gauge steel to ensure you firepit can withstand the heat and elements.  Steel fire pits are often the perfect balance of style, functionality and price. 

REMEMBER - The lower the number the thicker the steel.  i.e. a 24 gauge steel is very thin and will not last very long. 

For example: These Fire Pit Art fire pits are 10 gauge steel.


Size and Style

The size of your fire pit depends on the available space and the number of people you usually host. When measuring for a firepit you will want at least 24" between your seating and the edge firepit.  

  • A  24" to 32" can accommodate 3 to 4 chairs (be careful of log size with smaller firepits)
  • A  32" to 36" fire pit will accommodate 4 chairs comfortably.
  • A  36" to 42" fire pit will accommodate 5 to 6 chairs
  • A  42"+ fire pit will accommodate 6+ chairs

Location and Safety

Position your fire pit at least 10 feet away from any structures or overhanging branches or eaves. Place it on a level, non-combustible surface like gravel or patio stones. Ensure adequate airflow to prevent smoke buildup.

Fuel Options

Seasoned (dry) hardwood logs such as oak, hickory and maple are the traditional choice for wood-burning fire pits. They produce less smoke, burn hotter and longer than softwoods.

Logs that are even slightly wet will produce much more smoke and less heat than well seasoned fire wood.

*Be careful with sappy woods such as pine as they are more susceptible to popping embers. 

Log Length

Log length should be proportional to the size of your fire pit.  If you already have wood or have access to wood, you may want to take this into consideration as you select your fire pit.   Many of the smaller firepits on the market today simply cannot handle a standard 18" to 24" split log. 

Smokeless Fire Pits

One of the more recent advents in the fire pit industry are "smokeless" fire pits such as Breeo.  The fire pits are known for their unique design that enhances airflow and smoke reduction. Their bowl-shaped structure draws air through vents, creating a more efficient and enjoyable fire experience.  

All "smokeless" fire pits still emit some smoke and perform at their best when an established fire, with a hot coal bed, is burning dry, seasoned wood.  



Many firepits on the market today offer a number of accessories such as cooking grates and kettle hooks.  if you want to get the most fun and enjoyment out of your firepit consider looking for these accessories before making your purchase. 


Additional Tips

  • Practice fire safety: Never leave a fire unattended and ensure it is completely extinguished before leaving the area.  Have a fire extinguisher close by for extra safety. 

  • Comply with local regulations: Check with your municipality and HOA for any fire pit restrictions or permit requirements.

With careful consideration and these helpful tips, you can choose the perfect wood-burning fire pit to create a warm and inviting ambiance in your outdoor haven. Gather around the fire, roast marshmallows, and share stories under the starlit sky, creating memories that will last a lifetime.