Buyers Guide to Fire Pits

A garden fire pit is more than a source of warmth; it’s a centrepiece for socialising and creating a welcoming environment in your outdoor space. Here’s our comprehensive guide to help you make an informed choice when purchasing a fire pit for your garden or outdoor space.

Purpose and Placement

First things first, you will need to define the purpose of your fire pit. Are you looking for warmth, ambience or something to cook on? There are a few varieties of fire pit such as the Celeste or Dakota range which are ideal for creating a warm space in your garden. There are more exuberant fire pits with swinging arms attached to racks, perfect for those who love cooking al fresco.

What Fuel Should I Use in a Fire Pit?

Wood-burning fire pits provide a classic, crackling ambience and can be adapted when being used for cooking. Hardwoods, such as oak, ash and beech are best for heat when cooking and will provide a long burn and flavour. If you’re looking for some extra flavour, Apple or Pear are great options or why not try adding hickory for a smoky taste? The downside of using wood is that it requires cleaning more often, as there will be an ash buildup in the base of the pit. 

Gas-powered fire pits offer the convenience of an instant flame and cleaner burning. Once installed, they produce an instant fire, which is available at the push of a button. 

It’s also important to consider your preference for the authentic smell of burning wood or the simplicity of gas.

Fire Pit Buyers Guide
Fire Pit Buyers Guide

Materials and Durability

Make sure to opt for durable materials resistant to outdoor elements. Steel and cast iron offer durability with a rustic appeal, while stainless steel and aluminium are corrosion-resistant. Copper and ceramic provide a stylish touch but may require more maintenance. Regardless of the type of material you go for, make sure to cover or store your firepit when the weather worsens to get the most use out of it for the years to come.

What Size Fire Pit Do I Need?

It’s important to think about a firepit size that fits your space without becoming too overwhelming. Smaller fire pits are a cosy option, perfect for intimate groups of people, while larger ones are perfect for evening parties. As a rough guide, the following can be used:

  • 50cm = Up to four people
  • 60cm = Up to six people
  • 70cm = Up to eight people
  • 80cm = Up to ten people
  • 90cm = Up to 12 people
  • 120cm = Up to 20 people
  • 160cm = 30+ people

Safety Features

Many fire pits come with built-in safety mechanisms, which make them a great choice for families with children or pets. These safety mechanisms, such as screens or spark guards, should remain in place while in constant monitored use. Do not leave a fire pit unattended at any point, especially with children or animals around.

Also, make sure that your firepit is on a strong and stable surface to minimise the risk of it toppling over. Avoid placing your firepit on decking or near trees and structures like sheds or fences. Finally, check the local weather forecast for the wind direction before lighting your fire.

Fire Pit Buyers Guide
Fire Pit Buyers Guide

Can You Cook on a Fire Pit?

If you plan on cooking over the fire, consider fire pits with grates or cooking surfaces. Look for models with adjustable grates for versatile outdoor cooking experiences. Some fire pits come with swing grills, whereas some come with removable full or half grates for easy cooking surfaces.

Portable or Permanent?

Decide if you want a portable fire pit for flexibility or a permanent one integrated into your outdoor design. Portable options are great for changing the layout of your garden, while built-in fire pits offer a seamless look.

If you only envision yourself using your fire pit for occasional hosting and are limited on space, a portable option is a great choice to provide you with a centrepiece for gatherings but also the ability to store away and free up garden space when not in use. Despite being a higher investment, a permanent fire pit is the perfect option if you often dine and entertain outside.

How To Clean a Fire Pit:

Different materials have varying maintenance needs. Stainless steel and aluminium are low-maintenance, while iron and copper may require periodic cleaning and protective coatings. 

Steel fire pits are a popular and versatile fire pit option as they are also very easy to maintain. All you have to do is: 

  • Ensure ash and debris are removed from the bowl. 
  • Spray it with a hose, and lightly wipe it with a soap and water solution. 
  • Turn the bowl upside-down to allow it to air dry.

Although gas fire pits are low-maintenance and are easy to operate, they will require some cleaning in regards to the burner and the gas lines. Be sure to keep the burners clean so that gas can properly flow through the burner and check the gas lines regularly for safety and proper operation. 

We recommend that you refer to the instructions in the manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific firepit for further guidance. 

How Much Do Fire Pits Cost:

Establish a budget range before exploring options as fire pit prices vary based on materials, size, and features. Keep in mind that additional accessories like covers or cooking grates may contribute to the overall cost but things such as covers will ensure the lifespan of your appliance. The range of fire pits that we stock at Holt Garden Centre ranges from £79.00, up to £599.99 for a 52cm firepit with glass surround and regulator. 

Do I need to think about any regulations?

Check local regulations and restrictions on fire pits, including clearance distances from structures, size limitations, and fuel type restrictions. Ensure compliance with safety standards in your area before purchasing.

Environmental Impact:

Different fuel types impact the environment in different ways. Wood-burning fire pits emit carbon emissions, while gas options are often considered cleaner. However, we recommend that you research which fuel option is best for your lifestyle, and garden size, and is compliant with any local regulations.

Additional Accessories:

At Holt Garden Centre, we stock a range of fire pit accessories to enhance your experience. From cooking tools, to outdoor furniture and more, we recommend investing in quality accessories that complement your fire pit and garden. For more information and further advice, get in touch with us or visit us in-store to speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff.

By considering these factors, you’ll be well-equipped to choose a garden fire pit that not only meets your practical needs but also enhances the overall aesthetic and atmosphere of your outdoor space. If you have any further questions about buying a fire pit for your garden, get in touch with us online or visit us in-store at Holt Garden Centre.

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