How do I Choose the Best Patio Fire Pit?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
A patio fire pit.
A patio fire pit.

The first decision you must make when choosing the best patio fire pit is whether you want a permanent structure built, or if you want a portable patio fire pit unit that you can move around or store in another place during the off-season. A permanent structure is a much larger investment, but it will be a beautiful and solid addition to the patio. A portable patio fire pit unit will not be nearly as attractive as a permanent structure, but it will be significantly lower in cost and much more versatile.

Wood burning fire pits are easy to operate.
Wood burning fire pits are easy to operate.

Permanent structures can be made from a variety of materials; the most important consideration for a patio fire pit, whether it is a permanent structure or portable, is choosing inflammable materials. Bricks specifically designed for fire pits are available, and they are non-combustible, retain heat well, and look great as a building material. Concrete is another good choice since it is not combustible, though concrete is often not as attractive as brick or stone. Working with brick can be difficult, however, and may require the services of a professional brick layer. This will ensure the structure gets built properly, but it will also drive up the cost of the project significantly.

Another decision you will need to make when choosing a patio fire pit is how you will produce the fire. Some fire pits are wood burning pits, while others are gas burning. Wood burning fire pits are easy to operate and will produce a good sized flame, though burning wood will produce a fair amount of ash and embers that will need to be cleaned periodically. The smoke from such fires can also stain the patio fire pit structure, and it can send embers and sparks into the yard or into the trees above. Gas burning fire pits require some specialized equipment and a supply of gas such as propane, but it produces far less mess and smoke. Gas burning pits will not produce as brilliant and beautiful a flame as wood will, and lighting the gas flame can be somewhat dangerous if done improperly.

Portable fire pits are usually made from stainless steel or other types of metals. They are fairly lightweight and often feature mesh grills that contain the burning wood wile allowing air to pass through to the fire. They come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and designs, and you should choose the one that fits your budget and space requirements best.

Discussion Comments


@heavanet- Though a permanent patio fire pit would be durable and convenient, I think that you should consider some of the cons of installing one into your patio.

First of all, once it is installed, you can never change its location. If you would ever like to build a fire in a different spot on your patio, you will be out of luck.

The next thing that you should consider is the cost of repairs. Should your permanent outdoor patio fire pit ever get damaged or cracked, you will need to call a professional in to fix it. This type of repair could be expensive.

Finally, consider how a permanent fire pit may affect your chances for selling your home if you ever decide to put in on the market. Not everyone likes the idea of using a fire pit, let alone the thought of having one that is permanently installed in the patio. This could be a stumbling block for a potential buyer, which could lead to the costly venture of you having to remove your permanent patio fire pit in order to make the sale.


I was wondering if anyone has an opinion about whether or not having a permanent patio pit installed is a good investment. I am considering one for my patio, and like the idea of a patio fire pit that is there to stay.

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    • A patio fire pit.
      By: Harris Shiffman
      A patio fire pit.
    • Wood burning fire pits are easy to operate.
      By: GummyBear
      Wood burning fire pits are easy to operate.