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Best fire pits 2021: Gather around the fire from just £27

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Our pick of the best log, gas and bbq fire pits for your garden

Let's face it, British weather can be temperamental at the best of times, but with our pick of the best fire pits, you won't get left out in the cold.

An outdoor fire pit can open up a whole world of outdoor possibilities, allowing you to stay cosy and warm long after the sun has set. Fire pits are ideal for alfresco dinner parties, family gatherings or just peaceful evenings sitting out enjoying the open air. And, with the days getting shorter and the evenings cooler, now's the perfect time to invest in a quality fire pit.

Fueled by firewood, charcoal or gas, a fire pit provides plenty of warmth, a little bit of excitement (it is fire, after all!) and, if paired with a grill, can even be used to rustle up food for all the family. Their self-contained designs make them safer than a bonfire and more versatile than a traditional barbecue – and let’s be fair, “let's all sit around the barbecue tonight” doesn’t have quite the same cachet.

Available in a wide range of shapes, sizes and designs ranging from the traditional to the contemporary, there’s a fire pit in our round-up to suit every garden and budget.


The best fire pits at a glance


How to choose the best fire pit for you

Can you cook on a fire pit?

Many fire pits are designed to pull double duty as both outdoor heaters and barbecues. Nearly all pits will work a treat for toasting marshmallows, but you’ll want to opt for a model that comes with a dedicated grill if you plan on rustling up something a little more substantial.

Which fire pit fuel is best?

The majority of fire pits can be run on either charcoal or firewood. For that authentic crackling fire experience, quality dried hardwood is your best bet. For cooking, however, it’s often better to opt for charcoal as this will provide a more consistent, longer-lasting heat ideal. Gas is also a fire pit option, and while generally pricier than its wood and coal-fired counterparts, they're better suited for those who wish to avoid dealing with smoke and ash. Gas pits, however, tend to be more decorative features, and are generally unsuitable for cooking over.

What size fire pit should you buy?

The size of the fire pit will determine how much fuel it can hold. While generally not as critical for gas-fueled fire pits, for wood and coal-fueled pits, the size will affect how much heat it gives off, and for those with grills, it will affect how much food you can cook at once. If you plan on sitting close to the fire, or you’re only going to cook for a couple of people, a pit with a diameter under 50cm will suffice. For bigger groups, you’ll likely want one that’s 50cm or larger.

Is there anything else I should look out for?

While almost all fire pits are designed to resist the elements, if you plan on leaving it out all year round it certainly doesn't hurt to keep it covered while not in use. A rain cover will protect the pit's finish whilst also stopping it from collecting rainwater and debris. Some firepits ship with a cover as standard but aftermarket fire pit covers are also available.

Depending on where you plan to use your fire pit you may also wish to consider picking up a heat-resistant fire pit mat. Fire pits, especially those that sit low to the ground, can radiate plenty of heat into the ground beneath them, potentially singing your lawn or scorching your decking. A heat-resistant mat will reflect the heat away from the ground and help avoid any scorch marks.

READ NEXT: The best patio heaters to buy

The best fire pits to buy in 2021

1. Harbour Housewares Cast Iron Fire Pit: Best traditional fire pit

Price: £79 | Buy now from Amazon

This 75cm fire bowl from Harbour Housewares offers an authentic stripped-back open-fire experience. The large diameter cast iron bowl provides plenty of oxygen for the fuel, allowing for easier lighting, plus a longer and more sustained burn. It also provides plenty of warmth, making it a joy to be around long into the evening.

It's simple to assemble, if a little heavy - at 15kg it's quite hefty but the strong metal handles do make it easier to transport or to tip for emptying the ash. Once set up makes for an attractive rustic garden focal point. Made of durable cast iron it should stand up to all weather conditions but you may wish to add a cover simply to avoid it filling with water between uses.

Key specs – Pit diameter: 75cm; Dimensions: 75 x 85 x 39cm; Weight: 15kg; Fuel: Wood or charcoal; Barbecue grill: No


2. Dakota Fields Stanyon Steel Fire Pit: Best small fire pit

Price: £98 | Buy now from Wayfair

With all-steel construction and an attractive oxidised finish, the Dakota Fields Stanyon Steel Fire Pit will make a stylish addition to just about any garden. Shipping with a raw unfinished steel bowl, once exposed to the elements it takes on its own unique patina. While it’s not the largest fire pit in our roundup, it’s nicely proportioned for patios and smaller gardens, and thanks to its bowl and plinth design it’s easy to store away when not in use. If you’re after something a little larger, it’s also available in 55, 75 and 85cm pit diameter configurations.

Key specs – Pit diameter: 41cm; Dimensions: 41 x 41 x 29cm; Weight: 5.6kg; Fuel: Wood; Barbecue grill: No

Buy now from Wayfair


3. Dawoo 3-in-1 Fire Pit with BBQ Grill: Best fire pit for grilling

Price: £90 | Buy now from Amazon

With ample grilling space and an attractive table-top design, this fire pit from Dawoo makes for a great garden focal point. It’s excellent for barbecuing or sitting around on cooler evenings – and you can even load it with ice for chilling drinks on hot summer days.

Made from powder-coated steel, once set up it feels reassuringly solid – always a plus when dealing with fire. There’s also a mesh lid for keeping stray embers under control. The size and weight of this pit make it a little tricky to cart around, but an all-weather cover is included to protect it while not in use.

Key specs – Pit diameter: 57cm; Dimensions: 81 x 81 x 45cm; Weight: 15kg; Fuel: Wood or charcoal; Barbecue grill: Yes


4. Fire Vida Portable Folding Fire Pit with Grill: Best portable fire pit

Price: £37 | Buy now from Amazon

This fire bowl from Fire Vida is lightweight and features a practical folding design. The three legs can be folded underneath the bowl, or removed entirely for even more compact storage. This makes it ideal for picnics and camping, and it’s easy to pack away when not in use.

For cooking, there’s a 52cm grate which provides plenty of room for grilling. It also comes with a mesh lid and fire hook so that you can enjoy the flames without having to worry about stray embers.

Key specs – Pit diameter: 52cm; Dimensions: 42 x 64 x 56cm; Weight: 5.4kg; Fuel: Wood or charcoal; Barbecue grill: Yes


5. Peaktop Retro Stone Propane Fire Pit: Best gas-fueled fire pit

Price: £350 | Buy now from Amazon

With a retro-chic wood-effect finish and stylish tabletop design, this gas-fueled Peaktop fire pit will make a striking addition to any garden. It features an electric ignition and an adjustable flame, making starting it nearly instant. The pit itself is sunken, allowing you to safely use the tabletop for drinks and snacks, while the flames are produced through a ring in the centre of the pit. 3kg of included lava rocks help retain and radiate the heat.

As it’s a gas-fueled pit you won't have to worry about smoke, cleaning up ashes or waiting for it to warm up, but you will need a propane tank. The pit comes with a 3m gas hose that should allow you to store the tank out of the way.

At 35kg it’s a reassuringly solid fixture, but far from portable. Fortunately, a waterproof cove for protection from the elements is included for while it’s not in use.

Key specs – Pit diameter: 43cm; Dimensions: 89 x 89 x 29cm; Weight: 34kg; Fuel: Propane gas; Barbecue grill: No;


6. Fineway Fire Pit With BBQ Grill: Best compact fire pit

Price: £27 | Buy now from Amazon

For those on a budget, the Fineway Square Fire Pit ticks all the boxes without breaking the bank. Loaded up with firewood or charcoal, this compact pit produces a comfortable amount of heat for sitting out on chilly nights.

It includes a grill for barbecuing and boasts a reasonable amount of cooking area for such a compact pit. There’s also a mesh lid to keep stray embers under control. Be aware that the bottom of the pit is open, which can allow embers and ash to drop out. It does come with a metal plate to catch them, but you’ll still want to watch where you position it.

Key specs – Pit diameter: 45cm; Dimensions: 45 x 45 x 34cm; Weight: 3.7kg; Fuel: Wood or charcoal; Barbecue grill: Yes


7. Arpe Studio Maar Steel Fire Pit: Best contemporary fire bowl

Price: £349 | Buy now from Not on the High Street

Arpe Studio’s Maar Steel fire pit features a large bowl with a striking modern design. The pit is constructed entirely from steel, but the surfaces have been carefully sanded so as to encourage a patina to form over time. Fresh out of the box the Maar fire pit is silver, but once exposed to the elements it quickly develops a rusted finish, giving it a truly unique and eye-catching appearance.

With a large 80cm bowl, the Maar fire pit is able to stack more firewood or coal than some of the smaller fire pits we have on this list, making it a practical choice even through winter.

Key specs – Pit diameter: 80cm; Dimensions: 80 x 80 x 22cm; Weight: 17kg; Fuel: Wood or charcoal; Barbecue grill: No

Buy now from Not on the High Street


8. Le Feu Ground Low: A chic portable fireplace for indoors and out

Price: £1700 | Buy now from Selfridges

Looking for something a little more upmarket? look no further than Le Feu's stunningly stylish Ground Low fireplace. It features a smart, minimalist cast iron dome set atop a trio of soap treated oak legs, and rather than running on coal or firewood, it uses bioethanol for a cleaner, smoke-free burn.

While it may lack the rustic charm of a log burning fire, the chic Ground Low makes for a wonderful focal point on any patio, deck or balcony. And, thanks to its raised design, you don't need to worry about it charring the ground beneath - in fact, the portable Le Feu is can actually be used both indoors and out.

If you're in the market for a stylish, portable, smoke-free fireplace... and your budget can stretch to it, the Le Feu range is certainly worth your consideration.

Key specs – Pit diameter: 52cm; Dimensions: 52 x 42 x 45cm; Weight: 14.2kg; Fuel: Bioethanol; Barbecue grill: No

Buy now from Selfridges


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