As long as you don’t mind having a face full of wood smoke from time to time and are prepared to fork out a tidy sum on hardwood bought from a local petrol station, one of the best fire pits is an excellent way to keep the extremities warm once the sun’s gone to bed and the evening chill sets in.
We’ve already pitted the high-tech BioLite FirePit+ against the Outwell Cazal Fire Pit M, but for this comparison we’ve chosen two stylish fire pit models that appear to be flying out of the Amazon warehouse faster than a squirrel up a tree, namely the elegantly stylish Peaktop Outdoor Garden Patio Round Bowl (opens in new tab) and the elaborate laser-cut Fallen Fruits Woodland Fire Pit (opens in new tab).
Both of these fire pits will keep you warm while bringing a soupçon of primal ambience to the patio. But which one is the hottest product – in more ways than one?
If you want to heat your garden but don't want a fire pit, then be sure to make time to take a look at T3's best patio heaters buying guide.
Peaktop Outdoor Garden Patio Round Bowl vs Fallen Fruits Oxidised Rust Effect Woodland Fire Pit: design and features
At 76cm (30 inches) in diameter, the Peaktop is big with a capital B, and that means it will burn a lot of logs at once and produce enough heat to cover more than the immediate area around it. Constructed out of solid steel and styled to look like an artefact someone dug up at an archeological site, the stylish Peaktop sits on a sturdy plinth so it’s almost impossible to accidentally knock over. It’s also thankfully devoid of overstatement and has no intricate carvings in its side, just a row of small rivets along its upper circumference.
It’s always a good idea to opt for a fire pit with a mesh covering of sorts unless you don’t mind dodging flying sparks. This model comes with a braced steel mesh lid that can be easily removed – with gloves on, of course. It also has two small handles on the side so two people could feasibly move it while it’s still alight. And for those feeling a bit peckish, there’s a grill for it, too.
If you think most fire pits look too bland and prefer a model that your guests will almost certainly notice, the Fallen Fruits range of pre-rusted laser-cut fire pits and globes will be right up your garden path. This decorative model is surrounded by laser-cut trees, leaves and deer for a pleasing ‘aah, isn’t that lovely’ effect.
The convolutedly named Fallen Fruits Oxidised Rust Effect Woodland Fire Pit measures 58cm in diameter and it arrives pre-weathered so there’s no need to paint it in vinegar to speed up the oxidation process. The first thing you notice about the Fallen Fruits is how well it’s made. The woodland pattern is precision cut into cast iron using lasers, and most of the cutouts have several contact points for sturdiness; nothing feels flimsy or like it’s about to break off. However, some of the animals heads are untethered so I would be cautious when throwing in the logs. Mind, the worst that can happen is a bent deer which would be easy to bend back into place.
From an aesthetic point of view, the Fallen Fruits Woodland Fire Pit – and many of its similarly-styled stablemates – is one of the most striking models currently on the market. Once lit, the woodland pattern produces enchanting silhouettes against the mesmerising flames that is genuinely pleasing – indeed quite mesmerising – to look at. For the record, Fallen Fruits also produces a range of striking fire globes.
Peaktop Outdoor Garden Patio Round Bowl vs Fallen Fruits Oxidised Rust Effect Woodland Fire Pit: performance
The Peaktop fire pit is more conventional than the Fallen Fruits and hence it’s more efficient at projecting heat when fully loaded. The heavy-duty steel also gets sizzling hot which adds an extra soupçon of radiated heat. The Peaktop will accommodate logs up to eight inches in length and once lit, it truly rages. This is helped no end by the curved bottom and fuel grate which allows plenty of oxygen to flow under the logs and among the cinders. The mesh hood is especially handy if you are burning petrol station-sourced logs since they are rarely as dry as they ought to be and may spark a lot more than the kiln-dried variety.
The Fallen Fruits Woodland Fire Pit’s open-sided design is great for heat radiance though it does produce a lot of smoke when there’s a breeze and sparks can easily shoot out of the sides from time to time. Mind, smoke and sparks are common problems with the majority of fire pits, indeed any open sit-around fire. Just ask your ancestors.
Peaktop Outdoor Garden Patio Round Bowl vs Fallen Fruits Oxidised Rust Effect Woodland Fire Pit: verdict
If you’re in the market for a fire pit that’s as handsome as it is efficient, then I would opt for the cheaper Peaktop which delivers excellent heat output without shouting about it. But if you love a bit of rustic Disneyland aesthetic that guests will almost certainly notice, then the Fallen Fruits Woodland Fire Pit is well worth considering.
- Now you're warm, enjoy food cooked on one of the best BBQs