Best fire pit 2022: cockle-warming patio fires for the great outdoors

The best fire pits of 2022 with decorative cutouts, high-tech venting and stylish, portable designs

Included in this guide:

The best fire pit hero image showing humans sat around a fire pit cooking marshmallows
(Image credit: Femor)

Evening temperatures in the higher reaches of the Northern Hemisphere – like here in the UK, for instance – aren’t especially suitable for sitting outdoors while enjoying a post-nosh chinwag round the patio table. Once the sun sets, the temperature plummets and everyone’s either reaching for a cardigan or heading back indoors again. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You could, instead, warm the cockles in front of a roaring fire pit, just the way our hairy simian forebears intended. No longer are fires just for scaring off sabre-tooth tigers and making mammoth kebabs a bit more palatable – in the form of a striking fire pit, they can be beautiful, functional, sociable pieces of art for enjoyable outdoor living. Plus, they can toast a mean marshmallow.

Whether you want it for flipping burgers at your next barbecue or perhaps even thawing out chilly extremities on a winter’s night, the right fire pit is a joy to have in any garden.

If you team one of the best garden fire pits with some of one of the best barbecues and a selection of the best outdoor lights, you're well on your way to a fantastic garden experience no matter how cold the weather gets.

The best fire pits you can buy today in 2022

Amagabeli Portable Fire Pit on white backgroundT3 Award

The best fire pit for most people? That's the Amagabeli Portable Fire Pit.

(Image credit: Amagabeli Garden Home)

1. Amagabeli Portable Fire Pit

A classic fire pit with handy net guard

Specifications
Burns: Wood and charcoal
Weight: 4kg
Portable: Yes
Diameter: 20.4 inches
Reasons to buy
+
Affordable price
+
Good size
+
Portable

Lightweight and foldable for handy transportation, with classic good looks, and delivering a good size for most medium and small gardens, the Amagabeli Portable Fire Pit makes for a very attractive option.

As the Amagabeli Portable Fire Pit weighs in at only 4kg and comes with three folding legs, it is very easy to transport. At 20.4 inches in diameter, this pit is very much in medium-size territory. Made from rust-resistant durable steel, the Amagabeli comes with a spark protection cover that safely surrounds the fire, stopping cinders from scattering all over the guests.

Technically this fire pit could also be used as a basic charcoal BBQ as well, so you're really getting two products with its purchase. Overall, an affordable and stylish fire pit.

Fallen Fruits Iron Woodland Scene Fire Pit on white backgroundT3 Award

2. Fallen Fruits Oxidised Rust Effect Woodland Fire Pit Basket

A decorative bowl that’s perfect for setting the scene in your garden

Specifications
Best for: Decoration
Burns: Logs
Weight: 5kg
Portable: No
Reasons to buy
+
Beautiful design
+
Durable material
Reasons to avoid
-
Expensive
-
Not for cooking

This laser-cut rustic fire bowl has been intricately designed to bring your garden to life with woodland silhouettes and earthy tones – it really does look invitingly cosy when the logs are in full blaze. However the cut out shapes can cause ash to blow out of the bowl, so be careful not to overfill it.

As time goes on, the bowl itself will rust which will give it an even more authentically vintage look. Your guests will be none the wiser, mind, but their tootsies will be warm as toast.

Now see how it compares in our Peaktop Outdoor Garden Patio Round Bowl vs Fallen Fruits Woodland Fire Pit feature.

Biolite FirePit+ on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: BioLite)

3. BioLite FirePit+

A fan-equipped smokeless model with impressive heat output

Specifications
Burns: Wood
Weight: 9kg
Portable: Yes, to some degree
Reasons to buy
+
Excellent radiant heat output
+
Uses a fan to stoke the flames
+
You can grill on it
+
App connectivity
Reasons to avoid
-
Consumes wood quickly
-
Too large to carry long distances

BioLite specialises in outdoor tech like stoves, LED lighting for camping and orienteering, portable solar panels and USB battery banks. The BioLite FirePit+ isn’t just a fire pit because it also comes with a grill top and that means it will barbecue food as well as keep you warm. Unlike a standard fire pit, the BioLite is equipped with a battery-powered fan that stokes the flames while producing as little smoke as possible. It does, however, require regular feeding.

An especially cool feature with this model is that the mesh sides allow the heat to radiate more effectively at ground level so you don’t have to sit close and wave your hands over the flames. Seeing the flames from both sides is also aesthetically pleasing. What’s more, if you pair the BioLite with its accompanying Bluetooth app (iOS and Android), you can adjust the speed of the fan – and therefore the heat – without getting off your butt.

At 19.8lbs (9kgs), it’s not the kind of thing you’d go back packing with even though its four legs fold for transport. However, it’s perfectly suitable for car-based travel.

Travel Kadai Fire Pit BBQ on white backgroundT3 Award

4. Travel Kadai Fire Pit BBQ

Best smaller fire pit for barbecuing

Specifications
Burns: Wood and charcoal
Weight: 10kg
Portable: Yes
Reasons to buy
+
Small and reasonably portable
+
Comes with BBQ grill
Reasons to avoid
-
Quite heavy for its size

Kadai produces a wide range of Medieval-style fire pits, some of them over 100 years old and costing upwards of £400 apiece. This particular model isn’t 100 years old but it certainly looks it. Thankfully, at a smidge under £100, it’s a lot cheaper, too.

To the untrained eye, the Travel Kadai looks like an inverted Norman helmet and it’s just as tough. It measures 45cm across so is just the right size for a small patio and perfect as a campfire. The short stand adds lots of elevation so it doesn’t scorch grass.

This model is also equipped with a grill and a pair of tongs for those familiar with the lid-less direct cooking technique which involves regularly moving the food around so it doesn’t burn. It also comes with a handy carry bag. Incidentally, Kadai recommends using 8cm of sand in the bowl to help keep it in tip-top shape; the norm with some fire pits. 

If you love the ancient, reclaimed look then this patio perfect model is well worth adding to the list.

Solo Stove Bonfire on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Solo Stove)

5. Solo Stove Bonfire

Specifications
Burns: Wood
Weight: 9kg
Portable: Yes
Reasons to buy
+
Stylish looks
+
Clever venting system
+
Hardly any smoke
Reasons to avoid
-
Not much radiant heat
-
Burns through logs quickly

If you’re looking for an attractive stainless steel option that doesn’t create much smoke, try the Solo Stove Bonfire. This model is 49.5cm in diameter and 35.5cm tall so it’s a great option for smaller patios. Mind, it's quite pricy, too.

The double-walled Solo Stove Bonfire uses a clever venting system that ports super-heated air upwards through a series of vent holes positioned along the inside lip of the unit. Waste gases in the smoke are then re-ignited to produce a furnace-like flame that produces very little smoke. 

The downside to this type of system is that most of the heat invariably goes straight up and into the atmosphere rather than radiate outwards like most fire pits. While the side wall is scorching hot to the touch, you don’t feel that much heat when your hand is an inch or so away from the side. In fact, you have to hunch over the furnace to feel the full effect, or sit high up next to it.

Whatever, this is still a superb fire pit that has garnered a wealth of positive reviews from its army of contented users. Just be prepared to load it frequently because it goes through a lot of wood pretty quickly.

Peaktop FP35 Outdoor on white backgroundT3 Award

(Image credit: Peaktop)

6. Peaktop FP35 Outdoor 35-Inch Round Steel Wood Burning Fire Pit

A grand and resiliently rustic centrepiece for your social gatherings

Specifications
Best for: Frequent use
Burns: Logs
Weight: 11.7kg
Portable: No
Reasons to buy
+
Durable material
+
Fire burns all night
Reasons to avoid
-
Pricey
-
Heavy

The hand-crafted design and rust-proof bronze of the Peaktop FP35 Fire Pit make it a great choice for log-burning all year round, as well as providing a handsome rustic finish. 

The bronze fire bowl itself is pitted with diamond-shaped air holes for great ventilation and a mesh screen cover to keep sparks contained. At roughly 89cm (35 inches) in width, this is a big old log burner so make sure you have the space to position it carefully so others can walk past it without scorching a shin. A great choice for large verandahs and patios.

Dancook 9000 Firepit BBQ on white backgroundT3 Award

7. Dancook 9000 Bonfire Barbecue Grill

Best large fire pit

Specifications
Burns: Wood and charcoal
Weight: 12.5kg
Portable: Hardly
Reasons to buy
+
Stylish design
+
Effective heat radiance
Reasons to avoid
-
Not a compact option

The Dancook 9000 is 76cm (30 inches) wide and comes with a heavyweight stainless steel grill meaning you could start an alfresco evening with a handful of charcoal to cook some sausages, chicken legs and kebabs and then, post grub, remove the grill and throw a pile of logs on top of the charcoal for a blazing fire. 

The 50cm-high stand is a clever design flourish too: not only does it look great but it also lets you store the steel bowl on its side so it doesn’t fill with rain water and become a mecca for mozzie lava and other unsightly natural things.

Surprisingly, the Dancook’s surrounding three-inch lip remains merely warm to the touch and not searingly hot as you might reasonably expect, given that the whole thing is shaped out of heat-conducting steel. This means that kids and pets won’t get burned if they inadvertently brush by or touch the outer edge. 

A top sophisticated modern-art option for lovers of Scandinavian minimalism, but only those with more capacious patios.

Fuoco Tabletop Gel Fire Pit on white backgroundT3 Award

8. Fuoco Tabletop Gel Fire Pit

A mini travel alternative to the traditional fire pit

Specifications
Best for: Camping
Burns: Gel fuel
Weight: 1.2kg
Portable: Yes
Reasons to buy
+
Compact and lightweight
+
Safe and easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-
Fuel is expensive

The Fuoco Tabletop Fire Pit is a must-have for campers, hikers and festival-goers alike. By far one of the best portable fire pits, it’s compact and easy to transport, and it comes handily equipped with a long-handled extinguisher, so you can safely and easily put out your fire wherever you are. Mind, it has to be said that it’s not the warmest of fire pits but at least it doesn’t smoke like a log-burning model.

The Fuoco uses gel as a fuel, which burns quickly and can soon become costly as a result. But if you’re using it purely for trips or adding some patio ambience, it’s an undeniably handy piece of kit.

Kiln Dried Swedish Candle Fire Pit on white backgroundT3 Award

9. Swedish Torch Log

This single-use candle makes a quirky addition to any outdoor event

Specifications
Best for: Event centerpieces
Burns: Self-burning
Weight: 20kg
Portable: No
Reasons to buy
+
Unique design
+
Cheap
Reasons to avoid
-
One time use
-
Not very hot

This 24cm x 19cm kiln-dried, self-burning log is a great novelty item, and although it’s more for show than anything else, it makes a fun addition to garden parties and other events. 

This twist on a conventional fire pit can be used to toast a marshmallow or two, but doesn’t produce anything like as much heat as most bona fide fire pits — it burns from the inside out with just a flickering of flame at the top, so it’s less daring than it looks. Although the Swedish Torch Log is a bit of a novelty, it’s an undeniably unique centrepiece that adds a touch of ambience to any patio.

How to buy the best fire pit for your patio

Fire pit models featuring grills or heating plates for alfresco cooking mean you’ll be hard-pressed for an excuse to go inside at all, and anything that keeps the festivities going longer gets a thumbs-up from us. Alternatively, simply opt for a bogstandard model without a grill and do your cooking on a proper charcoal or gas barbecue while the fire pit blazes away near the dining area. 

A third, much cheaper method is to load your kettle barbecue with wood after you’ve used it for cooking. However, this isn’t as efficient as a bona fide fire pit because most kettle BBQs are waist height, meaning the heat won’t radiate quite as well, especially if you’re lounging about on low chairs.

Think about your other needs. If it’s design kudos you’re after, go for a good-looking model with a durable finish that’ll stay smart year after year, or if your fire pit’s staying out year-round as a permanent fixture, look for long-lasting materials and an included cover to ward off the worst of the weather. And if your crew are keen campers, look for a portable fire pit that you can take on the road. For a cosy home-from-home atmosphere wherever you go, just be sure to get one with legs or a stand that’ll avoid scorching the grass.

A final consideration is fuel. The bigger the fire pit, the more logs you’ll need to add to keep it going. If you live in the countryside and have access to an infinite supply of logs then you’re in luck. But if you’re an urbanite, it’s going to cost you about £5 for a bag of local garage-sourced fire logs and a bag full will burn away in next to no time. For a large fire pit like the Dancook 9000, three hours of alfresco entertainment could easily amount to three or four bags of wood. That’s up to 20 quid’s worth of cosy entertainment; the price of three extra bottles of plonk.

Also, be mindful that fire pits create a lot of smoke and if there’s a breeze it may well waft in your direction and make your clothes smell of a campfire. The smelly bit is actually quite pleasant (you will really notice it on your clothes in the morning) but having a face full of smoke isn’t.

Derek (aka Delbert, Delvis, Delphinium, etc) specialises in home and outdoor wares, from coffee machines, white appliances and vacs to drones, garden gear and BBQs. He has been writing for more years than anyone can remember, starting at the legendary Time Out magazine – the original, London version. He now writes for T3.