Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
The beauty of having your own backyard bonfire or cookout is that there’s nobody breathing down your neck on how you should or shouldn’t use your fire pit! Setting up your very own backyard paradise starts and ends with making it all your own, and that’s exactly what the best fire pit grills for cooking over flames is all about. We’ve reviewed a selection of grill grates, and even fire pits with cooking grill tops for giving you a versatile and practical outdoor fire pit setup that you can use however you’d like!
Reviewing the Best Fire Pit Grills for Cooking Over Flames
Finding a good fire pit grill comes down to value, materials and sheer functionality. Unlike their propane counterparts, wood burning fire pits are totally uncomplicated when it comes to roasting marshmallows, cooking, or just kicking back over a roaring fire with friends.
Here we’re going to evaluate some of the best fire pit grills for cooking over flames to help find you the most cost effective and practical way to roast up some frankfurts, s’mores or even steaks over a new or existing fire pit for your backyard!
Is it Safe to Cook Over a Wood Burning Fire Pit?
Much like a charcoal or other open-flame cooking surface, it is totally safe to cook food over a wood burning fire pit! As long as you follow some basic safety precautions, that is.
First, ensure that your fire is completely lit and stoked. To be more specific, you want to be sure that the fire is throwing out an even amount of heat all around the cooking surface. One good indication of this is the prevalence of red hot embers in the base of the fire and a steady hot flame that doesn’t wean. (This is especially important if you’re cooking something like chicken on your fire pit grill!)
Next, be sure that you don’t burn anything besides properly seasoned (dried) firewood. Anything else is prone to cause an excessive amount of cinder, ashes or even ember up into your cooking surface through the smoke.
CampMax X-Marks Fire Pit Cooking Grill
This 36” wide cooking grill surface is designed to fit over just about any fire pit! Alongside the other fire pit cooking surfaces we’re reviewing, this also falls into the ‘grilling’ category which will give your meats, veggies or plant based grill burgers a nice ‘grill mark’ cooking pattern.
This one comes in a foodsafe black coating that’s designed to help make the surface rust resistant. Speaking of, this entire grate is made from iron! This is perhaps the most ideal cooking surface since it seasons nicely, is remarkably sturdy and helps distribute heat evenly across your food.
This grate also has two rectangular shaped handles on either side that allow you to easily remove it from the heat should you need to add firewood, stoke the fire or remove the food to finish grilling.
- Ideal for both campground and backyard cooking thanks to its portability.
- Two handles make it very easy to handle, even with heat. (use heatproof gloves or mitts!)
- Iron construction helps with heat distribution for even cooking.
- Weight makes it a little less ideal for camping, but perfect for backyard fire pit grilling.
GameMaker Open Fire Cooking Grill & Skillet Combo
The GameMaker lives up to its name as a game changer when it comes to fire pit grills for cooking over flames!
The stacked design of this cooking implement involves tiered grill and flat-top skillet surfaces. This means you can grill up meat over the flames while using the rest of the heat to mix up some veggies on top. May I suggest steak on the grill and mushrooms on the skillet? (Tilt a little beer into the mushrooms when they’re done frying to deglaze, thank me later!)
It’s totally adjustable, and easy to do as well. By tilting one of the cooking surfaces and moving it up or downwards to the desired position, all you have to do is ‘set’ it back in place where gravity holds it like a clamp. Also, it works with virtually any size or shape of fire pit since it’s staked to the ground.
- Stake and grilling surfaces are very durable, and fit nearly any type of fire pit provided it isn’t too high.
- Allows you to grill and fry on the skillet and grill surface simultaneously over the same fire pit.
- Grill platform features a support bar in the center of it which could cause uneven grill marks if that’s a concern you may have.
Lineslife Fire Pit Folding Cooking Grill Grate
This fire pit grill is especially designed for taking with you on the go! In fact, it even folds up in the center so you can stow it away easily. It’s 36” wide and resembles a square shape, which makes it perfect for those campsite firepits, you know the ones. Those sorry, rusted out looking things? This makes for a much cleaner cooking surface!
Not only that, but the X-pattern imparts grill marks straight onto your meats and veggies so you can get the full flavor of the fire when you’re cooking in the open air.
Besides the folding mechanism, this grate is also reinforced with several bars spanning across the bottom of it giving it an extra sense of durability. In other words, it doesn’t feel like it has any ‘give’ or bend to it, so you don’t have to worry about your food tumbling over with it.
- Ideal for cooking on an open campfire.
- Portable design thanks to its hinged folding mechanism.
- Reinforced to provide a stable and even cooking surface.
- Like other models, support bars and folding sections are solid and could cause uneven cooking if meat isn’t kept to one side or the other.
Bond Manufacturing 32.7” Steel Fire Pit With Grill
Starting off your backyard fire pit game totally from scratch? We’ve got you covered! This model by bond manufacturing combines practicality and style with its unique cut-out mesh designs on the side, and it’s versatile removable cooking surface on top.
Completely made from stainless steel, you can cook a wide variety of foods on its mesh surface grill top that also raises or lowers to accommodate different levels of heat. While typically you’d have to control heat by stoking the fire, adding wood or keeping it lower, this allows you to change the heat up ‘on the fly’, making it much easier to grill, especially for beginners.
- Complete steel fire pit with fire poker, elevated cooking surface and fire pit bowl.
- Small shelf allows you to rest a small plate, drink or metal cooking utensil.
- Cooking surfaces raises or lowers based on how much heat you’d like to use.
- Actual cooking surface is small which is great for a small number of people.
Stanbroil X-Marks Fire Pit Cooking Grill Grate
This grate is similar in design to the CampMax listed above, except it’s made from a steel alloy as opposed to cast iron. This has the benefit of being a much lighter weight as compared to its cast iron counterpart.
Similarly, it has convenient handles, and a reinforced design. This time around however, you’ve got cross pieces of metal that provide that same support which of course can affect the way in which your meat, veggies or foods grill. This slightly more affordable, and much lighter alternative is still a perfectly versatile option for cooking on open flames if you so choose, though.
Conclusions: Best Fire Pit Grills for Cooking Over Flames
Personally, I own a fire pit already. Rusty yet functional, it gets the job done. While I love kicking back over a nice bonfire in the evening, It’s nice to take a break from the gas grill and switch things up a bit. For that I’d choose the CampMax X-Marks grilling grate.
It takes the best of open-fire grilling with its x-mark grill pattern design, allowing your meat to get grilled with plenty of flavorful singe marks while also soaking up that unique firewood smoking in the process. I’m someone who prefers cast iron in these situations, especially when it comes to cooking over fire. If using a cast iron pan at the campsite is your jam, you’re going to find a lot to love about this grate in particular.