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."
If you’ve ever been around a campfire, it’s almost certain that by the end of the evening, your eyes were watery, and your clothes smelly. No more! With a smokeless fire pit, your experience will be much better, no matter which way the wind blows. Here you’ll find some great picks worth looking into—and how to go about choosing yours!
You may have learned about smokeless fire pits due to the growing popularity of the Solo Stove. Rest assured, there’s several options on the market, which we review below.
Bright Flame, Away With Smoke!
First, a note of clarification: depending on their fuel, some fire pits will not be 100% smokeless. That said, the emission out of an optimized fire pit will be so minimal, you might not even notice it.
How does it work? By redirecting the flow of air: a bottom intake provides the main supply for the fire to breathe, while a secondary stream is directed up the walls of the pit to exit through holes at the top; this heated source of oxygen mixes in with the smoke and makes it burn once again, which reduces its presence almost completely. This also makes burning more efficient, which means less ash to deal with at the end (if they even are fueled with wood, but we’ll cover that more in depth later).
Oh, and they’re portable! Thus, not only will your firelit soirées be made more comfortable by the absence of smoke, you can also start a fire when and wherever you please.
What May Drive Your Choice of Smokeless Fire Pit
Choosing the fire pit that is best for your preference and circumstances may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be: here are a few factors that can help you zero in on your best pick.
Most of them are fairly easy to carry around, but depending on their dimension they may or may not fit in, for example, the trunk of your car. For your outdoors trips, you may prefer something more compact; for your backyard, something larger may be the best pick.
This is particularly important depending on the type of use you intend for your fire pit. If all you intend is to occasionally get a fire going in your backyard and don’t mind bringing the pit back indoors when you’re done, then you don’t have to pay a lot of attention to this. If, on the other hand, you want something that can stay in your backyard for extended periods of time, or that can endure the varying weather of your camping trips, then you will want something that is adequately protected.
This may largely come to personal fancy, with some caveats. For example, if firewood is not readily available in your area, then you might want to steer clear of any fire pits that burn this way. This is also true if you intend to take your pit on your camping trips, as you cannot cross state lines when transporting firewood. Pellets do not suffer this problem, so if you prefer wood fires you can go for this sort of option.
Fire pits that burn gas may seem a step away from the traditional, but they come with their own benefits: your fire will issue zero smoke, and you get to control the size of your flames and heat output.
Some fire pits may be easier to put together; they may feature heat-resistant paint, heat shields at the bottom, and so on. Unsurprisingly, such perks are likely to impact the asking price.
Can I Cook On It?
To an extent: there may be enough heat for certain kinds of food, but you will want to purchase a grill to place on top (unless you choose a fire pit with grill included). There’s also the possibility of runoff or food debris falling into the pit, which may complicate cleaning it.
Smokeless Fire Pit Options For Your Consideration
Here you’ll find a few models that may very well deserve to be at the center of your gatherings and outings.
1. HY-C FG-16 Flame Genie Portable
It’s in the name, and it means it: bottom can nest in top, for maximum portability and ease of storage. Assembly is equally easy: all it takes is to stack the top section on the bottom one, and the fire pit is ready to go. It’s designed to burn with wood pellets, which provides a more efficient burn thanks to the lower moisture content compared to wood logs, as well as the afterburner system, which also provides a flame without sparks or smoke.
It is available in two colors, stainless steel and black. The latter comes with the caveat that the paint will burn off slightly around the top rim after first use, due to the extremely high temperatures it gets exposed to.
- Quite easy to carry around and to put together.
- Might require drilling additional holes to work as desired.
2. Outland Living Firebowl 823
If you’re a fan of the campfire look and are often deterred by burn bans, then this might be for you: able to deliver up to 58,000 BTUs per hour, this fire pit burns on gas, and the included volcanic stone provides a steady flame at the top, which can also be regulated. No sparks, not a bit of ash to deal with afterwards.
It does require a standard 20lb tank to work, but set up is overall fairly simple and requires no tools. The included hose is 10 feet in length, which makes it easier to set the tank down wherever you want (although the hose should be kept as clear as possible from wandering feet). The unit is designed to work with propane only, but it can be converted to natural gas with a kit that the manufacturer offers for sale separately.
- Potent while still being quite portable.
- Resilient enough for frequent outdoors use.
- Unit itself is not very aesthetically pleasing.
3. TIKI Brand 25 Inch Stainless Steel Low Smoke Fire Pit
It’s fairly easy on the eyes, and it is also built to last: body is 16-gauge stainless steel, and its black powder-coating adds a decent level of weather protection. Intended for use with logs or pellets, the manufacturer offers its own fuel packets, which are intended to provide faster ignition and longer burn; the tray at the bottom collects any ash for easy cleaning.
At 45lbs weight, it’s quite hefty, which may make it better suited for a fixed location. Cloth cover included.
- A good addition to any backyard thanks to its eye-catching design and solid build.
- Notably expensive.
- Might be too heavy to move around, let alone carry on outings.
4. BioLite FirePit Outdoor Smokeless
If you’re in the market for something fancy, then your search might be over: designed to burn up to 4 wood logs, this fire pit features a total of 4 fans, to redirect the air and keep your fire almost completely smoke-free. The fans are also intended to control the intensity of the flames, and they can be adjusted from the pit’s built-in power pack or from the manufacturer’s app, which is compatible with Android and iOS.
The mesh on the sides of the fire pit provide direct view of the fire roaring within, and by throwing in a few coals it can turn into a hibachi-style grill. Power pack can be recharged via USB or with solar energy, although the latter option requires a carry cover which is sold separately. Given the value it delivers, it probably is not surprising that the price tag for this fire pit is among the highest for its category.
- Packed with features not seen in most other models, while retaining portability.
- Optimized for wood logs; may not be a good option for crossing state lines.
5. Solo Stove Titan
It’s small, it’s lightweight, and it doesn’t fail to bring the heat, aptly living up to the ‘stove’ part of its name. Getting a fire going will take about a minute, and it can bring 60oz of water to boiling temperature in roughly 15 minutes. The flame will last for a while, too, and the burn will be efficient thanks to the optimized air flow. Body is stainless steel, and can be fueled with just about anything—even pinecones!
Nylon sack for carrying is included; a compatible pot for cooking is available for purchase separately.
- A solid, portable choice for cooking anywhere.
- High chance of soot on any pot used for cooking with this stove, due to close proximity to the fire.
For The Best Flame: HY-C FG-16 Flame Genie Portable
It’s affordable, it’s quite portable, and it’s not hard to fuel; it’s intended to burn wood pellets, which are not hard to find and can be transported across state lines. It is available in two colors, too; if you’re concerned about the finish fading a bit due to the high temperatures at the top, you can always opt for the stainless steel look, which does not have this caveat and is still fairly easy on the eyes. And, if you feel 13.5″ in diameter is not big enough, you can also find it in 19″. which should be a decent size for just about any occasion.
And now, time to gather around the fire!