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A fire pit in your patio should already sound good enough: with one, you can enjoy a roaring fire without leaving home. When you get one built in copper, though, you gain a distinct aesthetic bonus, but that’s not all there is to it! If you want to know more, all you have to do is keep reading.
Why Copper Fire Pits?
For starters, its color. Gaze at one of these when a fire is roaring, and almost certainly you’ll agree that it makes for a rather pleasant view. Second, it’s so durable, it is a preferred material when building pipes. What’s more, it will never rust! The worst that can happen is that it may develop a patina that is really not hard on the eyes, and you can certainly prevent it from appearing—and also get rid of it— if you so desire.
Worried about the intense heat of your flames causing damage? There’s no cause for concern, as copper melting point is just shy of 2,000°F. It’s also lightweight and malleable; copper items (including fire pits) hammered by hand are a fairly common sight.
The possible drawback? Price: copper fire pits tend to be a bit more expensive than comparable ones made with other materials. Opting for a copper-plated fire pit instead of full copper may help offset this.
Copper + Oxygen = Patina
This may sound too close to rust on iron, but there are certain differences. Whereas rust will eat away at anything iron until there’s nothing left, copper is actually protected by its patina, effectively preserving it from further decay (just ask the fairly old, very green Lady Liberty). Still, if you don’t like the look of it, you can get rid of it with little effort.
Copper Fire Pits: How Pure Is It?
If in doubt, you can easily find out if a) your item is solid copper or only plated, and b) if it is lacquered. First, approach a magnet to your copper object. If the magnet does not react in any way, then there’s a solid chance you’re holding pure copper. To test for lacquer, choose a part of the item that is mostly out of sight, and dab—gently—a bit of white vinegar and baking soda. If the metal brightens, there’s no lacquer. Lacquered items, to their credit, only need warm soapy water to get clean again, but your item may develop an uneven patina if the lacquer cracks.
To help preserve your fire pit’s good looks, there are certain steps that should be performed after every use:
- Once the fire dies out and the pit is cool, dump any ash and debris that remains within. Dislodge any creosote build-up with a mallet and a putty knife; soot can be dealt with by using a dry towel, or lemon and salt if it simply won’t come off.
- Scrub the inside. For this, you can use a cloth dampened with water and a few drops of dish soap, or a towel that has been dipped in white vinegar and then into kosher salt. Plated items should be treated more gently.
- While you can easily find wax and polish specially made for copper, beeswax will also do the trick. Polish the surface all over, this will help protect it from patina and stains.
If It Has Grills
It’s often recommended to season your grate before you use it for the first time, by applying a generous coat of vegetable oil. Once that is done, start your fire pit; run a thermometer through a small potato (to be clear, the pointed end should emerge from the potato), then place this assembly on the center of the grill. When the thermometer reads 350°F, monitor and adjust your fire so the temperature will stay at that level for 1 hour. For best results, this vegetable oil seasoning should be reapplied every 10 or so uses.
Don’t forget to scrub the grate after every use with a steel-bristled brush; do this on both sides, if the grate is removable.
Our Reviews for the Best Copper Fire Pits
Now that we’ve covered the ins and outs of copper fire pits, let’s move onto our handpicked options. One of these might very well do the trick.
Fire Sense Palermo Copper Fire Pit with Steel Stand
It’s copper, it’s hammered by hand, and even the rim features a nice embellishment, which should please even those that look at it up close. The legs come with a banded rimming for additional visual effect, and it comes with a few bonuses for practicality: a wood grate for the bottom, a mesh screen to preserve you and yours from flying embers, a tool to safely lift said screen should you need to, and a vinyl cover. The bottom features 5 holes, which help it not collect water.
Although the literature may hint towards aluminum, the base is in fact made of steel.
- Aesthetically pleasing even at a closer look.
- Frequent cases of not getting the right screws to assemble the base.
Sunnydaze Large Copper Finish Outdoor Fire Pit Bowl
This one is plated, and comes with a design that should please onlookers and is also functional in its own way: the cauldron-style design includes handles at the sides, to carry it around with ease, and 2 holes at the bottom so no water will collect, and also to provide additional ventilation for the fire. Includes a wood grate to place at the bottom, a mesh screen, and a tool which can be used to safety lift the screen or to poke the logs around.
- Rare medieval-like look.
- Fairly simple to move around, thanks to the handles.
- Must be placed on non-flammable surfaces such as stone, as the bottom gets extremely hot.
Four Seasons Courtyard, 30″, Copper, Fire Pit, FT-1103E
It comes with the works: base in metal with powder-coated finish, fire poker, wood grate for the bottom, and mesh screen. Something in which it differs from similar items, however, is its decoration—or, more specifically, lack thereof—, as the surface of the copper bowl is completely smooth. A ¼” hole at the bottom provides drainage, so no water will collect within. Unlike other similar fire pits, it does not include a cover for when it’s not in use.
More capacity than others due to straight walls and overall width.
- Drains slowly.
- Outdoor cover not included.
- Somewhat expensive for such a plain design.
TITAN GREAT OUTDOORS Copper Outdoor Fire Pit 40″
The top piece incorporates no ornamental touches—shaped as a bowl, with a smooth surface—, but it is pure copper, with the benefits this entails. The base is steel, with a powder coated finish to prevent corrosion and rusting. Includes a grate to sit at the bottom, and a 27′ fire iron to move the logs around with. Base diameter is 25′, but it is fairly open at the top. Mesh screen is not included.
- Poker is just over 2′ long, which helps manipulate logs from a safer distance.
- Unconventional shape.
- Remarkably heavy—nearly 100lbs.
- Price is a fair bit higher than average for its category.
Global Outdoors 30″ Hand Hammered 100% Copper Fire Pit Deep Bowl & Screen/PVC Cover
Made in hand-hammered copper, it’s also decently wide, about an inch more than similar fire pits. The mesh cover will keep any embers contained, and a tool is also included to safely lift the cover when a fire is going.
For optimal operation, the manufacturer recommends pouring several inches’ worth of sand—important also that it be sand, not dirt—at the bottom of the bowl once the unit is placed at its final location (as it will be too heavy to move easily afterwards). PVC cover included.
- Wide enough for entertaining larger gatherings.
- Unorthodox operation: requires sand, which negates any draining capabilities.
The Best Copper Fire Pits: TITAN GREAT OUTDOORS Copper Outdoor Fire Pit
It may lack the hammered-by-hand look, but it is still a visually nice touch to add to your patio, as it incorporates a design strikingly different from many other copper fire pits: instead of a straight-walled bowl, it is wide open at the top, and the metal base it sits on is also different from the fairly common three-legged standard. It is fairly heavy, it’s true, but this may be due to the copper’s thickness—which, by several accounts, is a fairly respectable 1/8″. This sort of weight likely means this fire pit will not be coming with you to your outdoor adventures, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. And, should you require the spark guard, it can be found without too much effort.
It is a hefty investment, compared to similar items, but you may decide it’s worth it, considering the value it brings.