With pumpkin spice in abundance and winter fast approaching, now is the time to get outside and enjoy the fresh autumn air. Depending on your geographical location, you may be subjected to some of the prettiest colors on the planet with the season and trees changing. Don’t let the cooler temperatures keep you indoors!
Backyard Fire Pits
While substantially increasing in popularity in the last 5-10 years, there is an abundance of different outdoor fire pit designs available to be either purchased or built. Whether you are looking for heat and/or romantic glow, there is a perfect fit for almost anyone.
Standalone Gas Fire Pits
So many variations of propane fire pits to choose from these days, one could spend hours finding the right one. There is a large range in which they can vary in price and BTU output.
One convenient aspect with these that some people may not be aware of is that most any LP fire pit/heater or grill can easily be ran on natural gas with a simple conversion kit. This usually just entails the changing out of different size orifice that regulates the flow of fuel.
If you prefer to keep them remote and self-contained, a 20lb. propane tank conceals nicely within. They are an excellent source of heat and burn very clean, so there will be no obnoxious odors. Just beware of the output of carbon monoxide and use in a well ventilated area.
Old Fashioned Log Burners
There is just something to be said about a wood fire. The natural crackling flame paired with the rich smokey aromas is enough to mesmerize anyone in the vicinity. Whether it’s a hole in the ground or a store bought fire pit, there is only two things you will need, marshmallows and firewood.
To take it to the next level and really wow your senses (and neighbors), cook a steak over the coals. Preferably oak coals because they burn long and hot. With minimal effort and seasoning, you will have a steakhouse quality piece of meat.
Now, some purchased fire pits have a cooking grate incorporated in the design that is usually adjustable but don’t worry if yours doesn’t. Tripods are readily available online and in camping sections of sporting goods stores. The trick is to get a nice bed of hot coals going and cook over the high heat-not the flame. Just make sure to perfect your timing and technique prior to showing off your new skills.
Typically you get what you pay for when shopping around for these backyard necessities. But, if you cannot exactly find what you are looking for, there are many DIY projects available. From welded up stainless pits, a recycled metal barrel to concrete and stone, there is an abundance of videos and plans out there. If you are somewhat handy and decide to go this route, your options are endless.
Custom Fire Pits
So you aren’t too concerned with price and can’t find much value in the fire pits for sale. Many modern builders these days have extensive experience building custom fire features. You want an all brick fire feature in the shape of your initials? No problem…. Perhaps add a water fountain in the middle or vise versa.
Or, how about a wood burning pit but you have trouble getting it started? A simple valve and gas line from your house will guarantee to have a fire in no time. Just shut the valve once the wood catches. One other trick to getting a stubborn fire going without spending an hour stuffing newspaper in it is to use a handful of charcoal briquettes.
You don’t have charcoal because your grill is propane? There are fire logs that can be purchased from almost any big box store or there are even tutorials online to make your own. Fire logs are essentially compressed saw dust or paper byproducts held together with some sort of binder. They make quick work out of starting a fire but I would not recommend cooking any food over the flame until the log is completely burned away.
Regardless of the style of fire pit you choose to enjoy, nobody has a good time if someone gets hurt. Be sure to have a backup plan should the need arise to immediately extinguish the fire. Also, be aware of your surroundings too not burn down the house (or neighborhood). Leaves and loose yard debris can catch fire and quickly spread, especially on a windy night. When enjoyed responsibly, having a cozy backyard fire can create some of the most lasting family memories.