Best fire pits: 10 picks for cosy autumn evenings

Our pick of the best fire pits are perfect for enjoying the last of the longer evenings and even into the colder months

Best fire pits
(Image credit: Garden Trading)

The best fire pits are perfect for this time of year when the nights are drawing in but the weather isn't too chilly. You can grab a blanket (and a bottle) and spend extra time outdoors – some fire pits can even double up as a barbecue with grills that can be attached across them if you want to eat alfresco.

Essentially a fire pit is the grown-up version of the camp fire. And we love that idea, all gathered around toasting marshmallows and telling stories just sounds so warm and fuzzy – even if the reality might be more like sitting in a chair with a light drizzle coming down, drinking a room temperate glass of Cava, it's still nice to make the most out the outdoors isn't it? 

We have rounded up our favourite fire pits so you don't have to go trawling the internet for a top pick. And if you are looking for a barbecue to go with your new fire pit? Check out our best barbecues buying guide

Choose the best fire pit for the garden

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

1. Outdoor Brazier

Best design for big gatherings: large enough to keep the whole party warm

Specifications
Material: Steel
Size: H41xDia.100cm
Style: Bowl
Fuel: Wood
Reasons to buy
+Impressively large size +Stylish look that improves with age
Reasons to avoid
-Open style means it shouldn't be left unattended

Crafted from raw steel, this will make the ideal centrepiece to any alfresco party. The fire pit can hold a lot of logs so will spread the heat across a wide area while the sloping sides keep everything safely in the centre. And it’ll only improve with age as the surface oxidises over time to take on a warm rusted finish.

Choose the best fire pit for the garden

(Image credit: Graham & Greene)

2. Woodland Fire Bowl

Best statement design: garden art that also offers lots of heat

Specifications
Material: Steel
Size: H66xDia.58cm.
Style : Globe
Fuel: Wood
Reasons to buy
+A piece of art even when not in use+Globe shape means fire is more contained
Reasons to avoid
-A more expensive option

A celebration of nature, the flickering flames make a mesmerising display at the heart of a charming woodland scene. Crafted from steel the copper-coloured fire bowl is an impressive accessory for alfresco family meals or larger gatherings. It will age over time to take on a rusty patina.

Choose the best fire pit for the garden

(Image credit: Made)

3. Josper Low Metal Black Fire Pit

Best modern design: sleek style with a detachable bowl for easy maintenance

Specifications
Material: Metal
Size: H87xDia.87cm
Style: Open bowl
Fuel: Wood
Reasons to buy
+Generous proportions bring lots of heat+Stylish with detachable bowl for easy clean up
Reasons to avoid
-The open bowl should not be left unattended

Designed by the Made studio, the fire pit has a very contemporary feel that should suit sleek outside spaces. The matt black colour of the sturdy metal means it will blend into any scheme. The bowl rests on a stylish crisscross base but isn’t fixed to it, so it’s easy to pick it up and dispose of the ashes when it has cooled.

Choose the best fire pit for the garden

(Image credit: B&Q)

4. Blooma Anabar Steel Fire Pit

Best square design: unique look at a very buyer-friendly price

Specifications
Material: Steel
Size: H50xW35cm
Style: Laser-cut square
Fuel: Wood
Reasons to buy
+Compact size to suit smaller spaces+Well priced
Reasons to avoid
-The outside can rust quickly

The whole family can gather round this square-shaped fire pit, marshmallows on sticks at the ready. Featuring a laser cut leaf design, this neat wood burner will fit into any space, even on a compact terrace. It is also well priced for anyone wanting a quick and economical update for their outside living area.

Choose the best fire pit for the garden

(Image credit: Very)

5. La Hacienda 58106 Camping Firebowl with Grill

Best portable fire pit: pack this and take it camping to cook and to keep warm

Specifications
Material: Metal
Size: L39 x W39 x H56cm
Style: Lidded bowl
Fuel: Wood
Reasons to buy
+Dual use as both a fire pit and barbecue+Useful lid to keep the flames contained+Portable!
Reasons to avoid
-Reports of issues with rust-You probably wouldn't have this model as a permanent feature in your garden

Want to be able to pack up your fire pit and take it with you for a camp out? This La Hacienda model is portable, so you can take it with you on trips. It also doubles up as a BBQ so you can cook up your dinner on it too. It's really lightweight and easy to use, you just fold it up when done – it  has a carry  bag and everything. 

Choose the best fire pit for the garden

(Image credit: Blomus)

6. Blomus Fuoco Gel Fire Pit

Best alternative fuel fire pit: compact design that runs on gel fuel

Specifications
Material: Stainless steel
Size: H10xDia.32.5cm
Style: Bowl
Fuel: Gel
Reasons to buy
+No wood to chop or pile of ash at the end+Compact enough to be portable
Reasons to avoid
-Size means it would better suit smaller spaces or gatherings

If you want the aesthetic pleasure of an open fire but without all the chopping of logs and fumbling fire-starting, this fire pit runs on gel rather than wood and burns away leaving no residue. It is in a dish of black, frost-proof pottery with a stainless-steel cover with a hole in the centre that controls the size of the flame. Small enough to be portable, it comes with a long handled extinguisher to put the fire out.

Best fire pits: La Hacienda Anubis Steel Firebasket

(Image credit: Dunelm)

7. La Hacienda Anubis Steel Firebasket

Best contemporary style: a bronze-effect, laser-cut basket perfect for cosy nights

Specifications
Material: Steel
Size: H49xW40xD40cm
Style: Four-sided basket
Fuel: Wood
Reasons to buy
+Contemporary appearance+Neat shape keeps fire contained+Compact size
Reasons to avoid
-Probably not big enough for larger gatherings

This smart modern brazier will fit neatly in any garden scheme. The Anubis Steel Firebasket has a sleek four-sided tapered shape to contain the fuel and flames. Made from steel, it has an attractive high temperature bronze-effect paint finish with laser-cut design, and is low maintenance, just needing a wipe clean with a soft cloth. Its compact size makes it easy to move round and to store.

La Hacienda Cricklade Large Steel Log Store Chiminea Firepit

(Image credit: John Lewis )

8. La Hacienda Cricklade Large Steel Log Store Chiminea Firepit

Best chiminea-style fire pit: sleek, unusual shape makes for a striking feature

Specifications
Material: Metal
Size: H167.5 x W43 x D43cm
Style: Chiminea
Fuel: Wood
Reasons to buy
+Stylish looks+You can store logs underneath 
Reasons to avoid
-Not so easy to toast marshmallows over as an open flame-Prone to rust 

This chiminea style fire pit is slim and stylish, thanks to its Scandi-like shape it's a real statement piece for your terrace. You can store wood underneath too which makes it even more of a feature and it's not too bulky either, so perfect if you have a smaller garden. Just do bear in mind you have to build this fire pit, which can be a bit fiddly, but once up it feels really good quality. 

Best fire pits: Iron disc fire pit bowl with tripod base

(Image credit: Waitrose Garden)

9. Iron Disc Fire Pit Bowl with Tripod Base

Best Indian cooking bowl design: this large fire pit really brings the heat

Specifications
Material: Sheet iron
Size: H38xDia.90cm
Style: Bowl
Fuel: Logs
Reasons to buy
+Fun design reminiscent of Indian cooking dish, complete with handles+Big enough to warm large outdoor parties
Reasons to avoid
-Open fire so can't be left unattended-Probably too big to cook an actual curry in

A fire bowl to bring back happy memories of evenings enjoying a spicy Indian meal. This fire bowl is modelled on the kadai, a traditional Indian cooking bowl used by street food vendors. The generous proportions of this grand brazier make it decorative addition to the garden that will bring plenty of heat to an outdoor party. Chunky ring handles at the sides make it easy to move where you want it. It has a protective coating and five-year guarantee, so you can enjoy it season after season.

Best fire pits to buy: Buckland Modern Bronze Steel Fire Pit

(Image credit: Not on the High Street)

10. Modern Bronze Steel Fire Pit

Best flat pack fire pit: easily transportable for picnics or camping holidays

Specifications
Materials: Steel with bronze paint finish
Size: H30xW50xD56cm
Style: Square
Fuel: Wood briquettes
Reasons to buy
+Comes as a flatpack+Portable enough to take away
Reasons to avoid
-Assembly required

Fans of a certain Swedish furniture store should love the flatpack style of the contemporary looking fire pit.  It is made of five pieces that simply slot together, no nuts and bolts needed, and away you go. Great for the garden or even if you want to take it on a picnic or camping holiday. 

How to buy the best fire pits 

Caring for your fire pit

When not in use, most large metal fire bowls can be left outside. It is best to stand them on their side, leaning against a wall in a sheltered spot so water and debris doesn't gather in the bottom. Alternatively, buy a special cover for it. The metal may rust naturally over time, producing an oxidised coating that will protect the bowl and enhance its looks. The structural integrity should be unaffected.

Using your fire pit 

Place on a level and stable surface. If using on a patio, put on another protective slab of stone or concrete at least 5cm thick, so your terrace won't be damaged by the heat. Always use the recommended fuel, such as wood. Don't throw in plastic which will melt and can cause fumes.

Fire pit safety

Position fire pits and braziers away from the house or combustible materials. Keep children and pets away while it's lit or still hot, and don't leave it unattended or try to move it. Allow the fire to die down and peter out naturally. Don't pour on cold water as this could damage its structure. 

Maintaining your fire pit

After use, let your fire put cool before emptying out any ash. Coat the surfaces with cooking oil to maintain it and reapply a suitable heat-retardant paint as needed.

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