Guess what, you are not alone! The humble fire pit has come of age as Aussies all over this vast country look to get a little of the campfire feel back into their homes. They are super for parties providing a nice source of light, warmth and a good focal point for guests to gather (or huddle if its chilly) around as well as giving a great ambience.
You may think the word “fire” pit requires the pit to fuelled by wood, which is for the most part the most popular fuel. However, there are also options for pits fuelled by gels, gas or propane which can be a good option for renters or inner city dwelling as they reduce the smoke emitted from the fire. Bare in mind though if you want to toast marshmallows, good old wood is still the best option as some other fuels may leave a funny taste on that flaming baton of sugary goodness.
Fire pits come in huge variety of designs from built-in to freestanding, circular to square, and weighing a few kilograms to a few tonnes. The free standing options are nice because they give a real campsite vibe and full access as well as being portable. Costs also vary a lot – from modest for basic units to several thousand dollars for custom designed and made fire pits.
Location is a key element for positioning your fire pit, for both safety and enjoyment reasons. For most designs you will need quite a bit of open space around the whole fire pit. Of particular importance is the area immediately above the pit, which should be free of overhanging branches, eaves or anything else even remotely flammable. Embers and ash can fly very high in the air so make sure you gauge the prevailing winds and ensure that embers will not ignite anything in your (or your neighbours) yard.
So how big should you go? It really depends on your personal taste and the size of your outdoor space. Always aim to keep things in the same scale as your yard, if you have a small yard, don’t go for a massive fire pit that will take up the entire yard, it will just look out of proportion. Also consider how many guests you generally entertain and how much of feature you want it to be. A large fire is quite noisy and can require guests to raise their voices to be heard above it.