An outdoor fire pit creates an inviting campfire to sit by on cool fall evenings or even warm summer nights, but it can also be somewhat unpleasant. Fire pits produce a significant amount of smoke and ash, which not only leave a strong smell on clothing and hair but can leave guests coughing if the wind changes direction.
Smokeless fire pits provide the inviting warmth and flickering light of a backyard fire without producing the smoke, ash, and embers that can make them uncomfortable to those sitting nearby. These fire pits burn gas, wood, pellets, and even biomass, and they range in size from small portable models weighing less than 20 pounds to full-size fire pits as big as 30 inches in diameter.
This guide examines the factors to consider when shopping for the best smokeless fire pit and includes some of the top models on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: INNO STAGE Patented Stainless Bonfire Fire Pit
- RUNNER-UP: Solo Stove Bonfire Fire Pit
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Blue Sky Outdoor Living PFP1513 Pellet Fire Pit
- BEST PROPANE: Outland Living Firebowl 883 Mega Outdoor Fire Pit
- BEST FOR PATIO: Solo Stove Yukon 27″ Backyard Bundle
- BEST WOOD-BURNING: Esright Stove Bonfire Smokeless Wood Fire Pit
- BEST DUAL-PURPOSE: Cast Master Bon 2000 Dual Purpose Bonfire Pit
- BEST DESIGN: TIKI Brand 25 Inch Stainless Steel Low Smoke Fire Pit
- BEST FOR CAMPING: Solo Stove Titan – 2-4 Person Lightweight Camp Stove
- BEST PORTABLE: HY-C FG-16 Flame Genie Portable Smoke-Free Fire Pit
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Smokeless Fire Pit
While size and fuel type are the key shopping characteristics, other features are also important, including material, design, and safety. Ahead, learn about these and other attributes of smokeless fire pits.
Since smokeless fire pits are used outdoors and must endure extreme heat, they should be made from durable materials. Most smokeless fire pits consist of either stainless steel or steel alloy. Not only is stainless steel the more aesthetically pleasing of the two materials, it naturally resists rust and corrosion and can better withstand intense heat. Alloy steel, in comparison, must be stored indoors or protected with a rainproof cover to prevent it from rusting. Moreover, alloy steel discolors under intense heat.
Stainless steel’s durability makes it superior to steel alloy. It also makes it more expensive—a stainless steel smokeless fire pit can cost twice as much as an alloy steel fire pit.
The size of a smokeless fire pit determines the size of the fire it can create and the amount of warmth it can produce. Most smokeless fire pits range between 14 and 20 inches high, while portable models that measure about 13.5 inches in diameter are suitable for two to four people. Larger models can measure up to 30 inches in diameter, large enough for gatherings of up to six people. Portable models typically weigh about 20 pounds or less, while large permanent fire pits can weigh more than 50 pounds. Smokeless fire stoves designed for backwoods camping weigh about a pound and measure just 5 inches in diameter.
Thanks to their double-wall design, smokeless fire pits eliminate smoke and reduce ash. The walls have a gap in between them, and, as the fire burns, it heats up the air in the gap. The heated air rises through holes at the top of the double wall, where it mixes with smoke from the fire and re-burns, eliminating the smoke.
Most smokeless fire pits are cylindrical with vents at the base of the firebox and the top of the rim. While some use round holes for vents, others have a more stylistic look with vents in the shape of patterns or even the manufacturer’s logo.
Portable fire pits have a collapsible design that allows the base to fit inside the firebox to make the fire pit more compact for transport.
Since smokeless fire pits burn very efficiently, they can reach much higher temperatures than a standard fire pit. Wood and pellet fire pits can reach temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and gas fire pits can produce more than 50,000 BTUs, which is more powerful than many gas porch heaters. This ability to reach extreme temperatures makes smokeless fire pits capable of warming a larger area than a standard fire pit of similar size.
Some smokeless fire pits also come with accessories. Certain models include grates that allow the fire pit to be used for grilling food, while portable fire pits usually include a storage bag with handles or a shoulder strap to make them easier to carry.
Fuel Types and Efficiency
Smokeless fire pits use a variety of fuel types, including pellets, propane, firewood, and biomass. Propane smokeless fire pits are easy to light and produce no smoke at all; however, they don’t offer the same campfire experience of a wood-burning fire. Moreover, they require a 20-pound propane tank for fuel.
Wood, biomass, and pellet fire pits have the potential to burn hotter than gas fire pits, but they produce ash. Gas models burn cleaner with fewer emissions than wood, pellets, or biomass.
Though not as efficient as gas, wood pellets contain less moisture than wood and burn more efficiently than firewood. Pellets are less bulky and are better suited for smaller smokeless fire pits.
Easy to Use
Propane smokeless fire pits are the easiest models to use. Simply light the fire pit with the push of a button, which produces no messy ash to clean up. Wood fires, on the other hand, create ash. Pellets are drier, making them easier to light than firewood.
Since smokeless fire pits don’t produce smoke, embers, and ash, they are generally safer than regular fire pits or wood fires. However, they produce intense heat, so keep a fire pit at least 10 feet from structures and place it on brick, stone, or some other type of masonry. Some fire pits include additional safety features, such as a screen to help prevent embers and sparks from causing injury.
Our Top Picks
This list includes some of the best smokeless fire pits by size and fuel type. They consist of durable stainless steel or steel alloy construction, burn efficiently, and produce little to no smoke.
A solid build, attractive finish, and versatile size make this model from INNO STAGE a good all-around smokeless fire pit option. At 15 inches in diameter, this fire pit, which burns wood pellets, is large enough for a backyard hangout while still remaining portable.
Handles on the sides and a convenient carry case make transporting this 16-pound fire pit even easier. Geometric designs in the vents and a stainless steel finish add to its aesthetics as well as its durability. A grate on the bottom and holes on all sides of the fire pit promote airflow for the heating chamber while eliminating smoke through secondary combustion.
This wood-burning smokeless fire pit from Solo Stove has a 19.5-inch diameter, large enough to warm a backyard living space. The double-walled design creates airflow via holes that circumvent the base, while the inside lip of the top provides oxygen to promote the burn and minimize smoke output.
A more efficient burn also means finer ash that’s easier to clean up, with no leftover unburnt chunks. Small enough at 20 pounds to transport to a campground or tailgating event, it also has a carrying case with handles.
This Blue Sky fire pit weighs less than 20 pounds, but it’s large enough to warm a backyard living space or a tailgating event.
In addition to this fire pit’s manageable weight, the base detaches from the firebox and fits inside it, and a carrying case with a shoulder strap holds everything. The Blue Sky logo that surrounds the base doubles as a vent to supply airflow to the firebox. While it doesn’t have the stainless steel construction of other more expensive models, the black alloy steel construction makes it more affordable.
With an easy-to-light design and no mess to clean up afterward, this Outland Living Firebowl 883 propane gas fire pit is easy to maintain. Boasting a powerful 58,000 BTU burner, this large gas fire pit is ideal for warming up a chilly backyard or campsite.
More than 6 pounds of lava rock cover the fire pit’s burner, while a 10-foot hose provides enough length to conceal the 20-pound propane gas tank required to fuel it. A large knob on the front of the fire pit controls the flame size, and its four feet keep the firebox elevated safely off the ground.
Solo Stove’s Yukon fire pit was designed for decks and patios. An included stand allows users to raise the stainless steel fire pit to allow greater airflow. Other useful accessories include a shield that prevents sparks and embers from flying out of the pit and a weatherproof cover.
With a 27-inch diameter, the Yukon is one of the largest fire pits on the market. Despite its large girth, its double-wall design effectively eliminates smoke, even with larger fires. Because they’re difficult to move indoors, larger fire pits must endure the elements. This model is well equipped to do so, thanks to a stainless steel construction and weatherproof cover.
With a large 21.5-inch diameter, the Esright wood-burning fire pit can handle large pieces of timber. Thanks to its durable stainless steel, it can endure high temperatures while resisting rust and corrosion from the elements.
Its airflow system consists of two large holes on the bottom that provide oxygen for the flames and a row of vents near the top that creates the secondary combustion process that removes smoke. The fire pit’s design creates an efficient burn that results in fewer unburned pieces and finer ash. At 56 pounds, this fire pit is best suited for backyard living spaces.
With its easy-to-clean 19-inch stainless steel cooking grate, this bonfire pit from Cast Master functions as both a fire pit and a wood-fired grill. It’s compatible with either wood or charcoal.
A stainless steel body allows this fire pit to hold up to extreme temperatures while also resisting rust. Weighing approximately 20 pounds, it’s small enough to take camping or tailgating. The Bon 2000 comes with a nylon carrying back with handles.
With its dark brown finish, metal bands that curve around the body, and design touches that include wood handles and wrought-iron feet, this fire pit from TIKI has a sophisticated appearance.
Not only does this fire pit look good, but it also functions well, thanks to an internal airflow system that creates a more efficient burn while producing less smoke and ash than some other models. It comes with a removable ash pan to make post-fire cleanups easier. With a 25-inch diameter, this fire pit is large enough for a large backyard. The TIKI smokeless fire pit uses pellet wood packs, each providing about 30 minutes of burn time.
At just a hair over a pound, about 5 inches tall, and 5 inches in diameter, this small wood-burning stove is ready for a backwoods camping adventure. Unlike standard camp stoves, the stove burns small twigs, sticks, and other biomass found on the forest floor.
Its stainless steel construction resists rust and corrosion, while a double-wall design reduces smoke output. The stove can reach temperatures hot enough to boil 34 ounces of water in just 5 minutes, while the three-pronged stovetop can accommodate a small frying pan or pot.
Weighing less than 15 pounds, this smoke-free fire pit is ready for the road. The base detaches and nests inside the firebox for transport. A handy tote with handles holds both pieces and doubles as a cover that protects the fire pit from the elements.
Its simple double-walled design draws in air at the base as well as the bottom of the firebox to create an efficient burn while eliminating smoke. The fire pit, which comes in black alloy steel or durable stainless steel, uses wood pellets for fuel.
FAQ About Smokeless Fire Pits
If you’re wondering which fire pits produce the most heat, which material is the most durable, or how to safely use a fire pit, keep reading for answers to these and other commonly asked questions.
Q. What kind of fire pit produces the most heat?
Wood-burning fire pits can produce flames that are much larger than those produced by gas fire pits, and therefore give off the most heat. Of the wood fire pits, smokeless fire pits are the hottest, reaching temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Q. Which type of smokeless fire pit lasts a long time?
Stainless steel fire pits are significantly more durable than their alloy steel counterparts because stainless steel resists corrosion and rust. Alloy steel fire pits should either be stored indoors when not in use or protected with a waterproof cover.
Q. Does a fire pit need a liner?
A fire pit doesn’t need a liner. Adding a liner to a smokeless fire pit would inhibit the ventilation the fire pit needs to burn efficiently. However, a fire pit should be used only on nonflammable surfaces such as gravel or masonry.
Q. How do I clean a fire pit?
For lightweight fire pits, simply pick up the pit once it’s cool and dump the ashes in a garbage can. Larger fire pits require scooping out the ash leftover from the burnt wood or pellets. Some fire pits feature removable ashtrays that make them easier to clean. To clean the exterior of a fire pit, use a stainless steel cleaner to remove any soot.
Q. Do smokeless fire pits keep mosquitoes away?
Mosquitoes are repelled by the pungent smell of smoke, which they can’t tolerate. But, since mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, which fire produces, they often also are attracted to gas and smokeless fire pits.
Smokeless fire pits can lend a cozy ambience to backyard parties, or much-needed heat to campsites or tailgates. Better still, they all do it without the hassle and discomfort that come with the smoke of a traditional fire pit. The best smokeless fire pits are weather-resistant, easy to light, easy to clean, and offer efficient heat in the right setting.