Best fire pits and chimineas for all seasons

Get ready for fun alfresco evenings with this warming garden accessory.

The Best Fire Pits and Chimineas

by Ellen Kinsey |
Updated on

Outdoor fireplaces, fire pits and chimineas act as a decorative focal point while providing warmth and alfresco fun. With British gardens changing along with our climate, homeowners and gardeners are looking toward garden accessories that can be used all year round. We've rounded up the best fire pits and chimineas for all seasons.

Even in the winter months, fire pits are still a trending topic, with many garden lovers adopting a night-time fire pit routine. Savouring all the charm of a real outdoor fire in your garden just got a whole lot better. All sorts of game-changing burners have arrived on the market, offering you quick-to-light fires, superior smokeless burns, and doubling up as a grill, hot plate or handy side table too.

Best fire pits and chimineas at a glance:

Best gel fire pit: blomus FUOCO Gel Fire Pit – View on Amazon UK
Best outdoor chimenea: La Hacienda Medium Steel Chimenea – View on Argos
Best large cast iron fire pit: Rammento Large Cast Iron Garden Fire Pit – View on Amazon UK

Perfect for getting the most from your space, from freestanding fire baskets to fully installed fire pits, they’ll let you stay outside for longer this autumn. Some are a cinch to clean up, others designed to be easily stashed away if you don’t have room on your patio for a permanent firepit and – yes, there’s no denying it – they do offer a real hit of garden eye candy.

There is a whole range of outdoor fire pits to choose from, and Modern Gardens' Jill Morgan has rounded up the best picks below. Whether you are searching for a stylish outdoor woodburner or something simple and rustic, fire pits are one of the best sources of outdoor heating and decoration.

Best fire pits and chimineas for your garden

Best gel fire pit

blomus FUOCO Gel Fire PitAmazon/FUOCO
Price: $238.91

If you are looking for something small and practical, then this blomus FUOCO Gel Fire Pit will sit perfectly on your outdoor patio table. It does not create as much heat as a wood or gas fire pit but is a great centrepiece. It uses standard burning gel and will burn for around two hours. The gel burner is also easy to clean.

Customer review: "A delightful product that creates a cosy atmosphere and animates the room. It’s well-made and feels solid. It burns through fuel quickly, so if you use the Blomus gel, it becomes an expensive item. Instead, you can burn any generic bioethanol liquid which costs a fraction of the price and does the same thing."

Pros

  • Well made
  • Solid

Cons

  • Gel goes out quickly

Best outdoor chimenea

This fantastic La Hacienda Medium Steel Chimenea from Argos is perfect for your garden or patio. Made from durable steel and finished in an attractive bronze effect, this chiminea boasts style and practicality. We love it. Not only does it have a full mesh body that lets you and your guests enjoy a 360-degree view of the fire, but it can emit heat from all angles ensuring you are kept warm and cosy long into the night.

Customer review: "Really like the look of this but it is a bit fiddly to assemble, took about 40 minutes, and all in all, had to move some of the mesh into shape which didn't feel great. But now it's up and working I'm very happy with it."

Pros

  • Stylish
  • Practical

Cons

  • Fiddly to assemble

Best large cast iron fire pit

Large Cast Iron Garden Fire PitAmazon/Rammento

This Rammento Large Cast Iron Garden Fire Pit has a raised bowl and three-leg support for safety and stability. It's easy to assemble, in under five minutes, with no tools required.

Customer review: "Bought this to have on the patio during winter get-togethers during Covid. I tried using wood but found it too smoky so went for a smokeless fuel. The pit itself is easy to put together and store. I left it out and it started to rust but very easy to turn down upside down not the stand and covers when not in use."

Pros

  • Great price
  • Large size

Cons

  • Needs help with airflow

Best fire pit for heat

Hooded Jiko Fire Pit Warmer With Free Fire Starter Dome Waitrose Garden

Looking for a compact firepit that kicks out plenty of heat without taking up too much space? Inspired by traditional Kenyan woodburners, this Hooded Jiko Fire Pit Warmer With Free Fire Starter Dome has a curved hood that captures and redistributes the heat, which would otherwise rise straight up into the sky. Made from iron with a fire-retardant black paint, the entire firepit heats up to create a cosy, inviting atmosphere, perfect for gathering around long into the night. When not in use, the fire bowl can be turned over so it doesn’t gather rainwater, and the hood is detachable, making it easier to store.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Radiates heat

Cons

  • Take care with open flame and hot surfaces

Best rustic fire pit

This La Hacienda Fasa Oxidised Firepit from Argos is another great choice for your garden. The handy, built-in log store is perfect for storing your fuel when not in use and makes refuelling no effort at all. Constructed from a durable mix of cast iron and steel, this oxidised firepit is fuss and maintenance-free. Add a rustic flair to your outdoor sanctuary.

Customer review: "Bought about a month ago and only used once because of the weather. It was easy to set up bigger than I thought because had seen some comments saying it’s small, I wouldn’t say it’s small at all. Easy to set up looks good and gives off great heat. All in all, I’m pleased."

Pros

  • Beautiful
  • Wood storage
  • Maintenance-free

Cons

  • Sizing off

Best copper fire pit

FIRE PIT/TABLE WITH COPPER TOP - TALLWaitrose Garden

If you’re short on patio space, then Waitrose Garden Firepit Table With Copper is a stylish solution. While lots of firepits have an optional solid lid which means they can be used as a table, this compact design looks like it’s a table first that can happily also be used as a firepit. Simply remove the untreated copper lid (turn it over and it doubles as a handy tray) and light the firewood or coals within and bask in the fire’s warmth and welcome glow. With a spun steel firebowl and robust steel bar frame, you can leave the copper lid to weather or maintain the shine with the included scouring pad.

Pros

  • Multifunctional
  • Stylish

Cons

  • No reviews

Best outdoor fireplace

Relaxdays Patio HeaterAmazon/Relaxdays

If you seek a fireplace with a classic rustic look, then this Relaxdays Patio Heater brings warmth and style. The conductive steel that radiates heat - just add the wood to the grid, and you will have a flickering fire in no time. In addition, the chimney feature makes sure the smoke does not drift in the wind and becomes a nuisance.

Customer review: "This burner arrived fairly promptly and was easy to assemble. It looks exactly as it does in the pictures and gives out a glorious, roaring heat. It’s quite sturdy and well made, the metal is thick so won’t dent and buckle. You can pile as much wood as you can into this burner and even put longer pieces of wood in as they can stand lengthways. We love using our chiminea, makes sitting outside very cosy, especially in the evening with a nice drink and toasting some marshmallows on a stick!"

Pros

  • Easy assembly
  • Can take lots of wood

Cons

  • Best for occasional use

Best compact Fire Pit

This Argos Home Foldable Firepit is awesome. It's totally portable with its own carry bag, so you can transform the moment - in minutes. Simply open, unfold and light up. Easy as that. Plus, it's suitable for charcoal and wood. Jumping flames and burning embers look good against the smooth black steel, and a mesh spark guard keeps everyone safe. Awesome.

Customer review: "Excellent for what we wanted. On a camping trip and made full use of both the BBQ and the fire pit. Very easy to assemble and clean."

Pros

  • Good size base
  • Easy set-up

Cons

  • Not the biggest grill

Best stylish fire pit

Centurion TONTERIA Fire PitAmazon/Centurion Supports

This Centurion TONTERIA Fire Pit with a stone finish is practical and convenient. You can burn charcoal, logs, coal and wood on this pit. This fire pit provides warmth and class to your garden, terrace or patio. It also comes with fire accessories such as a poker, BBQ grill, safety mesh lid, charcoal rack, a manual for easy self-assembly and a waterproof protective cover to protect it from dust, leaves and rain.

Customer review: "Love the product – very easy to assemble, it looks great and I'm very happy with it when doing a fireplace or barbecue."

Pros

  • Stylish
  • Accessories included

Cons

  • Wood only

Best multifunctional fire pit

Femor Large 3 in 1 Fire PitAmazon/Yaheetech

This Yaheetech 3 in 1 Outdoor Fire Pit can be used as a fire pit, BBQ and ice pit. With a heavy and stable design, this pit can withstand extreme weather and winds. If you are looking for the ultimate entertainment appliance for an outdoor gathering, then this fire pit is very versatile and well-equipped to entertain.

Customer review: "Looks lovely in my garden just waiting for the good weather to enjoy it. A bit fiddly with the screws if you have fat fingers but easy enough when you get the hang of it."

Pros

  • Good value
  • Comes with cover

Cons

  • Fiddly assembly

Best extra-large fire pit

Relaxdays Black XL Fire BowlAmazon/Relaxdays
Price: $53.00

This elevated Relaxdays Black XL Fire Bowl is designed to burn wood and will catch any hot embers in the tray below. It comes with a poker tool to ensure you can evenly distribute the timber and is easy to set up. The Relaxdays Fire Bowl is cheaper than other fire pits on the market, so it will not be as durable as other products. However, this firepit is ideal for occasional use. 

Customer review: "I got three of these so that we could have family over during the COVID lockdown. On reflection perhaps three was overdoing it because they are quite large. Anyway, at least we will be warm. They come in a flat pack but are easy to assemble and the instructions are clear. They fit together with nuts and bolts and took about half an hour. The under tray is a good idea and catches the ash etc. We used firefighters and kindling together with hardwood logs. Once going, they give out a lot of heat. Very pleased."

Pros

  • Cheaper
  • Comes with poker tool
  • Easy set-up

Cons

  • Better for occasional use

Best contemporary fire pit

Why not add some style to your garden with this contemporary La Hacienda Large Steel Firepit with Pedestal Stand? Complete with a decorative midsection, it will also provide plenty of heat to your patio or garden terrace. Enjoy your summer for longer with this traditional fire pit that comes with a mesh lid, log grate and metal safety tool.

Customer review: "Bought this to have a quick bonfire night open fire on the patio. Click and collect was fab. The unit is light, easy to assemble, and works just as I wanted."

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Good value

Cons

  • Bowl isn't big – constant refilling needed

FAQs: Fire pits and chimineas

What is the difference between outdoor fireplaces, fire pits and chimineas?

Fire pits have become an increasingly easy and affordable way to heat things up outside. They make alfresco evenings more inviting while adding an extra twist to everyday outdoor lighting. If you want all the perks of having a fire minus the camping, then you can choose anything from a simple rustic firepit to a multi-purpose outdoor fireplace. Some outdoor fire pit tables can function as a BBQ or even an ice bucket depending on your needs.

Outdoor fireplaces are more traditional but made for the outside. They are often designed with a chimney, much like indoor fireplaces and can be crafted from materials such as wood or iron. If you are looking to keep smoke at bay or add a touch of Scandinavian-style décor, then an outdoor fireplace is ideal.

Nowadays, there’s a vast choice of stunning, stylish chimineas to choose from, every one of which has what it takes to grace your garden and delight your senses. There’s something about the round fire bowl and narrow chimney that balances beautifully, whatever the design, whatever it’s made of, from clay to cast iron or steel.

Chimineas are typically hand-crafted fireplaces with a chimney made with clay or cast iron and sometimes wood. They are often created in Mexico or the southwest of America. While many see chimineas as garden décor for their garden or patios, they also produce a good amount of warmth and channel the smoke away from you with the chimney design.

What kinds of fire pits are there?

There are a few types of fire pits, such as wood burners, gas fire pits or gel fire pits.

Wood-burning fire pit

The most common fire pits are ones that are wood-burning. If you are looking to get a real outdoor experience, then a wood burner is the closest you will get to camping without a tent. Wood-burning fire pits are typically made from steel and are the most affordable option for fuel. Charcoal is usually compatible with many wood fire pits, so you can also consider using it as a BBQ.

Gas fire pit

Gas fires are fuelled by a propane tank, making them a convenient option. Like the gas you use to fuel the BBQ, this fire pit is easy to manage as you can switch it on and off at will. However, it is important to note when using a product with gas that you follow the safety tips in the product manual. In addition, gas fire pits are strictly for outdoor use, as if used in an enclosed space, you may become exposed to carbon monoxide.

Gel fire pit

If you are looking for a scent and smoke-free product, then gel fire pits are a great option. The downside is that gel burners can be quite expensive and don’t produce as much warmth as gas or wood-burning fire pits. If you are looking for a more decorative fire, then a gel burner would be an excellent accessory for your garden or patio. They are small and only require you to fill up the reservoir with gel fuel. Once all the gel has gone, the fire will go out on its own.

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Ellen Kinsey is a senior health and wellness product writer for Modern Gardens, specialising in sustainable living and health. She lives and breathes all things natural health, cooking and nature.

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