10 Tips for Making the Best Use of a Fire Pit

Using a fire pit seems like a simple matter, and it is, if you chose to be straightforward about it. Most fire pits are designed to be durable and foolproof, so anyone can light a fire and enjoy its warmth, in just about any environment.

But if you’d like to get the most out of your fire pit, yet maximize your safety while doing so, below are some valuable tips you’ll want to observe.

Ten Great Tricks for Fire Pits

These are ten of the best ways to get more out of your fire pit:

  1.       Choose the right fire pit (or fire bowl). Your first step is choosing the right fire pit or fire bowl for your situation. You have many shapes, styles, and materials to choose from. Some are designed for smaller fires and a cozier atmosphere; others are intended for larger events. Consider your budget, the amount of space you have to work with, the number of people you’re likely to entertain, and the type of fire you want to have.
  2.       Select uniform firewood. Choosing the right firewood is worthwhile if you want to keep the fire burning consistently (and keep your fire pit in good shape). Dry firewood tends to burn longer and more consistently, and uniform pieces will make it easier to build and control. Try to keep things as uniform as possible.
  3.       Never use accelerants. Occasionally, people decide to use accelerants like propane to get a fire going. Although most fire pits are supposed to provide a fair amount of protection against heat and embers, accelerants introduce a level of risk for which these safety measures may be inadequate. Besides, they simply aren’t necessary. With the right amount of kindling and tinder, you should be able to build a fire reliably from scratch without resorting to accelerants.
  4.       Master the positioning. The location of your fire pit matters. It’s a good idea to keep it far from materials that could catch fire, such as grass or wood siding. Instead, try to keep it on a material like stone, gravel, or concrete. In addition, you’ll want to keep the fire pit close enough to your furniture that you can reasonably enjoy its warmth (and cooking potential) without becoming too hot for comfort.
  5.       Utilize sand or rocks to protect the bottom. Fire pits are designed to withstand a lot of heat, but if directly exposed to the intense heat of the flames, the metal could sustain significant damage over time. This is easy to prevent, however. Simply include a layer of sand or rocks at the bottom of your fire pit to distribute the heat more uniformly and dissipate it.
  6.       Keep a hose or bucket nearby. If fire safety is a priority for you, this should be a no-brainer. Even the finest fire pit and the best-built fire can quickly spiral out of control due to unforeseen variables; a stray ember, rising winds, or reckless guest could cause the fire to spread. Be prepared with an attached hose or a bucket of water, just in case you should need it.
  7.       Add a grill grate. Cooking over a fire pit with a marshmallow stick or a long fork is fun, but if you want to cook burgers, chicken, or certain types of vegetables, that won’t be enough. Invest in a grill grate you can attach to the top of your pit; that way, you’ll be able to cook just about anything reliably.
  8.       Burn sage. Throw in a bundle of dry sage when you burn firewood. Not only will it add a pleasant, earthy scent to your surroundings, it will also repel mosquitoes and other bugs. It’s an easy way to minimize one of the biggest downsides of the outdoors.
  9.       Reuse the ashes. Leftover ashes can be a pain to dispose of … so consider recycling them instead. Sprinkle some ashes directly into your garden to repel slugs, or work them into the soil as fertilizer.
  10.   Keep it covered when not in use. Most modern fire pits are designed to withstand extreme temperatures and precipitation associated with outdoor use. However, it’s still a good idea to keep your fire pit covered and stored when it’s not in use.

Improving the Environment

You can also enjoy a fire pit to a greater degree by improving the environment in which you use it. For example, you might invest in better-quality stone to support the pit, resulting in a more inviting aesthetic and better protection from the heat of the unit.

You can also upgrade your outdoor furniture, and install pieces that are more comfortable and more in line with the vibe you desire for the space. And though the fire’s glow can provide warm, ambient lighting, you can make your yard even better with some complementary strings of light.

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