NOTHING RUINS a warm fire on a chilly night like a nice fat cloud of eye-watering smoke. Move seats all you want: Through some cosmic wizardry we will never fully understand, that smoke will find its way back to your face soon enough. We’ve all been living with this inconvenient necessity for years, but with the advent of the smokeless fire pit , mankind may have finally mastered the open flame.
If you’re shopping for a smokeless firepit of your own, you’re in the right place. We’ve been testing these modern marvels for the last several months, and we’ve got some findings to share. What follows are our lessons learned after spending time with the best smokeless firepits of 2022 as well as our top recommendations for every type of pit available.
Is Portability Important?
Generally speaking, the best smokeless fire pits come in one of two types: Full-sized pits that are built to live on your patio or in your backyard, and portable pits that are better suited for smaller living spaces, camping, travel, etc . Personally we lean more toward portable electric fire pits due to their outright versatility, but there are definitely tradeoffs with each.
For instance, full-sized backyard fire pits tend to provide more warmth, which means more people can gather around them without fighting to stay warm. This makes them great for entertaining, and if you’re planning on doing any cooking, you’ll be able to cook for more people more easily. Lastly, we’ll also mention that the larger and deeper your fire pit is, the less you have to worry about the size of your own logs. Logs that stick out above the top of the pit create smoke, so this metric is important if you want to keep your pit truly smokeless.
Portable pits, on the other hand, are the masters of versatility. They do everything their larger cousins do, but work better in smaller spaces and make a convenient addition to campsites, tailgates, and beach hangouts. They usually aren’t ideal for cooking, and their smaller diameters limit them to around 6 people, but the fact you can throw them in the trunk of pretty much any car and bring the party anywhere you go adds serious value.
Types of Smokeless Technology
Once you’ve decided on the size pit you’re looking for, the next thing you’ll want to consider is what kind of smokeless system is best suited to your intended use. When most people think of smokeless fire pits, they’re thinking of traditional double wall steel designs like those found on Breeo and Solo Stove pits, but it’s important to know this isn’t your only option.
Don’t get us wrong, traditional double wall fire pits like these are the most popular option for a reason: They’re completely analog, meaning all they need to create a smokeless fire is plenty of wood and a little time to warm up. The main drawback here is that the thick metal these pits are made from makes them particularly large and heavy, and even the most compact versions take up a fair amount of space and weigh well over 20 lbs.
The second type of smokeless fire pit is a forced induction pit , which uses an electric fan to create the necessary airflow to burn off smoke before it gets into the air. These pits don’t require double wall construction, which makes them lighter and more compact than their traditional siblings. The main drawback of these pits is that they’re battery-dependent, this means you’ll have to keep them charged to keep the smoke at bay.
The third and final option is the good ol’ fashioned propane pit . This might seem like cheating, but there’s a good reason propane fires are still typically permitted when open fire bans are in effect: They’re much safer. Propane starts can be turned on and off instantly with the turn of the dial, and because there’s no wood to worry about, you’ve got zero chance of starting a forest fireplace with a rogue ember. Your main drawback to propane pits is that they just don’t quite scratch the campfire itch the same way a wood fire does, and they’re also dependent on you having enough gas to keep your fire going.