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How to Buy a Fire Pit: Fire Pit Buying Guide

A fire pit adds warmth and ambiance to your backyard gatherings. Our fire pit buying guide breaks down the factors to consider so you can find exactly what you need.

Getting Started

If you love entertaining and spending time outdoors, a fire pit or fire table would make a worthy addition to your yard. In a variety of sizes, styles and materials, they are designed to keep you and your guests warm while providing the cozy ambiance of a crackling fire. Continue reading to learn more about the options available, whether you're looking for something sleek and modern or charmingly rustic.
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Fuel Type

Fuel type is the first factor to consider when you're learning how to buy a fire pit. Fuel type affects how the fire will burn and can impact where you can place your fire table. Safety and installation costs should also be considered when you're shopping. The four main fuel types are wood, charcoal, natural gas and propane gas.
  • Wood: If you're looking for that great bonfire smell and crackling sound, wood is naturally the best option. It's also the most affordable option and doesn't require any professional installation.
  • Charcoal: Charcoal is mainly a consideration for those who want a fire pit that does double duty: cooking and warmth. Charcoal pits often lack the design features found on models that use other fuel sources.
  • Natural Gas: Natural gas offers you an unlimited fuel supply, but of course requires connection to a gas line. If you don't currently have a functioning gas line or one that isn't conveniently located, you'll have to call in the professionals for help; not everyone will want to deal with that level of effort of installation.
  • Liquid Propane: On the other hand, propane gas functions similarly but uses propane tanks instead of connecting to your home's gas line. This gives you more flexibility as long as you remember to keep a few tanks on hand.


Once you've decided which fuel type works best for your home, the next step in learning how to buy a fire pit is to determine which style fits your lifestyle, yard layout and aesthetic preferences. There are so many styles available, and certain brands may use their own names for a certain design. The term "fire pit" is more general and can apply to a variety of styles, depending on which brand you're shopping with. If you're seeking something more stylized, look for styles like a fire table, fire bowl or tabletop fire pits or fire bowls. Fire tables offer a stylish appearance and often come with matching patio furniture, making them an ideal option for entertaining or family bonfires. These tables offer room for food, drinks or phones and some even come with covers for the fire pit section should you desire to use the entire table. Fire bowls sit on the ground and, as the name suggests, are bowl-shaped. These can come in a variety of stylish finishes similar to fire tables, but don't offer room for food or drinks. Tabletop fire pits or fireplaces are small and designed to be easy to move; they're often more affordable too. If you're on a budget or seeking a less-permanent option, a tabletop fire pit is a great option. These are almost always fueled by propane.
Fire Pits & Fire Tables


As with any other piece of furniture, you should also consider material types when researching how to buy a fire pit. Different materials are better suited to certain environments and also suit certain aesthetics. You'll want to consider the climate in which you reside, where you plan on placing your fire pit and how often you'll use it.
  • Steel: Steel offers a variety of finishes and price points. If you live in a rainy climate or expect your fire pit to endure wear and tear, opt for powder-coated steel, which is far more durable. Steel is also fairly lightweight and easy to move.
  • Stainless Steel: Stainless steel offers even more durability and is highly resistant to rust. They offer a modern and industrial appearance to your space.
  • Cast Iron: Cast iron is incredibly solid and durable; just like a cast iron skillet, cast iron fire pits disperse heat evenly and incredibly well. However, they are heavy and thus difficult to move.
  • Aluminum: Aluminum is a popular choice for fire pits. It is highly resistant to rust but is also incredibly lightweight despite its durability.
  • Copper: Copper won't rust, making it great to use outdoors. However, it will oxidize a greenish hue when exposed to the elements. It is otherwise very durable.
  • Stone: Stone is a great way to match the finish of your home. One of the biggest benefits to using stone is that it doesn't rust, making it a reliable material option. However, stones can rust should they be exposed to harsh elements for prolonged periods of time.

Placement & Safety

Now that you have an idea of what you want your bonfire to look like, it's time to decide where it should be placed in your yard. When considering placement, there are two main factors to consider: aesthetics and safety. Just like the rooms inside your house, it's important to properly arrange your outdoor furniture. Consider the other pieces you have, whether it's a dining set or individual chairs (or a combination of both); from there, you'll be able to determine the layout that looks best and offers functionality for you and your guests. Most importantly, you shouldn't have your fire too close to your home or other flammable objects. Avoid low-hanging tree branches, shrubbery, gardens or other highly-flammable areas of your space. If you plan on having your bonfires on a wooden deck, you'll need to purchase an option that's safe for use on wood. You may also need a permit depending on where you live and the type of fire pit you want to install.

Q&A Summary

Where can I buy a fire pit?

Abt has a variety of fire pits for sale. Browse our selection online or visit our store in Glenview, IL to see select models in person.

How far should a fire pit be from a house?

Your fire pit should be placed 10 to 25 feet away from any flammable structure or surface, including your house, trees, outdoor shed or vehicle.

What to do with fire pit ashes?

Most importantly, be sure the ashes have completely cooled before handling. You should handle ash with a shovel or another tool, not your hands. It can be used in fertilizer or disposed of in a sealed metal container. Be sure to leave about an inch of ash at the bottom of the fire.

In Summary

Researching how to buy a fire pit doesn't have to be daunting. We've covered just about everything you need to know before making a purchase in this buying guide, but if you still have questions, feel free to reach out to an Abt expert at 800-860-3577. These bonfires are the perfect way to upgrade your outdoor entertainment and will allow you to enjoy your yard into the cooler months. Be sure to browse our selection of fire pits and fire tables to find the perfect fit for your home.