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A fire pit is the ideal way to accent a backyard or porch, providing both warmth and a natural gathering place for guests once the sun goes down. It’s the perfect way to roast s’mores or extend your outdoor activities deep into the autumn. It’s an excellent home upgrade.
Fire pits have traditionally been expensive, and still are if you’d like to build one into your backyard, but budget-friendly options can be had for $250 (or a lot less). These fire pits work just as well as the premium ones, differing only in size, so you aren’t missing out on performance.
The benefit of having a smaller fire pit is that it’s a lot easier to move, both around your backyard or from place to place. If you’re gathering at a friend or relatives house, you could set one of our recommendations up in a matter of minutes, just make sure to have kindling.
If you’ve been putting off getting a fire pit for a long time, these budget-friendly options leave you with no excuses.
What Are The Best Fire Pits Under $250?
There are many factors to think about when choosing the right budget-friendly fire pit for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Wood vs. Propane: Fire pits can use either wood or propane as fuel, and each one has its pros and cons. Propane-fueled fire pits are easier to control, and require no cleanup, but they require you to have a propane tank on hand. Fire pits that use wood require manual cleanup, give you less control over your flame, and require you to bring or forage for some wood, but give off the natural scent of smoke.
Size and weight: We made sure to pick fire pits we’re recommending are small enough to pick up and carry, but large enough keep on the patio most of the time without the fear of it blowing away.
General safety tips: Using a fire pit can be relaxing and fun, but it’s important to realize that you’re still dealing with fire, which can be volatile and destructive. The Fire Department says it’s best to use your fire pit from at least ten feet away from your home to prevent potential damage in case of high winds.
We recommend using your fire pit on non-flammable surfaces like tile or concrete instead of grass, or a wooden deck. Remember to always keep at least a three-foot “Pet and Child Zone” around your pit to prevent both from getting hurt. These are suggestions, but you should also consult your town or city’s laws before starting your first fire to see if there are any hard rules to follow.
1. Solo Stove Ranger
Solo Stove’s fire pits have become incredibly popular lately thanks to their unique design, which naturally reduces the amount of smoke it produces by redirecting airflow through holes near its base. The result is a fire pit that provides warmth without hurting your eyes when the wind blows in your direction.
The Ranger is a wood-burning fire pit that measures 12.5-inches tall, 15-inches wide, and weighs just 15 pounds. Solo Stove is so confident in this fire pit’s portability that it includes a carry case. Its stainless steel exterior won’t rust, and is very resistant to damage from high temperatures.
Once your fire is finished, you can quickly dispose of the ash that’s accumulated at the bottom of the Ranger by tipping it over. This ash is held in a compartment below the burning wood, so it doesn’t produce smoke while your fire is active.
Some internet-famous products aren’t worth the hype, but Solo Stove’s fire pits have delivered in our testing. Better yet, the Ranger is currently $70 off on Solo Stove’s site.
Note: Solo Stove’s sale brings its Bonfire fire pit (a larger version of the Ranger) down to $254.99 from $349.99)
2. BioLite FirePit+
BioLite’s FirePit+ is multi-fuel option that can be used for more than just roasting marshmallows.
The fire pit measures 27.5-inches wide, 17.7-inches tall, 13.8-inches deep, and weighs almost 20 pounds. It can be powered by either wood or charcoal, and holds its fuel in mesh chamber, which allows smoke to escape from all sides.
An electric fan, which runs on a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 30 hours, provides a steady stream airflow. You can control the amount of air that’s circulated by pushing buttons on the control panel, or via an app on your phone. This design allows the FirePit+ to be “smokeless” according to BioLite.
You can switch the grates that hold the FirePit+’s fuel between two heights. The lower one is best for using it as a fire pit, which the upper height setting turns the FirePit+ into a Hibatchi-style grill. You can use your own cookware (we recommend cast iron) or get option accessories from Biolite that’re specifically designed with this fire pit in mind.
Regardless, the fact that the FirePit+ can act as both a fire pit and portable grill is very impressive, and makes it a standout choice in this guide.
3. Outland Living Firebowl
The only way to have complete control over the power of your fire pit’s flames is to get one that runs on propane, which is why we’re recommending Outdoor Living’s Firebowl.
It’s 19-inches deep, 11-inches tall, weighs 23 pounds, and can be hooked up an average 20 pound propane tank. Propane-based fire pits create no smoke, and you can adjust their power level by slightly turning a knob. If you’ve operated a gas grill, you’ll be right at home with Outland Living’s Firebowl.
We like this fire pit because of its relatively small size, and the ability to get optional adapters that allow it to run on natural gas. If you have a natural gas line on the outside of your home, you won’t have to worry about refilling a propane tank.
The flames from this fire pit come out of a single stainless steel burner, but Outland Living bundles its fire pit with a set of “lava rocks,” which make it look more aesthetically pleasing. If you don’t plan on using your fire pit for camping, and want one that requires no cleanup after every use, Outland Living’s Firebowl is the right pick.
4. Amazon Basics Steel Lattice Fire Pit
True to its name, Amazon Basics’ Steel Lattice Fire Pit is an excellent option with no unnecessary frills.
The circular-shaped, wood-burning fire pit is 27.8-inches wide, 35-inches tall, and weighs 17.6 pounds. Amazon’s fire pit is made out of durable steel, with a mesh covering that allows smoke to filter out from all directions instead of upward, so it won’t get in your eyes as much.
This fire pit comes with a steel lid, which keeps your fire’s flames from getting too high, and a cover that protects the pit from the rain or snow. None of the other fire pits in our guide come with either of those accessories.
It may not have the fanciest look, but Amazon Basics’ Steel Fire Pit is the right pick if you’re shopping on a budget.