About Smokeless Fire Pits

First things first…There is no such thing as a “smokeless” fire pit.  When “smokeless” fire pits first hit the market, they were strongly marketed as “Smokeless Fire Pits.” The marketing caught up with the companies and if you look at old comments. You will find that there were a lot of complaints from consumers.  Answers were given such as “Your wood isn’t dry enough.” “You’re not putting in enough wood” “You’re doing something wrong” etc. etc. 

Finally, I think the companies decided to just say smoke-less to define but still marketed them as “smokeless” to sell more.  These types of fire pits are now made from more than 20 different brands. Some being made by the same company under different labels.  They all use the same technology. By bringing air in from under the fire pit and from under the side shield of the fire pit. 

Some problems

Air hole ports from under the fire pit can get clogged over time. A lot of the pits must be lifted and turned over to clean, or they will have a removable ash pan, but this ash pan must have ways for air to get in to help burn the smoke. So they need to be cleaned much more frequently.  A lot of the pits designed like this have comments such as. “After I burn for a few hours I just can’t get it to stop smoking” This is due to the air-ports being clogged.

All these pits utilize the same technology to build them and have an outer layer around the inner fire pit that sits just off the ground or legs. This layer is here to bring air in from between the layers. The air enters the fire pit at the top edge through a series of holes all the way around the inside. When the fire pit gets hot enough, the air around the top holes will ignite the smoke inside the fire pit as it is rising with the heat, so this eliminates having a small fire in this type of fire pit. 

The only advantage of the outer layer is that it stays looking new a little longer. They will call it a heat shield so you don’t get burned. At 170 degrees you can still get burned, so where is the tradeoff.  It is a fire pit and should be considered hot, so don’t touch it either way.

The problem with this outer layer technology is that it shields the fire pit from putting any heat off the sides to keep your feet and legs warm, so now they are adding an expensive hat / cover design, if you will, about 12” to 16” up above the top opening of the fire pit that they sell as an accessory.  This acts as a “Heat Deflector” to push heat out to the sides. It is ugly, but needed, if you don’t want to “huddle” over the top of the fire. 

In conclusion, about 99% of these types of fire pits are built out of the country with a lesser quality of material in thickness and purity and workmanship that just doesn’t last.