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The essential guide to fire pits

Round fire pit EcoSmart Mix 850 - Paddington, Australia © Creative Events Photography

Outdoor fire pits

Outdoor living is playing a bigger part in our lives – particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic made our homes sanctuaries and curbed our travel plans. We’re enjoying and investing in our backyards and the outdoor spaces of our homes more than ever before. We’re also embracing the outdoor fireplace trend – and fire pits are helping rekindle the spark!

Fire pits – which are designed to contain and maintain the fire in a secure and safe environment – were one of the hottest trends in 2020 – and just as popular in 2021.

For many, fire pits hold nostalgic appeal, reminding us of cosy evenings around the campfire, and more than ever, consumers are using fire pits for both multi-seasonal living and entertainment. It’s no wonder they’re in big demand! According to’s Top Outdoor Living Trends in 2021 report, outdoor heaters and fireplaces are top choices to adapt outdoor spaces for year-round use. Coming in second place with 59% of the votes was a fire pit.

Outdoor fires can also enhance a home’s appeal and value. A survey by real estate group Zillow revealed that properties that list outdoor fireplaces, fire pits and free-standing chiminea fireplaces can sell 2.8 days faster compared to similar homes without an outdoor fire.

So, what’s the attraction of fire pits?

  • They bring people together – family, friends, patrons
  • They create cosy outdoor gathering spaces
  • They provide warmth and create an inviting ambiance in any outdoor space
  • They extend your living room to the outdoors
  • They’re versatile (there are many portable options, plus others that can be built-in for customised fire pits)
  • They’re ideal for the residential and hospitality sectors.

Fire pits also come in a range of shapes, sizes and finishes that can fit with any outdoor style and homeowner needs – and there are options that suit a variety of budgets. What’s exciting, too, is the range of eco-friendly, smokeless fire pits that are now on offer – ethanol and gas fire pits – replacing traditional wood-burning fire pits.

Today’s fire pit fuel choices

Ethanol fire pits EcoSmart Pod 40

Ethanol fire pits

Ethanol is an environmentally-friendly fuel source for outdoor and indoor fireplaces. Also known as bioethanol, it’s a clean-burning fuel source and is a low maintenance and modern solution. It’s also becoming an increasingly popular fuel type because of its green credentials and because it doesn’t produce soot, ash or smoke.

What are the benefits of ethanol firepits?

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Clean-burning fuel (no soot, ash or smoke)
  • Smoke-free
  • Easy to install (no vent or chimney is required)
  • Easy to maintain
  • Versatile
  • Available in a range of designs
Gas fire pits EcoSmart Martini 50

Gas fire pits

Gas-powered fire pits have been a popular option for some years. And whether you prefer a built-in gas fire pit (depending on whether you have a gas-line or can put one in), or a portable fire pit that you can move, there are various options available in natural gas or propane gas.

What are the benefits of gas firepits?

  • Fuel efficiency
  • Eco-friendly
  • Smoke-free
  • Quicker to turn on and off
  • Ability to adjust heat output
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Ideal for built-in fire pits (natural gas)
  • Portable (propane gas)
Wood-burning fire pits Wood-burning fire pit

Wood-burning fire pits

It’s the traditional fuel source for fire pits but there are some drawbacks, such as burning embers, which can be a safety issue; the need to tend the fire regularly to keep it at the right temperature and flame size; regulations (some councils / states / cities prohibit open-burning in residential areas or on covered patios or porches); and pollution, as they produce air-polluting smoke.

EcoSmart’s triple fuel technology

If you live in the US, then you have the added benefit of being able to choose from EcoSmart Fire’s Triple Fuel Technology - plumbed natural gas, readily available propane, or EcoSmart’s eco-friendly ethanol fuel system - eNRG.

“This gives the freedom to choose a system that’s right for customers’ needs and particular project,” explains Stephane Thomas, Director of MAD Design, whose brands include EcoSmart Fire. “Our Triple Fuel Technology makes it easy for designers, architects, consumers and hospitality/commercial operators to achieve what they want and in their chosen location - whether it’s an outdoor or indoor setting. With propane gas you can have a portable fire pit, while natural gas is for permanent fire pit placement.”

*Fuel options vary depending on country regulations.

9 benefits of fire pits

  1. Focal point: fire pits provide the ultimate centerpiece for any backyard or patio, inspiring gatherings and conversation.
  2. Ambiance and warmth: the flickering flame of a fire pit sets the mood for social gatherings or more intimate occasions; it adds a cosy atmosphere and visual warmth to your outdoor space.
  3. Captivating light: fire pits create a beautiful, ambiant light and can change the aesthetics of your outdoor entertaining and living spaces.
  4. Versatility: you can choose from portable or permanent styles – depending on whether you want the flexibility of a model you can move to different parts of your outdoor living space, or a fire feature that will stay put as a permanent feature in your garden or on your patio.
    There’s a large variety of portable fire pits, fire pits that can be built-in, and fire pit kits that provide you with the tools to customize your fire. And that’s not all! There are also fire pit tables that provide form and function – and are as much a piece of furniture as they are a fire feature.
  5. Multi-seasonal enjoyment: even when the temperatures cool, a fire pit can warm you up and is perfect for friends and family to gather around.
  6. Better for the environment: for those not wanting a wood-burning fireplace (or who can’t buy a wood fire because they’re illegal in your city or state), there are plenty of great, environmentally friendly, ‘smokeless’ options – e.g., ethanol, natural gas or portable propane gas fire pits or fire tables.
  7. Relax and unwind: the effect of fire has been proven to promote relaxation, make us calmer and more sociable, and even decrease blood pressure*.
  8. Add value to your home: a well-built fire pit could add value to your home. According to research by the National Association of REALTORS®, a fire feature is one of the top outdoor residential features that appeals to buyers and is likely to add value to a home for resale.
  9. Easy to use: gas and ethanol fire pits are extremely low maintenance and easy to use, especially compared to a wood-burning fire pit. There are no embers, ashes or soot to clean up, no wood to gather or purchase – and you can quickly and easily light your fire.

Not all Fire Pits are Created Equal!

When it comes to fire pits, we’re spoilt for choice. From the traditional, bowl-shaped fire pits, chimineas, stone or brick fire pits, freestanding designer fire pits, built-in fire pits to those that double as a fire table. We look at some of the more popular and inventive options:

Freestanding fire pits

Freestanding fire pits EcoSmart Stix is low maintenance and easy to use, especially compared to a wood-burning fire pit. There are no embers, ashes or soot to clean up. © Allegro Hotel, USA.

EcoSmart Fire’s Triple Fuel Technology offers the freedom to choose the system** that’s right for specific projects and architectural environments.

EcoSmart’s freestanding ethanol fire pits mean you can move them to different parts of your backyard, patio, terrace or balcony. The has been designed for design freedom, enabling you to move these stylish pieces of fire furniture from space to space, room to room (and outdoors to in). Fuelled by clean-burning eco-friendly ethanol, it means no flue or chimney are needed. And with no installation or building works required, all you need to do is unpack, put the fire into position and then light it!

EcoSmart has a myriad of portable fire pit styles – from the discrete, freestanding glass fireplaces, bowl-shaped ethanol fire pits that come in an array of sizes and styles, and the designer Stix Series of portable Fire Pits – a twist on the traditional campfire.

EcoSmart has also created a range of gas-powered** Fire Pits designed for outdoor use: the Freestanding Collection uses either Liquid Propane (LP) gas for portable fire pits, while for permanent built-in fireplaces, there are plumbed, natural gas options.

Fire pit tables

Fire pit tables EcoSmart Gin 90 Bar (teak)

Want more than just a fire pit? Then check out a multi-functional Fire Pit Table. They’re the perfect blend of high quality fireplace and furniture – and they’re ideal for residential and hospitality environments alike. Not only are they a great way to add warmth to an outdoor (or indoor) space and to provide a focal point and a drawcard for people to gather around, but many double as a coffee table, bar table or even dining table.

As a fireplace innovator, EcoSmart’s portfolio currently includes a collection of freestanding, portable Fire Pit Tables of different sizes and set at different heights, depending on your needs. From coffee table height and style to a model that combines the functionality of a bar-height table with an integrated elongated flame, to a freestanding dual-purpose fire dining table, there are many options to enable you to easily add a sense of luxury and elegance to your outdoor or indoor environment. And they’re perfectly proportioned to accommodate a glass or small plate, and to pair with comfortable chairs.

And as with EcoSmart’s Fire Pits, their Triple Fuel Technology** options provide the choice of ethanol, readily available LP Gas, or plumbed natural gas - all of which are UL Listed. Ethanol and LP Gas options provide the freedom of portability, enabling you to relocate your fire as desired, while the natural gas range enables you to install a permanent Fire Table.

Custom fire pit burner kits

Fire pit burner kits Designed to ensure creative design freedom, the all-in-one Fire Pit Kits provide a complete solution for those wanting to build their own custom, fire pit.

Fire pit burner kits are the perfect solution for a custom-designed fire feature – and they come with everything you need to create a built-in fire pit.

The popularity of fire pits – and particularly the desire to have a tailored outdoor or indoor fire for residential and hospitality settings, in particular – has seen EcoSmart Fire expand its range to include complete Fire Pit Kits, which ensures design freedom and ease of installation, enabling architects, designers, builders, homeowners, hospitality and commercial operators to create a tailored outdoor or indoor fire.

“Simplicity is keynote with this new series,” says Stephane, who created EcoSmart Fire. “We have taken the popular concept of fire pits and integrated our fireplace innovation and various EcoSmart fire elements to enable design professionals and consumers to easily create their own fire pit that fits with a design brief, floor plan or available space. Put simply, we provide a fully resolved ‘engine’ for customized fire pit designs.”

The completely self-contained EcoSmart Fire Pit Kits – which come in a variety of sizes and styles – are purpose-built to tailor your own fire pit, and they’re designed to be placed into a fixed position on a non-combustible surface such as stone countertops, concrete, brick or tiled tops. Simply drop in the tray that houses the EcoSmart burner, decorative media and surrounding glass screen for a stunning focal point.

“Our Fire Pit Kit inserts are much easier to install than wood-burning fireplaces and you can achieve a tailored fire pit with ease,” explains Thomas. “Just drop the kit into your chosen surrounds then dress around the fireplace with your individual finishing touch. The end result is a fire pit that delivers warmth and captivating illumination, adds atmosphere and draws people to indoor or outdoor areas, whether for an intimate family gathering or entertaining friends or guests. It also enables trans-seasonal use, a hallmark of many of our fire designs.”

Available in clean-burning ethanol, liquid propane gas (LPG) or natural gas**, unlike wood-burning fire pits, EcoSmart’s Fire Pit Kits are environmentally friendly, with the added benefit of no smoke, no embers, ash or soot. For a portable fire pit, there are LPG options, while plumbed natural gas versions enable the installation of permanent, built-in fire pits.

Choice of materials

When it comes to fire pits, there’s now a vast array of materials used to construct Fire Pits - from stone, cement, tile, slate, copper to cast iron and sleek stainless steel. “Depending on what style you’re after and also where the fire pit will be located, the main component will have a big impact in your decision,” says Thomas. “We use a range of quality, long-lasting materials to construct EcoSmart Fire Pits, with a focus on aesthetics, versatility, durability and longevity.”

Built for durability

EcoSmart Fire’s extensive range of outdoor firepits, Fire Pit Kits and Fire Pit Tables are constructed from hard-wearing, long-lasting, weather-resistant materials to enable trans-seasonal warmth and lighting. These include:

Choice of materials

When it comes to fire pits, there’s now a vast array of materials used to construct Fire Pits - from stone, cement, tile, slate, copper to cast iron and sleek stainless steel. “Depending on what style you’re after and also where the fire pit will be located, the main component will have a big impact in your decision,” says Thomas. “We use a range of quality, long-lasting materials to construct EcoSmart Fire Pits, with a focus on aesthetics, versatility, durability and longevity.”

Fluid Concrete Technology EcoSmart Pod 40 (Concrete)

Fluid concrete technology

EcoSmart Fire’s extensive range of outdoor Fire Pits, Fire Pit Kits and Fire Pit Tables are constructed from hard-wearing, long-lasting, weather-resistant materials to enable trans-seasonal warmth and lighting. These include:

  • Strength: it’s 8-times the tensile strength of traditional Portland concrete.
  • All-weather, stain-resistant: a special water-resistant barrier protects the concrete from staining and environmental weathering, even under extreme conditions and long UV exposure.
  • Lightweight: Fluid Concrete might be strong but it’s also relatively (deceptively!) lightweight, enabling Fire Pits to be easily relocated.
  • Ease of maintenance: easy to clean and keep looking great year after year.
  • Eco-friendly: constructed from ‘green’ cement and 95% recycled natural materials.
  • Choice of colours: the choice of 3 hues including Natural, Graphite or Bone.
Teak fire pit table EcoSmart Gin 90 Bar (Teak)


EcoSmart’s teak Fire Tables are the perfect blend of beautiful, warm-toned oiled teak, which is well proven for outdoor and indoor use.

Toughened glass

Surrounding many of EcoSmart’s Fire Pits, Fire Pit Kits and Fire Pit Tables is durable, see-through toughened glass, which enables the dancing flame to be easily seen - all the while ensuring safety. And for the models that don’t have the glass windscreens as a standard feature, they are optional extras.

Award-winning technology

At the heart of EcoSmart Fire’s extensive range of ethanol-fuelled Fire Pits is a specially-designed stainless steel burner - the ‘chamber’ that houses the fuel. From the round or square, more compact burners that are the core of many of the portable Fire Pits, Fire Pit Kits and several Fire Tables, to the elongated, XL burners that provide a stunning linear flame in the multi-functional coffee table, bar-height, and dining-height Fire Tables, and the Fire Pit Kit Series which enable custom, ventless Fire Pits to be created, EcoSmart Fire Burners synchronise beautifully with the fires and the surrounding architectural environment. They’re also easy to maintain. “Our clean-burning ethanol burners have no inaccessible moving parts, which means no expensive replacement costs. And they can be simply washed out by hand in hot soapy water or in the dishwasher,” explains Thomas.

Safety first

Safety is infused into every aspect of EcoSmart Fire’s product process, from concept, R&D to development. Our products undergo rigorous testing and independent certification: EcoSmart Fire’s collection has been thoroughly tested against a number of global standards. They are UL Listed in the USA, certified for the EU and UK in accordance with EN16647, and they satisfy the ACCC Safety Mandate for Australia.

*University of Alabama study by Dr Christopher Lynn, a medical and psychological anthropologist. Published in Evolutionary Psychology. **Fuel options vary depending on country regulations.

DIY guide to custom fire pits

Build your custom fire pit

Our all-new custom Fire Pit Kits provide unlimited design freedom while saving you up to 40% on your project. No vendor sourcing for custom welding or glass work required, your fire pit kit comes with everything you need!

Build your custom fire pit in 4 simple steps

Step 1

Choose a surround that is made with non-combustible materials such as concrete, brick, natural stone, or tile.

Build your fire pit step 1

Step 2

Drop the metal tray and the ethanol burner into the surround.

Build your fire pit step 2

Step 3

Insert the toughened glass windscreen for a beautiful and stable flame.

Build your fire pit step 3

Step 4

Add the included black glass charcoal rocks for a polished look, and enjoy!

Build your fire pit step 4

Indoor or outdoor application

Choose ethanol for an eco-friendly fuel powered by fermented plants and suitable for indoor use, plumbed natural gas requiring no refueling - ever, or liquid propane for colder environments requiring a higher heat output.

Indoor and outdoor fire pits