How to Choose a Portable Fire Pit

A portable fire pit is the perfect way to warm up outside on cool nights, a great place to share laughs, and the perfect spot for cooking marshmallows with your family.

The convenience of a portable fire pit is hard to beat, and all of the different style options to choose from make these the perfect addition for so many homes.

If you’ve decided your backyard wouldn’t be complete without a portable fire pit, here are some things you need to think about before you pick one out.

Choosing between a gas, propane, or wood burning fire pit 

When it comes to portable fire pits, you can choose between gas burning, propane burning, or wood burning options.

Wood burning fire pits are a popular option because of their cost-effectiveness. Many homeowners find the ambience created by a wood burning fire pit is hard to beat, but there are many good reasons to choose a gas or propane option as well. 

When you’re choosing between gas or propane for a fire pit, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. This includes the portability of the fuel source.

A propane tank can be attached to the fire pit and moved around with it. A natural gas fire pit, however, will be connected to a natural gas line (usually from your house), which means it will be somewhat tethered and not as portable as a propane fire pit. 

Propane also happens to be more efficient than gas, but gas is significantly cheaper than propane.

Wood burning fire pits, propane fire pits, and gas fire pits can all be excellent options for your home — it’s just a matter of deciding what would work best with your yard and lifestyle. 

Portable fire pit materials

A portable fire pit can be made from several materials, including carbon steel, cast aluminum, cast iron, and copper.  

At the Little Fireplace Shop, our portable fire pits are made of the most durable option: heavy duty ¼ thick mild carbon steel, which is then coated with a high-temperature resistant finish and an outer iron oxide finish to make it maintenance-free. 

portable fire pit

Carbon steels or mild steels are known for being stiff and strong. Mild steel is less brittle than steel, and it can also be further strengthened with the addition of carbon. All of these qualities make mild carbon steel the obvious choice for the best portable fire pits. 

Style options

A portable fire pit can have as much or as little style and flair to it as you’d like. 

If a portable fire pit is going to be the focal point of the yard, you may opt for a more unique design, like this Barefoot Beach fire pit with a shell and starfish design. 

On the other hand, a simpler and sleeker design might be right for you. In that case, something like the Asia 60-inch Fire Pit would be the perfect choice! With a low, close to the ground design, guests will have a full view of the entire fire from any seating height or angle.

As you can see, there are so many styles to choose from but once you find the one for you, it will be the perfect fit for your backyard, patio, or at the beach! 


Before you buy a portable fire pit, one of the most important things to think about is where exactly you’ll set it up. Luckily, due to their portability, if one location doesn’t work out, it can be moved. 

But there are some places that are never a good idea for a fire pit, including directly on your grass, on a wooden deck, on an unstable structure, or under low hanging trees, branches, or other materials that could easily catch fire.

If you have a sandy or rocky area with a flat surface, this could work perfectly for your portable fire pit. But make sure your fire pit is at least 10 (but preferably 25) feet from your neighbors and any nearby structures. 

How your portable fire pit will be used

Before you buy a portable fire pit, think about how you intend to use it. Of course, its primary purpose is fire, but beyond that, fire pits could be used for cooking food, keeping warm, as a gathering place, as a visual element in your yard — or all of the above!

Different types of portable fire pits can be used for different things.

For one example, the Saturn Fire Pit includes a lid that can be used as a foot-rest or a place to put drinks. 

If you plan to use your fire pit primarily for entertainment, a fire pit table could be just the thing you’re looking for. 

Consider the Linear 72-inch Fire Pit Table: it comes with a steel cover that can turn the fire pit into a tabletop, making it the perfect place to serve drinks and snacks, only to be removed later on so a fire can be started. 

If you’re concerned with flying embers and you plan to use your portable fire pit in a smaller space, a design like the Vesuvius Fire Pit could be the best choice.

It channels smoke and fire up the flue, and the design helps protect the fire from wind to minimize the spread of sparks and embers. Its heavy metal construction soaks up and radiates the heat from the fire, which makes it ideal for small spaces.

Portable fire pit safety

No matter what kind of portable fire pit you decide on, safety will be your primary concern to protect your family and your property. 

Here are some tips for operating your portable fire pit safely: 

  • Fire pits should never be left unattended, and children or pets should never be left unattended near a fire either 
  • While you may be tempted to add a lot of fuel at once, it’s wise to use only what you need to keep it gently burning and then add more as you go
  • Keep an eye on the weather and don’t start a fire when there are current or predicted windy conditions
  • Garbage and other paper products are not to be used for fuel 
  • Only use wood specifically designated for fires — certain soft woods like cedar are more likely to spark
  • Keep a bucket of water, a shovel, and a hose near the fire pit

Portable fire pits can be an inexpensive and convenient way to jazz up your yard and ultimately serve as the entertainment hub of your home.

If you’d like to have a look at more of the portable fire pit styles and options you have to choose from,
click here. 

Planning to have indoor fireplace as well? We got your back! Check out this blog to help you decide and choose the perfect electric fireplace insert to your home!