When cold weather rolls around, you might find yourself wistfully looking out at your patio or backyard, longing to sit on those now tarp-covered chairs. The good news is that you can still enjoy your backyard in cold weather, and it starts by investing in an outdoor fireplace. An outdoor fireplace will help keep you and your guests warm for winter patio hangouts, but it’s also a great way to keep the party going on those occasionally chilly summer evenings.
Outdoor fireplaces vary widely in size, price and function. Small fire pits are more affordable and give that classic sitting-around-the-campfire feeling. But, since the fire isn’t contained, you might get a smoke smell in your clothes or a stinging in your eyes as the fire moves with the wind. Chimineas are another option. They function very similarly to an indoor fireplace — there’s a hearth where the fire is built and a stack that directs the smoke into the air and away from you. A chiminea will keep the smoke smell out of your clothing, and they’re also safer than a regular fire pit. However, they’re sometimes more expensive. Plus, some chimineas only have a hearth that opens on one side, which makes it harder for people to gather around the flame.
We’ve picked out some of the best outdoor fireplaces you can buy online, including pits and chimineas that suit a variety of design preferences. These are the ones to buy.
1. Hampton Bay 55.5 in. Outdoor Chimenea
This rustic outdoor chiminea from Hampton Bay has a number of features that make it a great all-around pick. The base has a steel mesh cover that extends around the entire spherical firebox, allowing people to sit around it and get equal warmth. The pipe is almost 5 feet tall, helping to keep the smoke away from you while you sit in front of the fire. Plus, a poker is included to help you maintain the flame. And at 35 pounds, it’s solid but not so heavy you couldn’t move it.
2. DANYA B 28.25 in. Outdoor Fire Pit
The blocky design and muted colors give this fire pit a distinctly modern look, so it’s well suited for anyone who wants an outdoor fireplace but isn’t into rustic decor. The top portion has a perforated metal pit that’s easy to gather around, while the bottom has an open design that’s great for storing firewood. It’s about as deep and wide as an indoor end table, so it can suit any outdoor space, no matter how small.
3. TACKLIFE Propane Fire Pit Table
BEST ALTERNATIVE TO FIREWOOD
Fire may have been man’s first discovery, but actually making a fire hasn’t gotten much easier in the intervening two million years. If you struggle with getting a wood fireplace going, consider this easy option from TACKLIFE, which uses propane as its source. It has an easy ignition dial, similar to a kitchen burner. The included lid converts the fire pit into a table when it’s not in use.
4. Necessories Desert Compact Outdoor Fireplace
If you want something that looks more permanent, this option has a steepled design and a classic stone look (but is actually made from sturdy concrete). At 6 feet tall, it makes a great focal point for a backyard, without overwhelming smaller spaces. The brand also sells matching wood boxes that you can attach to the side. The fireplace has clear instructions and is meant to be fairly easy to assemble — one reviewer described it as “adult LEGO.”
5. Endless Summer Wood Burning Pagoda Chiminea
BEST FOR COOKING
This pagoda-shaped chiminea looks a bit like a pizza oven, and you actually can use it for cooking. There’s a pull-out cooking grid that sits on top of the flame. The firebox is housed in a mesh spark screen that extends around the entire chiminea, giving you 360-degree access to the flame. It’s a compact option that will suit smaller spaces — the chiminea is less than four feet tall.
6. Ebern Designs Fire Pit with Wooden Top
This fire pit from Ebern Designs has a simple, modern look, and it’s well-suited to place between two chairs on a patio or balcony. It’s two feet by two feet and 14 inches tall, so it’s one of the more compact fire pits on this list. The best feature is the included wooden top — you can place it over the pit when the pit’s not in use to turn it into an end table. Like most of the options on this list, this fire pit is designed for use with wood, not charcoal.
7. Red Ember Coral Coast Alto Steel Chiminea
This charming outdoor fireplace has a retro look that calls to mind winter vacations at lakeside cabins. The compact size makes it well suited to small patios, while the wide mouth offers plenty of warmth. This chiminea includes a cover to protect it when not in use.
8. Terrain Weathering Steel Obelisk Chiminea
This chiminea has a distinctly modern look thanks to its angular shape and minimalist design. It has two openings at the base. One is the actual firebox, and the chamber below it is where you can store firewood, keeping it close at hand when building the fire. The obelisk is just under 5 feet tall.