How Do Smokeless Fire Pits Work? (A Detailed Guide)

If you are planning a backyard renovation or improvement, you may be considering a fire pit. But have you looked into smokeless fire pits yet and how they can benefit your outdoor living space? What are these fire pits like? More importantly, how do smokeless fire pits work?

When given quality wood or other fuels, smokeless fire pits burn at such a high temperature and quick enough that very little smoke is produced. Keep in mind that no real fire can be entirely smokeless, but these fire pits are designed to come close!

But do smokeless fire pits still keep you warm? And can you make your own fire pit smokeless with a few adjustments? There are many questions to answer regarding these unique inventions- let’s get started.

Are Smokeless Fire Pits Really Smokeless?

Technically, no. There is no way to make a fire pit really smokeless or exhaust-free, given that it is consistently burning fuel. You can’t have smoke without a fire, and vice versa! However, smokeless fire pits take many things into account to give you a less smoky experience, including a unique heating chamber.

Smokeless fire pits also work best when used in conjunction with high-quality fuel. Avoiding wet or green woods can help you achieve the smokeless look that you are hoping for. But let’s learn more about how smokeless fire pits actually work now.

How Do They Work?

The majority of smokeless fire pits are designed to work with heat retention in mind. The hotter the fire, the less smoke gets produced- this is why most smokeless fire pits involve some sort of double-walled mechanism to keep your fire pit warm.

Smokeless fire pits also have ample access to oxygen, either through the top of the pit or through specifically designed holes underneath the metal base. Much like a charcoal grill, these holes are designed to allow air flow to travel up from beneath the bulk of your fuel and fire.

The final way in which smokeless fire pits work is up to you- you will need to supply the pit with dry and easy to burn firewood and fuel. Firewood works well, but wood pellets work too. There are many different types of wood that will work best for smokeless fire pits. Some of those types of wood include:

  • Maple
  • Oak
  • Ash

Avoid woods that are wet or are highly resinous, such as pine. You should also take care to avoid burning treated wood, including pallets, as these can release toxic fumes.

Do Smokeless Fire Pits Keep You Warm?

Smokeless fire pits are still fires- they will indeed keep you warm! In fact, given their double walled heating style, many smokeless fire pits have the potential to generate more heat than standard fire pits and fireplaces!

Since a cleaner burning fire only happens at very high heats, smokeless fire pits naturally burn very hot. This heat produces minimal smoke, smell, and debris, as well as being a wonderful addition to any backyard get together. You won’t have to worry about anyone being cold at your next outdoor event!

How to Make a Fire Pit Smokeless?

You can purchase smokeless fire pits specifically designed for your backyard and needs. This particular option from INNO STAGE is designed to be portable, and comes with a carrying case. This makes it a perfect option for camping or taking to the beach.

If you have an existing fire pit, you can make it smokeless with little effort. Depending on the dimensions, you may be able to use a specific insert with your current backyard fireplace. Check out this option from Zentro on Amazon– this brand also offers fire pit cookware if you enjoy cooking in the great outdoors.

You can also build another wall around this particular insert- you can use metal, decorative stone, bricks, and more. Get creative, but just make sure your material holds heat in well and can radiate it out. Talk to your local hardware store for tips about building a fire pit from scratch!

Is Breeo the Best Smokeless Fire Pit?

Breeo X Series Smokeless Fire Pit (19 Inch) USA Made, Portable, Steel, Wood Burning Campfire and Backyard Fire Pit | The Original Smokeless Fire Pit | Corten Steel (Patina)

While Breeo may or may not be the best smokeless fire pit out there (everyone has differing opinions) it’s the original smokeless fire pit brand! Breeo created the very first smokeless fire pit back in 2011 and have been working hard ever since.

There are two different Breeo branded smokeless fire pit models- a more simplistic pit known as the XSeries, or an attractive and all-in-one option known as the Luxeve. Breeo also offers different fire pit sizes and buildout options, including brick insert exteriors.

Breeo also offers fire pit accessories, such as kettle holders, grill racks, fire pit covers, and spark guards. While this particular brand may be a bit expensive for certain budgets, it is a contender for being one of the best smokeless fire pit options out there. 

Check Breeo out on their website posted above, or browse their Amazon listings here.

What are Some of the Best Smokeless Fire Pits?

Are you considering a smokeless fire pit for your backyard, patio, or camping trips? While Breeo is a fantastic brand if you have the budget, there are many other options too. Let’s take a look at some fantastic picks now.

Solo Stove 27″ Yukon Smokeless Fire Pit

Solo Stove 27" Yukon Fire Pit Stainless Steel Smokeless Outdoor Fire Pit Great for S'Mores and Hot Dogs

See on Amazon

Another brand that you should keep an eye out for is Solo Stove. These manufacturers make smokeless fire pits in a variety of sizes like Breeo, and they also make them in a sleek and durable stainless steel design. This particular listing is for Solo Stove’s largest fire pit, a 27-inch beauty.

Full of convenient air holes, this pit is perfect for achieving a smokeless experience, no matter where you are. Because this particular model is quite portable, it is a good choice for those of you who camp or entertain in different locations.

While it has a bit of a price tag and weighs almost 40 pounds, this model from Solo Stove is built to last and can make any backyard or outdoor area more elegant- without the need for any set up at all.

Inno Stage Smokeless Fire Bowl

Smokeless Fire Bowl Pit for Outdoor Wood Pellet Burning Spark with Portable Carrying Bag, Firepit Grill of Fireplace Stove for Picnic Camping Cooking on Beach - M

See on Amazon

I’ve already mentioned this particular fire pit from Inno Stage, but it deserves another mention- namely because it is available in two finishes. Choose between a handsome painted matte black exterior or a polished stainless finish.

This portable pit is ideal for camping and beach excursions. It comes in three different sizes, all of them much smaller than the Solo Stove option. The medium size only weighs about 15 pounds, which means you should have no trouble bringing it wherever you choose.

This fire bowl also comes with a convenient carrying case and handles on the pit itself. The bag is waterproof, and there is a convenient ash catcher attached to this pit.

Flame Genie Portable Smoke-Free Wood Pellet Fire Pit

Flame Genie FG-16 Portable Smoke-Free Wood Pellet Fire Pit, USA Made, 13.5" Diameter, Black

See on Amazon

If you are looking for a fire pit that works best with wood pellets, check out this choice from Flame Genie. This is the most compact option on this list, but that makes it all the more portable and capable. It only weighs 13 pounds- ideal for bringing with you to the beach or a friend’s house.

This option is also available in a galvanized black or stainless steel finish, perfect for resisting rust and weather. This pit has a travel case that you can purchase separately, which may be an unexpected cost for some buyers.

While this pit can burn small pieces of wood and other scraps, it is ideal for pellet-burning exclusively. This can be beneficial for some households, but may not suit your expectations.

Are Smokeless Fire Pits Better For the Environment?

Given their ability to burn wood products completely and fully, with less buildup and ash, smokeless fire pits can be considered better for the environment. You are still burning fuel and producing some level of smoke- however, this burn is far more efficient than an average fire pit!

You and your family will experience less uncomfortable smoke in your hair, eyes, and lungs as well, which may be a huge benefit over other fire pit options. Plus you may find yourself burning less fuel overall given the heat retention and efficient method of burning that these pits have.

Do Smokeless Fire Pits Produce an Odor?

Smokeless fire pits produce far less odor than traditional campfires. While there will still be some, it will be reduced greatly. This is due to the more efficient burning process- you will be less likely to notice an odor on your clothes or person after a night outside with a smokeless pit.

What Can You Burn in A Smokeless Fire Pit?

You can burn most anything in a smokeless fire pit, given their heat retention and capabilities. Many models can handle over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit! However, for best smoke results, it is recommended that you use dry and quality firewood or wood pellets more than anything else. 

What is the Best Type of Wood to Burn in a Smokeless Fire Pit?

There are many different types of wood that you can safely and efficiently burn in a smokeless fire pit. A harder wood will lead to a longer and more sustainable burn, but any type of untreated firewood will work. Some recommended types include maple, oak, ash, hickory, and birch.

Do Smokeless Fire Pits Need Any Fuel?

Smokeless fire pits do not need any fuel such as natural gas or propane. They operate the same way as a wood burning stove, traditional outdoor fire pit, or wood fireplace. You will need kindling and firewood, and you can choose to speed up the process with fire starters or lighter fluid. 

Can I Cook Over a Smokeless Fire Pit?

You can and should cook over your smokeless fire pit. These are often designed with cooking in mind, and you can purchase many fire pit accessories that will make cooking easier. If you bring your portable fire pit along with you on a camping trip, having the option to cook will only broaden your experience!

Do Smokeless Fire Pits Keep Mosquitoes Away?

Smokeless fire pits may help keep mosquitoes away due to their heat, but there is nothing inherently repellant about them. It is still recommended to wear bug spray, or consider lighting some preventative candles when you decide to spend an evening by the fire.

Where Can I Use a Smokeless Fire Pit?

Smokeless fire pits are unique in that you can use one just about anywhere. They are designed with travel and portability in mind- many are a single piece requiring zero set up, and even more are lightweight with handles or other means of carrying!

Smokeless fire pits are perfect for use in the following locations:

  • Backyards
  • Patios
  • Decks
  • Lawns
  • Beaches or sandy areas
  • Campgrounds
  • RV parks

Make sure that the location you plan on having a fire pit allows for fires. However, the safe design of smokeless fire pits makes them perfect for many different places!

Read our related post “Can You Put a Smokeless Fire Pit on a Wood Deck?” here.

Smokeless Fire Pit vs Chiminea vs Gas (What’s the Difference?)

There are three main outdoor fireplaces to choose from, each with their own perks and drawbacks. There are smokeless fire pits (or more traditional fire pits), gas fire pits or fireplaces, and chimineas. Let’s go over the primary differences between these options so that you can decide which is best for you.

A fire pit or smokeless fire pit are open and pleasant to view- this open access also makes fire pits easy to clean. You can simply toss wood and kindling into these and start your fire as well, and there are enough styles to suit any budget. Plus, they are portable, especially the smokeless kind.

Gas fire pits require a gas line hookup, whether it be attached to your home’s gas line or to a more portable propane tank option. They are stylish, sleek, and require far less cleaning or set up- you merely have to light them. However, this can be an unexpectedly expensive choice.

Chiminea fire pits have a rounded chamber where you will put in your fuel, but it needs to be lined with heat-proof materials like rocks or sand. They also will only have heat coming out from the door of the chamber, not 360 degrees like the other two choices. However, chiminea options have a lovely design and a spout that sends the smoke high above everyone’s heads!

Read our related post of the 7 Best Chimineas for Wood Decks here.

Why is my Smokeless Fire Pit Smoking?

Chances are, your kindling or firewood is damp or wet. It may also be a wood that isn’t good for burning, such as sappy pine, treated wood, or scrap wood that you don’t know the current state of. Start your fire over with dry and clean wood, or even wood shavings or pellets.

The Verdict – Are Smokeless Fire Pits Worth the Money?

If you are searching for a portable fire pit option that burns more efficiently and with less smoke than traditional fire pits, a smokeless fire pit may be a good choice for you. There are many options available on the market today that suit a variety of budgets, so they are definitely something to consider!

Have you used a smokeless fire pit in your own home or outdoor area? How has it been compared to more traditional fire options? Let us know in the comments below!

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