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Updated Jun 20, 2023 6:16 PM
Fires provide warmth and a social hub, but they can also make you cough and cry if the wind shifts. That’s why smokeless fire pits have taken off in recent years. They provide all the things we love about fire, without plumes of white smoke.
I’ve tested two of the most popular smokeless fire pit brands (Beeo and Solo Stove) and put together a guide on how to make a DIY smokeless fire pit, to help you choose the best smokeless fire pit for you.
Testing the Best Smokeless Fire Pits
I’ve been using and testing my smokeless fire pits for two years. The Solo Stove I bought two years ago as a birthday present for my wife. The Breeo was sent to me for free last summer, but I tested and reviewed it with the same objectivity as the Solo Stove.
Testing the Smokeless Claim
The “less” in smokeless is an important distinction from smoke free.
To understand how smokeless fire pits work you first need to know what creates smoke. When a fire doesn’t completely combust its fuel, the unburned oils, tar, ash, and carbon become smoke. When a fire has enough oxygen to completely burn the fuel all that’s produced is water and carbon dioxide.
Smokeless fire pits work by creating an efficient fire that’s fed plenty of oxygen. That’s why they create less smoke than a traditional fire pit.
Of course, I needed to make sure that the designs worked as advertised and I did that by stacking the odds against the fire pit. I used leaves and wet wood, which don’t combust easily, to see if the fire pits’ efficiency would still prevent plumes of smoke. The Breeo and Solo Stove both produced smoke at first, but it only took minutes for them to catch up and feed enough oxygen to clear up the smoke.
Longevity of the Fire Pits
These fire pits aren’t cheap and it’s good to know that your investment won’t rust or look terrible in a few months. My Solo Stove has been outside for two years and my Breeo has been outside for six months. Both have housed many fires, almost weekly, and I haven’t treated them preciously. Yet, both look great, have no rust, and work just as good as the day I got them.
Best Smokeless Fire Pits: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Overall: Solo Stove Yukon
- Dimensions: 27 inches wide x 17 inches tall
- Weight: 38 pounds
- Material: 304 stainless steel
- Fits logs up to 22 inches
- Excellent accessories
- Easy cleanup
- Burns through wood quickly
I bought my Solo Stove Yukon two years ago and it’s one of the best purchases I’ve made for the backyard. We continue to enjoy smokeless fires and the Yukon looks fantastic after two years in the elements. I think the Yukon is the perfect size for groups of four to six people.
I’ve thoroughly tested Solo Stove’s smokeless claim and yes, it works. It’s also effortless to clean up after enjoying a fire because you’re only left with a bit of white ash at the bottom. I’ve cooked over the Yukon as well and Solo Stove has seriously stepped up their cooking accessories, including a wood-fired pizza stove.
The obvious con of the Yukon is the price, but you do get a large, well-built pit that will last for years. Another con is that while you can move the Yukon, it’s not the best option for portability. If you want a fire pit to tote from the backyard to tailgating and camping, something like the Solo Stove Ranger or Breeo Y-Series is a much better option.
- Cover: I keep this cover on my Yukon and it keeps the inside of the pit dry and the outside looking new.
- Heat Deflector: Smokeless fire pits send most of their warmth straight up, but this heat deflector redirects it outward.
- Cast Iron Grill Top + Hub: I have one of these awesome grill tops and it’s really fun to go from grilling a meal to enjoying a fire with this accessory.
You can read my full review of the Solo Stove Yukon for more information.
Best Portable: Breeo Y-Series
- Collapsible and expandable legs
- Can be used on composite and wood decks, patios, etc.
- Carry handle
- Weight: 31 pounds
- Compatible with Breeo grilling accessories
- Can burn wood, lump charcoal, or pellets
- Made in the USA
- Great grilling accessories
- Well-placed carry handle
- Smaller size isn’t ideal for big groups
The Y-Series has a built-in carry handle that’s perfectly positioned for balance and makes carrying the fire pit as easy as a suitcase. Breeo also has a Transit Case accessory to protect your fire pit and keep the interior of your car clean. The built-in and adjustable legs make it adaptable for a wide range of surfaces. You don’t need an add-on accessory to use it on your deck, which is a huge value add and makes it very convenient to use.
If you want a fire ring you can do some serious wood fire cooking on, then I’d recommend the Y-Series because of its portability and ability to burn three types of fuel (charcoal, wood pellets, and wood). The Breeo Outpost Grill slides into a slot machined into Breeo fire pits for seamless integration and solid mounting. The thoughtfully-designed Outpost Grill can also be used for a traditional campfire if you don’t have a Breeo.
Read Next: Breeo vs Solo Stove
Best Permanent: Breeo X Series
- Outside Diameter: 22, 27.5, or 34.5 inches
- Compatible with the Outpost grill
- Available in stainless and corten steel
- Made in the USA
- Weight: 47 pounds (X19)
- Can be used on a wide variety of surfaces
- Easily inserts into a permanent fire ring
- Great as a stand-alone pit
The X Series is the best smokeless fire pit insert or permanent fire ring. It’s heavier and more sturdy than the Solo Stove and Breeo sells an accessory which allows the X-Series to seamlessly integrate to a brick fire ring. The built-in stand also makes it compatible with wood decks. This is the fire pit you buy to set on your patio, deck, or yard and keep it there year-round. One thing to note is that if you buy the corten steel option, it will patina with time. If you don’t like the patina, go with the stainless steel.
Best Indoor: Tabletop Fireplace
- Made of concrete
- Made in the USA
- Uses 70 percent, 91 percent or greater isopropyl alcohol as fuel
- Flame lasts approximately 40 to 50 minutes
- Can be used to toast marshmallows
- No smoke
Fill this minimalist concrete container with a high-percentage isopropyl alcohol to create a clean-burning bonfire indoors. There’s no smell or smoke, just a small amount of heat and cozy ambiance. You can safely roast marshmallows on it and once the fuel is gone after 45 minutes to an hour, it goes out on its own (not an excuse to leave it unattended). Use it to create an indoor s’mores bar or as a flickering light source that’s brighter and more interesting than a candle. For a mess-free fire in the comfort of your own home, this sturdy bowl can’t be beat. – Ashley Thess, assistant gear editor
Best Budget: DIY Smokeless Fire Pit
You can make a functional smokeless fire pit that works similarly to a Breeo or Solo Stove. The basic design premise is that you need to promote air to flow into the fire, which will create an efficient, and therefore smokeless, burn.
Here’s an easy way to make a smokeless fire pit.
What You Need
Step 1: Prep the area
Level the fire ring area using sand, lava rock, or other fireproof stone.
Step 2: Drill holes
Using a 1-inch hole saw bit, drill holes around the top of the stock tank ring. Remove burrs with sandpaper or a file.
Step 3: Lay the base pavers
Set the stock tank ring where you want your fire pit and then stack the first layer of pavers. There should be about an inch gap between the pavers and the metal ring to allow air flow. Also remove three pavers to create gaps around the bottom for air flow.
Step 4: Stack pavers
Now stack your pavers to the top of the ring.
Step 5: Final paver stack
The last ring of pavers will rest on the pavers below and the rim of the metal ring. These stones will need to be wider than the others.
Other Smokeless Fire Pits to Consider
Things to Consider Before Buying a Smokeless Fire Pit
Portable or Permanent
Once you start using a smokeless fire pit you’ll want to use one all the time. That’s why a portable fire pit is so nice to have. You can bring your fire pit anywhere that allows a relaxing fire and enjoy less smoke.
But, permanent fire pits are much larger and generally look nicer. If a fire pit is the hub of social activity in your backyard, a permanent fire pit is the way to go.
Most fire pits burn wood, and depending on their size, will require wood be cut to a certain length. But, some can use charcoal or wood pellets (like the ones you’d use for the best pellet smokers).
Alternatively, you can buy fire pits that use propane or even isopropyl. This category of fire pits don’t have the ambience of a wood fire, but they are the easy button for a smoke-free fire.
Some fire pits, like the Breeo Y-Series, are very capable grills in addition to great fire rings. The main thing to consider when choosing a fire pit for cooking is the accessories. Especially how the accessories allow you to control the heat applied to the food.
Is there a fire pit that doesn’t give off any smoke?
Smoke is a natural by-product of combustion, and any real fire will have some sort of smoke. However, some fire pits are smokeless and will produce less smoke because they efficiently burn wood or other types of fuel.
Are pellet fire pits any good?
Pellet fire pits and multi-fuel fire pits like Breeo are an excellent option for smokeless fire pits.
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Final Thoughts on the Best Smokeless Fire Pits
The best smokeless fire pits are indeed smokeless and improve the whole fire experience. If you’re interested in adding one to your backyard, deck or patio, check out one of these top options.