/>
X
Why you can trust ZDNet ZDNet independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNet Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNet's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNet nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNet's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

The 5 best smokeless fire pits: Cozy outdoor entertainment

What is the best smokeless fire pit? The TIKI Stainless Steel Low-Smoke Fire Pit is ZDNet's top pick for its minimal smoke, beautiful design, and easy cleanup, but there are plenty of good options available. We researched and compared pricing as well as features like burn type and opening width to come up with our No. 1 choice and other honorable mentions.
kacie-goff.jpg
Written by Kacie Goff, Contributing writer on
Reviewed by Elyse Betters Picaro

Where there's smoke, there's fire -- but the reverse doesn't necessarily have to be true. If you love the idea of sitting around the fire with friends or family but you don't love the smoke that lingers on your clothes and hair after, a smokeless fire pit could be right for you.

These specially designed fire pits are not technically completely smokeless, but they do a good job of dramatically reducing the amount of smoke they give off. They work by funneling air up into the fire pit through openings on the bottom or side of the pit. Not only does this minimize smoke, but it also means the wood burns down all the way to ash, making it easier to clean up afterward.

Smokeless fire pits come in all shapes and sizes. That makes it easy to find one that's right for your specific needs -- once you sift through the wide array of choices available today. We can help there. Whether you're looking for a portable option you can take camping or to the beach or you want a beautiful one for your backyard, we've teed up some options for you here. 

TIKI Stainless Steel Low Smoke Fire Pit review | best smokeless firepit
Amazon

Key features:

  • 24.75" x 24.75" x 18.75"
  • Good design for patios
  • Burns wood packs or standard firewood

First off, you have to give TIKI some credit for honesty. They own up to the fact that their fire pit is low-smoke, not smokeless, which most other companies don't do. And with its patented internal airflow system, you really can expect very little smoke -- and less ash. Plus, when you do need to clean up the ash, the pull-out tray at the bottom makes it a breeze.

This TIKI fire pit offers flexibility. You can use the TIKI-brand wood packs if you want an easy-to-start fire that lasts about 30 minutes. The company includes one with your fire pit purchase, so you can give it a try. All that said, you can also use the wood you have on hand with this fire pit. 

The TIKI fire pit is made from 16-gauge stainless steel, then powder-coated to make it durable and weather-resistant. It also comes with a weather-resistant cover to help it last through the years. All of this amounted to it winning the 2021 Edison Best New Product Awards®.

Pros: 

  • Weather-resistance
  • Ash pan for easy cleanup
  • Cover included
  • Award-winning design

Cons: 

  • Price
  • Spark screen and poker sold separately
  • Water pools in the middle of the cover when it rains
Blue Sky Outdoor Living The Ridge Smokeless Portable Fire Pit review | best smokeless firepit
Blue Sky Outdoor Living

Key features:

  • 12.5" x 15" x 15" 
  • Portable design
  • Burns wood pellets or standard firewood

The Ridge can burn traditional firewood or wood pellets, generating heat up to 1,400°F. To ensure the fire pit can hold up, its grate is specifically designed with high-quality welds and the ability to flex as the temperature changes.  

Blue Sky Outdoor Living developed this fire pit with heavy-duty steel and high-temperature paint, but the company says that because the fire burns so hot, you should expect a patina to develop over time. 

When you're done using your fire pit (and it has sufficiently cooled), it breaks apart into two pieces so you can dump the ash, stow one piece inside the other, and pop it into its carrying case. 

If you want to show some team spirit, Blue Sky Outdoor Living also sells The Ridge branded for different NFL and NHL teams.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-assemble two-piece design
  • Carrying case included
  • Designed to burn hot

Cons: 

  • Patina develops over time
  • Only safe for use on hard, fireproof, flat surfaces
  • Spark screen and poker sold separately

Also: Best fire pits

Breeo X Series 24 Smokeless Fire Pit review | best smokeless firepit
Amazon

Key features:

  1. 27.5" x 27.5" x 14.75"
  2. Two finish options
  3. X Airflow design for minimal smoke

Manufactured in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this fire pit delivers a clean, modern design to your patio. It comes in two corrosion-resistant, thick-gauge, industrial-grade options: corten steel or 304 stainless steel. If you want the latter, you'll pay nearly $200 more. The corten steel arrives with a blue steel finish but develops a patina over time. While that might be undesirable in other fire pits, this one offsets the patina with stainless steel legs to give it a textured, contemporary look. 

This Breeo is recommended solely for use with traditional firewood. It features a double-walled X Airflow design that allows airflow to feed up through the walls, limiting the smoke your fire produces. Its large interior lets you build bigger fires than a lot of the other smokeless fire pits on the market today.

The main drawback of this Breeo pit is the cleaning. It's too heavy to tip over easily, so you'll probably need to shovel out the ash. 

Pros:

  • Made in the USA
  • Large capacity
  • Modern design

Cons:

  • Hard to clean 
  • Price, especially if you want the stainless steel option
  • Cover, spark screen, and poker sold separately

 

INNO STAGE Patented Smokeless Fire Bowl Pit review | best smokeless firepit
Amazon

Key features:

  • 12.2" x 12.2" x 8.7"
  • Two-piece, portable design

Since we just touched on a low-smoke option that's an investment, it's worth talking about the other side of the spectrum. If you're looking for a budget-friendly choice, the INNO STAGE Fire Bowl Pit delivers. With its small size coming in at roughly $42, it gives you the low-smoke fire you want without the high price tag.

With a footprint of just over 12 inches, a fire pit might be an over-exaggeration. But if you want an option that's easy to grab-and-go on your next excursion, this fire bowl can easily be toted along. Like The Ridge, this INNO STAGE option comes apart in two pieces, which lets you break it down to easily dump the ash out of the bottom section and pack it small. 

Now, the downsides. While you can choose from a painted black finish or stainless steel for bigger sizes of this fire pit, the small INNO STAGE only comes in black. Additionally, this fire bowl is only recommended for use with wood pellets -- but because it's so compact, you'd probably have a hard time finding firewood that fits, anyway. 

Pros:

  • Affordability
  • Portability
  • Waterproof carrying bag included

Cons: 

  • Limited heat due to small fire
  • Only burns wood pellets
  • Small size only comes in black finish

Also: Best charcoal grill

Solo Stove Bonfire Fire Pit review | best smokeless firepit
Amazon

Key features:

  • 19.5" x 19.5" x 14" 
  • Sleek 304 stainless steel design

If you like the sleek look of a gleaming fire pit, the Bonfire Fire Pit from Solo Stove is a great option. In fact, we liked this one so much that we included it in our list of best fire pits overall. The main reason it didn't emerge as our top pick is that it isn't easy to clean and the spaceship-like look that comes from its 304 stainless steel isn't for everyone.

For someone with a yard that can accommodate an ultra-modern design, though, it delivers the low-smoke fire you want. The airflow through the patented design delivers a beautiful, hot-burning fire, too. 

You'll need to use traditional firewood with this fire pit. 

At nearly 20 inches wide and 20 pounds in weight, it's probably best for back and front yard use, but it does include a heavy-duty carry case if you want to take it camping or to the park or beach. 

Cleaning this fire pit requires you to wait for it to cool, then flip it over and dump it out. Alternatively, you could shovel out the ash. 

Pros: 

  • Possibility for portability
  • Clean, modern shape
  • Gives off a lot of heat

Cons: 

  • Requires dump-out for cleaning
  • Only burns standard firewood
  • Cover, spark screen, and poker sold separately

What is the best smokeless fire pit?

We picked the TIKI Stainless Steel Low-Smoke Fire Pit because it blends all of the features you probably want -- minimal smoke, nice-looking design, easy cleaning -- with a price that's pretty standard for its size. That said, all of the options on this list are worth your consideration. To help you more easily compare them, we created this table:

Smokeless fire pit

Price

Burn type

Opening width

Key feature

TIKI Stainless Steel Low-Smoke Fire Pit

$395

Wood or wood pack burning

25" 

Easy cleaning thanks to removable ash pan

Blue Sky Outdoor Living The Ridge Smokeless Portable Fire Pit 

$89.99-$127.99

Wood or wood pellet burning

15"

Portable and durable

Breeo X Series 24 Smokeless Fire Pit

$579-$749

Wood burning

27.5"

Beautiful contemporary design

INNO STAGE Patented Smokeless Fire Bowl Pit

$41.95

Pellet burning

12.2"

Affordable

Solo Stove Bonfire Fire Pit

$239.99-$289.99

Wood burning

19.5"

Sleek design

Which smokeless fire pit is for you?

Let's recap your options and where they'll be the best fit:

Choose this fire pit…

If you want…

TIKI Stainless Steel Low Smoke Fire Pit

A great all-around low-smoke fire pit for your patio

Blue Sky Outdoor Living The Ridge Smokeless Portable Fire Pit 

An easy-to-carry, easy-to-set-up fire pit

Breeo X Series 24 Smokeless Fire Pit

A contemporary, good-looking fire pit for your front or back yard

INNO STAGE Patented Smokeless Fire Bowl Pit

A low-smoke option that's easy on your wallet

Solo Stove Bonfire Fire Pit

A sleek-looking option that blends at-home and on-the-go use

How did we choose these smokeless fire pits?

First, we started by looking for must-have features based on the type of fire pit. For patio pits, you want weather resistance paired with a beautiful design, for example. With a portable option, though, you probably care more about its weight and how it packs up. 

In all cases, we sought out durable, high-quality materials to ensure your fire pit can stand the test of time without excess discoloration, rust, or the other issues that can develop with use. 

We dug into research from subject matter experts to get a good idea of which of these fire pits would live up to its promise of a low-smoke experience. But we also wanted to make sure that these performed reliably, not just in isolated tests, so we looked to reviews from real-life users. On Amazon alone:

  • The TIKI fire pit has 4.8 stars from 1,430 ratings
  • The Ridge from Blue Sky Outdoor Living has 4.6 stars from 764 ratings
  • The INNO STAGE fire pit has 4.5 stars from 1,481 ratings
  • The Solo Stove option averages 4.8 stars from 1,857 ratings

While the Breeo X Series 24 only has a handful of Amazon reviews, they're all 5 stars. On the Breeo website, it has amassed nearly 1,500 reviews for an average of 4.8 stars. 

How do smokeless fire pits work?

The key to these fire pits is air flow. All of these designs feed air into the fire, giving it more oxygen so that it can burn hotter with less smoke. 

Can you use standard firewood with a smokeless fire pit?

Generally, yes. That said, for the smaller options on this list, you'll be better off using wood pellets. They'll be easier to load into the fire pit and will stay burning longer than the tiny pieces of wood you would have to use.

How much do smokeless fire pits cost?

That depends on what you want in your fire pit. You can get them for under $50 if you're willing to choose a compact option. If you want a larger, sturdier location for your fires, you'll usually need to hand over a few hundred dollars. 

Are there alternative fire pits worth considering?

Absolutely. While a smokeless design can make sitting around the fire more enjoyable, it also means paying a lot more for your setup. If you're willing to put up with a little smoke, you can get a fire pit that doesn't have the same impact on your wallet. 

For example:

Related

The 5 best inflatable kayaks of 2022
Woman in an inflatable kayak on a lake with mountains in background

The 5 best inflatable kayaks of 2022

Yard & Outdoors
The 5 best USB hubs of 2022
USB hub charing a mouse, a laptop, and an iPhone on a wooden table

The 5 best USB hubs of 2022

PCs
The 5 best burr coffee grinders of 2022
Coffee beans being poured into a coffee grinder on a kitchen counter

The 5 best burr coffee grinders of 2022

Kitchen & Household