It's fall, ya'll, and that means it's fire pit weather!
We're comparing 5 of the top wood-burning smokeless fire pit brands so that you'll know without a doubt which one is right for you.
There's not much that's better than sitting by a crackling fire on a cool crisp fall evening. Actually, the one thing that makes it the best is being able to do it without smelling like smoke when it's all said and done.
The market for smokeless fire pits has really been exploding in the last couple of years, leaving many to wonder, "with all the options out there, which one is best for me?"
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How We Picked and Tested These Smokeless Fire Pits
Today we're going to be comparing 5 of the leading smokeless fire pit brands in a variety of different categories. We reached out to 5 of the top brands to see if we could use a sample of their fire pit for these tests.
While each brand has supplied its smokeless fire pit for our use, we are free to share our findings as we choose and have no obligation to any particular brand to sway the results.
We have developed a dozen different categories in which the tested smokeless fire pits have been compared and evaluated and will share our honest experience below.
Best Smokeless Fire Pit Results
What to consider when choosing the Best Smokeless Fire Pit?
Currently, at the time of publishing, the prices of these smokeless fire pits range over $200 in price.
The least expensive in this group is the Solo Stove Bonfire, which supposedly has a retail price of $399.99, but has consistently held a "sale" price of $239.99 for the last 2 months.
Next, the BioLite FirePit+ and the Blue Sky models both cost $299.95. The Tiki fire pit costs nearly $100 more retailing for $395, while the Breeo Y series is by far the most expensive of the group costing $495.
Solo Stove Bonfire
Blue Sky Peak
Breeo Y Series
The BioLite FirePit+ is the smallest and therefore most portable of the group, weighing only 19.8 pounds. It's also the only smokeless fire pit that's rectangular in shape as opposed to round. With the legs extended for use, the BioLite measures 15.8" tall, 27" wide, and 13" deep.
Next we have the Solo Stove Bonfire, weighing 23 pounds. It measures 14" tall without the stand that's sold separately, and has a diameter of 19.5 inches.
Barely larger than the Bonfire, the Breeo Y series weighs 31 pounds and measures 15 inches tall in the burn position with a diameter of 21 inches. It's interesting to note here that one of the standout features that the Y series offers is the adjustable legs that completely collapse for storage and extend out for the burn position and even further for a cook position, which we'll talk about more in a little bit.
The Blue Sky Peak weighs 35.27 pounds and measures 16 inches tall with a diameter of 21.6 inches.
The Tiki brand fire pit is the largest of the group weighing a hefty 43 pounds and measuring 18.75 inches high with a diameter of 24.75 inches.
Wood-burning fire pits
All 5 of these smokeless fire pits can burn wood, but some of them can be used with other types of fuel. The Solo Stove Bonfire is the only fire pit that suggests wood and only wood.
Fire pits that can burn wood pellets
The Blue Sky and the Tiki both advertise using either wood or wood pellets. In fact, burning wood pellets is kind of where the Tiki really shines and even includes one pellet burn bag with your purchase. Lighting a smokeless fire pit simply doesn't get any easier than using these pellet bags and the fire they produce is second to none. However, the price of keeping up the pellet bag habit can get pretty costly at $9 per bag which lasts about 30-45 minutes of burn time.
Fire pits that can burn charcoal
The BioLite FirePit+ can burn wood or charcoal, as this smokeless fire pit comes with a grill top that slides on and off allowing it to also function as a camp stove.
The Breeo Y series is the only smokeless fire pit that can burn all three fuel types: wood, charcoal, and pellets.
Smokeless Fire Pits
The question is always asked, "are these fire pits really smokeless?"
It kind of depends on what syllable you put the emphasis.
They all five smoke LESS. Are any of them 100% smokeless? No. But they produce smoke MUCH less than the old classic wood-burning fire pit.
In fact, we burned all 5 of these smokeless fire pits simultaneously one night and I didn't even have to wash my hair the next morning because there was literally no smoke smell lingering after the burn.
There are some best practices that you do need to keep in mind though for all of these pits to truly smoke less.
Firstly, it's critical that you use dry seasoned wood. If this isn't followed you might as well have just bought a smokemore fire pit because no wood-burning fire pit will be smokeless with wet wood.
Second, you want to feed the fire and get it good and hot, but keep the firewood below the level of the top vents. The top vents are where secondary combustion is taking place, eliminating the smoke, so if you have wood burning above that level, it won't be able to benefit from that combustion.
If both of these suggestions are followed you'll enjoy a beautiful fire with hardly any smoke.
Safety is always a concern when burning a fire pit, particularly if you have small children or pets nearby.
The outside of these smokeless fire pits all get very hot. However, there was one in particular that surprised us with how much hotter it got than the rest.
The Breeo Y, Solo Stove Bonfire, and the Tiki were all reading external temperatures in the 230-260° range.
The BioLite was difficult to measure considering the x-ray mesh design of the fire pit; however, it's worth noting here that the handles remained cool to the touch and we were even able to move it to a different spot on the patio while it was still burning.
The Blue Sky, however, was reading external temperatures of 530° and more. That was a bit concerning to us as our dog was wandering around freely and could have very easily brushed up against the outside.
Safe Burning Surfaces
So, with safety in mind, let's talk about where it's safe to burn these smokeless fire pits.
If the Blue Sky was reading that hot on the outside, it should come as no surprise that this smokeless fire pit is not recommended to be used on any combustible surfaces like a wood deck or grass.
In fact, after reading the Blue Sky FAQs, we even purchased additional pavers to set it on so we wouldn't discolor the paver patio that we worked so hard to build a couple of years ago.
The infrared temperature reading we captured on the pavers below the Blue Sky during a burn was measuring around 250°.
The Tiki smokeless fire pit is also not recommended for burning over combustible surfaces, but with the height and design of the legs we felt comfortable burning it on our pavers without fear of discoloration.
Our infrared thermometer read 105° underneath the Tiki during a burn.
The BioLite can be safely used over grass and most any other surface due to the legs providing plenty of distance between the burn chamber and the surface below, however, they do recommend using a burn mat below if burning over combustible materials.
And rightly so. With the ash door being on the bottom of the fire pit, we have had several burns where the door was slightly ajar and allowed some ash to fall through to the patio below. If we'd been on a wood deck, it could have been trouble.
The Bonfire is safe to use over combustible materials as long as you're using the stand, which is sold separately.
The Breeo Y series is also safe to use over combustible materials whenever the legs are in the burn or cook positions.
Smokeless fire pits tend to produce a more efficient burn and burn hotter than your typical standard fire pit.
You'll notice that the wood tends to burn completely leaving pretty much nothing but very little ash and a few small coals the next day. Every burn ends up with slightly different results, but we feel like, for the most part, all of these smokeless fire pits were about equal in fuel efficiency.
Cleaning up the ash is a different story for each of these smokeless fire pits.
The Bonfire 2.0 and the Blue Sky both clean up in a similar way, utilizing a lift-out removable ash pan.
The Tiki has a pull-out removable ash pan underneath, however that only collects what ash has fallen through the holes in the burn chamber. So we found that we had to use a gloved hand or a dry paint brush to sweep the ash around and through the holes in order to be able to remove it using the tray below.
The BioLite has an ash removal sliding door on the bottom of the burn chamber and we usually used a dry paint brush to sweep the ash out through that door into a bowl or tray below.
The Breeo Y series is the hardest to clean out as it just requires brute force to pick it up and flip it over, but more often we break out the Shop Vac to suck up the leftover ash.
When it comes to portability, a couple of these were obviously intended to be portable fire pits, while others aren't even trying.
The Blue Sky Peak and Tiki fire pits are not meant to be portable, so if portability is what you're looking for, these are not going to be a good fit for you.
The Bonfire is lightweight and a carrying bag comes included with your purchase.
The Breeo Y, which was newly released only a couple of months ago boasts great portability with the attached articulated handle and legs that can adjust into the stow position. It does still weigh 31 pounds, however, so it's going to be a bit of work to haul it very far.
The BioLite FirePit+ is the most portable in our opinion, weighing under 20 pounds and having 2 attached handles. BioLite also makes a nice carrying case that you can purchase separately if you plan to use this fire pit on the go a lot.
Speaking of sold separately, most of these brands have other offerings that can accompany their smokeless fire pits.
In addition to the carrying case and burn mat I previously mentioned, BioLite also offers grill tools, a grill lid, and a griddle to accompany the grill grate that comes with the fire pit. If you're taking this smokeless fire pit to double as your camping stove, these accessories would be a great addition to your collection.
Breeo has a variety of other products to be used with the Y, including the sear plate griddle and the outpost grill. The Y series is the same diameter size as the Breeo X series 19, so any accessories that were designed for that model will also fit the new Y series.
Tiki offers the pellet burn bags I mentioned earlier, and while they aren't cheap, if you're looking for the ease of a quick fire and your current propane fire pit is leaving you underwhelmed, don't sleep on the Tiki patio fire pit and pellet bags.
We have not had the opportunity to test out any of the additional items that Blue Sky has to offer.
Solo Stove has a seemingly endless supply of items to accompany your Bonfire, from fire pit tools to spark screens, to cooking hubs, and wood and fire pit storage. We have a page on our website dedicated to our favorite Solo Stove accessories that you may want to check out for more details. But I'll tell you now, our #1 favorite Solo Stove accessory is the roasting sticks. They are the absolute best out there.
Fire Pit Cooking
Ok, I've mentioned it briefly here and there, but here at the Barbecue Lab, we love to cook outdoors, so naturally, we'd be interested in cooking with our fire pits.
The BioLite is literally ready to cook food straight out of the box.
The Breeo Y series is also built to cook with the adjustable legs extending to a higher position to make it more comfortable to work with when cooking.
Solo Stove and Breeo both have griddle and grill options available to purchase separately and we recently published a video comparing the two cooking systems against each other.
When it comes to warranty, the BioLite has the shortest with only a 1 year warranty, followed by Tiki at 2 years. Blue Sky offers a 3 year limited warranty and Breeo and Solo Stove both offer a lifetime warranty.
There are a couple of things that are important to mention, that haven't come up yet.
BioLite Bluetooth Controlled Fan
The way that the BioLite fire pit works is significantly different than the others.
The FirePit+ comes with a detachable battery pack that operates a fan that blows air through holes inside and throughout the firepit.
This fan can be controlled by hand right at the unit and it can also be controlled from an app on your phone using bluetooth.
A nice side benefit is that when the battery pack isn't running your fire pit it can be used to charge your mobile devices.
Made in the USA
The other thing worth mentioning is that only one of these fire pits is manufactured right here in the US and that's the Breeo.
We could talk fire pits for hours, but I think we have enough information to render a verdict.
Each smokeless fire pit has something to bring to the table, so it all depends on which table you like to sit at.
Best Smokeless Fire Pits for Camping
If you're super into camping, the BioLite is perfect for you. This lightweight fire pit is super portable and can double up as your camp stove.
Ease of Use
If you want the ease of a propane fire pit with the heat and ambiance of a wood fire pit, the Tiki fire pit burning pellet bags is just what you want. And I didn't mention it earlier, but if your pellet fire is dying down and you're wanting to extend it just a little bit longer, you can add fire wood to your pellet fire no problem.
Best Licensed Options
If you're a die-hard fan and want to represent your favorite team at the fire, Blue Sky has a large selection of licensed fire pits and right now they're on sale for only $199.
Best Smokeless Fire Pits for Open Fire Cooking and Tailgating
We think the Breeo Y-series is best for tailgating and open-fire grilling with the addition of the Outpost Grill.
Best Smokeless Fire Pits for the Backyard
Our pick for best smokeless fire pit for the backyard goes to Solo Stove for the Bonfire 2.0. With all of these fire pits at our disposal, that's probably the one that we personally will choose to sit around most of the time in our outdoor space because we think it produces the prettiest fires and is easy to clean up afterwards.
What's your take? Which of these fire pits wins for you and why? Let us know in the comments below. We'd love to hear your thoughts and know what qualities matter most to you in this category.