Firepits seem to have become the new BBQ in the past few years and with good reason. They look great and, as well as being able to cook on them, they are the perfect way to keep warm in the cooler summer evenings. There’s such a great choice out there, how do you know which is the right one for you? We’ve taken a look at some of the things to consider as well as how to keep safety top of mind.
The first thing to do is decide whether you want a permanent site for your firepit or you’d prefer the flexibility of one you can move around. A beautiful, brick-built firepit can provide a great focal point for an outside kitchen, but you need a large enough space in your garden to accommodate this.
A basic firepit need be nothing more than a hole dug in your garden or a field. Just make sure there is no dry foliage nearby, especially in really hot weather.
Ready-made firepits come in all shapes and sizes. The beauty of these being that they can be sited wherever you need them and also stored away over winter.
If you want to cook on your firepit, then www.firepitsuk.co.uk have an amazing range including some rather wonderful accessories to conjure up everything from popcorn to pizzas.
Tim Ross started Firepits UK eight years ago when he made one for his son for a party. It proved so popular, with people constantly asking to borrow it, that he saw an opportunity and hasn’t looked back. Made from British steel, prices start at £245 and Tim’s top tip is to use Certainly Wood’s kiln dried logs for the best results.
If you’re committed to cooking on a BBQ and only want a fire pit as a heat source, there are lots of lovely designs to choose from. Some of our favourites come from The FirePit Company whose bespoke fireballs have featured on the likes of Alan Titchmarsh’s Love Your Garden programme. From woodland scenes to a world globe, the artistry is spectacular and you can commission your own designs too. Prices start at around £949 so they’re a real heirloom investment.
Of course, if you want a smaller firepit to cook a couple of sausages now and then, you’ll find options galore with a quick Google search. Just make sure you check out the small print for safety considerations.
Remember when you’re cooking over wood to allow enough time for the logs to burn down sufficiently to provide a good heat source without too much smoke. Don’t place your firepit where it may catch a breeze and keep it well away from anything flammable such as garden furniture etc.
We’d also recommend placing a cast iron grill over the top for cooking on and using a pan – or wrapping food in foil & placing in the embers – rather than cooking directly on the grill as you would a BBQ. This will stop fat staining your firepit and help to keep it looking good for longer.
Certainly Wood’s Nic Snell, an ardent fire-pitter, has added these other top tips:
- Light the fire pit at least an hour before you need to use it and well before people arrive. This allows you to build a good base to the fire and also prevents any initial smoke blowing over your guests!
- Start with kindling and Flamers plus a few smaller logs and keep using smaller, thin-cut logs to help build a quick fire.
- Use larger logs later on when you want some longer burn for the late evenings and after you have used it for cooking.
- If you are using a fire pit on your lawn, ensure you place something underneath it to absorb the heat and avoid burning the grass!
We’d love to hear about any firepit tips or recipes you might have, so why not drop up a line at [email protected]