The Best Smokeless Fire Pits for Outdoor Entertaining
Stoke the flames but skip the smelly, eye-stinging smoke.
Stoke the flames but skip the smelly, eye-stinging smoke.
JILL BARTNICK had always wanted a fire pit to cozily roast marshmallows and grill hot dogs with friends. What she didn’t want: the smoke such stoves inevitably spew. “Any time I go to a buddy’s house and we have a bonfire, it’s so much fun, but we reek until we wash our clothes and hair,” the Atlanta customer success manager said, adding that she also worried about smoking out nearby houses in her densely packed community.
To achieve her bonfire dreams without lapses of etiquette, Ms. Bartnick opted this spring for a new, smokeless Solo Stove. It burns ordinary logs or wood pellets, but, unlike typical fire pits, has a double-wall design that traps smoke and ash inside. Bonus: At 19.5-by-14 inches, the petite pit doesn’t crowd her townhome’s small outdoor space. “It just made a ton of sense.”
The Solo is just one of a new class of standout, sleek smokeless fire pits on the market. Equally suitable for small balconies and giant backyards, the devices promise to help keep you and your fellow fire admirers warm into the brisker months.
Marshmallow toasting is a must but you can also use many of the pits for grilling. Michael Dutton, who supports his wife, chef Erin French, in running the Lost Kitchen restaurant in Freedom, Maine, began cooking on two Breeo X Series 30 last summer when the restaurant moved their dining experience outside. Thanks to the pit’s add-on grilling kit ($380), the couple was able to cook three items at a time: charring meat on the Searplate, sauteing vegetables in a cast-iron skillet on the lower grill and toasting buns on the upper. “We’ve all grilled on barbecues outside at home,” Mr. Dutton said, “but this is a much more versatile and, in my opinion, attractive option.”
Here, our top three smoke-free fire picks.
Built from rugged Corten steel commonly used in industrial projects like bridges, the 47-pound Breeo X Series 19 is designed to hold up to the elements. (Plus, the Corten develops an aesthetically pleasing natural patina over time.) Though the device burns wood, it incorporates a raised-vent airflow system that minimizes smoke for as long as you want to keep it burning. Replace the standard rim with a Searplate (approx. $110) to cook burgers or toast taco shells right on the pit. Or upgrade to a full-service package (approx. $320) as the Lost Kitchen did to convert the device to an adjustable grill. $470, breeo.co
The no-assembly-required Solo Stove Bonfire can handle regular wood just like the Breeo, but employs a double-wall design to save your eyes from smoke. And, at only 9 kilograms, it’s light enough to pack in the car for a weekend camping trip. The stove works by drawing in oxygen through vent holes on the bottom, creating a “secondary burn” for an extra-hot fire. The device doubles as a cooker when paired with a new accessory bundle (approx. $432). Just place the cast iron cooking surface over the stove to elevate your burgers to a chef-approved 8 inches above the fire. approx. approx. $345, solostove.com
The 20kg Tiki Brand Patio pit measures nearly 60cm across, making it less portable than the Solo but arguably better for gathering around with friends. To stay low-smoke, the stove burns proprietary “Tiki Wood Packs” filled with upcycled wood pellets. Just light the bag with a match—no need to stoke a flame. The downsides: a four-pack of bags costs US$36 and each burns for only 30 minutes. (You can also sub in traditional firewood, though you’ll sacrifice smokelessness if you do.) And if you have kids, watch them closely while the Tiki is in action: The flames dance high. approx. $470, tikibrand.com
Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: August 3, 2021.
Following the devastation of recent flooding, experts are urging government intervention to drive the cessation of building in areas at risk.
The waterfront residence is one of Port Stephens’ finest homes.
In the coastal township of Salamander Bay — nearby to Port Stephens — comes a unique home crafted to take full advantage of unbroken ocean vistas across three levels.
With one-of-a-kind flair, the stunning 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom, 3-car garage home of 52 Randall Drive Salamander Bay is nestled on a private 577sqm plot, optimised through intelligent design to take advantage of the Port Stephens landscape and lifestyle.
Within the home sees the typically coastal textures of natural oak floor and timber feature walls take hold while stone and tiled adornments add layers of luxury.
The open plan living, kitchen and dining areas incorporate a fireplace and near floor-to-ceiling glass that opens to create a seamless indoor-to-outdoor dining and entertaining space on the home’s top floor.
The heart of this area is the kitchen, centred around a marble-topped island, state-of-the-art European appliances and an attached bar area, with built-in refrigeration, accompanied by a butler’s pantry.
Also here comes a grand outdoor spa, central to the balcony, while another outdoor entertaining area with a pizza oven is found on the middle floor.
Downstairs once again comes a second living space replete with the perfect wine cellar — cooled by the natural rock foundation of the home — offering an array of entertaining options
Of the home’s accommodation comes a private and luxurious master retreat with expansive ocean views, a walk-in wardrobe and an ensuite, here, speckled with grey terrazzo tiling and timber joinery vanities. A further four bedrooms are found throughout the home along with two family bathrooms rounding out the offering.
Less than a five-minute walk from nearby amenities of shops, restaurants, cafes and beaches the home offers the best of the Port Stephens area.
The listing is with PRD Port Stephens’ Dane Queenan (+61 412 351 819) and Erin Sharp (+61 499 912 311) and is heading to auction; prd.com.au