Garden & Lawn

5 Best Fire Pits for Cooking, Comparison & Review

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If sitting around a fire pit makes you feel all “back to pre-historic times”, why not cook something to eat as well? Fire pits for cooking provide warmth, light and amazing grilled food.

We review the best wood-fuelled fire pits you can cook on, from the most basic models with a simple grill through to a gourmet unit that our ancestors never dreamed of. Along with a list of the pros and cons of each fire pit, we discuss their individual features and offer a recommendation of their best use. Our Buyer’s Guide covers the essential question to ask when deciding which type of fire pit for cooking is right for you.

BEST PICK

Tattao Texas Steel Fire Pit 60cm with Chromed Grill
This round, powder-coated steel fire pit has the largest fire bowl in our review, but it is billed as being portable but it's also great for having on your patio. In fact, it has two carry handles on the sides to help you lift it. It's not too heavy as it's made of metal mesh with a decorative flames pattern in solid metal around the bowl. This and the metal mesh domed spark screen give you a 360° view of the jumping flames. A chromed steel grid fits on top of the fire bowl for a large grilling area for your evening meal and nighttime snacks. As a bonus, you receive a second fire pit that really is portable, that you can also cook on. Both of these fire pits have foldable legs and come with their own carry bags. The Taotao Texas Steel Fire Pit 60cm with Chromed Grill is a great deal for anyone.

RUNNER-UP

Bestfire 3 IN 1 Garden BBQ Fire Pit
If sitting by a fire pit in the outdoors often makes you hungry, the Bestfire 3 IN 1 Garden BBQ Fire Pit For Wood, Fire and Cooking Charcoal Barbeque Grill Kit is a great choice and looks amazing. This grill kit is set up and comes with the tools for basic grilling. Plus there’s a table ledge to put all your condiments, plates and glasses on as the food sizzles away. Put in the centre part of the table when the fire is not in use and you have a very attractive regular table for use on your patio. Or use the empty fire bowl as a large ice bucket when the evening gets too warm for a fire. This is a multi-functional fire pit that is not just for cooking and is one our favourites.

Best Fire Pits For Cooking Reviews

1. Taotao Texas Steel Fire Pit 60cm with Chromed Grill   

Best Pick and Best Portable

Buy on Amazon.co.uk

TAOTAO Texas Steel Fire Pit 60CM with Chromed grill + FREE rain cover + Free Dia.56cm Camping Fire pit(Grill, Folding Legs, Carry Bag)

The Taotao Texas Steel Fire Pit 60cm with Chromed Grill is a round steel fire pit that’s billed as being portable. And it has the features to support this. But you may want to leave it at home and take the free camping fire pit with you on the road. That’s right, you receive two fire pits in your purchase. And both of them have chromed grills for cooking on so if rooms tight in the back of your car, just take the smaller more portable one.

Let’s start with the headliner, the 60cm (2ft) fire pit that’s fuelled by wood. This is the biggest fire bowl of the models in our review – and also the largest grilling surface. Some online reviewers state that this fire pit creates a large fire and a lot of heat. The entire unit is of steel mesh, even the side of the bowl trough there are solid metal flames for decoration and some heat protection. The domed metal spark guard is also mesh, so you get a full panoramic view of the flames (and protection from them too).

All the metal, except for the chrome grill, has an antiqued and weathered bronze finish. This fire pit looks like it’s been around for quite a few years – in a stylish way. The three tubular metal legs create a stable structure and fold up when you want to transport or store the fire pit which is super handy and a feature not found on most models. There’s a metal handle on each side of the unit that provide hand holds for you to easily carry it.

Along with the free carry bag and rain cover, you receive a poker, though you do have to provide your own barbequing tools. Be aware, we don’t recommend using this fire pit on any form of decking, even with a heat resistant mat. It puts out that much heat, even underneath the fire bowl.

The second, and free, fire pit is a small even more portable model that’s perfect for camping. It’s also made of steel but with a glossy black powder coating this time. It’s almost as wide in diameter as the first fire pit but it’s much shallower and lower to the ground. The legs fold up, making it great for taking to the beach and the park. You use wood again as the fuel here.

The grill of the free fire pit is made of chrome that’s suitable for cooking food on. But be sure to pack your own barbeque tools as the single-pointed poker that comes with this model isn’t much good for rolling hotdogs or flipping buns.

You can check out some of my favourite BBQ’ing accessories in this guide here.

We’re impressed that the free camping fire pit also comes with its own carry bag too.

Pros

  • Circular alloy steel portable fire pit fuelled by wood.
  • Mesh construction with a bronze finish has metal flames around the sides and a domed mesh lid.
  • The grill is made of chrome so you can use it to grill food.
  • Three tubular legs fold up to make the fire pit easy to transport.
  • Two metal handles provide grip to carry for the fire pit.
  • Comes with a handy carry bag, a rain cover and a poker.
  • Free camping fire pit, also with grill and folding legs, included in purchase.

Dimensions:

  • Fire pit: 60cm (diameter) and 60cm (total height). 
  • Free fire bowl: 56cm (diameter) and 39cm (height).

Cons

  • None found

Our recommendation

Your purchase of the Taotao Texas Steel Fire Pit 60cm with Chromed Grill covers two areas you need a fire pit. The round bronze-coloured steel 60cm fire pit has the largest fire bowl in our review. Although it is designed to be portable (carrying handles and foldable legs), we recommend that you leave it at home and take the free camping glossy-black fire pit on the road with you. Both these fire pits are fuelled by wood and have chrome grills that are suitable for cooking on.

The Taotao Texas Steel Fire Pit 60cm with Chromed Grill is our Best Pick in this review of fire pits for cooking. We like the two-for fire pit offer and that you can cook in the outdoors on both of them.


2. Bestfire 3 IN 1 Garden BBQ Fire Pit

Runner-up

Buy on Amazon.co.uk

3 IN 1 GARDEN BBQ FIRE PIT For Wood, Fire and Cooking Charcoal Barbeque Grill Kit, Large Round Mosaic Ceramic Table Top, Outdoor Space Heater, Metal Basket FIREPIT Bowl for Patio Heating with Rain Cover

The Bestfire 3 IN 1 Garden BBQ Fire Pit is a contrast to our Best Pick in that it will definitely stay in your garden. It’s a complete patio table which contains a wood fire pit and an open flame BBQ. When we say “complete table” we mean that you can cover the opening of the fire pit with a piece that matches the rest of the table and use it for dining, playing games and other patio activities. When your grilling on the fire pit, a table ledge runs all around it for you to put glasses, plates and cutlery on.

This round unit has a metal stand with three scrolled legs. The table top is made of large, mostly triangular ceramic tiles in a traditional pattern called a compass rose. The colours are muted tones of cream, beige, blue and brown to fit any patio colour scheme. Ceramic is hard-wearing and weather-resistant – just think of clay plant pots. As we’ve said, the centre part of the table removes to reveal the circular fire bowl.

As this a wood-fuelled fire pit, you can add charcoal nuggets to cook over as you would to a charcoal stand-alone BBQ unit. Poke and prod the wood and charcoal to control the temperature the fire puts out. The poker is included.

You don’t have to worry about moving the food aside to get at the wood or even completely taking the grill off and risking the sausages and chicken wings sliding off. One part of the grill is open (without the grid) so you can just pass the poker through that part. Be sure to use the metal domes spark guard to stop sparks and splashes of fat from hitting your guests and family members.

You receive a protective cover for this cooking fire pit table with your purchase. Be sure to put it on this unit when it’s not in use. This prevents damage by inclement weather and also stops the sun from fading the colour on the tiles. Some online reviews complain that the heat-resistant black paint on the legs comes off easily and the exposed metal rusts. Watch out for this and repaint the bare metal parts as soon as you notice this happening.

Pros

  • A round patio table with a fire pit is used for fire and barbequing, and as a large ice bucket.
  • Metal construction for the three scroll metal legs, the fire bowl and the mesh spark screen.
  • Large ceramic mosaic tiles in a traditional pattern and a muted colour scheme form the tabletop
  • The Centre tabletop section covers the fire bowl opening.
  • Takes wood and cooking charcoal briquettes as fuel, and has a grate to put them on.
  • Barbequing tools include a grill and poker.
  • Purchase includes a weatherproof cover to protect from damage.
  • Dimensions: 70.5cm (dia) x 41cm (height).

Cons

  • Grouting and paint may not be as good as some might expect.

Our recommendation

The Bestfire 3 IN 1 Garden BBQ Fire Pit For Wood, Fire and Cooking Charcoal Barbeque Grill Kit is one of those garden pieces that performs several functions well while looking very attractive. As a table, fire pit, grill and ice bucket, this model will be in use all through the day. We love multi-tasking furniture, and this model will be the most used piece of furniture in your outdoors living space.

The Bestfire 3 IN 1 Garden BBQ Fire Pit is our choice for Runner-up. If you spend most of your summer time outdoors or you entertain a lot on your patio, this is an excellent choice of cooking fire pit.

If the idea of a fire pit in a table interests you, our Best Fire Pit Tables review recommends a range of other models.


3. Gardeco Elidir Cast Iron Fire Bowl

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Gardeco Elidir Cast Iron Fire Pit,  Bronze, 45 x 45 x 47.5 cm

The Gardeco Elidir Cast Iron Fire Bowl is the smallest fire pit in our review but there’s still enough cooking space for a decent BBQ for several people. This is a cast-iron fire pit that looks a bit like the traditional view of a cauldron. The bronze finish of the bowl and the three scrolled legs has a textured, hammered finish that adds to its visual appeal.

Being made of cast iron, this fire pit is quite heavy so it’s sturdy and sits firmly on its legs on the ground. It’s difficult to move and to knock over, making it safe when in use. The bronze finish eventually wears off, so be prepared for this fire pit to achieve a wonderful patina when it starts to rust. It’s worth noting that being made from Cast Iron, although it will rust, it want rust through like some thin steel fire pits do. When it comes to cars iron fire pits, you can’t really get much better in terms of quality.

The grate on the top of the fire bowl is made of steel covered with food-grade chrome but this is the only steel part. You can safely grill your meat, fish and vegetables there. You do have to provide all your barbeque tools, as well as a poker to stir the fire, as you receive just the fire bowl as your purchase. And also think about buying a spark screen to protect you and your guests from wayward sparks and flying fat from the food.

This Gardeco fire bowl uses wood, charcoal and coal as fuel. Mix and match these depending on whether you’re there for the fire or for cooking. You need to scoop the ashes out of the fire bowl when it’s cool to clean it, as tipping it over on its side to do this is a bit of a challenge.

Pros

  • Round fire pit made from cast iron except for the grill and leg screws.
  • Uses wood, charcoal or coal as fuel.
  • Hammered bronze finish and resembles an ancient cooking pot.
  • Three curved scroll legs and the round stand add another stylish and stable element.
  • It has a removable chromed grate that can be used for cooking.
  • Amazing Five-year manufacturer’s warranty for full peace of mind.
  • Dimensions: 45cm (diameter) and 47.5cm (total height).

Cons

  • Fire bowl lacks handles for easier movement.
  • No spark screen.
  • No air holes or holes to let rainwater out, however, it won’t rust away like a steel one would.

Our recommendation

The Gardeco Elidir Cast Iron Fire Bowl is a compact fire pit that lets you grill food at the same time as staying warm. Use wood, charcoal or coal as your fuel depending on how much heat you need for your food grilling task and to stay warm afterwards.

This minimalist yet stylish bronze-coloured fire bowl is for anyone who wants their fire pit to provide snacks rather than full meals and to fit into their garden in an understated way. In terms of how long a fire pit should last, this will last for years and may even outlive you, that how good the quality is.


4. AGYH Imitation Stone Fire Pit

Best Premium Pick

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Wood Fire Pits Outdoor Imitation Stone Outdoor Wood Fire Pit, Backyard Patio Garden Fireplace BBQ Grill Square Table, 75cm/29.5' (Color : Kit-2)

The AGYH Fire Pit table takes the idea of cooking on an open fire to a whole other level. It operates as a fire pit, a brazier (with coals), a grill, a BBQ and a hot plate for cooking a fondue, a hot pot or boiling water. And it also converts to a regular table. You just need to feed it wood plus some charcoal when you’re cooking or using the brazier feature.

It should be obvious that this is a premium fire pit/table and comes at a premium price. But if your outdoors gourmet aspirations aim towards more than hotdogs or burgers, this sturdy unit helps you reach them. It’s constructed of magnesium oxide panels, textured in a stone brick pattern. Magnesium oxide is used in building construction and is anti-freezing and doesn’t conduct heat. It’s also resistant to high temperatures. This AGYH fire pit is strong, durable and very safe.

Wood Fire Pits Outdoor Imitation Stone Outdoor Wood Fire Pit, Backyard Patio Garden Fireplace BBQ Grill Square Table, 75cm/29.5' (Color : Kit-2)

The stone style is a little rustic but provides an excellent contrast to more contemporary patio designs. The fire bowl is a generous 50cm long and wide and the surrounding ledge is 12.5cm in width. That’s large enough for most people’s garden plates and cutlery. There’s a matching insert to put into the bowl opening to make this into a complete table top.

The different cooking methods each have their own cooking surfaces. Use the stainless steel grid to barbeque, the flat surface with solid and slatted areas to grill, and put a saucepan on the tray insert for the grill. Move beyond having flames to coals and the brazier. This is the best heat for a controlled cooking temperature .

There’s space in the bottom of the table to stack some spare wood to keep the fire burning in your cooking adventures. Use the included poker to move the fuel around to control the flames and cook the food to your guests’ requests.

This review is for the most expensive AGYH fire table kit. Two other kits are available at lesser cost and they come with fewer accessories.

Pros

  • Multi-functional, premium wood fire pit patio table kit.
  • Functions include fire pit; grilling; barbequing; brazier; hot put; and full table.
  • Cooking methods available include are barbequing, grilling, boiling, and sautéing.
  • Square structure is made of magnesium oxide building material that’s non-heating-conducting.
  • Imitation stone bricks and imitation wood top give an old-world style.
  • Wood as a fuel source as well as charcoal nuggets.
  • Raised grill creates excellent superb airflow.
  • The rectangular mesh lid is the spark guard.
  • Stack wood in the provided space at the bottom of the table.
  • Dimensions: 73cm (width), 75cm (depth) and 45cm (height).

Cons

  • New product (as at April 2021) so no reviews yet.

Our recommendation

The AGYH Wood Fire Pits Outdoor Imitation Stone is an example of an extreme fire pit for cooking. It’s a perfect example of how far fire pit manufacturers can satisfy gourmet cooks who want to practice their skills outdoors. The high price of this unit reflects its high-quality structure from building construction-level materials, its attractive and functional design as well as the versatility of cooking methods available. Your (cooked and eaten) outdoors dinner parties will never be forgotten.


5. Bali Outdoors Wood Burning Fire Pit

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BALI OUTDOORS Wood Burning Fire Pit Backyard with Cooking Grill, 32in, Black, 24in

The Bali Outdoors Wood Burning Fire Pit Backyard with Cooking Grill combines some of the best features of the other models in our review. It provides a separate cooking grill surface that can be partially heated and there’s a ledge running around the fire pit to put stuff on.

The Bali Outdoors pit is a round fire pit of an unspecified metal in a powder-coated black finish. The bowl is made of mesh metal with a diamond design in solid metal.  You can see the fire through the bowl from all sides as well as from the top. The base of the unit is a circular ring that’s welded to the four legs. This gives both strength and stability to this fire pit.

The ledge running around the fire pit is made of metal mesh and is wide enough to put your glasses and barbeque tools (not included) on. We’re not sure how hot is gets from the fire so check this out beforehand.

The grill is really interesting. It’s circular and made of the same metal mesh. It fits on to a stand at the side of the fire bowl and can be easily raised and lowered to bring it closer to the flames. The grill swivels 360° left and right so you can out as much of it over the flames as you want. This lets you put the food that needs the most cooking, such as meat, over the flames and keep more delicate items, such as vegetables, further away. When fully swivelled, the grill covers most of the fire pit.

Pros

  • The round wood-fueled, metal fire pit has a metal grid ledge around the outside for holding drinks, utensils, etc.
  • A separate grill raised above the fire pit swivels 360° to move the food away from the fire fully or partially.
  • Adjustable height of grill, up and down, through loosening screws.
  • Wood grate (included) raises up the wood logs to let air circulate around them for better burning.
  • The base is circular and is welded to the four legs for strength and sturdy support.
  • Dimensions: 81cm (diameter including ledge) and 60cm (height).

Cons

  • The metal used in the construction is maybe a little thinner than I might expect.
  • No spark screen.
  • Rusted quickly. (Common problem with steel fire pits)

This Bali model comes with a triangular frame to put the wood logs on rather than a grate. The frame makes you put the logs in a crisscross pattern and raised them up from the base of the fire pit. This lets more air circulate and gives a hotter flame.

Bear in mind that there’s no hole in the bottom of this fire pit to let any water out and it comes without a cover, so rain or snow just sit in the bowl until you scoop them out. Consider buying the cover along with the fire pit.


Buyer’s Guide

A fire pit to cook on can be as simple as a steel bowl with a chrome grid on top or as complicated as an almost fully-fledged outdoor gourmet kitchen. Our Buyer’s Guide identifies the main question to ask yourself as you decide which type of cooking fire pit to buy.

What do you want to cook?

The answer to this question affects the type and size of the fire pit you need and also the fuel type. All fire pits for cooking use wood as the primary fuel source as cooking over gas is way too dangerous. But not all fire pits state that you can use charcoal as well. If you’re only going to be cooking hotdogs and marshmallows on sticks over the fire, then wood by itself will do. But for anything else, a mixture of wood and charcoal works well.

If your flame-cooked food longings lean to burgers and salad, then a bowl style fire pit with a single grill over the fire works well. This usually produces a single temperature, although you can bank the fire at one side to produce a range of heat. This isn’t predictable and very controllable though. If you need a range of heat, for grilling meat and fish and vegetables at the same time, for example, look at fire pits with grills that swing out over the fire, such as the Bali Outdoors Wood Burning Fire Pit in our review. By putting only part of the grill over the flames, less heat is transmitted to the other section.

Fire pit with built in cooking grill
The cook roasts the courgettes. Grilled vegetables. Round bowl-shaped grill with a fire inside.

If you want to produce a full gourmet meal outdoors or to experiment with a range of cooking styles other than grilling then our Premium Pick, the Agyh Wood Fire Pit Outdoor Imitation Stone, is for you. Offering a wide range of cooking methods, though only one at a time, you can amaze your guests with your outdoors culinary versatility.

This leads to the question of where you’re going to put all the food and ingredients before and after you cook them. Perhaps you need a fire pit that has a ledge running around it to put stuff on. If so, why not consider one that converts to a full table during off-hours and saves you buying yet another piece of garden furniture. Our Runner-up Pick, the Bestfire 3 IN 1 Garden BBQ Fire Pit, is one such model.


Final Conclusion

If you’ve taken the time to light your wood fire pit and wait for it to provide warmth, why not cook on it rather than stand over at the barbeque apart from your guests. We review the best fire pits for cooking that let your guests have the fun of looking after their own food and grilling it to their own liking.

Whether they flip their burgers on a simple grill, dunk their vegetables in a cheese fondue on the hot plate or make sure the marshmallows on their wooden stick don’t catch fire, all the fire pits for cooking we recommend provide heat, light, food and entertainment – that’s a great combination for a garden party.

Our Best Pick is the Taotao Texas 60cm Steel Fire Pit with its Chromed Grill. You receive two fire pits, one that’s the largest in our review and a smaller one for the park or camping. Both have their own carry bag for easy transport.

The Bestfire 3 IN 1 Garden BBQ Fire Pit is our choice for Runner-up. As a fire pit, grill, table and ice bucket, this fire pit for cooking is a great choice for those who live outside in the summer or who often entertain in their garden.

If it turns out that a wood fire pit just takes too long to produce warmth for you, read our Best Gas Fire Pits review. But be aware that these fire pits are not for cooking on.

And we also have a review of the Best Fire Pits in general. If you need something a little larger, check out our Best Chimneas review. You can cook on some of these as well.


Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

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