Tips & How-to's7 min read

The Complete Fire Pit Grill Buying Guide, Plus Expert Grilling Tips

The Complete Fire Pit Grill Buying Guide, Plus Expert Grilling Tips

Want to get the most out of your outdoor space? Add a fire pit grill to your patio, deck, or yard decor.

In this article, we have created a buying guide to help you pick the fire pit grill that’s right for you. We’ve also included a list of grilling tips so you can serve up the best on whichever grill you choose.

Fire Pit Grill Buying Guide

Friends hanging out at the beach by a bonfire

1) Establish Your Purpose

One of the first things to establish when shopping for a fire pit grill is your purpose. Of course, you want it to hold a fire, and you want to be able to cook over that fire — those are givens — but do you have more needs?

For example, are you planning on hosting large parties? If so, you can narrow your focus to the larger fire pit grills on the market.

Will it just be your family most of the time? You might be best served by a smaller model.

Do you want to spend as little time as possible cleaning your new grill? Opt for a low-price, easy-to-maintain, user-friendly model that you can replace every year or so.

Finally, if you’re concerned about durability, then invest a bit more into a model made with sturdy construction and quality materials.

Establishing your purpose before you start shopping will help you focus your search and find the fire pit grill that is perfect for you.

2) Pick A Spot

Before you purchase your fire pit grill, figure out where you want it to live once you get it home.

This will help you see what will fit in the space and whether you need to landscape your yard differently or rearrange your deck. It will also help you settle on the size and shape that works best for you (we discuss this later on in this article).

If you can’t visualize where it will go, unfold a big box or tape some paper together in a large rectangle to serve as the footprint of the fire pit grill. Then move it around until you’ve found the spot that feels right.

3) Check Your Local Fire Code

Another important step in shopping for a fire pit grill is checking your local fire code. Some towns, for example, restrict the size of fire pits (of any kind) to three feet by three feet and stipulate that they can’t be any more than two feet in height.

Other towns prohibit the use of any kind of fire pit, regardless of whether you’re going to cook on it or not, so it’s best to check things out before you buy.

4) Settle On A Size And Shape

Bbq pit

Once you’ve chosen a spot for your fire pit grill, you can settle on a size and shape.

If your perfect spot is the corner of an apartment balcony, you’ll definitely want a smaller, more portable model. If you’ve got a bit more space to work with because you picked a spot on your deck or patio, you can go with a medium-size model.

Finally, if you’re settling your fire pit grill in your big backyard, the sky’s the limit on the size you can choose.

It’s also important to figure out what shape works best for you. For example, square or rectangular grills usually hold a bit more food than round grills, but they also take up more space.

5) Maintain A Safe Distance On All Sides

Fire pit grills get hot! Depending on the fuel you use and whether or not it has a lid, temperatures can climb as high as 500 degrees Fahrenheit or more.

To avoid melting the siding on your house or drying out the railing on your deck, maintain a safe distance on all sides. In many cases, that means not pushing the fire pit grill right up against a hard surface and keeping a six- to eight-inch space on all sides.

When placing your fire pit grill, always remember to look up. Even if the grill itself is a safe distance from your house, barn, or shed, many buildings also have eaves or small roofs off the side.

Much of the heat that your fire pit grill gives off goes straight up, so you want to make sure there’s nothing directly above the flame that will melt.

6) Consider Build Materials

Fire pit grills are made from all kinds of materials — from concrete, glass-reinforced concrete, steel, and stainless steel to aluminum, copper, stone, and even wicker.

Some materials — like steel, aluminum, and stone — are more practical, while other materials — like wicker and copper — are more for looks than heavy grilling every day.

You also want to keep the durability of the material in mind when shopping. Some materials have a tendency to wear out faster than others, so it’s definitely important to factor in how often you want to replace the grill when comparing models.

7) Choose A Fuel Type

Fire pit grills typically burn one of three types of fuel:

  • Wood
  • Charcoal
  • Propane

Wood produces intense heat and large flames and is a great option for those who live in the country, where you can just walk around and pick up sticks, branches, and logs to burn.

Charcoal, on the other hand, burns slower and longer than wood and does not produce as intense a heat. It is a great option for those living in town who don’t have easy access to wood because you can pick up a bag at any grocery store.

Propane, or LP Gas, burns clean with little to no ash or debris. It’s readily available — even at most gas stations, retail locations, or hardware stores. And you can transport it easily from one place to the next.

Fire Pit Grilling Tips

Grilling meat

1) Clean Your Fire Pit Grill Before You Cook

It’s always good to start with a clean fire pit grill. That helps prevent last night’s fishy char flavor from getting in the way of the delicious burger you’re going to grill tonight.

It doesn’t matter if you clean the grill when you’re finished cooking or before you start cooking the next time around, only that you remove any debris before firing it up again.

Whichever way you choose, heat up the grates a bit and use a scraper and a heavy wire brush to get the grill grit off.

2) Flip Once

It’s usually best if you move the foods you’re grilling as little as possible.

If feasible, only flip things once (especially for meat). If the meat stays stuck to the grill when you try to turn it, let it cook just a bit more, as it will unstick when it’s fully cooked on that side.

3) Resist The Urge To Squeeze Or Flatten Meat

Flipping meat on a bbq

Fat gives meat flavor. But if you press or flatten the meat you’re grilling with a spatula or tongs, you squeeze that fat right out.

Sure, it’s fun to watch that burst of sizzling flame, but you’re actually burning up all the flavor!

Squeezing or flattening the meat on your fire pit grill will leave you with a dry, tasteless hunk of nothing that isn’t enjoyable for anyone to eat.

4) Keep A Spray Bottle Nearby

As hard as you try to keep that fat and flavor inside the meat, it will occasionally leak out and cause flame flare-ups. These flare-ups can make your food taste weird.

To prevent the flames from charring your food, keep a spray bottle filled with water near the fire pit grill. If a flare-up does occur, spray the flame with water to put it out.

And, don’t worry, the little bit of extra moisture won’t hurt your meat.

5) Invest In A Meat Thermometer

Unless you’re a very experienced cook, it’s hard to tell the temperature of the meat on your fire pit grill just by touching it.

Plus, if you get it wrong, the meat may never reach the proper internal temperature. This can lead to digestive issues later on.

For best results, invest in a meat thermometer and get it right every time.

The Best Seating For Your Fire Pit Grill

Woman sitting on a loveseat on a roof top patio
Outer Aluminum Outdoor Loveseat

Regardless of the fire pit grill you choose, you’re going to need something to sit on and something to eat on when you’re finished cooking.

Because our products are specifically designed for life outside, this is where Outer comes in. In fact, we’ve created the world’s most comfortable, durable, innovative, and sustainable outdoor furniture to help you enjoy this part of your home.

With Outer outdoor furniture, you can enjoy the simple luxury that your backyard, deck, patio, or fire pit grill has to offer.

We offer options for all outdoor setups, including:

We also offer a variety of materials to suit every style and taste, including:

We even offer accessories such as bug shield blankets, outdoor throw pillows, outdoor rugs, and covers to make your experience complete.

Whether you need a teak outdoor chair to rest in while dinner cooks, a wicker loveseat, or an aluminum sectional for seven, Outer has what you’re looking for.

For more ideas, inspiration, and information on getting the most out of your outdoor spaces, visit LiveOuter.com today.