How to Start a Fire in a Fire Pit: The Safest Ways and Ideas

Preparation of Fire Pit

Nothing is more pleasant than enjoying the mild flame in the cold weather. But the problem is, not everyone knows how to start a fire in a fire pit safely. Is that you too?

It is not much different from how to start a fire in a fireplace, though. Otherwise, you need to know some differences to enjoy it comfortably.

You also need to know the fuel and how to use it.

Thus, before inviting your friends to a gathering, let us learn how to start a fire in a fire pit. Do not forget to check the ideas out too!

A. What is a Fire Pit?

What is a Fire Pit

Before talking about how to start a fire in a fire pit, you need to know what kind of fixture it is. Its function is for warmth, similar to a fireplace and a bonfire.

The difference with other heaters, a fire pit has barriers around the flame. It can be by placing the blaze under the surface or placing a heat-resistant material around the burner.

Talking about the purpose, it is none other than security. Bonfires and traditional fireplaces can create dangerous splashing heat or even start a fire.

Meanwhile, barriers will prevent the flame from spreading and minimize splashing heat. Generally, the fire pit uses metal or stone to keep the blaze inside.

The fire pit itself has a variety of designs. One of them is the Dakota style that emerged in America in colonial times and is still remarkable nowadays.

Further, the trick is to dig two holes in the ground. One of them is for burning, while the other hole is for air circulation.

This method is quite effective in minimizing smoke at the combustion site. However, currently, many designs have been developed and are easier to use.

B. Preparation

Preparation of Fire Pit

The first step of how to start a fire in a fire pit is to prepare everything. Have you chosen the place? What is the model and type of heater? What’s the fuel?

First of all, identifying the model of the fire pit is necessary. It will determine the type of fuel.

If you use a traditional fire pit, usually the primary fuel is wood or charcoal. However, the current fixture manufacturers are sick of using natural gas or lighter fluid.

However, to narrow the discussion, we will review how to start a fire in a fire pit in the traditional way.

Thus, you may also need other combustible materials to facilitate the process. In general, besides the fire pit, you need to prepare a few things:

  • Tinder: Flammable materials that help a fire start, such as sawdust, paper, or certain foods.
  • Kindling: Pieces of wood, twigs, or other flammable objects.
  • Fuel: In addition to wood, charcoal, and charcoal, currently, many fire pits use natural gas and lighter fluid (propane and bioethanol).

Apart from preparing the fuel and learning how to start a fire in a fire pit, you also have to make sure that your place is safe.

To light a traditional fire pit, you need an open location unless you have a smoke absorber in the room or an indoor-based fixture.

C. How to Start a Fire in a Fire Pit

How to Start a Fire in a Fire Pit

Whatever the fuel, outdoor flame lighting has a similar way. How to start a fire in a fire pit with charcoal will be in line with those using woods, or else.

However, how to start a fire in a fire pit with wood is a favorite topic because this fuel is the easiest to obtain and has minimal residue. Otherwise, you might utilize others.

When everything is ready, let us start the next about how to start a fire in a fire pit. Then, follow these steps:

1. The Construction

The Construction

To produce a fast and effective flame, you must use the three components in the appropriate order. Place tinder under the fire pit before stacking the kindling on top.

The placement must be careful, sequential, and not mixed. In addition, the kindling should not be too tight to allow tinder to get oxygen.

2. Use the Tinder

Use the Tinder

The next “how to start a fire in a fire pit” is starting to burn tinder. Due to its flammability, the fire will spread instantly. The kindling will start to char and give off a fire.

3. It’s the Fuel Turn

It's the Fuel Turn

After the fire appears on the kindling, you can start giving fuel little by little. Avoid overdoing it so as not to create a flare that is too big.

4. Watch out the Fire

Watch out the Fire

After the fire burns well as expected, you still have to take care of it. You can start adding fuel if it looks good.

If it is not too big, the fuel may be ineffective because it burns harder. Instead, you can add tinder and kindling until the conditions are right.

5. After Party

After Party

In the end, all the parties will be over. Besides learning how to start a fire in a fire pit, you should also know how to extinguish it.

You can slowly turn off the fire by stopping giving it tinder, kindling, and fuel. Thus, the flame will shrink and die after a while.

The other way is to close it directly that there is no air to support combustion. Be careful while applying this method.

In addition, using water will quickly turn it off, but this is a bit risky because it potentially generates splashing heat and damages the fire pit. Do not rush, and take it slow.

Even if the fire has been out, you can’t fix everything right away. Burning ash is still there and has the potential to injure.

It will take you at least an hour after the fire is out to clean up the residue. First of all, fill the pit with sand or a safe suit. Again, do not use water.

After that, clean the fire pit slowly and dispose of the ashes in the best location. Store the fixture neatly to keep it durable for you to reuse.

D. Tips and Care

Tips and Care

Learning how to start a fire in a fire pit will be useless if you do not know how to take care of it. Consider the following things.

1. Tips to Be Safe

Tips to Be Safe

Safety comes first, especially if you are playing with fire. There are so many overlooked things that invite danger.

  • Do not place flammable materials around the flame.
  • Since this material is not always available, how to start a fire in a fire pit without kindling? It is possible if you use an appropriate amount of tinder and fuel.
  • For a customized fire pit, do not place it in a windy location because it potentially increases sparks to the surroundings.
  • How to start a fire in a metal fire pit? There is no difference with other materials. You need to give an anti-rust layer regularly so that the fixture remains durable.
  • Is there any ‘how to start a fire in a fire pit without lighter fluid’? You can still use paper, sawdust, even animal fat.
  • If you use the indoor type, provide enough ventilation in the room.

2. Caring Your Fire Pits

Caring Your Fire Pits

Either indoor or outdoor fire pits require good maintenance to last a long time. However, we often make mistakes that make them easily damaged, causing potential dangers.

Therefore, maintenance is no less crucial than how to start a fire in a fire pit. You can do several tips to make it work well in the long run.

  • Pay attention to tinder, kindling, and fuel. Make sure it is safe and toxin-free. Burning trash or toxic materials will make the fire pit easily damaged.
  • Do not burn when the fire pit is cold or frozen. When the temperature is low, try heating it for a while so that the fixture does not crack easily.
  • Pay attention to the fire pit area. Do not place it where it is windy or covered with trees. It can be dangerous around.
  • Do not extinguish the fire by using water (unless it is an emergency). It will make the fixture easily damaged due to a sudden drop in temperature.
  • Clean the fire pit after use. Burning residue has the potential to damage the surface in the long term.
  • Do not forget to clean the surface. Use a mixture of muriatic acid and water to remove any accumulated dirt and residue.
  • Cover after use to prevent it from rusting or being damaged by environmental influences.

E. Deciding the Best Fire Pit

Deciding the Best Fire Pit

Throughout the above discussion, you have learned about how to start a fire in a fire pit. But something that is no less important is choosing a suitable design. Here is the guide:

1. Model and Price Estimate

Model and Price Estimate

Once you know how to start a fire in a fire pit in the traditional way, you will have no trouble using any model.

Luckily, at this time, enjoying the comfort of a campfire is very easy with the latest sophisticated products.

Currently, there are many beautiful and easy-to-use models in circulation. But broadly speaking, there are three types on the market today, namely:

a) Portable


Portable fire pits are a great choice if you are on a low budget (although some expensive products are possible). You can use and disassemble easily for various moments.

This fixture generally has a small form that is easy to carry. Perfect for camping or outdoor activities but some also have an indoor-based design.

The fuel also varies, but natural gas is the most favorable option. You can find beautiful designs, from the simplest to the most luxurious.

Moreover, the one with metal and wood fuel costs $100. But for more complex and sophisticated products, you have to spend $250-$500.

b) Prefabricated


If you intensely use a fire pit at home, then this model is the most appropriate. Although not indeed permanent, you can get a built-in look, both inside and outside the house.

The size is usually big, compared to the portable one, with higher strength. It is because some people prefer to use the outdoors, especially for gathering purposes.

Then, the installation is not too complicated, but some things may require a technician’s touch. Its designs also vary because people use them as decorations too.

The price is certainly higher than the portable model, at least $1,500 on simple designs.

For the best, you may have to pay up to $5,000 or more.

c) Customized Fixtures

Customized Fixture

Some people choose to have a permanent fire pit for a variety of reasons, although it is more expensive.

Bricks, stone veneer, and other materials will cost a lot of money. But you do have to pay attention to quality because you cannot move or repair this fixture as you want.

In addition, you also need a complicated installation so that the airflow is good enough and does not pose a potential hazard.

One custom fire pit generally reaches a size of at least 3 feet and costs from $5,000. But for a high-quality 6 feet tall can be up to $ 10,000.

2. How to Start a Fire in a Fire Pit: 10 Best Ideas

10 Fire Pit Best

Considering your budget and needs, you can start choosing one of the models discussed above. But apart from that, design references are no less important.

In this discussion, you will see several designs based on the above model. Try to see if there is an appropriate “how to start a fire in a fire pit” according to your needs.

a) How to Start a Fire in a Fire Pit under the Trees

Fire Pit Under the Trees

If you like a natural setting, placing a customized fire pit among the trees is a great idea. You can feel the atmosphere like you are camping in the wild.

However, do not light a fire under a tree that is too thick because it can start a fire.

b) DIY Fire Pit on the Table

DIY Fire Pit on the Table

One of the advantages of using a portable fire pit is that you can start a fire anywhere. Also, placing the stove on the garden table seems great.

If you are bored, you can also move it to another place you want. A gathering will be an easy and fun moment.

c) Turn on the Light

Turn on the Light

The flame is not only to warm but also to illuminate the surrounding area. However, adding extra lights on will be necessary

Turning on the blue light near the fire pit was able to create a more intimate atmosphere. It is the right choice on how to light outdoor fire pit.

d) How to Start a Fire in a Fire Pit under the Pergola

Under the Pergola

When lighting a bonfire, a location to avoid is under the pergola because it can cause a fire. But that is no longer the case today if you use the open-type one.

Also read How to Build A Freestanding Patio Cover with Best 10 Samples Ideas

e) Simple and Intimate Gathering

Simple and Intimate Gathering

You can also use the fire pit to create an intimate atmosphere with the people closest to you. Light a fire in the garden and sit around it.

No need to utilize a fire pit which is too fancy. Use the portable one, place it in the middle, turn it on, and start talking to each other.

f) Pile of Rocks

Pile of Rocks

You can do many ways to present a natural atmosphere, either alone or during gatherings. Design a fire pit as naturally as possible, like a pile of burning stones.

Besides having an aesthetic value, this design also prevents fire from being splattered or spread. You can get it custom by DIY or ask an expert for help.

g) The Sunken Flame

The Sunken Flame

There are many ways to create aesthetics with a fire pit. One that is quite popular is placing it below the ground as if the fire were coming out.

You can get this design by building it yourself or buying a ready-to-install fixture. But be careful when you step foot.

Also read Tips on How to Clean Concrete Patio Without Pressure Washer

h) Indoor Fire Pit

Indoor Fire Pit

Although enjoying the fire in the wild is relaxing, the indoor atmosphere is also not a bad thing. It is a good idea when the weather is not friendly.

Thanks to the technology that has brought innovation so that you can enjoy the indoor fire pit safely at home. The design is also beautiful as decoration.

i) Standalone Fire Pit

Standalone Fire Pit

When it comes to the fire pit, most people imagine a flaming pit with chairs around it.

A fire pit may be in the middle of a playground where children play without being near the flame. Just adjust it to your tastes and needs.

j) How to Start a Fire in a Fire Pit inside the Bricks

Inside the Bricks

You indeed need quality materials to surround the fire pit. Of course, the material must be heat resistant and not flammable.

Rather than metal, brick is quite effective at retaining heat. You can also aesthetically arrange it so that the fire pit can be a beautiful decoration.

F. Conclusion

Fire pit outdoor

The reviews above certainly provide a clear picture of how to start a fire in a fire pit. You can also choose the appropriate design. Let us get the party to begin!

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