As the warmer weather and long summer nights are fast approaching, it is the perfect time to start thinking about outdoor heating. An increasingly popular option is a Fire Pit. Not only are they a practical way of heating up your outdoor space, they also offer a stylish feature piece to the garden.

Many of our customers often enquire about the best type of fuel to use on their Fire Pit. Because a fire pit doesn’t have a flue to control the direction of the smoke, the best fuel to use is one that does not produce much smoke. With that said, the most popular options would be wood briquettes, charcoal, kiln dried logs and in some cases, smokeless coals.

It is important to remember that any fuel will produce smoke initially until it is combusting properly. Once the fuel comes up to a high temperature and is burning properly, the smoke levels will drop off significantly.

Wood Fuel:

Any fuel that has a low smoke output tends to have a low moisture content, so when choosing a fuel for your fire pit, choose one with 20% moisture and less. Typically, the moisture content in seasoned logs can be anywhere from 30 – 60%, in comparison, wood briquettes tend to have a moisture content between 7 – 10%. The wood briquette will outperform seasoned logs on a fire pit in relation to the low smoke and high heat. In addition to briquettes, kiln dried logs also offer a low moisture content. They will also give a more traditional fire feel as they give off a nice bright flame, particularly kiln-dried birch logs. Kiln dried logs and briquettes tend to light easily, and do not spit when they burn.


Another great option is charcoal, specifically, restaurant grade charcoal. Restaurant grade charcoal is made up of large chunks and will, therefore, last for longer. Just like when you use charcoal on a BBQ, it will smoke initially and then settle down to burn for a long period of time, with little smoke and a lot of heat.

Smokeless Fuel:

Depending on the thickness of the metal base, and if your fire pit has a grate with air coming from underneath, you can use a smokeless coal. You could use Excel, Supertherm or Newheat. All these products are smokeless fuels. As above, these fuels will smoke until they reach up to their highest heat output rate. Although more smokey initially, smokeless fuels will burn for longer than wood briquettes and charcoal.

Fire pits are a great way to warm up the nights and extend the outdoor entertaining season. If you have any questions or need further advice on what to use, please give the office a call on 01484 653 768.