Bruce owns a small farm and loves to grill since his early childhood. He’s a professional cook, but hiking and enjoying the great outdoors is his no less favorite part of life.
Last updated: February 01, 2021
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A fire pit can be a superb feature in any landscape design, allowing you to socialize in your yard, even in colder weather. However, if you think you know what fire pit you should look for, you may be mistaken. Not all fire pits are the same quality and offer the same features.
Fortunately, you don’t need to break the bank and there are some excellent fire pits available under $200. However, you do need to be prepared for the features of a cheaper model. Cheaper fire pits are typically wood burning and have a less sturdy construction. But, they tend to be more lightweight and therefore more portable compared to more expensive models.
In our quest to discover the best fire pit under $200, we assessed the different fuel types, evaluated the size and portability. We also looked at the durable construction and the accessories supplied.
If you don’t want the hassle of dealing with firewood and cleaning away messy debris and ashes of a traditional fire pit this product is a great alternative. The TackLife Propane Fire Pit uses propane fuel and it’s housed inside a table cabinet. The fire pit cabinet has enough space to store a 20-lb. propane fuel tank that you might use on your grill. This fire pit is capable of producing 50,000 BTU’s which will offer plenty of warmth for people using this product. We feel that this fire pit offers a lot for the money and that’s why it’s our editor’s choice.
The TackLife Propane Fire Pit comes with a set of volcanic stones that add some wonderful ambience when the pit is in use. This fire pit has a lid to cover the volcanic stones when the pit is not in use and this surface serves a secondary function. The top of the lid can be used as a table during warmer weather to hold drinks, food, games and anything else you can imagine. The tabletop measures 28” square which may be a little smaller than some of the other fire pits on our list. But, if you’re looking for the best propane fire pit under $200 it’s hard to ignore this product.
This fire pit is made from rugged steel and the height is 25” which is perfect for sitting around to get warm and use the table. The heat controls are located on the side of the table and the stainless steel burner is efficient. TackLife has included a 20” gas hose so you can get up and running in next to no time.
Sunnydaze is a relatively new company, but they have a good selection of outdoor fire pits. This Crossweave fire pit is one of the largest models on our list with a diameter of 36” and a depth of 11” to accommodate plenty of fuel. This larger size means that this is a heavier fire pit with a fully assembled weight of 29 lbs before you add any wood. The body is made from durable steel and painted with an attractive temperature resistant bronze paint. This will ensure that the fire pit looks great and resists corrosion in the years to come.
Despite the larger size and weight this fire pit is pretty easy to move because it has a circular handle that surrounds the entire edge. The crossweave pattern is a nice decorative touch and when the fire is lit it creates some interesting shadows. The Sunnydaze Crossweave fire pit comes with all the accessories you need, including: a metal spark screen, a weatherproof cover, a built-in wood grate, a poker and a fire bowl set. For extra peace of mind Sunnydaze have a 1-year warranty for this product.
The Sunnydaze Northland Outdoor Fire Pit will also act as a portable grill for a backyard barbeque. This cleverly designed fire pit has a hinged door, this gives you easy access to a grill grate and it’s easy to add firewood as needed. The rectangular shape makes it easy to cook on but it’s not the best option to sit around. Many people prefer a round or square fire pit because it’s easier to socialize but tastes vary.
When it comes to cooking the chrome cooking grate will be the focus of your attention. This grate is easy to clean and it should last for many years if the fire pit is covered when not in use. The fire pit is made from steel with a high-temperature resistant paint finish to prevent corrosion. This is a heavy-duty design but this fire pit only weighs 30 lbs. which makes it a portable option for casual users.
Sunnydaze have included a vinyl fire pit cover to protect this product from the elements. The fire pit is easy to assemble and full instructions are provided. The large wood capacity means that you can add plenty of fuel and a multi-purpose poker is included. The only real disadvantage is a less than adequate ash collection system. Many users place an old cookie sheet under the fire grate to collect and dump the ashes without the extra hassle.
The Outland Firebowl 823 Gas Fire Pit is hard to beat in terms of portability, convenience and heat output. This is a propane powered unit with an efficient burner that can produce up to 58,000 BTUs in next to no time. This fire pit is easy to set up, simple to use and it’s a smoke free option for backyard heating. The design is sleek and modern with a low profile and it’s easy to light in a few seconds.
Propane as a fuel source makes good sense if you don’t have the time or patience to build and develop a fire. This fire pit burns cleanly and efficiently and you don’t have to deal with all that messy soot and ash. Cleaning this fire pit is a breeze and because it’s highly portable you can take it anywhere. Sadly, this fire pit doesn’t have a push button ignitor like many other modern alternatives and you will need to light it with a match or lighter. However, once you get this fire pit burning it’s easy to control the intensity of the flame with a single knob.
This fire pit comes with some useful accessories, including: lava rocks, a stabilizing ring, a 10-foot hose, a regulator and a carrying case. This may be a less versatile fire pit when compared to other options on our list but it’s a light, reliable and portable. You may not be able to fuel this with wood or cook on it but it’s a great way to add some heat and ambience when you’re relaxing outdoors.
This may be the best wood burning fire pit under 200 dollars on our list. The Bali Outdoors Wood Burning Fire Pit is a high quality product which weighs 27 lbs and some assembly is required. This is another fire pit that allows you to grill while you enjoy your wood fire at the same time. The grill section can swivel in a full 360º rotation to the left or right as needed. It’s also possible to move the grill up or down and fix it in place with screws prior to lighting the fire pit.
Bali advertises this fire pit as a “humanized design” due to its round construction and a handy outer ledge where drinks and cooking supplies can be located. The sturdy metal base has a circular steel ring affixed to the four legs which makes this fire pit stable. A triangle frame rack holds the logs in place to improve the ventilation and this is collapsible for easier storage.
This fire pit has a 32” diameter with a 24” diameter grilling area suspended above. The heating grill must be moved with the included pocket when the fire pit is lit to avoid burning. This is a great fire pit for those that like a circular unit and enjoy some occasional outdoors cooking. This product will not replace a dedicated grill but it’s a great way to cook and socialize around a real wood fire.
What we liked:
The excellent ventilation
What could be better:
Could be more flexible as it is not designed to use charcoal
Landmann USA is a well known manufacturer of outdoor products and this includes an excellent range of fire pits. We like the Landmann 28345 because it’s large, affordable and it looks great and it’s our best value pick. This is a circular fire pit with a diameter of 24” and a total depth of 12.5”. This allows you to use and store plenty of fuel for a longer burn if that’s what you need. The design has a very attractive moon and stars motif and it casts some nice shadows around the fire pit.
This fire pit has a circular handle that allows you to carry it even if you have it burning. The build quality is excellent, it’s made from steel and the entire fire pit sits on three steel legs. Included in this package is a 22.5” diameter cooking grate if you like to cook with friends around an open fire. Landmann have also included a 37” long poker to stoke the fire as needed. It’s worth mentioning that this fire pit is a little heavier than some of the other options on our list. For this reason it’s not a good choice if you’re looking for something portable. But, if you want a large fire pit that you can move around your yard and store easily this will fit the bill nicely.
The Fireside Outdoor Pop-Up Fire Pit has been described by the company as “The most portable full-sized fire pit ever created”. It’s hard to argue with this assessment. This clever fire pit folds away for easy transportation and storage. It weighs only 7.2 lbs and when you’re done with it you can place it in the carrying case and put it on your shoulder. But, what makes this such a great product is that this fire pit can be used as a compact grill for cookouts.
The Pop-Up Fire Pit is elevated off the ground to ensure that you get a good fire and stay safe at the same time. You can use wood or charcoal as the fuel source and it cooks well with both. It’s easy to set up this fire pit in less than 60 seconds and you don’t need any tools! Thanks to the elevated base and the3.5” high sides this fire pit meets and exceeds Forestry Service recommendations.
One of the best things about this fire pit is that it comes with the Fireside guarantee. This gives the buyer a lifetime guarantee on parts but this doesn’t cover the fire mesh. During regular operations the fire mesh will need to be replaced periodically but it is covered for the first year or fifty fires (whichever comes first) as part of the guarantee.
What we liked:
The compact design that makes it ideal for camping
What could be better:
The heat shield needs work
Things to Сonsider
With so many fire pits on the market, it can be tricky to find the best one for you. So, here we’ve compiled a buying guide with answers to frequently asked questions and features to consider to help you.
Features to consider when choosing the best fire pit under $200
Each fire pit is a little different, so here are some of the features you should consider before making your final purchase decision.
A fire pit will have three main types of fuel to choose from, they are: propane, wood and natural gas. Each has their pros and cons and it’s important to get a fire pit that meets your needs. Let’s take a look at each fuel type in more detail:
Propane fire pits are usually easier to ignite, they often have an ignition button and they are easy to clean because there are no ashes. A good example from our list is the TackLife Propane Fire Pit and this type of product can add a great deal of ambience. This is because most propane gas pits are supplied with lava or colored stones that give you plenty of warm light without the accompanying smoke. The main disadvantage is that you have a propane tank connected via a hose. The larger models may have a storage compartment to keep the tank out of sight. If you go with a model that doesn’t have storage, you may need to find some way to shield the tank if it ruins the aesthetic appeal for you.
A wood burning option such as the Bali Outdoors Wood Burning Fire Pit is a traditional and authentic way to enjoy a fire. They add a great deal of ambience to any gathering and they are a portable option but they do have some disadvantages. Firstly, they can be hard to light if the conditions are not optimal and it can take time to get a fire going. Then there’s the cleanup to consider because the wood will generate a lot of ash and debris. Finally, there could be a lot of smoke when burning wood and some people don’t like this aspect of a real fire.
We don’t have a model that uses natural gas on our list because it’s a high-end solution that requires a professional installation. If you have the money this is a great way to enjoy a fire outdoors but this type of fire pit is not portable.
One of the key considerations for any product that is exposed to high temperatures is the material used in the construction.
A fire pit must be durable, easy to maintain and able to withstand the heat of your fire. Because fire pìts are used outdoors they should be capable of withstanding environmental conditions. There are three types of construction in common use today, they are: steel, cast iron and slate and tile.
All of the fire pits on our list, including the Landmann 28345 Big Sky Stars and Moons Firepit are made from steel. This has proven to be a sturdy option and it can withstand high temperatures for prolonged periods. The only real downside to using steel is that it can be prone to dents and corrosion. The best steel fire pits are powder coated with heat and corrosion resistant paint to protect the metal underneath.
Cast Iron is a light and durable material which makes it an ideal choice for campers. But, cast iron fire pits are harder to find and they are more expensive.
Slate or Tile is typically used on a permanent fire pit that uses any of the fuel types mentioned above. The is a durable option which does require more cleaning but many people like the rustic aesthetic appeal.
Design and shape
It is possible to have a fire pit that’s stylish and performs efficiently on your patio or in your backyard. But, as you can see from our list there are many styles of fire pit to choose from and there is sure to be one to suit your needs.
There are three main size groups to consider when you choose your fire pit, they are: small, medium and large:
Small are a light and more portable option which means that you can set them up pretty much anywhere. A good example on our list would be the Outland Firebowl 823 Gas Fire Pit.
Medium is the most common type of fire pit because it’s a space efficient way to have a fire and you can store it or cover it to protect it from the elements. A medium fire pit typically has legs, a cover and some accessories. A good example from our list would be the Sunnydaze Crossweave fire pit.
Large would be a heavy-duty fire pit designed to hold a large quantity of wood for increased BTU output. It’s an ideal option for larger spaces, but it would require far more cleaning and regular maintenance.
Safety of use
Using a fire pit is fun, but any activity where you’re dealing with fire must be approached with safety in mind. Fire is unpredictable and it’s easy to get hurt if you don’t take precautions. Always locate the fire at least ten feet away from your home or trailer to prevent damage if the wind changes. Place the fire pit on a level, stable and non-flammable surface such as concrete or tile. Maintain a three-foo zone around the fire pit to protect children and pets from the flames and heat. Consult your local laws before you use your fire pit to see if there are any other rules that you need to follow.
Many of the fire pits on our list such as the Fireside Outdoor Pop-Up Fire Pit have a cooking grate. This allows you to grill food and place pans above the fire to make a more elaborate meal.
Many outdoor fire pits come with extra accessories to enhance your experience. The most vital are the poker and wire mesh to help you manage the flames efficiently. A mesh lid will prevent unburnt residue or sparks from leaving the fire to set light to nearby objects (including your guests). This will allow people to cozy up close to the fire without worrying about a fire risk.
A fire pit needs to handle high temperatures and outdoor weather conditions and there is always a chance that something could go wrong. Always check that a fire pit that you want to buy has a warranty of at least one year. Many warranties are limited which means that they may not cover everything and you need to check them carefully.
There is a risk that you can cause damage to your patio decking with a fire pit. However, you can mitigate this by using a fire pit pad that is designed to protect your deck from high temperatures and sparks.
Sand can soak up heat and ensure even heat distribution throughout the pit. It can also protect the metal bowl of the pit against the intense heat. However, it is a good idea to check the manufacturer recommendations for your specific fire pit model.
As you can see, there are some excellent fire pit options on the market today. From the lightweight Sunnydaze Northland Outdoor Fire Pit, which features an excellent chrome cooking grate to the Sunnydaze Crossweave that has a number of superb accessories including the poker fire tool.
However, the stand out choice as the best fire pit under $200 has to be our editor’s choice, the TackLife Propane Fire Pit. This excellent fire pit has storage for a 20-pound propane tank and the pit can produce 50,000 BTUs, which is plenty of warmth for friends and family gathered around the fire.
While the lava rocks look a little cheap, the fire pit is quite rugged with a solid lid that can be used as a table when the fire is not in use.