Great Grills & Firepits
(Page 2 of 3)
If you would rather skip the digging altogether, then build a surface-level pit on a well-cleared piece of ground using dry stacked stone, recycled truck-tire rims or other materials to form its boundaries. In some municipalities, it is also necessary to remove the topsoil from the area beneath and for several feet around the firepit since organic material by its very nature contains carbon, which is a major component of many fuels. In locations where open fires are expressly prohibited, adding a cooking grate and/or spark screen to your firepit might be all that’s needed to comply. Many such accessories are available for semi-permanent firepits, but in many cases they are standard equipment on portable models that, according to Jim Jarvis, president of firepit manufacturer and distributor Dancing Fire Inc., can be used in more than 90 percent of municipalities around the country.
The best free-standing firepits are fabricated with heavy-gauge steel plate, tubing and bar stock, although a few good cast steel models are also available. Dancing Fire’s (www.DancingFire.biz; 817-613-0029) lineup of Texas-made Tank brand firepits are among the best of the best and are designed for people who want to safely enjoy a real fire and burn full-sized logs virtually anywhere. Currently two basic models are available, the 36-inch diameter Sherman and the 48-inch diameter Abrams. Both Tanks come standard with a dome-shaped stainless steel safety screen that is neatly hinged to fold out of the way for cooking or tending the fire. Optional equipment includes large and small cooking grills and a turkey fryer – all fit into sleeves built into the Tank’s three legs and swing out of the way when not needed. These industrial strength firepits are heavy, stable, safe and built to last a lifetime. Price: about $800 for the Sherman and $900 for the Abrams.
If you burn for a more stylish and portable firepit, SoJoe Inc. (www.SoJoe.com; 888-316-1404) has you covered with several quality steel models. The 24-inch diameter SoJoe™ weighs in at less than 70 pounds, which means that you can move it around the farm or carry it to remote locations with minimal fuss. These hand-crafted coal containers feature a maintenance-free finish and an integral safety ring that keeps your feet out of the fire and doubles as a carry handle. SoJoe firepits come standard with one of four cutout patterns (Star and Moon, Wildlife, Kokopelli, Willow Crane), spark screen and poker; options include a cooking grill, weather cover and Grizzly brand rotisserie. Price about $300.