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Fire Pits
By: Mark Taylor
Fire Pits add warmth and charm to any outdoor setting. Whether relaxing on the patio after a hard day at the office or entertaining a group of friends a fire pit can be as inviting as a warm dip in the hot tub.

Finding the perfect fire pit to suit your best needs can be a real challenge. With literally thousands of online retailers of fire pits (each with their own offering of dozens of fire pits) how can the shopper decide on which feature and price suits them best?

Fire pits are divided by category mostly according to size, material, finish, features and fuel. Narrowing down the fuel source is an easy place to start. While some fire pits are available with a gas burning option, most use the traditional source of fuel for the fire: wood. While a gas burning fire pit has the advantage of ember-free usage they also require the purchase and storage of liquid gases such as propane.

Wood burning fire pits tend to create a more intimate ambiance as the fire crackles and simmers. Many consumers even appreciate the actual exercise involved in setting the kindling material ablaze and tending to the embers as the fire is stoked. Certain woods like cedar and pine add the benefit of filling the air with delicious scents. Using wood also provides a cooking option once the wood logs burn down to glowing coals and embers.

Fire pits range in size from eighteen inches across to nearly four feet. In most cases the larger fire pits include fire pit rings or cocktail table surrounds. The most popular size is twenty four inches in bowl diameter. Larger units can be heavier and more expensive to ship. Fire pits are available in either square or round shapes.

By necessity fire pits are made from metal. Steel is the least expensive metal used in the construction of fire pits and therefore most popular. Steel fire pits can be finished in all colors and faux metal applications. Steel fire pits are most commonly finished in black. However, many are offered in fancy finishes such as copper, bronze and pewter. This flexible feature is a benefit to home owners looking to match their fire pit to a certain outdoor theme or motif.

Fire pits can be multi functional with the addition of certain features and add-ons. The most popular option is the cook grate. At a small cost to upgrade many fire pits can be accessorized with a fitted steel barbeque style cooking grid. To use this feature the consumer allows the wood logs to burn down to glowing embers and then sets the grate onto the welded steel catches. The food can be set into the heat once the grid heats up. With some models the temperature can be adjusted through the lowering and the raising of the grid. It is desirable to wait until the flames are extinguished prior to cooking unless one desires a flame taste to the food.

Many fire pits include a feature commonly referred to as a cocktail ring. As implied this feature functions as a table by which to hold a drink or small plate of food. Cocktail rings can be decorative with designs ranging from painted surfaces to tile and even stone.

A fire pit can last for years. The time taken to search out the style and pricing to suit your needs will be a worthwhile investment.

Shade USA CEO Mark Taylor explains that the adding warmth to America’s patios seemed like a natural progression from the success his company has enjoyed selling quality fire pit and fire pits online. Folks just naturally enjoy being outdoors.
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