Top Five Sensible Fire Pit Alternatives
Tips & Tricks

Top Five Sensible Fire Pit Alternatives

Now that winter is over, spending time outdoor in warm spring and summer times is about to become a regular occurrence. And with that development comes new ways to entertain yourself and keep warm while stargazing and hanging out with family and friends.

And what better way to do it than by sitting around a fire pit regaling each other with tales while roasting marshmallows over the open fire. And if you do not have a fire pit, you will still be able to create a fire pit out of substitute items you may have lying around. So what can you use instead of a fire pit?

Keep reading to learn about fire pit alternatives.

Metal barrel

You can use an old barrel to make a fire pit. This will probably be one of the easiest DIY projects you may have to undertake.

Items needed

  • Steel barrel
  • Four old horseshoes
  • Metal saw and welding tools
  • Basic cleaning solution


  • Clean the metal barrel out before proceeding.
  • Then measure 18 – 24 inches from the bottom of the barrel.
  • Mark this height at several points around the outside of the barrel.
  • Cut the barrel using a metal saw.
  • Then weld around the barrel’s rim so the edges are not sharp.
  • Next, cut vent openings around the bottom section of the barrel 7-8 inches apart.
  • The vent openings release excess heat and help prevent wood pieces from overheating and shooting out too much spark.
  • Weld around the cuts to soften the edges.
  • Position horseshoes in parallel pairs around the barrel’s rim and weld each into place to create an imaginary cross.
  • Fill with wood and kindling and start a fire.

Grill bottom

Instead of being thrown out, an old rusty grill can be repurposed to serve as a fire pit.


  • Grill bottom
  • Metal Saw


  • Remove grill lid and other attached parts, including handles and legs.
  • Reattach handles and legs, using each as a leg for the refashioned fire pit. Reattach only the end of the handles and turn the other end down to act as a leg.
  • The fire pit should sit at least 6 inches off the ground. If needed, cut old grill legs to size.
  • Add kindling and fire starter.


An old wheelbarrow can also be turned into a fire pit. All you have to do is add wood and start a fire. And if the wheels still work, you can move the fire pit around the yard to keep you warm. To keep it stationary, block the wheels to keep it from moving.

Items needed

  • Old Wheelbarrow
  • Cement Bricks


  • Clean your wheelbarrow of any old debris
  • Wheel it to the desired location and block it using the cement bricks.
  • Fill with kindling and scrap wood and start a fire.

Shopping Cart

If you have access to an abandoned shopping cart with no identifying store name whatsoever, you can use it as a fire pit. You may need to convert it using wire mesh, a little scrap metal, and basic metal welding. And you will have a fire in no time.

Items needed

  • Discarded shopping cart with chrome finish
  • 27″ x 8′ steel lath (wire mesh) to line all of the four sides of the cart and basket
  • Steel drip edge flashing
  • Steel corner bead
  • Three cookie sheets or flat scrap sheet metal
  • Hinges (To connect the spark screen to the shopping cart)
  • Handle
  • One pair of Steel hurricane ties
  • Nuts and bolts


  • Remove all rubber and plastics parts from the cart, including the rubber bumpers on the basket’s corners.
  • Using the Steel drip edge flashing, build a snug frame for the bottom of the basket. This will help to keep embers from rolling out of the basket.
  • Cut the edges off two cookie sheets or use scrap sheet metal.
  • Measure and cut, so they fit inside the frame as a pan on the bottom of the cart.
  • Line the cart with steel lath (wire mesh). Use large washers and bolts to attach the lath to the sides. For less than $10, a 27″ x 8′ sheet will be enough for all four sides plus one piece leftover to spark the screen cover.
  • To make the spark screen cover, cut to match the top of the cart.
  • Frame with steel corner bead, using nuts and bolts on all four sides to keep everything in place.
  • Attach a handle to the far end of the lid; attaches hinges on end closest to the basket.
  • Use hurricane ties to secure the hinges in place.
  • Lift the lid and load your cart with kindling.
  • You can use the undercarriage to store extra wood.

Old cooking pot

An old cast iron or copper cauldron pot can be turned into a fire pit with lots of charm.

Items needed

  • Old large cast iron or copper cauldron or pot
  • Bricks or stones


  • Place the pot on a non-flammable surface. Concrete, gravel, or dirt works fine.
  • Surround the pot with large stones or bricks to prevent the pot from moving around or tipping over.
  • Load with kindling and light.

Other fire pit alternatives

Now that you have gotten ideas of old items you can use as fire pits, below are some other fire pit options.

1. Smokeless fire pits such as Bonfire by Solo Stove

The stainless steel double-wall structure holes are strategically placed to draw air in from the bottom and feed the heated oxygen to the top, creating a great secondary burn. Cleanup and mess become minimal with that kind of efficient burn. The level of efficiency reached by this unit means there are no more half-burned logs.

2. Pop-Up Fire Pit with Heat Shield

The simple engineering allows the pop-up pit to be set up in just a minute without calling for any tools. The fire burns on a stainless steel catch-all mesh, allowing the fire to get a perfect airflow. The fire gets brighter and hotter with virtually no smoke to dodge or make your clothes smell.

It can hold up to 125 lbs of weight without the ash being allowed to tumble through. The elevated design means no more burn marks on the ground. It’ll be like you were never even there.

3. Propane Gas Fire Pit

This fire pit is fueled by propane, perfect for generating a smoke-free warmth that can offer a great heat output. The propane fuel is also ecofriendly as it prevents cutting down of trees.  

Ensure the fire pit table has a safety valve for increased safety. The table should have a CSA certification. Opt for a powder-coated stainless steel fire pit table that is waterproof and heat-resistant.

4. Metal Firepit

A metal fire pit allows you to have a good outdoor fire without scorching the ground and risking a nearby fire hazard. A stainless steel fire pit carries the flames above the ground, so you can feel safe about where you set up your fire for the evening.

A square-shaped fire pit is ideal for increased stability. It should also have feet to keep the fire at least 14 inches off the ground.

Check this too: How to Install a Pellet Stove in a Garage

5. Non-wood fire pits

Aside from propane-fired fire pits, you can also use fire pits that use other fuel sources such as charcoal, briquettes, and natural gas. You can also use lava rocks on a natural gas fire to create a mesmerizing centerpiece.

These fire pit options are perfect for an easy setup on any camping trip, family evenings, get-togethers, RV travels, and beach parties. They generate a flawless and mess-free campfire.