Outdoor Fireplace Introduction

Outdoor fireplaces are fireplaces that are made for outside use. There are many different types of outdoor fireplaces. However, all outdoor fireplaces have one thing in common - they are quite durable and are designed to survive and last in the elements (rain, wind, snow, etc.). This article will provide an overview of outdoor fireplace types, explain how they are used, and provide some tips for fireplace purchasing.

Fire Pits

A fire pit is generally a circular enclosure that can be used to house a fire. A fire pit can be as simple as a hole in the ground with a border around it. It could also be an elaborate brick structure that rises out of the middle of a deck, patio or courtyard. Either way, the purpose of a fire pit is still the same - it houses a fire in a location around which a group can congregate. Fire pits can provide heat and a communal atmosphere. The environment that they provide is similiar to a camp fire.

There are two main types of fire pits, attached and portable. Attached fire pits generally have to be built or installed in the location where they will be used. They can run on wood gas, pellets, or even electricity. Portable fire pits are designed to be transported. As such, they are usually smaller and are often made only for wood. This is becuase wood is a very readily available fuel and is quite poular for outdoor fire pits.

Standard Outdoor Fireplaces

These fireplaces are typically quite similiar to indoor fireplaces. They may look the same and perform the same functions. The main difference between indoor and outdoor fireplaces is the materials that make up the fireplace and the area surrounding it. Most outdoor fireplace need to be made of sturdy brick or stone to avoid wear and tear from the weather.

Standard outdoor fireplaces also can be set up to use wood as a fuel, gas, or electricity. However, for an outdoor fireplace, wood is quite popular. In adidtion, these fireplaces also need to be properly vented. Otherwise smoke and ash make come out of the fireplace and blow onto grass, deck, or another nearby structure. A properly vented fireplace is also much more enjoyable for the people around it.

Outdoor Chimineas

An outdoor chiminea is usually smaller than a normal fireplace - most of the time about one half the size. The fire box fits into a structure made of clay or brick that is usually ball shaped and has venting at the top. The shape of this chiminea makes the venting and burning more efficient than a standard fireplace and makes it a great source of heat. Outdoor chinimeas also can be quite decorative and provide a distinctive look to an outdoor area like a patio or deck.

Outdoor Stove / Grill / Fireplace

Another type of outdoor fireplace also doubles as an oven or even as a grill. This type of fireplace is specially designed and often costs a lot of money. Some of these units are custom designed and have special decorations. The obvious advantage to these units is they save space over having two or three applicances. However, the drawback is that perhaps the unit may not do all of these things as well as a fireplaces, a grill, or an oven by themselves.