What Burns in a Smokeless Fire Pit?

What Burns in a Smokeless Fire Pit?

TechAwards is a reader-supported website. Purchases made through links may earn a commission.

If you’re working out a backyard improvement or renovation, you might be thinking about a fire pit. What exactly are these fire pits like? What burns in a smokeless pit?

In other words, how does a smokeless fire pit function?

When high-quality wood is introduced, smokeless fire pits will burn at such a high temperature and fast enough that minimal smoke is released. Don’t forget that there is no real fire that can be entirely smokeless. However, these fire pits are uniquely designed to come close!

Let’s take a closer look at what smokeless fire pits are. Learn more about how they function and what this means for smoke output, as well as for heat, cooking, and your backyard’s safety.

What is a Smokeless Fire Pit?

Primarily, a smokeless fire pit is uniquely made to reduce the amount of smoke production caused by burning wood. Although the appearance is quite similar to a regular fire pit, the flames might lick comparatively higher because its fire will burn much more efficiently compared to another type of pit.

It’s worth noting that smokeless fire pits produce less smoke from the very start. Afterward, they re-burn that smoke to eliminate nearly all the remaining fuel particles. This re-burning procedure ensures that the air flowing out of that pit is entirely smoke-free.

Although a smokeless outdoor fire pit puts out some smoke, it minimizes the amount such that you may not notice it. You may either get cast iron fire bowls or copper fire pits. They might also come in a variety of other material constructions.

Do They Really Work?

YES! Smokeless fire pits do work, provided you don’t expect it to be 100% smoke-free. Furthermore, you can’t burn wood without producing some level of smoke. When it comes to a smokeless fire pit, you can burn wood much more efficiently and create less visible smoke due to its unique design.

RELATED READING: See the Top Competitors to Solo Stove

It is also worth noting that once you first light the wood, you will generate more smoke than what’s expected of the fire for the rest of its burning time. When the fire begins burning and then the fire pit heats up, its design will perform its role and contain the smoke.

What Burns in a Smokeless Fire Pit?

a fire made from logs burning in a fire pit

Generally, the science behind how a smokeless fire pit works is based on the ‘fire triangle’ concept. Smokeless fire pit manufacturers claim that good fires combine three primary elements: ample heat, sufficient oxygen, and quality fuel. When the trio-factor is reached, the fire can produce sufficient heat to become smokeless.

You might be wondering how these artificial wonders function? Perhaps you’d like to have a better understanding of why these incredible fire gadgets are described as smokeless? Well, you should take a closer look at how functionality and design combine to achieve smokeless fire.

With a smokeless fire pit, you can enjoy a bonfire without the hassle of coping with smoke. That said, keeping your expectations in check is important. When we say it is smokeless, it doesn’t mean that it’s entirely smoke-free. There’s little smoke created as the fuel burns, but this is a negligible amount. You’ll hardly recognize it, and you don’t have to worry about your hair getting that musty smoke smell.

Once you light up the fuel, it’s normal to smoke. However, this only occurs at the start. After around 10 – 20 minutes of burning, your combustible material gets turned into heat energy through secondary combustion.

Its design typically consists of a unique airflow system at the fire pit’s base. This makes sure there’s sufficient oxygen for primary combustion. Double-walled convection also draws air up via the walls and burns the smoke as it leaves the fire pit. That’s referred to as secondary combustion. The result is a smokeless fire pit.

Once you place the wood pellets or firewood in the pit and then set it ablaze, the air surrounding the logs will combine with heat from that expanding fire to cause primary combustion. Fire will build up as that wood burns. It is different from conventional fire pits because of the increase in airflow. Since fires require oxygen for combustion, when it’s starved of air, your fuel will fail to burn entirely. It results in dense smoke and soot.

And then we have secondary combustion, where the magic occurs. The walls will heat up while the fire is burning, and the hot air confined between these two walls will become less dense and start to rise. Next, the hot air leaves the wall cavity through a series of holes along the smokeless fire pit’s rim.

The heated, compressed oxygen then reacts with the smoke created during primary combustion, making it burn again. Ultimately, you get a smokeless fire that you’ll enjoy regardless of the occasion.

Is There a Strange Smell With Smokeless Fire Pits?

In comparison to a regular fire smell, you can smell the fire but to a lesser degree. You won’t wrinkle your nose the following day as you smell your clothes since there should not be enough smoke to leave you smelling like a campfire.

Generally, any smoke created will be re-burned in the fire pit’s wall. This re-burning process implies that fewer smoke particles will be available to stick to your clothes and hair. Although some people won’t smell anything at all, others with sensitive noses may pick up an extremely light but not strange scent.

Does a Smokeless Fire Pit Emit Heat?

A smokeless outdoor fire pit will emit more heat compared to a standard fit pit since wood burns much more efficiently because of the oxygen flow underneath and around the fire. Furthermore, the flames will reach a much higher temperature compared to a fire not burning as efficiently.

Cooking On a Smokeless Fire Pit

Some people wonder whether they can cook on a smokeless fire pit. There would be no need to invest in a smokeless fire pit if you can’t use the heat for cooking. Some smokeless fire pits designs from American manufacturers give off up to 30% higher flames – ideal for grilling and cooking.

RELATED READING: Is Flame Genie or Solo Stove Better?

You can find compact designs that are portable and lightweight, making them an excellent option for camping trips, backyard bonfires, and tailgating. Are you an outdoorsy person and prefer cooking to an open flame? Well, you can have a smokeless fire pit with a sear plate or grill-top for the ideal backyard barbeque.

Besides enjoying a smokeless fire, you can utilize it for cooking your favorite meal.

How Safe Are They?

flames shoot embers into the night sky

Safety starts with design. As such, smokeless fire pits are comparatively safer than an open fire. The middle pit ensures the fire stays contained in a specific place.

It almost eliminates the risk of the fire spreading or even burning out of control. The smoke-free feature also assists to contain the fire inside the burn chamber, maximizing safety.

There are also innovative designs that consist of adjusting dials. You may adjust the flame’s properties by manipulating these controls. It’s helpful for moments when the fire is extremely hot and is emitting intense heat.

RELATED READING: Smokeless Fire Pit Safety Tips

Additionally, smokeless fire pits also maintain air quality because they don’t pollute the environment. That means you and the environment become less exposed to dangerous byproducts such as carbon dioxide.


What burns in a smokeless fire pit?

Burning dry well-seasoned wood will produce a lot less smoke, regardless of what kind of fire pit you are using.

Perhaps you want a great addition to our backyard? Or simply something you can carry on a trip without becoming steeped in wood smoke? You can get a range of smokeless fire pits that can meet your needs.


1. https://thepreparednessexperience.com/how-does-a-smokeless-fire-pit-work/
2. https://www.rollingstone.com/product-recommendations/lifestyle/best-smokeless-fire-pit-1274799/
3. https://thebackyardpros.com/how-do-smokeless-fire-pits-work/
4. https://www.familyhandyman.com/article/smokeless-fire-pit/
5. https://takeayard.com/smokeless-fire-pits/#:~:text=After%20placing%20the%20firewood%20or,burns%2C%20the%20fire%20builds%20up.&text=The%20hot%20air%20then%20escapes,of%20the%20smokeless%20fire%20pit.
6. https://fireandsaw.com/how-does-a-smokeless-fire-pit-work/