Proper caring of a fire pit is required to keep it aesthetically appealing and keep it to its proper functioning capabilities not to mention extend the life of a fire pit.
It’s expected that eventually your fire pit will get old, loose its original appeal and maybe need replacement parts but that doesn’t mean you can’t try and extend the lifespan of your fire pit, right?
So the fuel type used and the materials used to make the fire pit may determine the care and maintenance you give your fire pit, but most measures applied are common regardless of the fire pit. For example,
Your fire pit should always be placed on a stable, level surface where it is not likely to topple.
Keep your fire pit surfaces, burners, valves, grates, screens, etc. clean and remove any spilled foods and oils if your fire pit to cook regularly. A greasy and dirty fire pit will stain over time and so will its appeal diminish over time.
Fire pits made of metal are all prone to either rusting or discoloration, some being more susceptible than others. Use protective sealants and material on the metal surface for protection and regular polishing will also help. Deal with rust it as soon as it appears rather than wait for it to do more damage. Remove the rust with appropriate material and reapply protective heat resistant paint.
For a wood burning fire pit it is always good to remove ashes from the fire pit daily. This is not just to keep it clean and tidy but also because ashes become a hindrance to starting a new fire when left to accumulate.
Have you ever been impatient with the wood logs to burn out that were taking forever and so to hasten the process you ended up pouring cold water on the logs despite knowing better? I know I have. :)This is something that you should never do because the sudden drop in temperatures caused by the cold water may crack the metal.
It’s always advisable to store your fire pit covered on a dry surface in a store or someplace indoors if it’s the portable kind. Leaving your fire pit outdoors at the mercy of weather elements does your fire pit no favors no matter the quality of material. However if it is a permanent kind of fire pit, always ensure it well covered when not in use.
The measures you can take to maintain and care for your fire pit are endless. Most fire pits come with a set of instructions on use and maintenance which you should always follow and refer to not only for safety but also to enhance the life of your pit
Best type of wood to use for your fire pit
Does it matter the type of wood you burn in your fire pit? Of course it does. While there are many suitable and safe woods for burning to choose from there are some woods that can be quite dangerous to you and your health.
When choosing the type of wood to use, ensure it is first and fore most seasoned. This basically means it’s a dry wood because it has dried for a period. Dry woods burn hotter and with less smoke. Green woods do not burn well and produce a lot of smoke.
You also want to consider how much heat a particular type of wood gives off. Hardwoods are considered to be superior because they tend to give more intense heat and with less smoke than softwoods. Soft woods on the other hand burn off faster and not with as much heat for the same size of log.
Softwoods however ignite much faster than hard woods.
Some common examples of hard woods used in fire pit include: hickory, apple, pecan, elm, oak, birch and maple
Soft woods include: pine, cedar, spruce, fir and cypress
Pinion pine (a common favorite) and red cedar wood has a nice smell and keeps mosquitoes away. Cedar however tends to pop so this may not be safe for a fire pit that does not have a screen.
Also manufactured Eco- friendly fire logs made by compressing saw dust or cardboard are absolutely safe and good for fire pits. They also light easily although in my experience they are not very good for cooking.
When it comes to some materials you should never burn in your fire pit,
Pressure treated wood emits toxic fumes when burnt. Also, paint if it’s the kind that cannot withstand high temperatures will emit toxic fumes so avoid wood treated with paint for your fire pit at all costs.
Green and wet wood when burnt emits a lot of excessive smoke that can be chocking and annoying. Also does not produce a lot of heat.
Plastics are something else you should never burn in your fire pit. Plastics will melt and then solidify in your fire pit surface
Also avoid burning your waste food or otherwise in your pit.
Fire pit safety guidelines dictate that to be safe, burn only natural logs or manufactured logs. Take care of what you paid for.