Should I Drill Holes In My Fire Pit? Should Fire Pits Have Holes In The Bottom?

Installing a fire pit is a great way to make your outdoor space look more decorative and attractive.

However, you may wonder: Should I drill holes in my fire pit? It’s time to dive into this article to know the exact answer. Let’s scroll down!

What Are The Different Types Of Fire Pits?

The fire pits come in various styles, each providing warmth, the sound of crackling wood, and a smoky atmosphere.

There are main types of fire pits, as shown below:

Wood Burning Fire Pits

This type resembles a campfire in an open space. These fire pits offer an experience with actual smoke and wood-fired crinkling sounds.

This version includes various varieties:

  • Stone & Brick Fire Pits: a traditional design with cinder blocks, stones, or bricks.
  • Outdoor Fireplaces: offer a comfortable, natural environment.
  • Wood Burning Grills: a modern design with cooking and grilling equipment for enjoyable outdoor dinners.

Gel Fuel Fire Pits

In terms of mobility, gorgeous design, good flames, and adaptability, these fire pits meet all the criteria.

This model has two main varieties, including:

  • Gel Fueled Logs: a great and environmentally friendly substitute for wood fuel while offering the same atmosphere as a real fireplace.
  • Tabletop Fireplace: a lovely fireplace with gorgeous flames hidden under a table-like form

Propane Fire Pits

These fire pit designs are trending since they offer convenience without refilling wood or gel in an outdoor space.

Thanks to its striking design, which exudes a sense of modernity, this option becomes the highlight of your backyard.

The popular varieties of this design include:

  • Fire Pit Table: featuring a wide ledge to create a place for setting foods or beverages.
  • Copper Bowl Fire Pit: have lovely aesthetic appeal and exceptional durability.
  • Propane Portable Fire Pit: lightweight and portable with cooking functionalities.

Natural Gas Fire Pits

These designs are an advancement of natural and propane pits. They also use the same fuel but won’t run out of gas.

These fire pits have the following versions:

  • Table-top, square, or round designs: offer a lovely substitute that involves lighting the flames from copper, stone, or brick foundations.
  • Sunken designs: a small underground fire pit with flames under the surface.

Do fire pits need to be covered? The short answer is yes! You need to cover this structure when not in use.

This way, your fire pit can have better longevity and save money and time for future repair.

What Is The Best Type Of Fire Pit To Get?

The answer depends on your purpose and preference. For instance, if you love a real campfire, the best option is a wood-burning fire pit.

Moreover, you can cook directly on this fire without extra equipment like other varieties.

If you are looking for a versatile and portable design, a propane fire pit is a go-to option.

Furthermore, this model allows you to use it in the summertime without messy ashes around the table.

However, if you have never used a fire pit before, you can consider a gel fuel fire pit to use outside or inside.

This type offers an aesthetic vibe at an affordable price. It doesn’t create any smoke for a few hours of burning.

Besides, a natural gas fire pit is ideal if you want a structure with less maintenance while prolonging a couple of decades.

What Should You Not Burn In A Fire Pit?

Before starting your fire pit, remember not to burn the following items to ensure safety for yourself and your beloved ones!

  • Plastic: Burning plastic releases toxic fumes and chemicals like furans, dioxins, or styrene gas into the surrounding air, which harms health.
  • Cardboard: This material can cause a burst of flames for anyone standing or sitting too close.
  • Magazines: When burned, the ink on these papers releases poisonous fumes.
  • Accelerants: These materials may cause explosions due to their unpredictability.
  • Wooden Pallets: Some types may release methyl bromide into the surrounding air when burned.
  • Soft or Green Wood: Smoke from these items will make you and others unpleasant while sitting around the fire pit.
  • Painted Wood: Burning these woods can emit toxic fumes.
  • Particleboard: These boards with adhesives will emit toxic fumes.
  • Poison Ivy, Sumac, or Oak: These trees contain irritant oil named urushiol, which emits poisonous gasses into the environment and causes allergic respiratory issues.
  • Trash: Smoke and toxins are what you receive when burning these things.

How To Stop Your Campfire From Smoking? What Can You Burn In A Fire Pit That Doesn’t Smoke?

What should you do if your campfire smokes you out? Let’s look through the following tips!

Clean And Maintain Your Fire Pit

You don’t need to perform extensive cleaning! After using your fire pit, remove the waste and the burning coals.

As soon as everything has cooled thoroughly, dispose of any fire debris in a secure location.

Debris, like firewood fragments, can prevent your flames from successfully heating up and burning, increasing the amount of smoke surrounding your area.

It may be more challenging for a flame to ignite and to heat up to the proper temperature to emit the least amount of smoke on old rubbish.

Properly Stack Firewood

Airflow aids in providing the fire with oxygen so that it may burn up rapidly and stay at a heat that will limit the smoke it produces.

The best technique to ensure proper ventilation is arranging the wood to promote airflow.

You can watch this video to get detailed guides on stacking wood properly:

Moreover, smaller chunks of wood placed in the center of the flame at the beginning will aid in starting it and speeding up the fire’s heating process.

Use Dry Wood

Dry wood will burn better and generate less smoke than wet types. Also, don’t use other materials except for dry wood.

What can you burn in a fire pit that doesn’t smoke? Consider the following options:


Due to their natural density, hardwoods often store less moisture than other trees.

The best type of wood to build and maintain a fire with less smoke is well-seasoned hardwood, such as maple, oak, hickory, and ash.


Softwoods are acceptable if you can’t get hardwoods since they can light the fire quickly.

When you burn these types of wood, they may emit smoke since they contain sap and resin.

However, when kept these woods kiln-dried or well-seasoned, they won’t have moisture inside.

The most common easy-to-get softwoods may include cedar, hemlock, pine, spruce, or fir.

Kiln-Dried Wood

The most excellent choice for reducing campfire smoke is undoubtedly kiln-dried woods due to less trapped moisture, but they are relatively expensive.

If you buy excessively kiln-dried wood, it’s best to store it in a garage or home to maintain its integrity and dryness.

Seasoned Wood

Seasoned wood has been properly dried and kept in dry, covered areas, making it excellent for reducing smoke from campfires.

You can find these types at several home improvement stores or gas stations. However, select the completely dried wood.

Avoid The Wrong Fuel

Do not add green plants or tinder to the fire after it has ignited and the large wood pieces in the burning campfire.

Besides, avoid putting styrofoam, plastic, garbage, or newspapers into your fire pit because these items release toxins into the surrounding air.

Should I Drill Holes In My Fire Pit? Does a Fire Pit Need Air Holes?

If your fire pit doesn’t come with holes, it’s better to drill some to prevent water from building up inside and encourage proper ventilation. 

However, drilling may make the internal edges rust quickly. Therefore, you should get the type with built-in holes.

While most fire pits require holes, you don’t need to drill extra ones. If you do, consider the following tips to prevent rusting:

  • Store your firepit inside.
  • If you keep it outdoors, remember to tilt it to let rainwater drain out.
  • Use a tarp to cover it after it cools down from a fire.

If you drill holes, they should be in the center or near the bottom and not over ⅓ of one inch.

Otherwise, the fuel, such as paper or wood, may fall out, causing a wimpy flame during burning.

Should Fire Pits Have Holes In The Bottom? Why Do Fire Pits Have Holes In The Bottom?

Air vents are essential for maintaining a good flame in all fire pits. The fire may go out, and the hardwood will begin to smoke if it doesn’t receive enough air.

Additionally, air holes will aid in preventing the scorching of the surfaces on which you build your fire pit.

Ventilation helps prevent you from harming your garden, wooden deck, backyard, or other areas where you’d like to set up a pit.

Another benefit of these holes is to stop embers and ash from flying into other furniture on your patio.

These things will accumulate and blow away without good ventilation, which might pose a fire risk.

Vent holes must be strategically put in your pit to provide the proper quantity of airflow.

According to experts, you should drill two-inch air holes every 24 – 36 (inches) around the fire pit base.

If your design structure is large, it’s best to create more holes for better ventilation during burning.

How To Fix Holes In A Fire Pit? How To Repair Rust Hole In Firepit?

After using a specific time, your fire pit may get rusty, especially in holes. The good news is you can fix this issue.

Below are simple steps to make this task easier:

  • Use a stiff brush to scrub the corroded area to eliminate all loose rust.
  • Mix water and baking soda at a ratio of 1:1 to get a paste.
  • Apply this paste to the affected spot.
  • Let the mixture set for minutes. Rust may reappear if you scrub the paste too soon.
  • Use a brush to scrub this area off.
  • Rinse your fire pit thoroughly and ensure you dry it completely.
  • Applying a vegetable oil layer is best to prevent rust from returning before storing the pit.
  • Apply the proper storage methods.

The Bottom Line

All fire pits require holes to prevent water from accumulating and promote the flame to burn effectively and correctly.

Besides, apply our practical tips to reduce smoke while burning fire and fix rust holes correctly. Hopefully, this post is helpful for you. Thanks for reading!

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