How do smokeless fire pits work and make one at home

A visual demonstration of a smokeless fire pit

Today in this article we bring you “How do smokeless fire pits work, how to make one at home, some most asked questions about smokeless fire pits, and also things you need to know about woods that can be used for fire pits. This can be described as a stove that is widely used by campers and backyard party people today.

What is a Smokeless Fire Pit?

In lieu of smoke, ash, or soot, a smokeless fire pit is a kind of patio or backyard fireplace that lets you take advantage of the warmth and ambiance of an open flame. Smokeless fire pits function similarly to conventional gas fire pits, and wood and wood pellet burners, with one important exception: they are made to catch all smoke before it can escape into the atmosphere.

Every time you burn a variety of fuels (of course wood), a smokeless fire pit’s distinctive design reduces the amount of smoke that is produced. Additionally, secondary combustion raises the airflow, making the fire extremely hot and preventing additional smoke from escaping into the area around the fire pit.

The word “smokeless” is ambiguous. A smokeless fire pit does produce a tiny amount of smoke, but it is nothing compared to the flood of smoke you would typically experience from a fire pit used at a campsite or on your back porch. This smoke is diminished to a mere trickle by the fire pit.

To offer a secure and long-lasting experience, the majority of smokeless fire pits are built of copper, cast iron, stainless steel, or heat-resistant materials.

An image of a homemade smokeless fire pit
A homemade smokeless fire pit – source youtube

The advantages of a smokeless fire pit are as follows:

  • No Smoke – A smokeless fire pit drastically minimizes the quantity of smoke produced by the fire and fuel. Without losing heat or atmosphere, this results in a much more fulfilling fire pit experience.
  • No leftovers – Due to the intense heat generated inside the fire pit, your friends won’t have to shovel out any ashes when they finish cooking, and there won’t be any leftovers in the pit when they depart.
  • Simple Upkeep – The majority of smokeless fire pits are made to require as little maintenance from the owner as feasible. Less cleanup and no worry about breakable parts resulting from this. But you might need to clean air holes after longtime use because the holes are essential to maintain a smokeless fire.
  • Outstanding fuel efficiency – a smokeless fire pit is very efficient since its fuel has a greater burn point and heat capacity. This indicates that fewer materials are leaking into the air or your lungs. There won’t be sufficient smoke for it to reach their yards.

How do smokeless fire pits work

An amazing scientific concept underlies smokeless fire pits. It is based on the notion of the “fire triangle.” Good fires include three components, according to producers of smokeless fire pits: enough oxygen, enough heat, and good fuel. The fire can produce enough heat once the triple factor is reached to become smokeless.

So, how do these man-made marvels operate? Let’s take a closer look at how design and functionality work together to create smokeless fire in order to better understand why these amazing fire tools are referred to as smokeless.

You may enjoy a campfire without the hassle of dealing with smoke thanks to smokeless fire pits. However, be realistic about your expectations. Smoke is still there when we refer to something as being smokeless. As the fuel burns, some smoke is created. The sum, though, is insignificant. You won’t even notice it, and the musty smoke scent won’t linger in your hair.

Smoke is typical while lighting the fuel (low moisture wood is ideal). However, this only occurs initially. The combustible material is transformed to heat energy through secondary combustion after burning for roughly 10 to 20 minutes.

At the base of the fire pit, the design incorporates a distinctive ventilation system. As a result, the oxygen needed for primary combustion is guaranteed.

The smoke is burned as it leaves the fire pit at the same time that double-walled convection pulls air up through the walls. It’s secondary combustion right now. A fire pit without smoke is the end result.

The air around the logs is heated by the enlarging fire once the firewood or wood pellets are placed in the pit and set on fire, causing primary combustion.

The fire grows as the wood burns. Because there is more airflow here than in conventional fire pits, this is different. When a fire lacks the oxygen it needs to ignite, the fuel does not entirely burn, resulting in thick smoke and soot.

Secondary combustion follows. The magic takes place here. The hot air trapped between the two walls, warms up as the fire burns, making them less dense and causing them to rise. This hot air flow then exits the wall cavity through several holes along the smokeless fire pit’s rim. The smoke created during primary combustion combines with this heated, compressed oxygen, results igniting the smoke. Consequently, you can enjoy a smokeless fire at any time

an illustration shows that How do smokeless fire pits work
An illustration shows that How do smokeless fire pits work

Do Smokeless Fire Pits Give Off Heat

Smokeless fire pits not only produce a lot of heat but also feature a double wall enclosure to maximize heat transfer. As a result, temperatures rise, keeping you warm and comfortable throughout a chilly night. We advise remaining a little below that heat threshold even though these devices can occasionally reach temperatures of 800-1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Regarding the heat from a smokeless fire pit, you will need to use your own discretion. We had to sit back from the two different fire pits we tested since we had to turn them up so high.

We advise that you follow the instructions on the smokeless fire pit you choose to buy before conducting a few tests to determine the ideal burning point for the heat you desire with the least amount of effort. By doing this, you can spend more time socializing with friends and family and less time tending to the fire pit.

An image of a conventional fire pit
A conventional fire pit – image by Billy Hathorn

how to make a smokeless fire pit at home

There is no joy than using something you built on your own. It’s simple to build a smokeless fire pit, which is the ideal method to enjoy an outdoor fire without the bothersome smoke sticking to your clothes. You’ve come to the perfect location if you want to upgrade your backyard hangout or if you need to prepare some food while camping properly. We’ll demonstrate how to make a smokeless fire pit for your garden.

You will need one larger and one smaller stainless steel stock pot. Opt for steel lids rather than glass ones. You can use aluminum for the inner pot (it’s much easier to drill through than stainless steel), but steel is required for the outside pot. Here are some tools you’ll need to find before getting to build it.

  • Hand drill
  • ¼-inch drill bit
  • Angle grinder

STEP 1: Make some holes around the base of your bigger pot.

On the bottom of your bigger pot, drill about ¼-inch holes that spread around the pot evenly. Marking the locations of your holes with a marker or pen and spacing them apart by about a half-inch can make this task easier for you.

STEP 2: Then remove the handles from the smaller pot.

You must take the handles off the stock pot so that it can fit inside the bigger one. Due to the fact that stock pot handles are often riveted, it won’t be as easy to unscrew them. Use an angle grinder to remove them. You don’t want to chop through the pot itself, so proceed with caution

STEP 3: Disperse holes in the smaller pot.

Now drill holes along the top and throughout the base of your smaller pot using your 1/4-inch drill bit. A few are plenty to guarantee proper air circulation in your fire pit; you don’t need as many as around the edge of your larger pot, but you do need some.

STEP 4: Make a hole in the lid.

Cut a hole in the lid of the larger pot with the same diameter as the smaller pot to ensure a tight fit. As a result, when you use your fire pit, no heat will be lost through the sides. Drilling numerous little holes close to one another until the center simply comes out, resembling the top of a can, is the finest method for making the hole through the lid. Finally, shove the small pot through the hole of the bigger pot. You can use clay to seal around the hole (Not mandatory).

An image shows how to build a smokeless fire pit.
Build a DIY smokeless fire pit at home. Indicated in the red is where the holes need to be drilled.

Your firepit is now ready for use.

which wood is best for a smokeless fire pit?

Do you really need to care about what kind of wood you use?

Although there are numerous safe wood options for your fire pit, not all of them will burn in the same way. Think about the fire’s function before choosing the sort of wood: Do you use the open flame to cook dinner or is it just for decoration? Your decision to buy wood will be influenced by the answers to these queries. You’ll also learn which wood should not be burned from them.

The experience will be more enjoyable for both the person tending the fire and those gathered around it if the right firewood is used. Pick a wood that burns as cleanly as possible and is simple to ignite. This frequently depends on the density and moisture content of the wood. Think about the moisture content of seasoned vs. kiln-dried wood.

When using hardwood, keep in mind that hardwoods are denser and quite easy to dry than softwoods. This means that whether you’re camping or in your garden, they will build a continuous, low-maintenance fire that lasts for hours. Less dense is softwood. It will burn quickly, so you’ll need to buy more wood and care for it more frequently even though it’s simpler to light and typically less expensive.

Choosing the incorrect woods may lead to:

  • Hard to start the fire
  • Thick smoke
  • flammable embers or sparks
  • exposing you and the environment to the risk of possibly dangerous chemical releases into the atmosphere.

The best woods for burning in your smokeless fire pit

A stack of firewood
Stack of firewood – Image by powerbiker1 (Thomas Kees)

These hardwoods are recommended for burning in your fire pit by professionals like Bradley Hite, owner of Firewood Nashville, since they are affordable, simple to light, and produce little smoke.


One of the greatest options for a consistent, long-lasting fire is this one. Ash is accessible and reasonably priced. Even while it may take longer to ignite, once it does, it will quickly generate a lot of heat for frigid nights.


If you need a warm cozy fire you would try beech. When properly seasoned beech burns, it emanates a mouthwatering aroma that can make you more comfortable.


Use cherry if you want a warm fire pit without lighting the fire for hours before visitors come. According to many campers, it will start quickly so you can hang out with others and enjoy the warmth despite igniting the pit for hours.


Lots of campers and backyard party people always pick maple because it burns a lot longer thanks to its thickness. Also, maple is highly recommended for cooking because it has the ability to add flavor to your food.


Also, this wood is widely used among a lot and can be found almost everywhere in the country. Usually, Oak burns slowly and almost emits no smoke. But the main concern is that this wood could take many years to fully dry out and be easy to split.


For those who looking for a cheap and “easy-to-find option”, this might the best for you. When burns it crackles and breaks adding a cozy atmosphere to your backyard or campsite. The main disadvantage is pine burns quickly. Because of this, you can use pine as kindling. Overall it’s ideal to use other wood that is mentioned above.

Are smokeless fire pits worth it?

Yes. Although smokeless fire pits are not fully smokeless, the good news is that they greatly reduce the amount of smoke produced and burn more effectively, extending the life of the wood.

Do smokeless fire pits burn wood faster

Due to the continuous supply of air feeding the flames in a smokeless fire pit, whatever fuel you choose will burn through it more quickly.

do fire pits keep mosquitoes away

fire ring. Mosquitoes dislike smoke as other insects do. Mosquitoes won’t stick around your backyard if there’s a fire pit going. It helps, but it’s not a perfect outdoor insect control solution.

do smokeless fire pits smell

You won’t notice much of a smoky smell around the fire or on your clothes because smokeless fire pits significantly reduce the amount of smoke produced by the fire. Hancock claims that smoke is composed of unburned wood particles, which are eliminated during the secondary combustion process utilized in smokeless fire pits.

why is my smokeless fire pit smoking

In general, there are a few reasons why your fire pit produces too much smoke: Your fire pit’s wood is how well-seasoned? (in other words, how much moisture is in the wood) anything discarded in the fire pit. a lot of sap in your wood.

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