Fire pits are another way to contain a large fire aside from surrounding it with rocks. It controls the flow of air and also has some interesting thermal dynamics that can help with cooking and the efficiency of the burning wood. All the same benefits of an open fire are there, except now you can get closer to cook your marshmallows. Some pits can be installed commercially, but you can also try these Backyard Fire Pit Ideas yourself.
DIY Concept: Stone Fire Pit
A lot of people use stones to surround a floor-level firepit and to provide a resting place for cooking pots and coffee brewers. This design can be expanded in several ways. Dig a pit to any desired depth and then line the wall with concrete blocks. For the above-ground portion, stones can be used in the place of bricks but it takes some ingenuity to fit them together. The benefits are beauty and crevices to rest a roasting stick.
Since blocks are being used to help create the structure, they can form supports within the pit that large logs can be placed upon. Burning logs mean encouraging air circulation, and elevating them above the bottom helps. Alternatively, small branches can be burned in the bottom and any elevated point can support a dutch oven.
DIY Concept: Concrete Fire Pit
These are either bought finished or else are made by digging a hole and then using wood to create a barrier that contains liquid concrete as it is being set. It is easier just to skip the fuss and purchase a concrete fire pit that must then be sunk in the ground. Even small ones look great, and a flat concrete surface is enough for a frying pan once it gets hot.
DIY Concept: Recycle a Washing Drum
While not as fancy, it is possible to repurpose the moving drum of a washing machine. A hole the appropriate size is dug then the drum inserted into the ground before the spaces are filled with loose dirt. The drum might have to be shaped with a file a little bit, but a metal surface should be able to hold fire for years.
Purchasing a Commercial Fire Pit
The difference between commercial and homemade is that the materials were set in a factory and all that remains is to stick it in the ground. They save on labor but might cost more. Part of the cost is hauling a heavy structure from a factory to a sales lot.
Copper and Lattice
These two metal pits are mostly about beauty. Copper has a lower melting point than steel, but a regular fire simply will not melt it. Hammered copper is quite beautiful. A metal lattice is also attractive and goes well with patio furniture. Since a lattice is probably steel, it should actually be cheaper than copper.
Regular steel is often used for cheap fire pits because the burning of wood tends to remove rust. Stainless steel has the advantage of never rusting, and the exterior remains attractive even if the inside gets quite black. Since it is exposed to the environment, its rust resistant qualities definitely shine. It is a bit more expensive than some other options but will definitely be attractive and durable.