Smokeless Fire Pit - Liberty Landscape

DIY Smokeless Fire Pit in Less Than an Hour

Ever imagined enjoying a clear starry night around a comforting fire without the unpleasant irritation of smoke in your eyes?

Well, a smokeless fire pit is the answer! Unlike traditional fire pits, a smokeless fire pit is specifically designed to minimize smoke production, enhancing your outdoor experience.

DIY Smokeless Fire Pit: A Quick Takeaway

  1. Gather Materials: You’ll need a metal fire pit insert, sealant, adhesive, spray paint, gravel, retaining wall blocks, and tools.
  2. Prepare Your Fire Pit Base:
    • Choose a safe location away from flammable materials.
    • Mark and dig a circular pit about 12 inches deep.
    • Lay a sand layer at the bottom for heat insulation.
    • Place stones around the edge and fit the fire pit ring inside.
  3. Construct Your Smokeless Fire Pit:
    • Drill holes in the fire pit ring to improve airflow.
    • Ensure stones fit tightly to reduce smoke escape.
    • Seal any gaps with quickset mortar to prevent smoke leaks.
  4. Testing and Adjusting:
    • Start a fire using dry firewood.
    • Let the fire burn hot, observing smoke levels.
    • Make adjustments if needed, like sealing gaps or changing hole sizes.
  5. Maintain Your Fire Pit:
    • Regularly remove ash and debris.
    • Protect the pit from harsh weather when not in use.
    • Apply high-heat-resistant paint for extra protection.

Key Benefits of a Smokeless Fire Pit

– Minimal smoke release, improving air quality and comfort
– Greater combustion efficiency, leading to better fuel utilization
– Elevated aesthetic appeal, adding charm to your outdoor space
– Easy to maintain, high durability, and safer

Designed with extra oxygen pools, these fire pits enable more efficient combustion, reducing nearly all visible smoke. By offering a clean burn, they ensure you get to enjoy your time outdoors without the discomfort of smoke stinging your eyes or choking your lungs. Imagine enjoying your backyard cookouts without having to dodge smoke or having clothes smell like a campfire.

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Why not bring everyone closer to the fire, without the hassle or unbearable smell of smoke? And to make it even better, you can construct one by yourself in less than a day. So, are you ready to amp up your backyard gatherings? Keep reading as we dive deeper into how to create a DIY smokeless fire pit, making those idyllic nights by the fire a reality.

Understanding the Science Behind a Smokeless Fire Pit

Before we delve into how to make a smokeless fire pit, it’s crucial to understand the science behind it. Nathan Amor, our expert at Liberty Landscape, emphasizes that “understanding the mechanics of a smokeless fire pit allows you to build one effectively and maintain it for the long run.”

How a Smokeless Fire Pit Works

A smokeless fire pit operates on a simple yet innovative principle. It introduces more oxygen into the system, which helps the fire burn hotter and more efficiently. By creating a double wall, the fire pit re-burns the primary smoke, resulting in a cleaner, smokeless fire.

The key here is a secondary smoke combustion stage, which re-burns the smoke produced by the fire. This process not only eliminates the smoke but also makes the fire burn brighter and hotter, perfect for those chilly nights.

The Importance of Oxygen Supply for Complete Combustion

Oxygen plays a critical role in making your fire pit smokeless. When we burn wood in a traditional fire pit, it’s often starved of the oxygen it needs to burn completely. This lack of oxygen results in the production of smoke, which is nothing but unburnt wood particles.

In a smokeless fire pit, oxygen is supplied to both the bottom and top of the fire, a design inspired by a Reddit user’s DIY smokeless pit. This ample supply of oxygen supports complete combustion, converting more of the wood to heat and reducing the production of smoke.

The Role of a Secondary Combustion System in Reducing Smoke

The secondary combustion system is what sets a smokeless fire pit apart. This system re-burns the smoke produced in the primary combustion stage, reducing smoke emissions.

This process happens in the double wall of the fire pit, where the heat and oxygen cause the smoke from the primary combustion to reignite. This secondary combustion burns off the smoke particles, leading to a cleaner, more efficient fire.

Understanding how a smokeless fire pit works is the first step in building one. With this knowledge, you’re now ready to gather your materials and start constructing your smokeless fire pit. As you’ll soon discover, it’s a rewarding DIY project that enhances your outdoor space and the time you spend there.

Gathering Your Materials

Having a clear understanding of how to make a smokeless fire pit is essential, but equally important is having the right materials at hand. At Liberty Landscape, we firmly believe that preparation is half the battle. Here’s a comprehensive list of necessary materials for building your smokeless fire pit:

  • A metal fire pit insert or stock tank ring, 36 inches in diameter and 10 to 12 inches tall.
  • A tube of fire-resistant sealant.
  • Landscape block adhesive.
  • High-heat spray paint.
  • Granite drainage gravel, 1/4-inch size.
  • 72 retaining wall blocks (each 4 inches high, 8-1/2 inches wide, and 8 inches deep).
  • A range of tools, including an electric drill, caulking gun, tape measure, pencil, painter’s tape, metal file, and a shovel.

You may not have these materials readily available in your garage. Don’t worry, most of these items can be easily sourced from a local home improvement store or online.

We also encourage creative upcycling. For instance, an old clothes dryer drum or a propane tank can serve as an excellent fire pit insert (source: Instructables). This not only reduces the cost but also adds a unique character to your fire pit.

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When repurposing materials, ensure they are safe for use as a fire pit. Metals should be heat resistant, and any paint or coatings should be high-temperature safe.

In the next section, we’ll walk you through preparing your fire pit base, a crucial step in learning how to make a smokeless fire pit.

Preparing Your Fire Pit Base

When building your smokeless fire pit, the first step is to create a sound base. This is essential both for the stability of the fire pit and for facilitating airflow, which is crucial for smokeless combustion. Let’s break this process down into manageable steps.

Step-by-step Guide to Building a Stone Fire Pit Base

  1. Choose a Suitable Location: Your fire pit should be far from flammable materials and overhanging branches. Also, consider wind direction and neighbors when choosing a spot.
  2. Mark the Fire Pit Area: Using a stake and a string, mark a circle on the ground where you intend to build your pit.
  3. Dig a Pit: Excavate a pit about 12 inches deep within the marked circle.
  4. Add a Layer of Sand: This will act as a barrier against heat transfer to the ground.
  5. Arrange Fire Pit Stones: Lay out fire pit stones in a circle on the sand layer.
  6. Choose and Fit the Fire Pit Ring: Place fire pit rings inside the stones to see how they fit. The inner diameter of the fire pit stones should match the size of your fire pit ring. If in doubt, measure it and look online for more fire pit insert options that could fit.

Importance of a Fire Pit Ring That Fits Properly

A fire pit ring plays a significant role in a smokeless fire pit. It not only protects the stone or brick edges from damage but also helps contain the fire and direct the heat upwards. Therefore, it’s vital to find a fire pit ring that fits snugly within your stone base. This involves a bit of trial and error, but remember, tight-fitting stones and a right-sized fire pit ring are crucial for the pit’s efficiency.

How to Increase Air Flow to the Bottom of the Fire Pit

Smokeless fire pits operate efficiently when there’s good airflow. You’ll need to ensure oxygen reaches both the top and the bottom of the fire. To achieve this, remove four pavers in the bottom row of your fire pit. These openings will let in more air, enhancing the smokeless effect of the pit.

Creating a smokeless fire pit may seem like a daunting task, but with careful planning and a bit of elbow grease, you can create an inviting outdoor centerpiece. If you feel overwhelmed or need professional assistance, our team at Liberty Landscape is ready to help with all your outdoor project needs. Stay tuned for the next section where we’ll guide you through constructing your smokeless fire pit.

Constructing Your Smokeless Fire Pit

Now that your fire pit base is all setup, it’s time to move on to the fun part – constructing your smokeless fire pit! This section will guide you on how to add holes to the fire pit ring, the optimal number and size of these holes, and some tips on welding and dealing with potential challenges.

Instructions on Adding Holes to the Top and Bottom of the Fire Pit Ring

The first step is to add holes to your fire pit ring. This is an essential step as these holes will help in the secondary combustion process, reducing the smoke produced by the fire.

To do this, you’ll need to drill holes in the top and bottom of your fire pit ring. Make sure to use a drill bit that matches the size of the holes you want to create. Once you’re done drilling, place the ring into the fire pit with the holes facing upwards and downwards, respectively.

Guidelines on the Number and Size of Holes for Optimal Performance

The number and size of holes you drill into your fire pit ring can significantly influence your fire pit’s performance. The best hole size for the top is 60 holes, each 1/2 inch in diameter, spaced 1-1/2 inches apart. For the bottom of the fire pit ring, drill 24 holes each 1 inch in diameter, spaced 3-3/4 inches apart. These measurements will ensure optimal airflow and heat distribution.

Tips on Welding and Dealing with Potential Challenges

While welding might seem like a daunting task, don’t fret. You can use a simple quickset mortar to fix the fire pit ring into your stone fire pit. This will not only hold the ring in place but also prevent any smoke from leaking out.

If you notice any smoke escaping through cracks in the fire pit, don’t worry. The tighter the fit of the fire pit stones, the less the oxygen can escape through cracks. You may still have smoke that works its way out, especially if you use tumbled stones. An easy way to stop smoke from leaking out is to add quickset mortar to the inside of your stone fire pit.

And there you have it! With these steps, you’re well on your way to constructing your smokeless fire pit. If you run into any roadblocks or need professional assistance, our team at Liberty Landscape is always ready to help. Stay tuned as we move on to testing and adjusting your smokeless fire pit in the next section.

Testing and Adjusting Your Smokeless Fire Pit

Once you’ve built your smokeless fire pit, it’s time to put it to the test. This part of the process is crucial as it helps us determine if our smokeless fire pit is operating as expected and allows us to make necessary adjustments.

How to Test Your DIY Smokeless Fire Pit with Dry Firewood

For your first test fire, make sure to use dry firewood. The drier the wood, the better, as this helps to encourage more complete combustion. Start your fire and feed it continually, keeping an eye on the smoke levels as the fire burns.

Safety first! Always have a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher handy when starting a fire, and never leave it unattended.

Importance of Letting the Fire Burn For At Least 30 Minutes to Observe Smoke Reduction

Allow the fire to burn for at least 30 minutes before looking for a reduction in smoke. You want the fire to be very hot, around 550-700 degrees Fahrenheit, for secondary combustion to occur and the smoke to be effectively reduced.

During this period, observe the fire and note any changes in smoke production. The goal is to see a significant decrease in smoke as the fire burns.

Suggestions for Adjustments If the Fire Pit Is Not Performing As Expected

If you’re noticing more smoke than expected, don’t fret. Making a smokeless fire pit is a bit of a science experiment, and it might require some tweaking.

If smoke is escaping through cracks in the fire pit, one fix could be to add quickset mortar to the inside of your stone fire pit. This will help to seal any gaps and prevent oxygen from escaping.

Adjusting the number and size of holes in your fire pit ring could also make a difference. The best hole size for the top is 60 holes 1/2 inches in diameter, spaced 1-1/2 inches apart. Holes at the bottom of the fire pit ring should be 24 holes 1 inch in diameter, spaced 3-3/4″ apart.

Through testing and adjusting, you’ll be able to figure out how to make a smokeless fire pit that works best for your space. And remember, our team at Liberty Landscape is always here to help if you need professional guidance or assistance.

In the next section, we’ll cover how to maintain your smokeless fire pit to ensure its longevity and performance.

Maintaining Your Smokeless Fire Pit

Once you’ve successfully built your smokeless fire pit, the key to its longevity and optimal performance lies in its regular maintenance. Here’s how to keep your fire pit clean, slow down the burning rate for longer-lasting fires, and future-proof it with improvements.

Cleaning and Storing Your Smokeless Fire Pit

Just as regularly cleaning an outdoor living room keeps it looking its best, removing ash and debris from your smokeless fire pit is crucial for its upkeep. Use a shovel or broom to remove ash once the pit has cooled down. For storing the fire pit during harsh weather conditions, consider using a protective cover, similar to how you’d protect your outdoor furniture.

Slowing Down the Burning Rate

A common question we get at Liberty Landscape is how to make fires last longer in a smokeless fire pit. The trick lies in the fire-building technique. Start with smaller kindling and gradually build up to larger logs. This method not only creates a hot, efficient fire but also slows down the burning rate, giving you a longer-lasting fire.

Future-Proofing Your Fire Pit

Finally, consider future improvements. Just like pruning plants in your outdoor space keeps them healthy, updating your smokeless fire pit keeps it functioning optimally. One suggestion is to add a layer of high-heat-resistant paint. This not only enhances its look but also adds an extra layer of protection against the elements.

Learning how to make a smokeless fire pit is just the first step. Maintaining it ensures that you can enjoy the warm, cozy fires for many seasons to come. If you have any questions or need professional assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Liberty Landscape. We’re here to help bring your outdoor living dreams to life!


In our journey on ‘how to make a smokeless fire pit,’ we’ve covered a lot of ground. We’ve delved into the science behind a smokeless fire pit, sourced the necessary materials, prepared the base, constructed the fire pit, tested it, and discussed how to maintain it. It might seem like a lot, but when broken down into these manageable steps, it’s a task that can be completed in less than an hour with the right tools and materials.

Now comes the fun part. It’s time to enjoy the benefits of your smokeless fire pit. Imagine the cozy evenings spent around the fire, enjoying the warmth without the smoke. Picture the conversations, the laughter, the s’mores, and all the memories to be made. All of this is possible thanks to your new smokeless fire pit.

However, if you find yourself needing assistance or if building a smokeless fire pit seems like a daunting task, remember, we at Liberty Landscape are here to help. Nathan Amor, our expert, is more than willing to share his know-how and experience to ensure your outdoor space is up to your expectations.

We’re not just landscape designers; we’re your partners in creating the outdoor space of your dreams. From conceptualizing your design to constructing your space, our team will guide you through every step, ensuring that your outdoor space not only meets but exceeds your expectations.

Ready to take the first step toward your dream outdoor living room? Reach out to Liberty Landscape today to discuss your ideas and explore the possibilities! You might also want to check out our creative outdoor space designs for inspiration. Your dream outdoor living room, complete with a smokeless fire pit, is just a project away!

DIY Smokeless Fire Pit FAQs

Can you build your own smokeless fire pit?

Yes, you can build your own smokeless fire pit. You need the right materials and tools. Follow detailed instructions to ensure efficient airflow and combustion.

Do smokeless fire pits really work?

Smokeless fire pits work by increasing airflow and reburning smoke. This results in less smoke compared to traditional fire pits.

Where does the smoke go in a smokeless fire pit?

In a smokeless fire pit, smoke is drawn back into the fire and burned off. This is due to the design that allows for increased oxygen flow.

How do you make a Solo Stove smokeless?

A Solo Stove becomes smokeless by burning wood more completely. This is achieved through its double-wall design that enhances airflow and combustion.

Is Solo Stove really smoke-free?

While not completely smoke-free, Solo Stoves produce significantly less smoke. They achieve this by burning wood more efficiently.

How do you make a smokeless fire pit drum?

To make a smokeless fire pit drum, use a metal drum and create ventilation holes at the bottom and top. Ensure proper airflow to allow for complete combustion.

Do solo stoves give off carbon monoxide?

All fires, including those in Solo Stoves, can produce carbon monoxide. Always use them in well-ventilated areas to minimize risk.

Can you ruin a Solo Stove?

Improper use can damage a Solo Stove. Avoid using wet wood, and clean the stove after use to maintain its condition.

Can you still smell the fire in a Solo Stove?

You may still smell the fire, as complete combustion does not eliminate all odors. However, the smell is less intense compared to traditional fire pits.