Smokeless fire pits have become all the rage in recent years due to their low smoke technology, which is better for the environment and better for our own health. More and more companies are starting to produce smokeless fire pits, and several of these companies even sell smokeless fire pits at Costco.
Today we will go over all of the ins and outs of how a smokeless fire pit works, what to know before purchasing one, and how much you can expect to pay for a smokeless fire pit at Costco.
How Smokeless Fire Pits Work
First off, it’s important to note that “smokeless” fire pits aren’t truly smokeless. They still burn wood, and whenever you burn wood, you get smoke. But they do produce a lot less smoke than conventional fire pits.
So, how do “smokeless” fire pits produce less smoke? Let’s find out…
The key design features that enable a low-smoke fire pit to function are the air vents found near the bottom of the device and the inner and outer wall structure which circulates air internally…
As air enters in through the lower vents, it feeds the fire from below, keeping your wood burning. At the same time, some of that air also travels upward in between the inner and outer stove walls, which heat the air as it goes.
Once the air reaches the top of the stove, it’s forced out through small holes located along the inner edge of the stove’s upper ring. As the air escapes, it blows smoke, debris, ash, and sparks back down into the fire pit, resulting in much less smoke and debris in the air around your stove.
The image above comes directly from GHP Group Inc., the producer of HotShot Stoves.
Why Buy A Smokeless Fire Pit?
Smokeless fire pits are a great investment for anyone who…
- Has respiratory issues
- Is allergic to smoke
- Simply doesn’t like smelling wood smoke or getting it in their eyes
- Lives in an area that struggles with wood smoke pollution
Fire pits with a low-smoke design are better for people and the environment. Smokeless fire pits are more efficient, release fewer toxins, and lead to an overall cleaner environment (not to mention cleaner lungs, skin, and eyes for the people gathered around them).
For anyone living in a suburban or urban environment, smokeless fire pits are also a great way to enjoy a bonfire or cookout in your backyard without bothering the neighbors or having to build an old-fashioned fire ring in your yard. Most smokeless fire pits are designed to be free standing and can simply be set on top of your patio or driveway.
Smokeless fire pits are also great for grilling, as they’re less likely to make your food taste excessively smoky or end up covered in ash.
Best Smokeless Fire Pits At Costco
As of April 2023, Costco sells three free-standing fire pits, two of which are considered “low-smoke” models. These include the HotShot 22” Wood Burning Fire Pit, the Solo Stove Yukon 1.0 Stainless Steel Fire Pit, and the Woodcrest Fire Table.
This HotShot 22” Wood Burning Fire Pit (commonly referred to as the HotShot Smokeless Fire Pit) is the most popular low-smoke fire pit available at Costco. It has received a lot of attention across the internet over the past couple of years as a perfect low-cost alternative to other “smokeless” fire pits. The HotShot Fire Pit is currently available at Costco for $299.99, making it the most affordable low-smoke fire pit at Costco.
Costco also sells a low-smoke fire pit from Solo Stove for $319.99 and a propane fire table from Woodcrest for $549.99 (the fire table is not technically considered “smokeless” as it does not burn wood).
In terms of customer reviews, the HotShot Wood Burning Fire Pit currently holds a 4.6-star average customer rating from Costco reviewers, while the Solo Stove holds a 4.4-star average rating. Both are clearly great stoves, but the HotShot has proven more popular with customers overall. According to this YouTube reviewer, the differences between these two stoves are minimal, yet one (the HotShot) is slightly less expensive.
It’s worth noting that the HotShot is also slightly larger and a bit heavier. While the HotShot is often referred to as a “knock off” of the Solo Stove, customer reviews indicate that the stoves are of equal quality.
Things To Know About Using A Smokeless Fire Pit
Here are some key things to remember before buying a smokeless fire pit…
- They must be set up on top of a fire-resistant surface such as brick, stone, asphalt, etc.
- They should never be set on grass, dirt, wood, tarps, or anything else potentially flammable
- They produce less heat than conventional fire pits due to their insulated walls and efficient airflow system
- Smokeless fire pits still burn wood, so you will need to supply dry firewood to operate your stove
Permits are generally not required for free-standing fire pits.
Never set up a free-standing fire pit on a flammable surface such as grass, dirt, wood, plastic, etc. They must be set up on a fire-resistant surface such as pavement, brick, or stone.
Fires should always be fully extinguished when you’re done. They should never be left unattended while burning.
Firepits should absolutely never be used indoors, even if they are advertised as “smokeless” or “low smoke.”
Is stainless steel better than cast iron for a smokeless fire pit?
Generally speaking, yes. Stainless steel is preferred because it is lighter weight and less expensive. However, if your goal is to generate as much heat as possible, you might want to look into a cast iron model. Cast iron fire pits are heavier, larger, more expensive, and much harder to come by than steel or aluminum fire pit models. However, they conduct and retain much more heat.
Can you put water in a smokeless fire pit?
No. Pouring water into your smokeless fire pit is not recommended, as this can create a build up of ash and carbon that can block your lower air vents. Instead, the best way to extinguish your fire is to simply let the wood burn away.
Why is your smokeless fire pit smoking?
All “smokeless” fire pits will produce low levels of smoke. To increase your chances of having a fire with as little smoke as possible, check out this video from Solo Stove.
How do you clean a smokeless fire pit?
The specific method you’ll want to use for cleaning your fire pit will depend on your fire pit model. Some smokeless fire pits can be disassembled so that you can empty the bottom and clean the parts separately. However, if your model is one piece, you will need to clean it out using an ash shovel or vacuum.