Fire is the natural center for an outside gathering. Camp outs, barbecues and backyard parties held winter or summer always seem to be missing that little something extra without wood smoke and flickering firelight. The standard approach for having a cozy blaze out back is to either put a masonry fire pit in the backyard or pick up a metal brazier kit for the patio, but those choices are a bit staid. If you want something with more sophistication or kitsch, there are plenty of choices for getting your fire on.
This pyramidal, multi-purpose steel construct is both so stylish and functional that it ought to be the national fire pit of Sweden. The design can be scaled up from the basic Blaze Monolith to serve not just as a backyard fire pit and grill, but also as a wood-burning oven (backyard pizza!) and a smoker.
The Blaze Tower, $500 to $1,300
Plenty of apartment dwellers love fires, but don’t have a fireplace inside or a proper green space outside. With the Bruce Handrail Grill, all one needs is a tiny balcony and it’s problem solved. This convenient little item can be hung anywhere a window garden box might go. Use it as a fire pit or for grilling, but make sure your upstairs neighbor isn’t hanging any laundry out the window when you do.
Bruce Handrail Grill, $75
If you want to adorn your outdoor space with a fireplace and grill that looks like it should be installed in the sculpture garden at MoMa and money is no object, then the Kara Ceramique from Cesarre is for you. You will probably need to import this example of French design and conspicuous consumption from Europe, but at this level of expense that is just a minor detail. Get it and your cook will admire your haute attitude towards barbecue.
Cesarre Kara Ceramique, $5,900
When it comes to decorating outdoor spaces, the Cowboy Cauldron might just be the ultimate in manly man chic. It’s made from solid cast iron, and it looks like it would fit right in with the set of a cow-punching John Wayne movie. A range of cauldron sizes are available, so a set can be tailored to fit backyards and patios great and small.
Cowboy Cauldron Fire Pit, $1,700 to $3,000
This takes and outdoor fireplace, integrates it into the furniture and adds an element of fondue-style cooking to it. If you want to have a barbecue, guests can pull up a chair and flame-broil their own hotdogs and make smores on the ends of stakes and skewers. If you just want a nice fire some evening, folks can have a seat at the table. Or do both.
The JAG Eight, $2,500
The design of this firebox satisfies the needs of either supreme portability or of card-carrying NRA member style. The C4 takes the idea of turning an old surplus ammo can into a hobo stove and toughens it up, so the unit won’t fall apart after a few fires. It’s small enough and light enough that you can tuck it into a backpack and take it basically anywhere, making it useful for tailgating, picnics and field parties.
MGrills C4 Portable Grill, $120
Have you ever seen people huddled around a fire in a steel barrel and wanted a piece of that? Or maybe you are a hipster or taken with hobo chic? The Po’ Man is for you. Similar to the C4 described above, the Po’ Man looks like a garbage can, but has been engineered for durability and functionality. That combination of form and function makes the Po’ Man a serious faux hillbilly accessory.
Po’ Man Grill, $125