5 Tips for keeping your fire pit smokeless

If you’ve been using a smokeless fire pit and have been experiencing excess smoke, don’t worry – you’re not alone. A lot of people are finding that their fire pits are producing more smoke than they’d like. In this article we will discuss some tips to help reduce the amount of smoke your fire pit produces.

How do smokeless fire pits work?

It’s helpful to first understand what makes your fire pit smokeless (or low smoke). Most smokeless fire pits, like Solo Stove or Breeo, use a similar type of double-wall technology. Essentially there are two walls with a space between them surrounding the pit.

How a smokeless fire pit works

With that in mind, here are the three main steps in the smokeless process:

  1. As the fire burns, fresh air is pulled into holes at the bottom of the pit.
  2. The air is then heated as it travels through the space in the double walls.
  3. Lastly the heated air flows over the top of the fire and burns off most of the smoke before it can leave the pit.

The process is commonly referred to as “secondary combustion.” Learn more about how smokeless fire pits work.

Infographic showing the tips to keeping you fire pit smokeless

5 Tips for Reducing Fire Pit Smoke

Now that we understand how smokeless pits work, lets get into some tips that will help you reduce smoke from your fire pit.

1) Use seasoned hardwood

Wet wood will produces more smoke. Soft woods, like pine, also produce a lot of smoke and can also produce creosote, which isn’t good for your fire pit or your lungs.

A bundle of store bought firewood

Instead, try to find seasoned hardwood. Seasoned means the logs have been cut and kept dry for many months (or seasons). You can find seasoned logs at your hardware or grocery stores. Sometimes those logs will even be kiln dried.

A cheaper option is to find someone in your area (ask around or check online) who sells logs in bulk. You’ll need a log rack or somewhere to store the logs, but in the long run it’s cheaper and easier.

2) Be patient when starting your fire

As we described earlier, the smokeless process requires air to get heated as it passes through the double-walls of your fire pit. That means the walls themselves have to get very hot before they can heat the air passing through.

It can take up to a half hour for your fire pit to get to the right temperature to become smokeless. That depends on a few factors, like big your fire is, the outside temperature, and of course which fire pit you have.

A fire pit with a small fire that is putting off smoke.
This fire is smokey since it’s just getting started

That’s why we like to get it started and then step away from (but keep an eye on) the fire until it gets nice and hot.

3) Feed the fire

For the same reasons as mentioned above, smokeless fire pits need to be hot to be effective. A lot of times we’ll be hanging out by a fire that goes from smokeless to smokey. Almost every time that’s because we stopped adding logs and the fire died down.

The hot coals will help keep the smoke low, but without steady flames the air circulating through the double-walls won’t get hot enough to burn off the smoke. The solution here is easy, just add more logs.

4) Don’t overfill the pit

Don’t go overboard feeding the fire. If you overfill the fire pit to the point where logs are sticking out the top of the pit, you’ll likely get a bunch of smoke. That’s because the fire is burning above the line where the hot air is circulated back across the top of the fire.

Try to avoid overfilling, but if it does happen, you can usually use a poker to move the logs around so that they’re lower than the rim of the pit. Or just wait for it to burn down a bit.

5) Keep the bottom of your pit clean

By now you probably realize the importance of air flow in reducing the amount of smoke. Most smokeless fire pits pull air from the bottom, but the exact location can differ.

For example, Breeo pulls air in from a series of holes directly underneath the fire itself. This works great, but could lead to a problem. After a awhile (usually several fires), the amount of ash buildup at the bottom of your pit could block the air flow, resulting in excessive smoke.

The inside of a fire pit with the bottom ash covered
If you can’t see the vent holes, its time for a cleaning.

Here’s what the same Breeo looks like after a good cleaning…

The inside of a Breeo fire pit that has been cleaned.

To ensure proper air flow, be sure to clean the ash out of your fire pit and every two or three burns. Check out our guides on how to clean a Breeo or how to clean a Solo Stove.

Wrapping up

If your smokeless fire pit has not been working as advertised, don’t panic. The tips above should go along way toward getting rid of that annoying smoke.

If you have any other suggestions, or questions, please let us know. And as always, thanks for reading!

Related Posts