Thursday, August 4, 2011

Outdoor Fireplaces…Take the Party Outside!

Fire pits are similar to campfire rings we remember as kids. They can be portable or permanent and can be used to burn real wood. I like the portable kind on wheels that you can move around the backyard. I bought mine at Pike’s Nursery but you can find them at Smith and Hawken or most home improvement stores as well. Permanent fire pits are usually made of rock or brick and can be constructed pretty easily. My teenage son built ours for a boy scout project out of landscape bricks from Home Depot. Check out instructions at “How to Build a Firepit” on youtube.

Chimineas have been around for several years. At first they were mostly made from clay but recently metal or iron have become popular choices since the clay tends to crack over time or if a fire gets too hot.. The benefit of a chiminea is that the smoke is directed upward through the chimney instead of spreading out in all directions. They are relatively inexpensive, usually starting around $100. Try www

Another option is a real fireplace outside with a firebox, chimney, and flue. This is the most expensive and the most permanent option. You can choose wood burning or gas and have the fireplace built to complement the landscape or architecture of the house. The parts of the fireplace are usually stainless steel which are durable and stand up to the elements. Take a look at

In the summer when the nights a not quite cool enough for a fire, light candles and place them in a chimnea or outdoor fireplace to add ambiance to a backyard barbeque. Try this recipe for a refreshing drink on the patio:

White Sangria

1 (25.4-ounce) bottle Riesling wine

1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed and undiluted

1 (10-ounce) bottle club soda

Mix all ingredients, serve over ice, and garnish with lime slices.


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