The BioLite FirePit+ is a trendy fire pit that claims to create a completely smokeless fire, while doubling up as a cooking stove. We all enjoy experiencing the warmth and crackle of a fire, especially as winter creeps in and we still want to spend time outdoors, but if we can do it without having to suffer from the sting of smoke in our eyes, then sign us up.
Fuel type: Wood or charcoal
Burn time: Up to 30 hours (with fan on low)
Capacity: 4 standard firewood logs
Dimensions: 27 x 13 x 15.8 in
Weight: 19.8 lbs
Build material: Steel
Warranty: 1 year
Smart features: Fan settings controlled via BioLite Energy app
Portability: Carry bag sold separately
Grill included: Yes
Those of us who aren’t experienced campers also need a fire pit that is straightforward and hassle-free. The BioLite FirePit+ could be exactly what we’re looking for. As a fire pit that arrives pre-assembled and ready to use, it takes both wood and charcoal as fuel, and contains an integrated fan which helps give the fire its smokeless effect. It’s designed to provide a 360° view of the flames through enlarged X-ray mesh sides, and has foldable legs which elevate the pit off the ground. It also boasts smart technology, and can connect to your phone via the Bluetooth BioLite Energy app.
So far there’s a lot to love, but whether it's worthy of being called one of the best fire pits on the market is yet to be decided. In this review, we put the BioLite FirePit+ through its paces to see whether it’s worth the investment. We wanted to know how smokeless a fire in the FirePit+ actually is, and whether it’s a suitable buy for novices and experienced campers alike. Keep reading for our full verdict.
Katie Sims is a freelance writer who primarily writes content for Future’s Homes and Gardens titles. She covers a variety of topics including DIY advice, cleaning features, decor ideas and product reviews.
She tested the BioLite FirePit+ for over a week to assess its performance thoroughly. During the process, she made sure to consider everything from the assembly to the cleaning and maintenance process.
BioLite FirePit+: Design
The BioLite FirePit+ looks great. The enamel-coated steel exterior gives it a sleek, modern aesthetic, and the all-black body is complemented by the warm yellow of the USB rechargeable powerpack, which sits at the front. The mesh sides provide visibility of the flames within the body of the pit and create the illusion of a floating fire at night. There are also four foldable legs which flip out to elevate the pit off the ground.
Moving the fire pit around is easy thanks to the two silver carry handles. It’s not too heavy, and we found one person could carry it around on their own comfortably. It’s compact, being longer in length but not so much in height, and would be suitable for transporting on camping trips, especially with the aid of the Carry Bag (sold separately).
BioLite FirePit+: Features
BioLite’s original FirePit has been upgraded with a larger internal battery (12,000 mAh), enlarged X-Ray Mesh to better radiate heat, and a new high-temp enamel coating on the outside for added durability. These additions are what makes the latest model a ‘plus’, and were designed to make the fire pit hyper-efficient and long-lasting.
The following accessories are included with FirePit+:
• Grill Grate
• Fuel Rack
• USB A to Micro USB Cord for charging
We also received the FirePit Cooking Kit (sold separately), which includes the Grill Lid, Griddle, Prep & Grill Toolkit, and FirePoker. These accessories enhance the cooking experience of the FirePit+, but they aren’t necessary to use it as a stove; you can start cooking using just the grill grate, which is already included.
The USB rechargeable powerpack runs the fan in the fire pit, which injects oxygen into the fire through 51 air jets to create a more uniform temperature and even flow of heat. This improves combustion and gives the fire pit its smokeless effect. The powerpack will run the fan for up to 30 hours on the low setting, 14 hours on medium, and 7 hours on high. Usefully, the fan settings can be controlled either through the buttons on the powerpack or via the BioLite Energy app, which connects to the fire pit through Bluetooth. The app also shows real time battery and power usage stats, so you know how long the fire can continue burning for.
BioLite FirePit+: Setup and assembly
The box the FirePit+ arrived in contained a lot of bubble wrap, which is unfortunately non-recyclable, though it can be saved and reused instead. The box was larger than it needed to be, given the fire pit itself is quite compact. We were happy that there was no single-use plastic though, and the box itself could be recycled.
We loved how the fire pit arrived pre-assembled. Nothing was required of us except to remove the pit from its packaging, unfold the legs, and find a place for it in the yard. The fuel rack was already slotted in place, and the grill grate had been placed on top of this during transportation. There weren’t any instructions included, but we figured out pretty quickly that the grate slides on top of the fire pit to hold food when cooking. The fuel rack can be moved into a higher slot so that it’s closer to the grate, or lowered into the base of the pit when it isn’t being used as a stove.
BioLite FirePit+: Performance
Lighting a fire in the FirePit+ was really simple. We arranged our kindling and fire starters in a grid-like layout so that the flames would spread easily, then lit this at a few different points. Within 10 minutes a good fire was roaring, and we added a couple of larger logs so that it would last longer. The fan settings were really easy to adjust; we used the buttons on the powerpack first, then the Bluetooth app, which we personally preferred because we could see how the fan’s battery life changed in accordance with the low, medium, and high setting.
We followed this procedure each time we were testing the fire pit just to enjoy the fire. When cooking food, we switched the fuel from wood to coal (coal produces smaller flames and is therefore less likely to scorch the food), and moved the rack into the higher position.
Once all the coals were burning, we slid the grill grate holding our food - chicken legs and sausages one night, beef burgers the next - over the top of the fire pit and used the tongs and spatula from the Prep & Grill Toolkit to turn these every so often. We used the Grill Lid to maintain the high level of heat in the fire pit, but opened the vents to allow air to circulate. After around 30 minutes, the food was ready to eat and had the same delicious taste we would expect from a standard barbecue.
The mesh body makes the experience of the fire pit all the more enjoyable. It allows the heat to be radiated outwards as well as upwards, so we could enjoy the fire from different angles. We especially appreciated the effect of the X-ray mesh at night, when the black body of the fire pit blended into the darkness and the flames appeared to be hovering off the ground.
Unfortunately there was some smoke, which was a little disappointing. We found that we couldn’t stand directly next to the fire pit without experiencing the sting of smoke in our eyes, and our coats smelt slightly smokey afterwards. This wasn’t enough to ruin the experience though, and generally speaking, the smoke produced was minor. The FirePit+ also felt very safe to use, especially with the help of the FirePoker, which was long enough to be able to stoke the fuel from a comfortable distance.
BioLite FirePit+: Care and maintenance
BioLite offers a one year warranty on the FirePit+, which covers any manufacturing defects. Damage due to general wear and tear and improper use is not covered, but the fire pit is supposedly built to last. To maintain its optimal condition, Demian Lashlee, Associate Director of International Sales at BioLite says, “treat the FirePit+ as you would any BBQ or grill. Avoid inclement weather, and use the Carry Bag (sold separately) to store in a dry location.”
We felt comfortable leaving the fire pit outdoors overnight because of the Grill Lid, which sits perfectly on top of the pit so the inside is fully protected. The Carry Bag would be preferable for long-term storage, as this covers the whole exterior, though it’s still best to store the pit in a sheltered location. Thanks to the handy fold-up legs, the FirePit+ can easily be stored without taking up excess space.
Emptying the ash is made easy by the trap door at the base of the pit. We simply carried the FirePit+ to the trash and tilted it on its side; once we opened the trap door, all the ash fell out through the bottom. We made the mistake of pulling the trap door out of place completely, and struggled to fit it back into place afterwards, so we’d recommend only opening this half-way. It’s best practice to empty the ash out of the fire pit after each use, for optimal airflow and smokeless flames. We also wiped around the inside of the pit with a dry microfiber cloth to remove any ash leftover.
The grill grate can be treated in the same way as any other grill; we cleaned ours in the sink with hot soapy water. For the best results when cooking, Demian recommends to “clean and apply a thin layer of oil to the grill grate every time before grilling.”
BioLite FirePit+: Price and availability
- $299.95 / £299.99
You can purchase the FirePit+ directly from BioLite or from Amazon at the same price. $299.95 is a reasonable price for a smokeless fire pit with smart features, and in fact is the same price as the Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0 Fire Pit, which doesn’t boast any smart technology.
The FirePit+ does come with a grill included, so you can start cooking on it straight away, but for a more efficient (and varied) cooking experience, the other accessories would need to be purchased separately, or alongside the fire pit as part of The FirePit Cooking Kit (includes the FirePit, Griddle, Lid, and Prep & Grill Toolkit). This kit is priced at $489.80, which is still fairly reasonable given everything it includes. This higher cost is purely optional though, and you can still enjoy the BioLite FirePit+ as a fire pit and cooking stove without the extra add-ons.
BioLite FirePit+: User reviews
At the time of writing, the BioLite FirePit+ had a 4.2 star rating out of 5 on Amazon, with 65% of reviewers giving the fire pit 5 stars. Being a fairly new product, there are currently only 196 reviews; a higher number would be able to give a more accurate picture of customer satisfaction, but the majority of the reviews are positive, which is a good starting-point.
The reviews of the fire pit on the BioLite website produced an average rating of 4.1/5 stars. One happy customer wrote “Great firepit. The fan really helps the fire get started and keeps it hot. Not too much smoke because the material burns completely, not too many ashes left. The grill works great with charcoal, great to cook on.”
Some customers are satisfied with how smokeless the fire pit is, with one reviewer writing on Amazon, “it is not smokeless but verrrry close. If you load it with kiln dry wood and keep the wood below the top vent holes tubing, you pretty much are smokeless...not completely but really close.” This person still gave the FirePit+ a five star rating, so the amount of smoke produced was clearly not enough to hamper the experience.
Others were less convinced. One customer gave the fire pit one star and wrote, “Great marketing but a terrible product, thin, cheaply made, smokes just like a normal pit, about the only thing it’s good for is a small grill. Don’t waste your money.” There were also complaints around manufacturing issues, with some reviewers experiencing broken parts after the first or second time using the fire pit.
BioLite FirePit+: What the experts say
BioLite wanted to create a fire pit that people could enjoy without having to suffer from the unpleasantness of smoke. Demian from BioLite says “with our FirePit+ you get a significantly better burn thanks to the consistent flow of air by the battery driven fan, creating a flame with way less smoke than a traditional fire. We also love to cook outdoors and this product also allows you to grill your favorite foods over wood or charcoal.”
People who want a portable fire pit of a decent size would likely find the FirePit+ ideal. Demian recommends it for “car campers, beachgoers, glampers, and those who simply want to huddle with family and friends beside a fire in their backyard or patio.”
Should you buy the BioLite FirePit+?
If you want to enjoy a hassle-free fire pit that can easily be taken away on vacation, the BioLite FirePit+ is ideal. There’s no assembly required, and you can start enjoying it immediately as both a fire pit and a cooking stove, both of which are easy to navigate. Being able to use both coal and firewood as fuel is also a plus, as you can use whichever you have to hand. Cleaning and maintaining the fire pit is also easy because of the handy trap door at the base.
Though the fires produced in the FirePit+ can’t be definitively described as smokeless, they do allow you to enjoy a fire without having to endure copious amounts of smoke. Our experience was still enjoyable despite there being some smoke, and some reviewers on Amazon have claimed that they were able to enjoy a smoke-free fire in the FirePit+, so there is perhaps scope to achieve this if the kindling and wood is arranged in a certain way.
If you like being able to adjust settings from your phone, the smart features are impressive. Connecting the app to the fire pit is straightforward, and we liked being able to see how much charge the battery powering the fan had left. Overall we would recommend the FirePit+ for anyone looking to purchase a fire pit and cooking stove in one, as it performs exceptionally well at both roles.
How does the BioLite FirePit+ compare to competitors?
BioLite’s other fire pit is the CampStove 2+, priced at $149.95. The CampStove 2+ is a lot smaller than the FirePit+ (weighing only 2.06 lbs), and will take longer to cook less food, though it is the more portable of the two. It’s more budget-friendly, though it will only produce a fire a fraction of the size created by the FirePit+.
Another smokeless fire pit at the same price point is Solo Stove’s Bonfire 2.0, which is definitely bigger (and therefore less portable) than the FirePit+, though having tested this ourselves, can be said to create a more smokeless fire. The Bonfire 2.0 also has an extractable ash pan, which makes cleaning even easier than the trap door feature of FirePit+, as you don’t need to carry the whole pit to the trash. BioLite’s product is probably the more stylish of the two though, with its mesh sides and compact design. It also has smart features, which Solo Stove’s fire pits are lacking.