The backyard is the perfect place for people to relax and enjoy nature. One of the most popular features is smokeless fire pits, which provide warmth on a cold winter’s night. Unfortunately, smoke can be an issue when trying to make a nice fire.

It is important to remember that smokeless fire holes cannot be completely smokeless, but the smoke they emit can be reduced. There are several ways for people to create smoking pits. Check out this article for instructions on how to make a smokeless fire pit perfectly!

The process of creating fire is quite simple. When you mix fuel and oxygen at high temperatures, it causes an explosion that creates the flame and sparks from a lighter or match. The type of things used as fuels for combustion is wood, paper, and other combustible material, all of which contain different types of burning components such as hydrogen gas (H2), carbon monoxide (CO), and more! For example, when water increases in concentration on this scale then smoke, smoke. 

Why Is My Fire Pit Smoking So Much?

Every time you think of your cozy fire pit, the smokey smell wafts through your memories. The distinct scent is a symbol of warmth and relaxation; however, it can be overpowering every now and again, which may lead to an unpleasant experience.

how to make a smokeless fire pit

You are not alone when experiencing this issue! In fact, there could be many reasons why you might have more smoke than actual heat coming out from your fire pit.

If Burn Unseasoned or Greenwood

When greenwood burns, the by-products of combustion are nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide which inhibit oxygen intake in our bodies leading to lower blood pressure and even death if taken in high doses. After 6 months or more without exposure to an air moisture content below 20%, seasoned wood will burn with less smoke when compared to using fresh-cut greenwood for fuel.

Poisonous Wood as Fuel

Many factors can lead to excess smoke from a fire pit. The burning of wood types with naturally occurring substances like sap and pitch as well as the organic materials you put in your woodsheds, such as leaves or straw all contribute to the production of toxic fumes when burned on an open flame.

Woodsmoke is made up of a mixture of chemicals that come from the natural makeup of hardwoods and softwood trees. This includes oak, hickory, ash, and pine fir spruce to name just a few.

Incomplete Combustion

Firewood, wet or not appropriate for burning can lead to incomplete combustion. This is because the wood contains lots of water that prevents oxygen from getting inside and produces carbon monoxide on a campfire. Mixing in some poisonous gas with this causes acidic rain which then forms orange flames!

Toxic Chemicals

Smoke is a byproduct of combustion that contains carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrogen oxide (NO), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) among many compounds that all have toxic effects if inhaled in excess. The thing about smoke from different types of fires is that it usually has additional substances inside them as well.

For example, when we burn yard waste or debris they will produce specific chemicals unique to those materials like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons present in soot particles due to incomplete oxidation reactions with organic fuel molecules during high-temperature exposure while burning.

Improper Stacking

The process of stacking logs can be dangerous if not done correctly. If the log is too close to either side, it will put an unnecessary amount of pressure on the wood and cause a lot more smoke than usual. Not only that but this could also potentially decrease how efficient your fire pit becomes because there’s less oxygen for combustion in between those two stacks!

Logs are best stacked with space separating each one so they don’t push down onto another stack when you add them as well as make sure air gets through by leaving some spaces in-between where possible; otherwise, you’ll experience higher volumes of smoke from increased friction

Debris Buildup in Your Fire Pit

Clogging your fire pit with old ash and embers is a surefire way to make starting any new fires difficult. This could not only cause the pit to put out little to no heat but will also be smoky as you try and figure out what went wrong, potentially leading you into dangerous situations where sparks are involved!

Household Waste

Burning cardboard in a fire will create a lot of smoke, which can be unhealthy. The smoke-heavy cardboard is not only an eyesore but can produce unhealthy chemicals such as chlorine and dioxins which are carcinogenic.

So instead of using the treated kind for your campfire or bonfire, stick to tinder (dry leaves), kindling (sticks about 3 inches long), and wood you find outside if it’s available.

If the Fire Pit Unclean

If the fire pit is not cleaned before starting a new flame, the smoke will be thick and suffocating with no escape route but down your throat. Too much of it can lead to severe respiratory problems such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – which could require expensive medical care for generations to come!

Be vigilant about removing all ash from previous fires too; that’s where most of the toxic chemicals build up unnaturally when left unchecked over time.

Learn More: Tips To Divert Smoke From Your Fire Pit

How to Make a Smokeless Fire Pit?

If you want to make a smokeless fire pit for your backyard, here are some helpful tips on how to make a smokeless fire pit-

Step 1:

First of all, it’s important to confirm the rules from your local fire department about any potential outdoor fires. In highly populated areas or in places where wildfires are more likely to occur, you may need a permit for starting an outdoor fire and/or notifying officials before every single one- even if they’re small ones!

Step 2:

To create your smokeless hole, gather all of these necessities. Blocks for concrete and bricks are necessary to construct an enclosure around the hole in which you will build up some gravel-akin rubble from broken or castaway objects (metal sheeting, paving stones) that can support ash but not flame.

This metal liner should be about 18 inches deep to contain any embers escaping upwards into surrounding vegetation while still giving enough room below ground level for air circulation through cracks in its surface. Also, you can use a fire ring or fire bricks to increase their longevity.

Step 3:

The way you construct your fire pit is a very important decision. If the walls are not thick enough, they can burn out quickly and produce smoke that may ruin appetites and clothes alike! To avoid this problem, make sure to build at least 12-inch walls surrounding your hole so there will be plenty of fuel for those who gather around it.

The size of the opening should also be within 42 inches in diameter as anything above or below could lead to problems with wasting energy and money on unnecessary construction costs.

Step 4:

Build your fire pit away from structures and trees. We recommend at least 15-25 feet away from them for safety reasons! You can also place it outside of structures like patios and wood decks too. Use chalk spray paint to outline where you want the fireplace to be by dragging a string through that zone before hammering in stakes with attached strings while keeping an eye out for obstructions nearby.

Step 5:

Digging a hole for your fire pit is the first step in creating an outdoor area where you can relax after work. To do this, use one of two measurements- six inches deep or twelve inches deep depending on what type of space you’ll be using it in.

Once done with digging out the ground, remove any weeds and other debris from the topsoil before placing back into place to avoid catching onto something later when setting up your new backyard setup!

Step 6:

Now level the gravel. Leveling gravel is not always easy, but it can be done with the right tools. To make your job easier and more efficient, you should have a shovel handy as well as some heavy-duty equipment for pouring in different-sized rocks.

Pour each rock into the hole up to its surface before compacting it with your stamp or rake so that all loose stones are packed down tight without displacing any others nearby on top of them. 

Step 7:

Now you’re ready to lay down your first row of bricks, blocks, or paving stones. Take your time as it’s important to keep a level head and make sure that everything is even. If you’re using gravel chunks underneath some blocks for precision, insert them now before laying any more circles down!

Step 8:

Create your fire pit by adding a second and then third layer of blocks. Make sure to offset the layers so that you can ensure your smokeless, sturdy structure is stable!

If you are using stone or bricks as they don’t require mortar for support. Open up spaces between stones/blocks with air vents in order to maintain oxygen flow during use-the more airflow there is around the flames, the less smoky it will be inside!

Finally, you can place your fire bricks or ring. Don’t forget the smokeless structure is not long-lasting and a fire ring increases longevity purposes!

Methods of Building Smokeless Fire Pits

A smokeless fire pit is a perfect addition to your next backyard barbecue. It’s important to recognize, however, that they are not entirely smokeless and emit some amount of smoke if you don’t use the right fuel type.  For an even more environmentally conscience experience or one without any odor at all–get yourself a gas-powered model!

Charcoal Method

Charcoal is a common method of the fire pit to start a smokeless fire. It has a high burning capacity and is easy to carry, which makes it perfect for people who want an all-inclusive option that doesn’t require any maintenance or preparations before use. To make your own charcoal, you’ll need hardwood lumber bricks newspapers, and some kindling (fire starter). 

Start by placing one brick on top of five pieces of wood in order to create space between them so they can be lit more easily with just one match. Then place three sheets of newspaper over the pile until there are no gaps left open – this ensures higher heat distribution and oxygen infiltration during later stages when coals have been created after combustion begins taking place at different levels.

Upside Down Fire Method

Fire upside down is a survival cooking method that people typically use for camping and bonfires. This type of method produces a lot of coal. This is why the upside-down fire method is popular in nearby camps. This is the easiest and most effective way to quickly produce fire. In this method, regular tools like white paper, hardwood lumber, and logs can be used.

For this, you need to use large logs at the base and add small logs on the opposite side. Then place the firewood on top of the log and illuminate it by placing the white paper on top of it. This will allow it to carry enough oxygen to the fire which will help complete combustion. As a result, the pit will produce less smoke.

Dakota Fire Hole

Dakota fire pits are perfect for those who want an efficient way to cook food and have a small number of resources. In the Dakota method, people dig down into the ground and set a fire inside it. 

This is good because you need fewer supplies in order to do this than if you were using another type of pit, but there can be some risks as well with regards to ventilation and wind control since digging deep enough might not always make sense depending on what your needs are at that point in time or where other fires may exist nearby.

Additionally one has to ensure they keep themselves safe throughout their cooking process so that nothing gets damaged while having fun eating hot dogs! The Dakota chamber provides both efficiencies (since fewer materials are required).

How to Reduce Smoke From Fire Pit?

The smoke that emanates from an open fire pit is often one of the most unpleasant aspects to deal with. Although you can’t build a completely smokeless fire pit, there are a few ways you can minimize this problem and enjoy your fires without as much irritation in the air afterward! 

Use Seasoned or Kiln-dried Firewood

The best firewood is hardwoods that are cut, split, seasoned, or kiln-dried. Seasoned wood refers to green logs stacked outside for at least 6 months before use.

If you want to make your firewood, start with well-seasoned or kiln-dried hardwood like oak, hickory, ash, or cherry (there are other woods too), and cut it into split pieces before stacking. Hardwoods will burn longer than softwoods such as pine or cedar because they contain more wood fibers that can create hotter fires for cooking food on the grill.

Avoid Green Wood

Greenwood can be more difficult to burn than seasoned trees. The term greenwood is sometimes confusing because it’s not always a bright shade of yellow or orange like other types, but rather any type that has been recently cut and still contains high levels of moisture (contains more than 20% moisture) which will produce lots of smoke when burned up as energy in your fireplace. Stay away from these kinds if you want less smoke during those chilly winter evenings!

Create Proper Airflow in Your Fire

Another way to reduce smoke from your fire pit is by building the fuel in a lincoln log style. Arranging logs into an alternating pattern, it creates more space for airflow. This prevents incomplete combustion which will decrease the amount of smoke produced and make your campsite smell better than before! Fire needs oxygen, heat, and fuel to burn.

Building your campfire in a teepee shape–with kindling at the bottom and firewood on top, arranged in a square formation around the kindled material–will help reduce smoke while you’re enjoying it. This is due to an increase of oxygen that encourages greater combustion which reduces soot.

Properly Stack Your Firewood

When stacking the fire pit, it’s important to keep your eye on how much space there is between each piece of wood. If you don’t have enough airflow through the gaps for them to combust properly, they will smoke more and be less efficient.

If stacked improperly or without proper ventilation holes leading up into the next layer of logs (largely depending on what size log one starts with), these stacks may result not only in increased smoke but also decreased efficiency as well.

Keep Your Fire Pit Clean After Every Use

If you want to enjoy your next fire, be sure that any old debris  (ash,  partially burned firewood, embers, etc.)  in the pit has been removed. If it gets damp outside or if water collects inside, a new fire will not start easily on top of what’s left behind.


With the right tools and supplies, you can have a smokeless fire pit in your backyard! Smoke is an unfortunate consequence of outdoor fires. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the amount of smoke that comes from burning wood or charcoal. In the article, we’ve provided some instructions on how to make a smokeless fire pit using charcoal and an upside-down method for the best results. We hope, this will be helpful for you.