Once the weather turns cooler, entertaining alfresco becomes less of an
option-unless you have an outdoor fireplace. CFM Specialty Home Products offers
several models suited to a variety of environments, and functioning with either
gas or wood (myownbbq.com). Also consider the Oasis from Lennox Hearth
Products, a wood burner with a large viewing area and stainless-steel screens
(lennoxhearthproducts.com). And remember: When installing a fireplace, hire a
certified professional. For fireplace surrounds, contact the Mason Contractors
of America (masoncontractors.org).
Chimeneas are an inexpensive alternative to outdoor fireplaces.
Editor's Picks: Firepits
Smith & Hawken backyard firepit. This classic firepit's
extra-thick copper basin (24″ dia.) makes it durable, while its light weight
makes it portable. Do not use on flammable surfaces. (29 lbs.;
Unique Arts 30″-high copper firepit. Because the
solid-copper bowl is raised, the flame is elevated, making this pit perfect for
decks or wooden surfaces. Includes a shelf and steel grill for barbecuing (35
Frontgate outdoor copper firepit. At 40″W x 9″D, this pit
can hold large logs, for a longer-burning fire. A deep basin helps contain
ashes and a wrought-iron base keeps the basin stable (66 lbs.;
Step 1: Build a base.
Newspaper "wands" work well. Take a sheet and roll it from one corner
to the other, tying it with twine. Make a half-dozen of these and lay them on
Step 2: Add some kindling.
Cross about a dozen dry twigs (those the diameter of your thumb are best) in
the grate on top of the newspaper.
Step 3: Stack the logs.
Seasoned wood, or logs that have dried for at least six months, should be
loosely placed in the grate, allowing for air space.
Step 4: Open the damper.
Now roll another wand, light it, and touch it to the newspaper in the grate.
Immediately replace or close the screen. Remember, never leave a fire