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Your Fire Pit Is More Useful Than You Think

A fire pit isn't just for fall or winter. Here's how to take advantage of yours even in the hotter months.

a Breeo fire pit in the snow
Yes, you can use your fire pit all year long.
Breeo

This story is part of Home Tips, CNET's collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

A fire pit is great for those cool, brisk evenings in the fall and winter. But don't keep it locked up half the year: Your fire pit is excellent for any season and any occasion, including a Summer barbecue

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Thinking of hosting a summer soiree or a backyard cookout? Consider using an outdoor fire pit. From grilling hot dogs to gathering around the fire with friends and family, it's the ultimate backyard accessory. So don't forget about your fire pit during the warmer months and instead follow our reasons why to use a fire pit every season of the year. (For even more ways to love your backyard and patio, check out our favorite gas grillselectric lawn mowerscoolers and grilling tools of the year).

Read more: 4 Ways to Save Money Shopping for a Fire Pit

Summer 

The arrival of hot weather means it's the start of grilling season -- and one of the best ways to cook outdoors is with a wood-burning fire pit. 

Most fire pits can operate as simple cookers right out of the box. Think basic hot dogs and s'mores. Add in the right cooking accessories, though, and these fire pits become true outdoor stoves and grills. 

Solo Stove, for example, offers cooking system bundles for all of its fire pits. They run the gamut from grills and woks to stands for your own cast-iron pots and pans.

Breeo also sells various aftermarket cooking products for its pits. For instance, the Breeo Outpost Grill attaches to the side of X Series fire pits, and you can use it to grill food directly or as a stand for cookware. The Outpost comes with steak too so you can mount it over ordinary campfires.

You can't count BioLite out in this regard, either. The company hawks a FirePit cook accessory set that includes a grill lid, a cast-iron griddle and various cooking utensils.

Read more5 Tips for Using Your Fire Pit as a Grill

Colorful chairs around a fire pit

Fire pits are perfect for s'mores and summer cookouts. 

Jon Lovette/ Getty Images

Fall

For most people, fall is when your fire pit gets the most use. No doubt that's because it's hard to beat the lovely smell of a hardwood fire when there's a chill in the air. Fall is football season too. Think about hosting your own personal tailgate or even a larger gathering right in your yard. 

The Swedish torch method of building a fire generates lots of heat.

Brian Bennett/CNET

Winter

Sitting out in front of your fire pit during colder months may not sound like much fun, but fire pits produce plenty of heat. In fact, many smokeless fire pit models are particularly good at spreading their warmth. 

For instance, the Breeo X Series gets hot enough to cook over even in the depths of winter. The fire pit's steel construction and sear plate also put out plenty of radiant heat.

Solo Stove is another well-regarded smokeless fire pit brand. Its products operate at high temperatures, consuming wood with an efficient low-smoke burn. The company also recently announced a new heat deflector accessory that's designed to push as much heat as possible out and to the sides of the fire. Due to supply chain problems, however, the product is on backorder until May. The good news is that you don't have to use a fancy deflector to up your pit's heat output.

There's always the Swedish torch method. This style of fire-building calls for stacking as much wood into your pit at once as you can. You also stack logs vertically so that their ends stick out of the pit lengthwise. You then light the wood from the top center of the stack. As the fire burns, it travels from the inside outwards and gradually moves from top to bottom. This style of fire produces a more radiant heat, perfect for cold weather.

You can convert some fire pits, especially this Breeo shown here, into serious outdoor cooking machines.

Breeo

Spring

As winter recedes and temperatures begin to grow warmer, the urge to fire up your pit will increase. It always does for me. And if you plan to take advantage of the change in seasons to tidy up your yard, your pit can help, as well. 

Burning dry, dead branches and fallen leaves that have piled up over the winter is always satisfying, and definitely more fun than stuffing them in yard waste bags for disposal. Just be sure not to burn any treated lumber, since it will emit hazardous fumes. Likewise, before you ignite anything, it's always a good idea to check any local fire restrictions due to dry foliage or risk of forest fires. 

So whether it happens to summer, spring, winter or fall, you have plenty of reasons to ignite your fire pit. Your backyard beckons. 

Want more recommendations to spice up your backyard or patio? Check out these five inexpensive ways to tech out your patio and these five tips to become a grill master this summer. Then read these resources next: