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Fire pits for every budget

By Lisa Zwirn
Globe Correspondent / August 31, 2011

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You can pay $50 to $2,999 for a backyard fire pit, depending on whether it’s utilitarian or designed for Napa luxury. Look for them in home improvement stores such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and Target, in fireplace stores, and online.

Simple steel or copper bowls that sit on metal stands range from $50 to $150; larger, sturdier models with deeper fire bowls (some have attractive cutouts or latticework around the perimeter) and table-style models can run $200 to $700. Fire bowls with a diameter of 30 to 38 inches are the most popular sizes.

A chiminea is an outdoor fireplace that looks like an old-fashioned stove, made of clay, cast iron, cast aluminum, copper, or steel; prices range from $200 to $600 (learn more at www.thebluerooster.com).

Napa Style (www.napastyle.com) offers cowboy cauldrons: large, deep fire bowls that hang from a metal tripod. A rack can be placed over the bowl for grilling or you can hang a Dutch oven over the fire. Cowboy cooking doesn’t come cheap; cauldrons range in price from $1,299 to $2,999.

To make your own fire pit, look for supplies at home improvement stores.

For live fire cookery, purchase heavy, flameproof pots, skillets, and utensils. Tongs, spatulas, and forks should have long handles; many are available at outdoor stores and kitchen shops.