Fall Cocktails for the Fire Pit

By Jennifer Thibodeau
on October 21, 2016

At our house this past summer, we moved one of our fire pits to our pool area (that's the beauty of a portable fire pit) and, when entertaining, easily transitioned from beer by the pool to beer by the fire pit. But with the arrival of cooler fall weather, a cold beer isn't always the preference when entertaining outdoors. A nice glass of red wine is always a hit around here, but this fall we're changing it up and experimenting with some fun cocktails.
Pumpkin Pie Punch
On the menu in October are fun drinks such as Black Magic Jello Shots, Halloween Pumpkin Punch, and Dark & Stormy Death Punch.

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches and temperatures dip even more, some hot drinks will hopefully make an appearance - Spiked Apple Pie Punch, Hot Buttered Rum, and for a great non-alcoholic option, Eggnog Latte.

So many drinks..so little time. Here's to fire pits, friends, and a nice beverage to round out a great evening. Enjoy!

Got fire pit tips or stories to share? Send them to info@backyardfirepitfun.com and we'll consider posting them. And be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter, & Pinterest to stay up-to-date on the latest tips, sales, and all things fire pit.

Fire Pits in the Fall?

By Jennifer Thibodeau
on October 08, 2016

The hot summer nights may have turned into cool, crisp ones, but the end of summer doesn't have to mean the end of fire pit fun! 

fall fire pit

A fire pit is the perfect answer to the crisp, cool nights of fall and can provide you and your friends with the ambiance of a fireplace without busting your budget. Adults and kids alike love the appeal of an open fire and the snug atmosphere it can create in any backyard or patio area. Whether toasting marshmallows, drinking a hot beverage, or just sitting around watching the flames, a fire pit is a fabulous addition to your home's outdoor space.

Ways to utilize your fire pit in the chillier weather:

Hot cocoa & s'mores: because, really, is there ever a time when these sweet treats go out of season? And the chilly night is perfect for wrapping your hands around a hot beverage. Adults, want to try an interesting hot cocoa recipe? Check out this Red Wine Hot Cocoa > 

Backyard Tailgating: football season is in full swing! And along with it, lots of snacks and yummy game-day treats. Why not gather around the fire pit before the big game and enjoy those eats while rallying the fans to cheer on their favorite team? Let's Go Team!

raking up fall leaves around the fire pitYard Clean-Up:
along with fall come dead leaves and branches. Why not make the clean up a bit easier by burning the extra brush? Kids will love to help out! 

And here's a great fall idea - put a basket out at the fire pit full of warm, comfy blankets; hats; & gloves. Your guests will love it!
blankets for warmth at the fire pit
As always, we encourage you to follow good fire pit safety practices. Visit our Safety Tips page for more info.

Got fire pit tips or stories to share? Send them to info@backyardfirepitfun.com and we'll consider posting them. And be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter, & Pinterest to stay up-to-date on the latest tips, sales, and all things fire pit.

Saying Goodbye to Old Friends

By Jennifer Thibodeau
on September 26, 2016

by Ted Hebert, Guest blogger

Sometimes you just have to let go. It’s hard, they’ve been with you for years. They’ve supported you in good times and bad. But, they are getting old, infirm, unsafe, untrustworthy, creaky even.

No, not your in-laws living in the basement…your old chairs around the fire pit!

Yup, my old chairs are seeing the end of days (and nights). After five years of good outdoor use, we’ve repaired them so many times it’s hard to tell original parts from new. And, there are more screws and nails in them than a 10-year-old’s first home-made tree fort. It’s time all right, but now the question is - what kind of new chairs should we get?

Fire Pit Adirondack Chairs

The choices of outdoor furniture on the market today can be daunting, what with the “InterWebs” and the “Googler” able to pull up just about any shape, size, and material a chair can be constructed from. This last set of chairs came from a local outdoor furniture store, and they were a steal at $99 a chair – or so we thought. They came pre-assembled and appeared to be sturdy enough but after a few months the creaking and cracking started, and then arms started coming off, and then back-slats and seat slats started popping. Repairs were a monthly ritual. Some of our dearest friends and neighbors were falling through and over (and not just from being 'over served' around the fire pit).

This time, we were going for quality. I checked out many local, in-store chairs but none were of the quality hardwood needed for rigorous and continuous outdoor use. Our friends at Backyard FirePit Fun had what they thought was the perfect choice and I ordered one (priced at $199 plus shipping) as a tester before going all in.

Ordering & Assembly
The online ordering was quick and easy and they take PayPal™, which is safe and convenient. You’ll see the Adirondack chair we ordered here.  The description notes that each piece is handcrafted from 1-inch thick western red cedar, with 
Instructions for DIY Adirondackgalvanized hardware and TiteBond™ wood glue included. This was going to be one sturdy chair!

The chair shipped within the promised time frame and the box was packed well to stand up to cross-country shipping. Naturally being a frugal Mainer, we ordered the “unassembled” Adirondack chair, but you can also order a partially pre-assembled and painted version, as well, for a few more bucks.

Putting the Adirondack Chair togetherWith the chair parts unpacked and organized (everything is well labeled for easy assembly), it was time to get this baby put together. I am NOT a DIY-er but I had no trouble following the well-noted and pictured instructions, and I took my time, making sure I read the directions carefully, and dry-fitted and staged parts to ensure they were where they were supposed to be before any glue or screws were put into place.

Within a few hours my new chair was assembled. It should have taken me less than two hours, but like I said, I have little to no carpentry skills so I went very slowly and I may have paused every now and then for some liquid refreshment. It came out great! So much so, in fact, that we are going to order and assemble another three chairs and wait until next season to let them turn a natural patina until we coat them with a clear outdoor protectant.


Unfinished Adirondack Chair for the Fire PitAs for quality, you’ll find no better.
These chairs are sturdy, with no creak or wobble, and are sure to provide years of use. How sturdy? Well, yours truly is about 6'2" and well fed, tipping the scale out at about 225 (with my heavy jeans on), so the chairs will have no trouble providing support and comfort for any of your larger friends and neighbors. Happy pitting!

Got fire pit tips or stories to share? Send them to info@backyardfirepitfun.com and we'll consider posting them. And be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter, & Pinterest to stay up-to-date on the latest tips, sales, and all things fire pit.

 

Cooking at the Fire Pit? Yep.

By Jennifer Thibodeau
on September 20, 2016

Our family greatly enjoys the time spent with friends around our backyard fire pit. We laugh; enjoy some cocktails; sometimes nibble on a few apps; and even talk about the current issues of the day (politics and religion are not taboo and evoke some great conversations).

Hawaiian Chicken Foil PacketBut something we have yet to do - but want to - is cook a meal at the fire pit. We are hoping to give it a try now that hot summer nights have turned to crisp almost-autumn ones here in Maine. It can involve the whole family and there are truly a ton of recipes to try out - including some dessert ones that sound absolutely amazing.

If you'd like to join us in enjoying a meal around your wood burning fire pit, check out the ideas we have posted on our Pinterest Fire Pit Cooking board to get you started.

Got fire pit tips or stories to share? Send them to info@backyardfirepitfun.com and we'll consider posting them. And be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter, & Pinterest to stay up-to-date on the latest tips, sales, and all things fire pit.

 

From Dressed-Up Diva to Fire Pit Fanatic

By Jennifer Thibodeau
on September 03, 2016

Ok....well, co-owner Trish is maybe not exactly a 'fanatic' but definitely a fan. 

It all started with an innocent question a few years back, "Do you want to meet hubby and I uptown for dinner and drinks? Then we'll come back to our fire pit." Her response: "Ummm..not a fire pit girl."

Ok. I get it. It's not for everyone. Especially the wood-burning type, which we enjoy. And she's a hairdresser. And her hair would end up smelling like smoke. Plus, her clothes are a bit fancy for the pit, I have to admit.

So we enjoyed a nice dinner and my husband and I went back home to start the pit. Lo and behold, our friends drive by, see the fire, and decide "What the heck?!" Next thing you know, she was chatting happily in a chair by the pit and history was made.

Although she's still bound to be a dressed-up diva, and outshine the rest of us in our flannel and jeans, Trish actually enjoys time spent around the fire pit nowadays. There's always laughter. A drink or two. And usually a cigar.

.

She has come a long way, baby...

If you haven't tried it - we highly recommend it. You may just find you have a love for it, too!

Got fire pit tips or stories to share? Send them to
info@backyardfirepitfun.com and we'll consider posting them. And be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram, Twitter, & Pinterest to stay up-to-date on the latest tips, sales, and all thing fire pit.

Backyard Fire Pit Fun: The Art of the Start Can Be Simple

By Jennifer Thibodeau
on August 27, 2016

Guest blogger: Ted Hebert, Fire Pit Aficionado

We've all been there. The sun is sinking low, the guests are just finishing their burgers and hot dogs, and everyone is ready for a nice glowing fire. Backyard fire pit aficionados, and most Scouts, know the basics to lighting a fire: dry tinder, small, dry kindling, and a match. But, alas, you may be none of these, and somewhat new to the backyard fire pit game. And, it was raining last night and there’s nothing dry around, and the last newspaper in the house hasn’t been seen since the iPad took over. Panic sets in, as you scurry around for paper towels and a match (DON’T DO IT). ARRGG! You just want to get some logs that are left over from last winter’s wood pile going to keep your guests happy and the night fun.

There is a simple yet somewhat non-traditional way to get a fire in your pit going quickly, and safely using wood pellets and fire gel. Easily purchased for less $20 total from any local hardware store, wood pellets (come in 40lb. bags) are normally used in either an indoor wood pellet stove, or in outdoor wood pellet grills. An easy and environmentally-conscious source of heat, wood pellets (basically compressed sawdust) have been around for commonplace use since the 1970's, when oil and gas prices went sky-high.

The other component in the easy-fire-pit-lighting scenario is fire gel. Normally used to light indoor pellet stoves, and comprised of mostly of alcohol in gel form, fire gel is safe (won’t spark or flare up), non-toxic, and smokeless, making it perfect for most backyard fire pit applications.

Light My Fire

Place two small pieces of split wood four to six inches apart, then place a handful or two of wood pellets in between them. Squirt fire gel on top of the pellets in either a circular or squiggle pattern around the outside-to-inside of the pellet pile. Begin to stack crossways or tepee style other pieces of wood, approximately two layers, making sure the wood is centered over the pellet and gel pile but not smothering it. Using a stick lighter or long match, light the pellet gel pile from the bottom, back up and watch as your fire pit slowly and safely ignites.

The pellet-gel method is not traditional and will not win you a merit badge, but your friends and neighbors won’t care as the fire burns brightly into the night. And don’t be surprised if you see others copying your “new trick,” as it is truly the safest and quickest method for anybody to light a backyard fire pit.

Happy pitting!

Got fire pit tips or stories to share? Send them to info@backyardfirepitfun.com and we'll consider posting them. And be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram, Twitter, & Pinterest to stay up-to-date on the latest tips, sales, and all thing fire pit.

 

Fire Pit Safety Tips

By Jennifer Thibodeau
on August 15, 2016

 8/15/16

Fire pits are supposed to be fun - we get it. However, practicing a bit of caution while enjoying said fun is an absolute must.

We recently came across an article in Mother Earth News written by a former wildland firefighter (so the girl's got some experience) and she has lots of wise advice, to be sure. For instance, fire pit positioning is key to safety; prep work is involved; and you should never burn paper in your pit. Who knew?

Outdoor Fire Pit Safety Tips

Read more tips and advice from Idaho firefighter, Jennifer Tuohy here > 

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