The Solo Stove is a wood-burning fire pit that produces very little smoke thanks to its patented design and strategically placed vent holes.
Smokeless fire pits may sound like an oxymoron, but they're growing in popularity as well as availability.
Solo Stove has designed a smokeless fire pit that not only lives up to its claim of clean-burning but is beautiful to look at and can host a blazing fire in as little as about five minutes.
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Solo Stove's Signature 360° Airflow Design™ includes a double-wall structure that promotes excellent airflow. The vent holes around the top allow the preheated oxygen to fuel the flame, giving us a secondary burn that is truly mesmerizing to watch.
The fire ring helps keep the fire centered and even.
The outside of your Solo Stove will get VERY hot during use. Anything or anyone that brushes against the outside will get burned in the process. It's important to warn your guests who may not be familiar with this fire pit of its danger before someone tries to warm their feet, melting their shoes to the side of your fire pit. We've seen many reports of melted shoes, chairs, burned articles of loose clothing, not to mention burned skin.
If you're concerned that verbal warnings might not be enough protection, many people use various types of "surrounds" to create a barrier between the stove and its users. This could be anything from placing your stove inside a second more open-design firepit with a table to building something more permanent built with landscape stones.
Solo Stove makes 3 different sizes of fire pits and naturally, each stove's portability is in direct proportion to its size.
The mid-sized option is the Solo Stove Bonfire. This stove is a little bigger and heavier. Weighing in at 20 pounds, however, it also comes with a handy carrying case making this still a great option for camping and other options.
The Solo Stove Yukon, the largest fire pit has not been created for portability. It's significantly larger than the previous two units, and at 38 pounds it's just not meant to be moved around a whole lot. This is the backyard firepit.
Cleaning the Solo Stove
The success of this fire pit depends on the ability of air to circulate through all the vent holes the way it was designed. For that reason, it is very important to clean out the interior of your stove between each use; typically the next morning following a burn.
Can you use a Solo Stove on a deck?
While this fire pit does get very hot to the touch during a burn, the Solo Stove stand raises up the firepit to allow cooler air to flow underneath making it safe to use on a wood or Trex deck.
Is Solo Stove really smokeless?
We have had one fire that was a little smokey and all the other fires were smokeless. Here's what we learned: When we used a softer variety of firewood that wasn't fully seasoned, the fire tended to smoke more. However, when we followed Solo Stove's recommendations for building a smokeless fire, and we used hard, dry, seasoned wood, our bonfires were smokeless every single time.
What's the best type of wood to burn?
We have found that hard woods like maple, oak, birch, and most fruit trees are the best for feeding our Yukon. It's a big fire pit and can go through a lot of firewood in one night. But it will easily consume twice as many splits of a softer variety of wood.
It's also important to only use well seasoned, dry wood. We got a rick and a half of cherry wood last summer that has been seasoning on our Woodhaven wood rack all through the winter. I love that it has a short cover that keeps the top rows of wood nice and dry and ready for our next bonfire.
Can You Cook on a Solo Stove?
Yes, you can cook on a Solo Stove, but with some consequences. Many users have set cooking racks across the top of their fire pits to grill food over the intense heat. However, keep in mind that this will result in a bigger mess than just ashes at the end of the night. Whenever you're cooking meat over a fire, you're introducing grease and drippings that may complicate your clean-up. Personally, we limit our Solo Stove cooking to roasting hot dogs, s'mores, and the occasional campfire pie.
Solo Stove Sizes
Solo Stove Yukon
304 Stainless Steel
8-10 Logs up to 22" long
Check out our Yukon Backyard Bundle unboxing video here.
Solo Stove Bonfire
304 Stainless Steel
4-6 Logs up to 16" long
Solo Stove Ranger
304 Stainless Steel
4-6 log splits up to 12" long
Are the Solo Stove Accessories Worth the Price?
When Solo Stove announced the new handle last month, I'll admit my first reaction was "we don't need that." But Melissa had already jumped on the bandwagon and ordered one right away. Honestly? I'm so glad she did. For such a simple little tool, it makes clean up and moving the stove SO much easier. You may not need it, but you'll be really glad if you add it to your Solo Stove collection.
Full transparency? We don't have the lid...yet. But I can think of a few reasons why it would be nice to have it. With the lid, your fire pit can function as a table when not in use burning an actual fire. Also, at the end of the evening when your fire has died down to only hot embers and you're ready to head in for the night but there's a chance of rain? No problem. Just set the lid on your Solo Stove and go to bed.
We got the spark shield as part of the Yukon Backyard Bundle. Admittedly, we don't use it for every bonfire, but when we're burning wood that is particularly prone to crackling and popping, we're always glad we have it to cut down on the sparks and save our furniture cushions.
We just built our paver patio last fall and did all the work by ourselves. For that reason, we are especially protective because we literally put our own blood, sweat, and tears into its creation. The last thing we wanted to do was burn a ring into our nice new patio. We were thrilled to learn that the stand makes it safe for the Solo Stove to burn on our patio as well as any wood or Trex decking. The Stand came as part of our Yukon Backyard Bundle, but I know right now Solo Stove is giving away a free stand with the purchase of a stove for a limited time.
Solo Stoves are made out of 304 Stainless Steel so the outside of the fire pit will stand up to the elements quite well. However, I have seen other users report rusting on the inside and for that reason, we wanted to have the shelter to protect our investment. The shelter was included in our Yukon Backyard bundle.
The roasting sticks are pretty pricey, I admit. And at first, I was pretty dead-set against ever spending that kind of money on sticks for roasting marshmallows. But they went on sale one day and we decided to go ahead and splurge on a set. When we opened them up for the first time we realized, "OH! That's why they're so expensive!" This is by far the nicest set of roasting sticks I've ever seen or owned. They will also likely be the last set of roasting sticks I'll ever own because they will probably outlive me, they are that high of quality.
Fire Pit Tools
After seeing how great the roasting sticks turned out, we decided that the tools would probably be a worthwhile buy as well. And just like all the other Solo Stove products we've received, these are of top quality, not to mention critical tools to have when starting fires and adding a continuous supply of wood into the bonfire.
Is a Solo Stove Worth It?
Quite honestly, our Yukon is the best fire pit we've ever owned.
Several years ago, we made the switch from a wood-burning firepit to a propane firepit because my wife couldn't stand ending the day reeking of smoke.
Yes, that firepit was easy to just flip on with a switch and it didn't force us to take a shower before climbing in bed, but it was also really lacking in ambiance. The flame was quite small, sometimes barely visible. It hardly put out any heat to warm the people gathered around it.
So when we first learned about Solo Stove at the HPBA Expo last year we were intrigued by the boast of a smokeless firepit. So much so apparently, that my wife decided to surprise me with one for Christmas.
When we finally lit it up for the first time (after the intense winter weather had passed), we knew to expect a lot less smoke than our old wood-burning fire pit we'd given to the neighbors years ago. But I don't think we were prepared for the truly stunning fires that we would be enjoying.
Visually stunning? Yes.
Worth it? Heck yes.