This winter’s (literal) hottest accessory? That would be a fire pit. There is nothing better than cozying up to a fire when the weather gets cold, and this year we’re hunting for any way to keep warm during an extended outdoor patio season. With a fire pit, you can easily create a ton of wintry ambience and practical heat in your backyard—add a mug or two of a steaming seasonal cocktail and you might not go inside until spring.
Depending on what you want out of your fire pit, there is a model for you. Below are a few of our favorites that span a range of styles: some double as patio furniture if you’re looking to save space, some rely on propane tanks to create a serious amount of radiant heat, and some are wood-burning if you’d like to get your camping-style cooking on from the comfort of your own backyard.
Pits that double as outdoor tables
Maximize every inch of space in your yard by opting for a fire pit that sensibly doubles as other furniture. These models include hard covers that fill in the center pit to create a full tabletop surface when not in use. Whether you go for a tall side table or one that’s lower and more coffee table–adjacent, you’ll be able to rest plates of just-grilled dinner on them during the summer months and transform them into warm centerpieces for outdoor gatherings once temperatures drop.
$199.00, Home Depot
Wood-burning fire pits
A wood-burning fire pit is your best bet if you’d like to do some cooking as well as keep warm. Put your Girl Scout skills to the test building a fire in one of these self-contained iron or stone pits—many of which include mesh covers to keep the flames from jumping—and get your long-armed cooking utensils ready to make s’mores and flame-licked sausages, winter’s answer to a barbecue.
$479.00, Home Depot
Pits with propane tank attachments
If creating a lot of heat is your primary goal with a fire pit—to ensure that your distant gatherings can continue deep into the winter months—a propane fire pit is probably your move. An external gas tank packs a lot of power with limited effort on your end; simply hook it up to the gas line connection on the side of the fire pit to create some instant coziness. If you’d like to hide the tank away for safety and aesthetics, look for a fire pit model that fits the tank right inside its base or that comes with a matching sidecar in which to house your propane. On the whole these fire pits are a bit more expensive, but they’re sleek in design and work “almost too well,” according to associate social media manager Andrew Spena, who loves the Project 62 fire column he keeps in his back garden.
$312.00, Home Depot
$3598.00, Crate & Barrel
Mini fire pits
Possibly a full-blown fire pit is more than your backyard can handle, or you’re yard-less and still want to get into the spirit of the season (I’m raising my hand here). These smaller-scale fire pits might be the answer for you: some work on an outdoor tabletops, some are portable for chilly trips to the beach, and some are so teeny you can light them up right in your kitchen—not great for wintry outdoor gatherings, but extremely cute and hygge-inspiring for a festive night inside.
Originally Appeared on Epicurious