When moving into a new home a couple of years ago I declared it was time for a new fire pit to mark the occasion. Since we didn’t have a whole lot of extra money lying around, fresh off the costs of closing on a house, a permanent (i.e. expensive) stone patio option was out for the time being.
Whatever the solution was going to be, I decided it had to be wood-burning (our house is backed up to the woods), portable (we’re pretty mobile people), low-maintenance (I’ve got kids, I don’t have the time or money to be fixing things), and smokeless if possible (we’ve got neighbors to the immediate left and right of us).
Why I Chose the Breeo Double Flame Fire Pit
Up to this point, my sole experience with fire pits was with the cheap big-box store type that smoked like hell, rusted out after two seasons, and generally looked like crap throughout. You know the kind.
Anyway, I didn’t want a replay of that experience, but I also didn’t want to spend too much on something that might wind up being a short-term solution (I was still thinking about that stone-masonry fire pit).
Enter the Breeo Double Flame Fire Pit (see it at Breeo.com). At the time (and this is still the case) it was only one of two brand options that might meet my list of criteria.
The other brand being Solo Stove, which was only taking pre-orders then for its first fire pit model, the Bonfire, with delivery 6 months later. I wasn’t willing to wait, so they were out of the running.
The Breeo Double Flame’s reputation up to that point had been solid according to my research online and at first glance met all of my requirements, so I took the plunge.
What You Get
The portable wood-burning Breeo Double Flame fire pit comes in two sizes, 19” and 24,” with the 19” model available in stainless steel, and the 24” model available in stainless steel and steel with a high-heat black coating.
The first thing you notice with these fire pits is the weight. There is some heft to both sizes, which may make some reconsider its actual portability. The 19” model weighs 48 lbs. out of the box, and the 24” model weighs 57 lbs.
My personal standard for what is portable is when an object can be lifted and carried about 50 ft by a healthy full-grown adult, male or female, without stopping.
I know this won’t be the case for everyone, but I think one can call both models portable and keep a straight face. My only experience is with the 19” model and I can move it pretty easily holding on to the metal “flange” on the rim of the fire pit’s opening.
Unless you are an elite athlete of some sort (or a glutton for punishment) you are not going to want to take it hiking, camping, etc. with you, or anywhere on foot over long distances for that matter. I think moving it around the yard, or by vehicle to another venue, and offloading it to a spot nearby will be the limits of both models’ portability.
It’s the gauge (or thickness) of the Breeo Double Flame’s 304 Stainless Steel that makes it heavier in comparison to similar models made by other companies. The steel is much thicker, particularly in the walls of the Breeo fire pit, but that thickness, while adding weight, translates into durability.
A common complaint directed at Breeo’s main competitor is that their models, while light, dent too easily. A tradeoff many fire pit owners don’t mind making I suppose.
What is 304 Stainless Steel? 304 Stainless Steel is a type of steel that’s been blended with chromium and nickel to make it corrosion-resistant. The number “304” comes from the steel grade numbering system managed by the U.S.-based Society of Automotive Engineers, or SAE.
Breeo Double Flame Fire Pits come with a vertical double-wall design that is key to their ability to be smokeless – more on that in a bit.
The fire pit itself is held off the ground by four “feet” attached to the base that aid airflow through the holes in the bottom of the fire pit (another part of the smokeless design) and provides clearance to prevent the fire pit’s hot surfaces from touching the ground.
I like the fact that they designed these fire pits with four feet, vice three, as it makes them more tip-resistant. Nobody ever means to knock over a fire pit but when you do its not good. Four points of contact with the ground is always better.
Regarding rust, of all the fire pits I’ve used in the past, the Double Flame is the most corrosion-resistant that I’ve come across. Sure, you’ll get some spots here and there but its no comparison with most wood-burning steel fire pits on the market.
After a few burns, you will start to notice a purple-ish patina towards the top of the fire pit and around the flange but it doesn’t really take away from the aesthetic.
These are well-built, solid fire pits that come ready to go out of the box. And with no moving parts there less to break or lose.
What is a Smokeless Fire Pit?
Fire pits marketed today are as smokeless are a new take on an old concept, the TLUD, or Top- Lit Updraft gasifier design.
For fire pit use, this design uses a two-stage process to drastically reduce fire pit smoke by burning it off before it leaves the confines of the fire pit.
When a fire is started and begins to burn, cool air is pulled in through holes in the bottom of the fire pit – this air then travels up through a space between the double-wall structure where it exits holes near the fire pit’s rim feeding heated oxygen that mixes with the smoke, fueling a second stage of combustion that “re-burns” the smoke prior to it escaping into the surrounding air.
One thing I need to clear up though, there is no such thing as a smoke-free fire pit and no manufacturer will make that claim When you see the word “smokeless,” think somewhere between less to greatly reduced smoke, not smoke-free.
Most smoke is generated when at the beginning of the fire or when wood is added and this is often due to it not being dry enough (~20-25% moisture content).
Even the best smokeless fire pits will smoke initially when green, non-seasoned or damp wood is added. Smokeless fire pits do a great job burning this moisture and the resulting smoke off quickly once a good fire is going and it’s nice and hot. The Breeo Double Flame Fire Pit is particularly good at doing this as they tend to burn very hot.
More on the Breeo Double Flame Fire Pit
Just a few key observations and tips for those considering a Breeo Fire Pit…
These fire pits burn very hot and you will notice it as soon as the fire gets going. No complaints there of course, particularly during the colder months. Also, the hotter the burn is the less smoke there tends to be. No complaint there either.
Make sure to keep an eye on small children and pets and keep them at a safe distance.
Also, use caution on what surface you put the fire pit on from both a safety and cosmetic damage standpoint (grass, decks, etc.). You’ll want to use a very robust heat barrier if you decide to use this fire pit and any surface other than concrete, flagstone, etc.
Did I mention they burn hot?
Made from the Ground Up for Cooking
Just a personal observation but it seems like certain manufacturers in the fire pit industry had to be dragged kicking and screaming into making fire pits you could cook on.
These brands have either resisted recommending cooking on their fire pits altogether or have been slow to release accessories that support it. A quick look at any of Breeo’s marketing material will show that’s not the case with them.
The Breeo Double Flame Fire Pit models (and many other Breeo fire pits) are designed to be used for cooking and are equipped out of the box to be paired with cooking accessories specifically made for them.
These accessories (fire pit cooking grate and post) are purchased separately though. There is a hole in the Double Flame’s rim in which the grill post is inserted during setup.
Cooking will require a little more cleanup if you decide to use a Double Flame for that purpose but at least it’s an option. I haven’t cooked on the Double Flame yet, other than hotdogs and marshmallows on a stick, but I’ll update once I put the grill and grate through its paces.
Breeo Double Flame Fire Pit Tips
Just a few items you may want to make note of if you pick up a Breeo fire pit:
Sharp Edges Some consumers have reported sharp edges on the metal flange on the opening of these fire pits. It hasn’t been a problem for me but this complaint has been out there for a while so I wouldn’t be surprised if Breeo has taken steps to remedy it by now.
If you experience this, I’d either contact Breeo directly or take a grinder or file and round the sharp edges off where you find them.
Air Flow Holes For these fire pits to operate at their best, you’ve got to remove all ash and other debris after each use. You’ll want to do this to make sure the air holes at the bottom of the fire pit on the inside don’t get clogged up. If they do get clogged you won’t get as efficient a burn, you may see more smoke than usual, and it won’t drain as well if left out in the elements when not in use.
Don’t Burn Softwoods Stay away from softwoods like pines, cedar, fir, etc. if you can; these types of wood tend to have a high pitch content and can gum up the ports throughout the fire pit, smoke excessively, and make clean up a hassle.
Use Kiln-Dried or Well Seasoned Hardwood Firewood Sure it’s “smokeless” but to take max advantage of that feature it helps to use the dryest wood possible. The Double Flame will burn that moisture off quickly if you use high-moisture content firewood but you may have to sit through a little smoke until that happens. Just use the dryest wood you can to skip all of that.
Fortunately, I haven’t had to deal with their customer service department yet but from my research online, the experience is hit or miss. Company responses reported are a mix of quick and efficient, slow, or not at all.
I’ll give them credit though, they do actively monitor online buyer reviews on sites like Amazon and will reach out to those with complaints in an effort to solve their problem.
Additionally, they seem to be very active on a variety of social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, and others, so that can be a way to get their attention as well if needed.
Regarding Breeo’s Warranty (from their website)
“Breeo holds a limited 3-year warranty on all Smoke Less fire pits. This warranty covers any defects in material to workmanship of the product. However, this warranty does not cover any defects with respect to paint and surface rust on areas affected by fire or heat.”
Pretty cut and dry, especially compared with most warranties in the fire pit business. Most are written in a way that doesn’t give much comfort to the consumer if there is a problem. Breeo’s three years is pretty generous considering the stresses the product goes through.
A Little About Breeo
- Been in business since 2011
- Products are made in the U.S., in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania by Amish craftsmen
- Won “Best in Show for Outdoor Products” at the 14th Annual Vesta Awards presented by Hearth & Home magazine
- All fire pit designs are smokeless
Review Bottom Line
With a Double Flame, you get a very rust and damage resistant, smokeless, portable, wood-burning, heavy-duty fire pit that you won’t have to throw out after two years.
This is a tough fire pit with some weight behind it. Sure you’ll get some patina as time passes, but you won’t have to worry about babying it when you carry it, load it into the back of your truck or SUV, put it in storage, etc.
The smokeless feature can’t be overstated; if you’ve ever played musical chairs around the fire pit when the wind changes you know what I mean. Use good wood and get this thing nice and hot and smoke will be minimal to non-existent.
If you want to change the spot where you set up your fire pit or take it on the road it’s not going to take a team lift to get it done.
Good firewood is relatively cheap and even more so if you split and stack it yourself. My backyard runs right into the treeline against several acres of oak that could last me a lifetime so this fire pit just made sense in my case.
Looks like I may never get my stone patio fire pit…oh well.
Also, take a look at my articles 5 Smokeless Fire Pit Advantages You Haven’t Heard Of and 5 Incredibly Easy Ways to Reduce Fire Pit Smoke for more on the benefits and features of smokeless fire pits.
Good luck, thanks for reading, and take care! – BT