VASNER Fire Bowl Guide
Buying a Fire Bowl - Test Checklist for Choosing the Right Firepit
Before you decide on a particular fire bowl, you should conduct a personal test by checking each model against the following criteria. These test questions will help you determine the quality and suitability of the fire dish for your purposes.
- What would you like to use the fire bowl / fire basket for? Different models are suitable for different purposes. If you are planning on using the firepit as a barbecue, you must also consider the necessary accessories when buying a fire bowl. If you are only looking for a heat source or a decorative element for your backyard / patio, you can focus more on aspects of design.
- What material should the fire bowl be made of? This question is not only important for aesthetic reasons, but also says a lot about the quality of the chosen firepit. Is the chosen material easy to maintain and of high quality? In fire bowl tests products made of metal are often chosen as the winner. Steel fire dishes are very popular because they are easy to clean, robust and durable. You can buy VASNER Merive fire bowls made of steel and stainless steel here in our online shop. With materials such as ceramics or terracotta, however, you should be more cautious, because cracks tend to form in these fire pits if they are cleaned or stored incorrectly.
- Which diameter should your fire pit bowl have? A compact fire bowl is easier to integrate into your yard or terrace layout. However, there should still be enough space for sufficient wood.
- Which design and number of legs is ideal? The legs of a fire bowl are not only important for its appearance, but also for its stability and the height at which it emits heat. Both three-legged and four-legged fire dishes can be equally stable, but the material used for the legs also has a big impact. Stainless steel is often chosen for the legs of fire pit bowls, because it makes them both light and robust. Therefore, all VASNER Merive fire bowls and fire baskets have stainless steel legs that are sturdy as well as sleek. The length of the legs should also be well thought out, so you benefit from warmth at the right height when sitting on your patio / garden furniture.
- What about the general quality of the fire bowl? Make sure that you choose a fire bowl that is well made. If you buy a fire pit online, zoom in on the picture as closely as possible to check the quality. Because cheap fire dishes are often also very poorly manufactured. So it is definitely worth considering other factors apart from price if you are looking for a more durable fire basket.
- Which fire bowl design best suits your terrace? A fire pit with a rust finish and a shabby chic look? Or do you prefer classic colours? All Merive fire dishes by VASNER have an elegant powder coating in matt black. So the fire pits can be ideally integrated into any patio decor.
The Comparison: Fire Bowls vs. Fire Baskets
VASNER Merive fire bowls and fire baskets all have a closed base - for more safety. This reduces the risk of heat damage and prevents embers from falling down onto your lawn or deck. Fire baskets made by other manufacturers, on the other hand, sometimes only have metal bars through which embers can pass freely. These braziers must be placed on a fireproof surface and are therefore less suitable for backyards and patios.
However, one advantage of open fire bowls is that they allow an increased oxygen supply. This leads to larger flames and a more lively fire. Instead of creating such an effect with an open base, the height and design of the side walls of VASNER firepits regulate the supply of oxygen and the direction of heat. There are fire bowls with low edges for intense heat in all directions, and fire baskets with raised side walls for a slower burning process. This is because when less air gets into the fire, the wood burns more slowly and you will enjoy longer lasting warmth using the same amount of firewood. This also means that you do not need to add firewood as regularly as with open fires.
Depending on the type of flames and the desired heat distribution, you should choose a low fire bowl or a higher fire basket.
Comparison: Designer Fire Bowl, Backyard Fireplace, Gas Grill, Fire Storage Unit and Fire Bowl Grill
When looking for a suitable fireplace for your terrace or yard, you will find a wide variety of offers and products. Depending on the intended use of the article, there are different models available.
Here is a summary of what the different types of fireplaces are best suited for:
Buy a Fire Bowl for Heat Generation
If you are only interested in having a heat source for cosy evenings on your terrace, a conventional fire bowl is perfectly fine. A special type of fire bowl, which gives off heat for several hours after the flames have gone out, is called a fire storage unit. However, this type of fire pit is not as decorative as a designer fire bowl or fire basket. Terracotta or ceramics are often used as materials for fire storage units. These materials are very susceptible to unsightly cracks if stored incorrectly. For example, if they come into contact with moisture or are exposed to sudden temperature changes. Depending on the planned location of use, it may therefore be better to buy a simple fire bowl without heat storage.
To Decorate your Yard / Patio
The right outdoor fireplace can also be used to skilfully decorate your backyard or terrace. Designer fire bowls, which combine high-quality workmanship with an atmospheric play of flames, create a particularly stunning effect. Such a fire bowl not only generates cosy warmth, but can also enhance the entire atmosphere in your yard or on your patio.
A fire bowl grill, on the other hand, is less suitable for decorative purposes. These fire pits with a grill grid are designed to prepare meat and other dishes. Visually, they are not as appealing as a real designer fire bowl. But they are ideal for barbecues with friends. However, a decorative fire bowl can also be used to prepare different delicacies. Their open flame is ideal for making stick bread and marshmallows. Baked potatoes and roasted apples can also be easily cooked in the hot embers of a designer fire bowl.
Another advantage of decorative fire bowls is that they are usually lighter and more elegant. This makes transportation easier and the place of assembly can be chosen more flexibly than with space-intensive fire baskets. A good example for stylish and compact fireplaces is the Merive fire bowl and fire basket series by VASNER. The high-quality powder coating of the steel bowl in classy black makes the products look elegant, while the slim stainless steel legs enhance their sleek appearance.
In addition to fire bowl grills, gas grills, especially Weber grills, are very popular for the preparation of barbecued meat. Terrace fireplaces with an additional grill grid are also available. These can be used for cooking in addition to generating pleasant warmth. Especially if you have young children, you should avoid the use of ethanol fireplaces. Because these can become dangerous quickly and unexpectedly due to the explosive fuel. Moreover, the one-sided heating effect of garden fireplaces makes them less attractive for outdoor use. Because heat is primarily emitted from one side of the fireplace and the atmospheric flames of the backyard or patio fire are only visible from here.
The Ideal Fire Bowl Material: Cast Iron, Metal, Stainless Steel or Corten Steel?
When searching for the right fire bowl, you will quickly notice that there are fire pits in a wide variety of materials. For example clay, ceramic, stainless steel, steel, cast iron, corten steel etc. A general recommendation, as to which material is best, can unfortunately not be given. Depending on the desired purpose of the fire bowl and the style of furnishing you would like to maintain on your terrace or in your backyard, the ideal material may vary. Also, the available budget plays a role when deciding which material to choose when you buy a fire bowl. Because there can be considerable price differences between the various articles.
If you are a fan of Shabby Chic or Used Look styles, then a fire bowl with a decorative rust appearance is the right choice for you. You can select from different types of metal in a rust tone, such as corten steel. This material is a special kind of steel, which develops its own protective layer over time. By doing so, it naturally avoids rusting through. This unique steel can be identified by its orange-red rust look, which lends it an interesting, lively appearance. However, the metal only develops this distinctive look over time and when exposed to weather conditions. When produced, fire bowls made of corten steel first have a shiny grayish appearance.
If your patio or yard is furnished in an Italian country house style, you can opt for a fire bowl made of terracotta. However, if you choose a fireplace in this material, you should know that it is not necessarily easy to maintain. Just like fire baskets made of ceramic, cracks in the bowl can occur, for example, if frozen water deposits form in winter. Just lighting a fire in a damp terracotta or ceramic bowl can have similar consequences. This is because when heat develops quickly, the stored water expands abruptly and creates cracks in the material instead of escaping slowly. For this reason, extreme caution is required when storing and cleaning such products.
It is easier to buy a fire bowl if it is only meant for barbecuing. A simple cast-iron model with a grill grate on top is more than enough. If you prefer a decorative grill bowl, however, you can choose a stainless steel fire bowl.
If the fire pit is not intended for preparing food, you can also pick a more refined model for ambient fires. VASNER's Merive fire bowls made of black powder-coated metal look very classy and sophisticated in any backyard and on any terrace thanks to their classic colour scheme. As a result of the special coating, VASNER's fire baskets and fire bowls are more heat resistant and do not develop rust as quickly as other models on the market. The Merive series includes fire bowls in various sizes and heights to provide the perfect aesthetic and heat radiation for any outdoor area.
Buy Useful Accessories for your Fire Bowl
If you decide to buy a chic designer fire bowl by VASNER, no additional accessories are needed. Fire bowl attachments are really only suitable for bulky fire pits made for grilling. Combining a decorative fire bowl with a grill grid is not recommended. Because this implies an annoying compromise. The temperature conditions directly over the fire of the bowl are not ideal for the preparation of barbecue meat. And at the same time, fireplaces with grill grates lack decorative charm. The high temparature causes the meat to burn quickly on the outside without being cooked properly on the inside. It is therefore recommended to use a real grill for the preparation of barbecued meat and similar specialities.
One item that is often bought in combination with a fire bowl is an ash shovel. This is used to empty the outdoor fireplace and helps you save time and effort when cleaning the fire basket. The use of a poker to strategically move the firewood around is also recommended. With this practical accessory, the position of each piece of wood can be optimally adjusted to assist the burning process or make room for more firewood.
A brazier with an open base should always be purchased together with a collecting tray for embers and ashes. However, since most VASNER firepits are closed at the bottom, you do not necessarily need to purchase such an accessory. Each Merive fire bowl is already ideally designed to protect its surroundings from falling embers. (But you should still refrain from positioning your fire bowl over flammable materials.)
The ideal accessory for VASNER fire bowls and fire baskets is the Situro S1 firewood basket for storing your logs. The bonfirewood basket is designed in the same style as the firepits of the premium manufacturer. It can be used outside with your Merive fire bowl or in your house next to the fireplace thanks to its sophisticated powder coating in black. The firewood basket has a practical carrying handle for easy transportation of firewood and is open at the front and back to let enough air get to the wood to dry it evenly. The circumferential frame, which merges from the smooth carrying handle into the stable, round base, also offers additional safety when stacking the wood. This is because the pieces of wood are enclosed by the round handle and the raised side walls and automatically fall into a safe position. The Situro timber basket is also available here in the VASNER online shop.
Buying a Fire Bowl vs. Building a Fire Pit: The Pros / Cons
Anyone who would like to experience a real campfire feeling in their own backyard may have already thought about building a firepit instead of buying a fire bowl online or at the hardware store. Which advantages and disadvantages the two possibilities entail, is shown in the following table:
|Buying a Fire Bowl
- Very decorative / wide selection of models
- Transportable from one place to another
- Available in different materials: stainless steel, ceramic, steel, cast iron, etc.
- Lower fire hazard
- Suitable for safe garden / patio fires
- Either approx. equally expensive or more expensive than building a fireplace yourself
|Building a Fire Pit
- Cheapest way to enjoy a fire in your back garden
- Can be built with any cm diameter
- Time-consuming / exhausting construction
- Not suitable for balconies / patios
- Cannot be transported flexibly
- Unpleasant burn holes in your lawn
- Increased fire risk
Where can you Buy a Fire Bowl at a Reasonable Price?
No matter whether for cosy warmth on your balcony, a decorative touch in your backyard or for barbecuing meat: In search of the right firepit you will be downright overwhelmed by the many different offers. When you buy a fire bowl, you should not only focus on finding the lowest price. Different manufacturers offer products of varying quality. You cannot expect the cheapest fire bowls to be equally durable and of the same high quality as refined designer pieces. On the other hand, you do not always have to spend a lot of money to receive a decorative, high-quality fire bowl. Therefore it is important to find the right fire pit shop. Here in our VASNER online shop you will find all the different models of our Merive series. Although each firebowl has its own special design to provide ideal warmth on your balcony or terrace, the baskets by VASNER all look equally elegant. Black powder-coated steel and slim stainless steel legs distinguish the designer fire bowls. High-quality products with a great price-performance ratio. The VASNER SHOP also offers different payment options and a (free – depending on your location and purchase price) quick delivery, so you can use your product as soon as possible.
If you would like to see the fire bowl up close before you buy it, you can also visit the VASNER store in Verl or have a look at one of our partner shops. Because even if all relevant cm measures are listed in the product description in the online shop and the high-quality material is clearly visible on the pictures, some customers like to have a look at different products in person. You can visit the VASNER Store in Verl Monday - Friday between 9 - 13 and 14 - 17 o'clock after arranging an appointment. You can find the address on the VASNER homepage. For a free and detailed consultation, please make an appointment in advance by phone: +49 (0)5246 - 93 55 625, so we can ensure that all your questions are answered and you will find the perfect product for your purposes. Alternatively, we would be happy to name a VASNER specialist partner who sells Merive fire bowls in your area. We look forward to hearing from you.
The Merive Series: VASNER Designer Fire Bowls & Fire Baskets
The Merive fire bowl and fire basket range is specially designed to offer the ideal fireplace for every patio or backyard layout. With a perfect fire bowl you can enjoy warmth at the right height. Whether you have low lounge furniture or higher seating furniture, you can buy firepits in different centimetre sizes and in various shapes. On the other hand, VASNER's fire baskets all have their own unique style to create decorative accents in your garden or on your balcony.
However, all VASNER fireplaces have one thing in common: A noble powder coating in black. This colour coating not only has design-related benefits. It provides the already resistant steel bowls with even more rust and heat protection. So that your fire bowl keeps its elegant appearance for as long as possible when exposed to intense heat and long-term outdoor use.
An Overview of all Merive Models:
Product Description and Features
Merive M1 designer fire bowl:
- Dimensions: 59,5 x 57 x 40 cm
- Weight: 4,85 kg
- Compact, triangular shape
- Rounded corners for a soft look
- Low edges for intensive heat
- Perfect for low lounge furniture
- Tripod design with stainless steel legs
Merive M2 garden brazier:
- Dimensions: 48 x 50 x 78 cm
- Weight: 5,7 kg
- Triangular basic shape with soft corners
- Fire basket with high side walls
- Even heat radiation in all directions
- 3 stainless steel legs for more stability
- Plenty of space for firewood
Merive M3 garden fire bowl:
- Dimensions: 57 x 58 x 20 cm
- Weight: 2,9 kg
- Modern, angular "stealth" look
- Low height for lounge seating areas
- Shallow bowl for intense heat
- Unique, four-sided basic shape
- 3 leg design for a firm stand
Merive M4 brazier:
- Angular "stealth look"
- Weight: approximately 6,85 kg
- High side walls for spark protection
- Targeted heat radiation to the front
- 4 stainless steel legs for maximum stability
- High capacity for wood
- Elegant, vertical design
Fire Bowl Maintenance and Cleaning
Thanks to their robust construction made of high-quality steel with black powder coating, VASNER's fire bowls and fire baskets do not require extensive maintenance to retain their aesthetic appearance. To avoid a fire hazard or burning yourself, remember to let the ashes cool down completely after each fire before removing them. After a sufficient waiting period, they can then simply be put in the compost or normal residual waste. You can then use a hand brush to remove any residues. If you like, you can also rinse your fire bowl with clear water and dry it gently with a paper towel or an old towel. Although the fire bowls and braziers of the Merive series are quite durable and can be used outdoors, we recommend storing them in a protected area in the long run. This will reduce the risk of rust developing on your firepit.
Tips to Start & Extinguish a Fire Quickly and Safely
Before you can lie back and enjoy the atmospheric flames in your fire bowl, the fire must first be lit. What may look simple at first glance can become an annoying task if done incorrectly. You can find out here how to most easily start a fire in your fire bowl and how to extinguish it safely afterwards.
Instructions for Setting a Fire:
- Common fireplace lighters, wood shavings or grill lighters are ideal tools for starting a fire. Rolled up paper can also take on the role of kindling.
- You should avoid alcohol, petrol and other explosive fire accelerators. Even though these substances can be used very efficiently, they still pose an often underestimated risk. On hot days, for example, deflagrations occur when the flammable liquids evaporate. The gas produced is highly explosive and has already led to dangerous burns in many cases.
- The most effective method is a pyramid-shaped arrangement of logs around the kindling.
- As soon as the ignited material and the narrow pieces of firewood start to burn, larger pieces of wood can be added.
- If larger logs are added, it is sometimes necessary to refill the kindling material to ignite the coarse wood.
Tips for Extinguishing Fires:
- Ideally, the pieces of wood should be sized & placed in such a way that they can burn up completely and go out again without any help.
- On terraces or balconies, water should not be used to extinguish the fire. After all, you wouldn't want the ensuing water vapour and smoke to drift into your house. In addition, the material of your fire bowl may be susceptible to damage when suddenly exposed to cold water. This is the case with terracotta or ceramic fireplaces, for example, which can develop cracks if cold water is added abruptly. This is due to the sudden temperature change that creates a tension that can cause such unsightly cracks.
- It is best to let the flames go out on their own and extinguish them with sand at most. You can buy this sand at a reasonable price in garden centres or DIY stores.
- To extinguish uncontrolled flames, you should always have a fire extinguisher or fire blanket at hand.
Safe Surroundings: Position and Mounting Surface of Fire Bowls
Due to the strong development of smoke and the creation of dangerous emissions, neither a fire bowl nor a brazier should ever be placed inside your home or in any other enclosed space. All open fire sources must be kept outside. There may be special fireplaces on the market that are designed for indoor use. However, these have a smaller diameter and are fired with special fuel such as bio-ethanol or special pastes and gels. Only such articles may be used indoors.
If you use a fire bowl in your backyard or on your terrace, the underlying surface must be firm, level, fireproof and heat-resistant. Good examples are sand, stone, metal, the material steel or tiles. If your patio flooring is not appropriate for a firepit, you can get a suitable underlay at your local DIY store. The different products on sale prevent unsightly burn marks on the decking or lawn and more dangerous damage.
It is also recommended that fire bowls and fire baskets are only used on open terraces and balconies. Because as soon as a roofing or awning is in place, rising soot, flying sparks and intensive heat radiation can cause unpleasant damage and in the worst case even a fire.
A safe distance between the fireplace and flammable objects must always be maintained. This includes furniture made of materials such as cork, wood or compressed wood. Especially in summer, the grass in the garden can dry out a little. If this happens, you should temporarily avoid patio and backyard fires. Because even small sparks can be dangerous for dry leaves and shrubs. When choosing a location for your fire bowl, you should also take the wind direction into account. If the wind blows in the direction of the house or other flammable furniture or materials, the risk of fire increases and the safety distance should be increased.
Lastly, it should be said that a fire should never burn unattended in the vicinity of animals and within reach of small children.
Preventing the Development of Smoke and Fumes from a Fire Bowl
Even if you have your fire bowl set up in an open area, the smoke and fumes produced can still be annoying. It is not unusual for this to lead to disputes with neighbours or the landlord. However, the problem of heavy smoke development can be reduced and in many cases completely avoided by using suitable fuel.
Damp wood, for example, leads to increased smoke development. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to store firewood in a dry place. The Situro S1 firewood basket by VASNER, for example, enables further drying of the wood during its storage. For this purpose, the front and back are open. This allows sufficient air to reach the wood stored in the basket next to the fireplace, enabling excess moisture to evaporate.
Similarly, wood that has been varnished or impregnated should not be used as fuel. You should therefore only put natural wood in your fire bowl or fire basket. Oak and beech wood are popular for use in open fires as they do not develop resin during the burning process.
The amount of oxygen that reaches the fire also plays a role in the development of smoke. If too little air is supplied to the flame, more smoke is produced. You should therefore think carefully about the design of your fireplace before you put it in your shopping basket. If the diameter of the fire bowl is too small or the side walls are too high, an ideal supply of oxygen is prevented.
Although sufficient air must be allowed to reach the fire, the location of your fire basket should be rather sheltered from the wind. This is because excessive wind will lead to increased smoke development. Nevertheless, the fire bowl should not be placed under a roof and should always be placed at a safe distance from other objects.
Which Type of Clothing Should You Avoid Wearing Near a Fire Bowl?
The danger of flammable materials in the vicinity of your fire bowl has already been pointed out. However, you should also think about the clothes you wear near the fire basket. To avoid unnecessary danger, they should not be easily flammable. Whenever fire is involved, safety comes first.
Synthetic materials, such as polyester, in particular, can start to melt upon contact with even the smallest spark. Viscose and cotton, meanwhile, are considered highly flammable and should also be avoided when enjoying a patio fire. It is also important to mention that a mixture of both types of fabric can be even more dangerous. There is a risk that the fabric will burn and melt into your skin at the same time.
The same risk applies to wool blends, polyacrylic and polyacrylic blends. If you wear clothing made of such materials, you must keep sufficient distance from the fireplace. This is because flying sparks become a dangerous phenomenon in connection with this material.
Loose, fluttering clothing is another major hazard, regardless of the material used, especially for small children. A close-fitting outfit is the better choice, because the fire risk is reduced the closer the fabric is to your body.
Is a Backyard Fire Bowl Legally Permitted?
Customers often ask whether it is even legal to place a fire bowl or another type of firepit on the patio or in the yard of their home. According to the Immission Control Act, all fire baskets and bowls available on the market are not subject to authorisation. For you, this means that fires in such fireplaces do not first have to be registered with the legislator.
However, it is worth mentioning that only permitted fuels may be used. This includes natural wood, wood briquettes or pressed wood and shrubs.
As a result, there could be some trouble if you use artificially coated wood or waste as fuel. Not even garden waste may be burnt on your own property without further formalities. Anyone who violates these laws can face a heavy fine. But even if your property is further away and you do not expect a complaint from your neighbours or your landlord: You are doing the environment and your own health a huge favour by refraining from burning illegal materials. After all, this produces a lot of smoke combined with air pollution that is harmful to your health due to airborne particles. Consequently, it is better to stick to permitted fuel, which is available everywhere.