Outdoor Fireplaces for The Cottage

If you are like me, and I have an idea you are….you probably love an outdoor fire at the cottage. We call them ‘campfires’ and it’s a tradition at the cottage. Has been for as long as I can remember.

Warm summer nights sitting in a folding chair, staring at the fire, then the stars, then your friends, then back to the fire and so on….with any luck at all, someone has a guitar and knows how to use it.

That usually makes for a wonderful evening with friends and neighbors.

We’ve had a fireplace of some sorts in the same spot for about 30 some years. Moved it once, closer to the lake, then moved it back when I discovered we were set up on an anthill….no wonder everyone seemed to be itchy….

Our fireplace consists of a bunch of beach rocks piled up to form a modified semi-circle or U-shape, open at one end to allow for air and to fit longer pieces of wood that just get shoved in as the ends burn away. It’s been a decent arrangement, except for a couple of things.

One, the rocks tend to crack and break apart after several fires, and two, it isn’t something you can move easily. I suppose a third might be that it isn’t all that efficient. It will burn up a lot of wood in short order.

So I have been thinking about my options. I’m considering building a more permanent arrangement with mortar and either rocks or concrete blocks, but I know that this won’t be foolproof either. I won’t be able to move it if necessary, and the cement will eventually crack with hot fires and cold winters.

That’s what got me thinking about one of these new outdoor fireplace arrangements like this OUTDOOR 32″ Metal Fire Heat Pit camp stove Grill Something like this might be the answer.

This one looks like it will blend into the landscape somewhat, with a faux-stone finish, sturdy corner posts and a rust resistant powder coated finish. It also has a mesh screen lid which might be good for keeping the sparks out of the trees.

Or, for perhaps a little more interesting design, I like this Uniflame Black Outdoor Fireplace

This fireplace allows for a 360-degree view of the flames and a large hinged door for easy access.

This outdoor fireplace has a heavy mesh surround spark arrestor for warmth and safety, something that I have become more and more concerned about, especially in the late summer when the surrounding woods can be pretty dry. This fireplace is made from powder coated black steel and has copper accents and a heavy fuel grate and large cooking grate, all built on a sturdy stand.

Or…I suppose…we can just stick with our beach rock fireplace, it makes it kind of homey….and it does feel like “the camp”

Wish I was there right now, roasting marshmellows…..speaking of campfires, we all like to roast weenies and marshmellows, but have you tried a potatoe? They are delicious done in the coals. Take a potatoe, leave the skin on and put it in the coals as the fire burns down. Later in the evening, dig it out, the skin will be black and probably not all that tasty, but inside…oh my…delicious. Or, if that is a little too rough for you, cut a potatoe in two, put some butter inside it, and wrap it in tinfoil. Into the coals it goes for at least an hour, but check it occasionally. When it’s done, a lovely roasted potatoe…makes a great addition to the hotdogs! Of course here in the east, we also steam a bucket of clams or mussels on the campfire for a delicious shellfish treat!

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