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How to Build a Smokeless Fire Pit

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fire pit How to Build a Smokeless Fire Pit | Featured Image

Do you know how to build a smokeless fire pit? Yes, it is possible, and by recycling an old trash can, too.

This project can be cost-effective and ideal for those who want to reuse an old trash can and need a fire pit, especially for cold days.

Learn how to build a smokeless fire pit in a few simple steps.

RELATED: How To Build A Fire Pit

Learn How to Build a Smokeless Fire Pit By Recycling A Trash Can

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metal trash can How to Build a Smokeless Fire Pit

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Things You’ll Need:

  • A galvanized metal trashcan (for the pit)
  • 1 inch. #10 sheet metal screw (to hold the lid and base together)
  • Aluminum tubing (for the feet)
  • Angle grinder (to do the dirty work)
  • Firewood
  • Flint/butane/firestarter/matches

How to Build a Smokeless Fire Pit:

Step 1: Cut the Metal Pieces

Start by preparing the metal parts and by using the angle grinder.

Grind the trashcan into pieces. Start by cutting the whole can in half. The top part should be slightly taller than the bottom half.

Next is to cut the aluminum tubing (you can also use mending plates) into four pieces measuring up to 3 feet each.

Step 2: Create the Ventilation

Ventilation is essential in creating a smokeless fire pit. Having enough oxygen is vital in pulling this off. That is why you need to make holes in the bottom of the trash can for vents.

Create slits on the bottom of the bottom part of the trash can using an angle grinder. Cut at least three lines from each side.

This design helps cold air enter through the fire ring, goes up when it gets hot, and then mixes with the smoke to create the second combustion.

Step 3: Cut a Whole On the Lid

Create a hole on the lid and leave at least 2 inches on the perimeter.


This step is crucial because a smokeless fire pit works with two combustions. The first one is the main flame ignited by your primary source.

The second combustion goes around the walls of the main chamber onto the top and out through the ceiling of the lid.

This directs the secondary air toward the smoke.

RELATED: Why Every Survivalist Should Have A Fire Pit In Their Backyard

Step 4: Fasten

Fasten all the metal pieces together. The lid will still be on top and higher than the bottom half of the trash to create a gap for the air to escape.

This design will create a gap between the two, creating a way for the secondary air to come up. The air gap will also be used for convection.

Lastly, fasten the feet on four equal sides, leaving about 3 inches from the bottom of the trash can.

Your pit should stand on its own, and it should be almost ready at this stage.

Note: The slit from the bottom of the can should provide direct air. The gap between the lower and upper parts should create a secondary atmosphere. Lastly, the hole on the lid will serve as the exhaust and main chamber.

Step 5: Light it Up

Please test it out. Start a flame using the firewood and test if this design works. Let us know.

Note: The flame will burn the galvanized coating off the trash can and emit toxic fumes for at least a few hours. As much as possible, try this out in a very open space.

Here’s an infographic guide that you can use. Feel free to download, save and share it with your loved ones:
How to Build a Smokeless Fire Pit

Now that you know how to build a smokeless fire pit by using a trashcan, watch this video by The Creative Take DIY on how to make one using bricks, perfect for your backyard:

Now that you’ve learned how to build a smokeless fire pit, it’s your turn to create one. At the same time, if you want to make one for your backyard, this idea can be great so as not to disturb your neighbors with smoke.

Do you think it is worth it to build a smokeless fire pit in survival situations?

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Do you now know how to build a smokeless fire pit, or have you tried making one before? Share your stories in the comment section below.

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