Choosing a Ball of Fire Outdoor Fireplace
One of the better ways to stay warm in your backyard on a cool night is to install an outdoor fireplace. But what are your options for installing a good outdoor fireplace? One unique choice is for your next outdoor gathering is a bowl of fire (or firebowl) outdoor fireplace, which features a spherical spark screen and a 360-degree view of your outdoor fireplace. When filled with flame at night, a spherical fireplace or firebowl looks very similar to a fireball floating in midair. Very cool. Most outdoor fireplaces of this type are around 3 feet wide and 3 feet high, with a large pivoting door and extra large handle that allows easy access for adding logs or stoking the flames.
So what should you look for when deciding to purchase a firebowl outdoor fireplace? Well, one of the smarter things to look for is sturdy steel construction that is sure to last for years. Also, you want to get the right size of fire pit or firebowl so that you can make bigger fires, but also meet local fire codes. A firebowl like the Landmann Ball of Fire is perfect for meeting fire codes because it fully covers and contains burning fires in the spherical steel covering.
How to Use Your New Firebowl
You and your friends and family are sure to get a lot of enjoyment from your new firebowl, as long as you remember to set up your fire effectively to begin. Remember to start your fire, and then arrange the logs straight up and resting on each other, similar to a tepee with a 1/4 inch gap between logs. When adding new logs, let the coal feel the oxygen so that the logs light up faster. And of course do not stand too close to the fire once it gets hot. Some outdoor fireplaces and fire pits will not effectively warm you up, but a firebowl will heat up quickly and have you maintaining a safe distance from the fire. The Landmann Ball of Fire model firebowl is especially good for this. Another good use of the firebowl is to slow cook foods like hot dogs or s’mores with a long steel stick and heat them up right off the pit. A firebowl is not a replacement for a grill, but it never hurts to heat some simple snacks by an open flame.
Advantages of a Firebowl
You should be able to use your new firebowl the first day you get it and enjoy it immensely. A good firebowl should be solidly built, easy to use, and give out a lot of warmth to everyone sitting around it. The best firebowl units feature a pivoting door that you can open up and add wood through conveniently. Once you have the amount of wood you want for desired heat, keep the cover closed to contain the embers and debris. This is a great way to keep the embers from falling on your clothes or chair. Curiously, some fire pits are advertised as containing wire mesh covers that you are not supposed to use to cover a fire while it is burning. That defeats the purpose of having protection from falling embers, so make sure you pick a fire pit or firebowl that encourages you to use the coverings provided.
Another great aspect of firebowls are their pleasant circular shapes. If you care to add a little more of a neat design touch to your installed firebowl, consider surrounding it with rocks around the base. This makes the firebowl look like a more natural addition to your backyard, as well as adds stability.
You also want to make sure there is generous seating available around your firebowl. These things are designed for 360 degree viewing space, so you should have enough room for everyone. This is really important for those times when you want to build a really impressive fire, and a firebowl is exactly the kind of outdoor fireplace that allows you to do that. You can put huge logs into firebowls like the Landmann Ball of Fire with no problem at all or worries about fire codes.
Taking Care of a Firebowl
Assembling a firebowl is easy, but doing the upkeep to take care of it is what will really make it last for years to come. First of all, choose a firebowl that comes with a cover, or purchase one separately, as covering will keep your firebowl protected from the rain, snow, and other elements.
Most firebowl units will be solid pieces that ship in the box, but if you use it extensively, it is entirely possible that you will want to replace certain parts of your firebowl after a lot of use. For example, if your firebowl comes with low-grade hinges for opening the lid, consider replacing the hinges with steel so that they have a longer life.
Although your new firebowl will more than likely ship with everything you need for assembly, there have been reports of customers not receiving the printed assembly instructions. No need to worry, though, instructions for most models of firebowls are readily available online to aid you in assembly.
Once you have your sturdy steel firebowl outdoor fireplace completely constructed, it is time have some friends over and share a warm light for all mankind (or at least for those in your backyard). One final note about your new firebowl, especially if you are using a Landmann Ball of Fire, is that it is recommended that you have sand for the bowl. Three one-pound bags of horticultural sand should do the trick, but five pounds of sand is ideal. This will help keep you and your loved ones safe as each fire dies down and the last remaining embers flicker out. Or you could always throw another round of logs on there and keep that fire going until the morning light. Whatever the case, enjoy your firebowl responsibly and have fun.