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Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Smokelis Compare To Other "Smokeless" Fire Pits Out There?

There are a few reasons, mainly pertaining to quality of the product, but also the obvious factor of NZ labour being about 22x the typical import/overseas labour rate. Which is the comparison for most cheaper knock-offs

However the quality aspects such as true grades of material, thickness of material and then also the design features in a Smokelis fire pit.

All raw steels into NZ are grade tested and therefore we know match up to 304 Stainless or HW350 weathering steel grade. Whereas imported products can have very inferior materials marketed as "304" or "Corten/Weathering" steel.

Then material thickness, we use a combination of 4mm and 2.5mm steel throughout, compared to common cheaper knock-offs typically using 0.88mm thickest. Where our Kindle weighs 35kg compared to typical imported imitation products mentioned being around 8kg.

Then there is the design effort, where some of the imported knock off's fluke it and work pretty well with most fire woods, however are mostly just an imitation design with no testing and real world usage involved in the design.

Then the Smokelis product attributes such as removable ash pan, heat delete, ability to add grills and other accessories, and the aesthetic of the architectural design.

One is a carefully designed, well made lifetime product, the other a temporary, imitation version of what it is trying to be.

What Material Should I Choose?

We say you should choose the material option you like the appearance of and will enhance your landscape visually first

Then see if it will suit your surroundings practically.

For example - if you like the look of corten steel (the rusty, weathered look) but you are worried it might stain your patio - we have a solution for you. You can choose to get our Ember Shield in stainless which you fill with stones and this will catch a majority of the rust leaching. The rest is most often easily washed away.

Stainless steel options are mostly maintenance free - but keep in mind they do discolour with heat where they "bronze" or "yellow" off. They can be brought back to a shine with a piece of abrasive cloth to work back the discolouration to a bright brushed finish again. This is obviously only necessary in heat affected areas.

How Does It Work?

A secondary combustion is a simple but effective principle.

A fire has very basic needs. It needs the right amount of oxygen, mixed with the right amount of fuel (gases from the firewood) and an ignition source.

Once the fire is running, ignition is taken care of, it is about optimising fuel usage by getting the right amount of oxygen at the right mixture with the gases from the wood and the ignition. This is what a secondary combustion does perfectly!

With our unique registered design, we introduce the perfect amount of super-heated oxygen at the bottom and top of the fire to ensure as much of the valuable gases from the firewood get burnt up, making for hotter, more efficient and smokeless fire!

How Long Does It Take To Start The Fire?

We recommend lighting up your Smokelis 15-20 minutes before you intend to all sit around it or begin cooking. This allows the air chamber to get hot enough to start burning smokeless and for the smoke from fire starters to disappear. Then you can throw your fire wood or cooking wood on and enjoy smokeless fire for the rest of the evening!

Can I Use It On A Timber Or Composite Deck?

Yes! You certainly can.

This is one of very few fire pits in the world that can be placed on a deck thanks to the 'Heat-Delete' we have engineered into the design. PLEASE ENSURE your firepit is a more recent model with the 'Heat-Delete' plate welded into the base. If you are unsure - ask us or the retailer you purchased from.

We do however recommend that you purchase our Ember-Shield base - which is simply a steel dish (either stainless or corten) that will catch embers that may fall while you stoke or rearrange your fire. This will give you added peace-of-mind.

Alternatively if you have a heat resistant mat or a layer of bricks or a concrete paver.

PLEASE NOTE: this does not apply to the Smokelis Go- this is a direct heat base design and as a result must be put on either bricks or some other form of heat resistant surface to use on a timber deck. This is due to the portable nature and design of the Smokelis Go, whereas the other Smokelis fire pits are specifically designed to be used at home or in the backyard.

How Long Will It Burn For? Are They Efficient?

This question gets asked a lot - and it depends how you view it. Because the secondary combustion gets such high efficiency out of the fire wood, you'll use less wood for the same heat from a traditional fire pit. However - as they are so efficient, you can also load them up and they will eat nearly everything you can put into it.

How Long Will These Fire Pits Last?

We give the Smokelis fire pits and accessories a lifetime build quality warranty unless otherwise stated. So that says everything about how we manufacture our products.

Short answer - Smokelis products will last a lifetime

Long answer - Smokelis products will last a lifetime

Where Can I see Smokelis?

We have a list of approved retailers around New Zealand listed on this site (in top menu) where you can easily go and see one.

We also offer live demonstrations and the schedule for these will be on the website if there is one coming up. Feel free to ask us about live demonstrations in your area.

We also occasionally attend shows around New Zealand such as Home & Garden shows and outdoor/living expos.

What Kind Of Firewood Should I Use?

For starting your Smokelis fire pit we recommend using an easy starting softwood. Split untreated pallets work great!

Then for the main burn we usually recommend a hardwood such as Oak as it makes it nice and safe if you decide to start cooking with the grill and the tend to be a little hotter and more efficient.

However if you have no intention of grilling and are just using it as a smokeless fire pit for heat, you can carry on burning softwoods such as Old Man Pine or Macrocarpa which will crank out the heat.

As for size - typically firewood is cut to 250mm-300mm long pieces and then split to 100x100mm sizing. Smokelis fire pits will easily fit these! We would recommend splitting them down again though if you want to make them easier for the fire pit to get going and make better use of each chunk.

How Easy Are They To Light Compared To A Normal Campfire Or Brazier?

Compared to a brazier or traditional open campfire, the Smokelis fire pits are so simple and easy to get started. You just simply stack the finely split kindling up in the 'log-cabin' method, put a couple, natural, long-burning fire starters on top of the log cabin to light, and then push them down the middle of the kindling stack on fire.

Walk away and get food or drinks prepared or do something else to give it 10-15 minutes and you'll have a roaring flame to put your fire wood chunks onto.

Compare that to the 10-15 minutes you spend shielding and trying to keep your fire starters from going out in a traditional open brazier or campfire and then a lackluster flame that chars, but barely ignites the firewood, giving off tons of smoke (unburnt gasses)

Can I Use Charcoal In It?

Yes! By all means if that is a fuel source you have around. We would recommend if you can, to start the fire with kindling and bit of hardwood firewood first however before putting the charcoal in. This will mean there is a small base of large lump embers, giving the charcoal something to be able to breath through.

Of course the recommended fuel is always going to be firewood.

What About Fire Restricted Areas Or Locations With A Fire Ban?

You should always check on a site such as before you purchase/start an open fire / fire pit. However, being that Smokleis offers a cooking device as well, does change the way it may be classified, meaning you have greater use options in some situations. And for your own peace of mind, this design of fire pit is extremely safe with the deep fire, fully enclosed sides and base and the secondary burn which largely reduces the particulate matter that comes out of the fire.

Why Does Corten Change Colour And Some Look Different To Others?

Why do some Corten/weathering steel fire pits look different, and why do they change color when burning? Why does the rust appear orange at first but get darker over time?


We've taken extra steps at our factory to ensure your Corten steel fire pit experience is hassle-free and visually stunning. Here's the breakdown:

  1. Factory Treatment:
    We start by sandblasting and using acid on the steel at our factory. This process removes the mill scale and jumpstarts the rusting. No need to wait for months while your fire pit transforms in the natural environment and looks patchy going from black steel to patina.
  2. Initial Color Variation:
    Despite our intentional treatment, there might still be some initial color differences among fire pits. This can be due to how recent it was done, the humidity on the day it was done and many other factors - this is the natural beauty of corten/weathering steel.
  3. Burning Experience:
    When you light up your fire pit, the high temperatures cause certain elements in the rust layer to change colour and usually go a lot darker. This often evens out again in the weather - it all depends on the environment.
  4. Rust Transformation:
    The initial orange rust you notice is a result of our treatment and it can sometimes remain like this depending on the environment and how often you use it. Over time, it can mature into a darker rust layer. This isn't just about aesthetics – it's a natural protective layer that ensures the longevity of your fire pit.
  5. Burning Color:
    As your fire pit burns, it doesn't just radiate warmth; it also undergoes a heat-induced transformation. The Corten steel turns a deep brown or very dark color, adding a touch of elegance to your outdoor space.

In essence, your Corten steel fire pit is a crafted masterpiece from the get-go. It undergoes intentional processes at the factory to provide you with a stunning, hassle-free experience, combining functionality with unique aesthetics. Enjoy the evolving colors and the natural beauty of your fire pit as it matures over time.

How Are They Smokeless!?

What Size Should You Buy?

How To Start & Stoke Your Smokelis Fire Pit