Build your own smokeless fire pit from a metal trash can

I’m not blowing smoke! The super fancy smokeless fire pits that are serving every-other-ad in your feed are expensive for a reason: they spend it all on marketing! Sure they look fancy, but if you want a great, smokeless fire pit and you don’t mind getting a little trashy… you’ll be in your backyard with a smokeless bonfire in no time!

Download Free Plans

Get a high-resolution, PDF diagram of how to make a “trashy fire pit,” the smokeless fire pit made out of a metal trash can.

Note: take note of safety information before trying this yourself.

DIY Smokeless Fire Pit, made from a trash can.

Fancy Fire, Trashy Container.

The “Trashy Fire” Smokeless Fire Pit


See those flames licking off the inside of the rim? That’s hot air mixing with (and burning) smoke. It rushes upward as it heats up, and is deflected into the center of the fire pit. That’s how a smokeless fire pit achieves secondary combustion. You really can build this. Give it a try.

None of the smoke, a fraction of the price.





Pictured: Our first prototype Trashy Smokeless Fire Pit.

Trashy Fire Pit

Made from trash (cans)

BUT THE 🔥 IS A KEEPER


The materials to build this smokeless fire pit can be found at any hardware store, and cost a fraction of what the more competitive stainless steel fire pits cost.

Prototype smokeless Fire Pit made from a trash can.
Air gap in the double-wall construction allows this smokeless fire pit to produce secondary combustion.

The key to a smokeless fire is having extra oxygen supply. This simple design gives slat-vents on the bottom, as well as a channel for cold air to enter the outside of the fire ring, rush up as it gets hot, and mix with the smoke to ignite a second combustion.


“Trashy Fire” DIY Plans & Materials

diagram of a smokeless fire pit made from a metal trash can

Materials & Tools Needed:

WARNING: Using a galvanized container for a fire can create toxic fumes on the first burn. While this is still considered safe in an outdoor, well ventilated area, it does smell and can be unpleasant. It is highly recommended that your first full burn (at last 2 hours of secondary combustion) is done in an open area away from people. Learn more about “metal fume fever.”


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