Gather Grills: The Firepit Grill Combo of Your Dreams
As long as we human beings have been heating our food, we’ve been gathered around a fire pit to grill our meals. Ancestors of centuries and millennia past have shared both the fruits of their labor and the stories of their people as they came together over fire pits with a grill. These timeless traditions helped form who we are, and we still enjoy this ancient practice today.
While our fire pit grill combo of today may look a bit different than it did when we were grilling wooly mammoth, the reasons are still very similar. The desire to share food with family, friends and neighbors is not just a social need, it is also a part of our survival instincts. A firepit grille is the quintessential way to nourish both our bodies and our connections with our fellow humans.
According to evidence recovered by archeologists, the settlers at Stonehenge loved to barbecue. You might not create a mysterious stone monument that survives the ages, but you can party like it’s 2400 BC and create megalithic memories with a fire pit grill table combo from Gather Grills.
The Evolution of the Fire Pit Grill Combo
The first firepit grill combo took place some 500,000 years ago, long before our more sophisticated fire pit grill table combo products were ever imagined. It probably looked something like a campfire with meat on a stick being held over the flames. While it may have begun as something purely functional, the iconic image of Neolithic people gathered around a fire is a scene that we have continued to reenact throughout history.
Fire Pit and Grill: Early Inspirations
In America, barbecue as we know it was likely inspired by the Caribbean people known as the Arawaks. They roasted meat on a wooden structure over fire. The Spaniards who witnessed this style of cooking called it a word you probably know well: barbacoa. This ultimately became our word for barbecue. Early explorers to the Americas also saw other native tribes preparing meat barbecue style, and the tradition has become deeply ingrained in American culture ever since.
The Firepit Grille: An American Tradition
Through the early years of America and even into today, political candidates have used fire pits with a grill and barbecues to rally the voters. Several distinct styles of barbecue developed across the United States, with certain cities such as Kansas City and Memphis becoming especially famous for their barbecue. Americans love the combination of food, fire, smoke, and time.
Post-War Influences on Fire Pit Grills
But grilling out, as we’ve come to know it, is a more recent development. Americans cooked over a firepit to grill when camping or at picnics, but it wasn’t until the late 1940s that backyard grills became a phenomenon. As soldiers returned from World War II, America began experiencing a surge in population in the suburbs. The backyard grill soon followed.
A Leap Forward for Fire Pits with a Grill
The early grills were flimsy and didn’t cook very well, often resulting in food burned on the outside and raw on the inside. Then in the 1950s a metalworker from Chicago named George Stephen created the first real grill as we have come to know them today. His version was inspired by harbor buoys and included vents and a lid for heat control. After that, the world of cooking outdoors was never the same.
A Fire Pit Grill Table Combo: The Backyard Grill Grows Up
Dozens of improvements and new versions, including models specifically designed to be a firepit grill combo, have been developed by meat-loving Americans ever since. While a firepit is often a separate area, apart from the grill, creative entertainers are realizing that there’s no need to separate the two. The fire pit grill combo is becoming ever more popular, doing it the way our ancestors did it all those thousands of years ago…but better.
An Outdoor Cooking Revolution.
These days, fire pit grills are a total entertainment package. It’s not just toasting marshmallows over the fire anymore. Today more than ever, fire pits with a grill are designed to be the center of attention at your get-togethers. And none are more revolutionary than Gather Grills. With their one-of-a-kind, all-in-one smoker, griddle, grill, fire pit, and dining table design, Gather Grills is redefining what it means to entertain outdoors.
What Types of Firepit Grill Combo Products Are Available?
A quick internet search for firepits with a grill can leave you overwhelmed. When you’re looking to purchase a fire pit grill combo, you’ll find stone, steel, ceramic, copper, gas-burning, wood-burning, with and without tables, and every combination in between. Here is a summary of what types of fire pit grills are available, and the pros and cons of each.
What are Firepit Grills Made From?
When you think of a firepit, a hand-made structure of stacked stones may come to mind. For a grill, you probably think of steel or cast iron. But when it comes to a genuine fire pit grill combo, what are your material options? In general, there are only two types of material that can take the heat: stone and steel.
Stone Fire Pit Grills
Stone firepits are the most traditional type and may be made from brick, cinder blocks, pavers, concrete or other similar materials. They are generally constructed by hand in an area by themselves or incorporated into a hardscape design for outdoor living areas. These are permanent features. Firepits are often built as a stand-alone creation, separate from the grill. However, even solo fire pits can be turned into a firepit grill combo by adding a grate. Most stone fire pits do not have any type of table feature built in unless they are custom made.
Steel Fire Pits with Grill
In general, a steel fire pit grill combo will include a fire bowl, legs or support structure, the fire pit grill grate, and sometimes a cover or hood. Fire pit dining table designs are more sophisticated and functional. A good quality steel grill fire pit is strong, durable, and weather-resistant. A poorer, cheaper unit will not last as long and may become a safety hazard. Weight is a good indicator of quality here. Even though it can make it more challenging to move, a weightier steel firepit grill combo tends to be stronger and longer-lasting. The higher-grade product will serve you better than those that are suspiciously light weight and susceptible to tipping over. Look for a grill firepit made of 304 stainless steel that is sealed with a powder-coated paint for maximum durability.
Other Firepit Grille Materials
You can also find table top fire pit and firepit grill combo products made from ceramic, glass, and rock pebbles. These may also use fire bowls made from copper, but they are less common than stone or steel. Be aware that some of these specialty models are more decorative than functional.
The Fire Pit Grill Grate
A fire pit grill top may take many different forms, but it should always be made of metal. Cast iron and steel are the two most common, with an option to toss on a flat ceramic or steel addition for pizza or cookies. Sometimes the fire pit grill top will come with the firepit and sometimes it will need to be purchased separately.
In 1994 George Foreman released his famous counter-top device, the George Foreman Mean, Lean, Fat Reducing Grilling Machine. Over 100 million were sold, proving that you can, indeed, have a successful second career. However, gathering more than two people around that grill could be a problem. Try our 35” Pioneer instead and get a smoker, griddle, fire pit, grill table combo fit for a party.
Your Outdoor Grill Table: How Much Grill Do You Need?
From the smaller, more intimate gatherings to the large-scale family reunion, Gather Grills can meet the needs of any size crowd. Here are the sizes of tabletop grills we offer. Click for more detailed information and how to order.
Portable, Small Backyard
Large Backyard / Commercial
What Does a Grill Fire Pit Burn for Fuel?
The typical bonfire that is not part of a fire pit with a grill usually burns wood for its primary fuel source. Grills use either gas or charcoal; when using charcoal, certain types of wood may be added for their flavor. But when you have a true firepit grille, what material do you burn?
Firepit Grill Combo Fuel Choices
Your fire pit grill combo will burn one of the following fuels. Your experience will be a little different with each.
Propane Grill Fire Pit
There are many firepit grill combo products on the market that use propane tanks as their fuel. This is a clean burning fuel that is also smokeless. You will not get the aroma of wood-burning with propane-fueled fires, and the placement of the fuel tank may be an unsightly obstacle.
Natural Gas Fire Pit with a Grill
A fire pit grill combo that runs on natural gas is a permanent feature that involves running a gas line from the home to the fire pit. Once they are in, they are in for good. After installation they cannot be moved, reducing your flexibility if you want to cook in the backyard or cul-de-sac.
Wood and Charcoal FirePit Grill Combo
Wood is the classic firepit fuel. If you’re looking for the best possible flavor and a more traditional experience, you’ll want to use a firepit grill combo that burns wood or charcoal. Many grill enthusiasts will use charcoal as a heat source and add wood for flavor, but you can use all wood or all charcoal on a Gather Grills multi-function firepit grill. Once the meal is over, you can throw on some firewood and enjoy the firepit experience.
What Wood is the Best for Firepits With a Grill?
There are many firepit grill combo products on the market that use propane tanks as their fuel. This is a clean burning fuel, but it lacks the aroma, crackle, and flavor that comes from a wood fueled fire. Propane fuel tanks can also be large and become an unsightly obstacle. For the best experience, use top quality firewood.
Hardwoods like oak, cherry, hickory, and pecan are known as great cooking woods for a table top fire pit because they burn for a longer time and provide great flavor. Hardwood can be harder to light, but choosing to use dry wood and quality kindling will lead to a hot, beautiful fire in no time in your firepit.
Softwoods such as birch, fir, and pine light quickly and offer up an attractive aroma. However, they burn quickly and can add a tar flavor to your food. Softwoods also produce more crackles and sparks, so keep that in mind if you’re concerned with flying embers. Because of this, we do not recommend using softwoods in your grill firepit.
Wood that has been left out to dry for an extended length of time is referred to as seasoned wood. Although better than green wood, it can often contain mold or bugs because it has been sitting outside for months. It works in a firepit grille, but can add a musty flavor if you try to cook with it. For the best firepit grill combo cooking experience, you should use kiln dried firewood.
Wood to Avoid
You’ll want to avoid burning any wood in your grill firepit that may have been exposed to toxic chemicals, construction or driftwood, or the woody gnarls from vines. All of these may release toxic fumes when burned. Fresh, green wood should also be avoided as it has too much moisture to burn properly for your firepit grille experience.
What Are the Weaknesses of Different Fire Pits with a Grill?
With all the options for a combination firepit grille or fire pit dining table out there, how do you choose the right one? Since most of them will all really get the job done – cook your food over fire and then have a bonfire experience – it comes down to the other details. It’s good to be familiar with the weaknesses of each kind of fire pit grill combo, as that may be what makes it or breaks it for your needs.
Stone Fire Pit Grills
A fire pit grill combo that is homemade or part of a commissioned hardscape design built from stone look great, but they actually have a lot of limits. You’ll need to find an aftermarket fire pit grill top that is big enough to fit your firepit. Once you find a fire pit grill grate that fits, you’ll need to rig a system to hold it over the fire.
Stone Fire Pit Cleaning Hassles
A major disadvantage of circular home-made firepits is that they can be a hassle to clean. With no convenient ash drain, ash piles up inside the pit until it must be shoveled out by hand. Get your mask handy because you won’t want to be breathing in air that makes you feel like you’ve experienced a volcanic eruption.
Steel Fire Pit and Grill Combo
Quality steel fire pit grills are durable, weather-resistant, and less weighty than similar sized grills made from stone. They are also able to be moved, although with larger versions you won’t want to move them often. There are limited disadvantages for a steel fire pit grill combo, although permanence may be desired in certain situations. They may not blend as well into a hardscaped outdoor living area as a stone design might, which is a matter of personal preference.
Stone Fire Pit Grill Grate Challenges
The frame will need to be strong enough to hold the grate and whatever you put on it without bending, swaying, or tipping. It may also be a challenge to design the holder in a way that it and the fire pit grill grate can both be removed to enjoy the firepit experience without staring at the fire pit grill top the entire time. Since the whole structure will need to be made of metal and possibly still hot from cooking, moving it safely may become an issue.
Permanency of a Stone Firepit Grille
The most obvious disadvantage of stone fire pits with a grill is that they are permanent features. If you want to change the location, it’s going to be pretty difficult to do that. The effort required to dismantle and reassemble them, if that is even possible, may be just as much as starting from scratch and building a new one.
Other Materials and Gas Fuels Used in Fire Pits with a Grill
Other types of fire pits with a grill made from ceramic or glass may look attractive, but can be fragile. They may also be susceptible to damage due to seasonal extreme cold or heat. Firepit grills that use gas for fuel run a risk of leaking, or the possibility of the gas being left on and your supply being released into the air. Both of these issues are a fire hazard as well as a waste of money. Gas-fueled firepit grille models also require that you continue to buy fuel to use it. This may create an added expense, especially if you have access to your own wood to burn in a wood-burning firepit grille. There are additional things that can go wrong with gas such as improper BTU output and clogged gas lines. These problems are not issues with charcoal and wood burning units.
In 2011, Juicys Outlaw Grill started serving up the largest commercially available hamburger. This giant burger weighs over 352 pounds, must be ordered two days ahead of time, and carries a price tag of $5,000. While you can totally make one giant burger on a Gather Grill, you might want to try out grilling up to 50 hamburgers at once on the 39” Entertainer fire pit and grill.
The Advantage of Gather Grills: A True Grill Fire Pit Dining Table
The unique design of a firepit grill combo from Gather Grills does away with many of these problems. Due to the strength and durability of steel, we decided to make Gather Grills from 304 stainless steel from the fire bowl all the way to the coasters. By burning charcoal and wood, our smoking, griddling, grill, firepit, dining table eliminates the risk of a gas leak found in propane-fueled fire pits with grill. You also get the fine aroma and soothing crackling sound of a real fire.
The world’s largest grill was built on the Discovery Channel’s Big program. This behemoth is over 15 feet high, more than 20 feet wide and is 8 feet deep. If that sounds like your kind of grill, check out the 46” griddle, smoker, fire pit, grill combo we call the Reunion.
Cooking Over a FirePit Grille
Now that we’ve whet your appetite, let’s talk about all the ways you can cook on a firepit grill combo from Gather Grills. This revolutionary multi-function fire pit grill table combo serves up a wide variety of choices. Let’s dig into the versatility of your new grill firepit.
Grill. The most obvious function of a fire pit grill table combo is, of course, grilling! What’s your favorite main dish? Hamburgers, steaks, bacon-wrapped shrimp, sausages, hot dogs, salmon, and marinated chicken are all classic favorites. Nothing beats those beautiful dark grill marks crisscrossing a perfectly grilled pork chop. But don’t forget the vegetables! Mushrooms, zucchini, corn on the cob, and more will round out your meal. Even dessert can be prepared on the firepit grille; watermelon, pineapple slices, peaches, and other fruits are amazing after a visit to the grill. Need some inspiration? Check out the Gather Grills recipe section.
Smoke. Low and slow. Who doesn’t love barbecue? Keep the heat down and the flavor high as you slowly roast to perfection a rack of ribs, a Boston butt, whole chickens, turkeys, and more on your fire pit grill combo. You can get a head start on dinner and smoke some lemon pepper or spicy chicken wings to greet your guests. If you’re in a hurry for that mouthwatering smoke flavor try smoking salmon on a cedar plank, as it cooks faster than larger cuts of meat. Feeling creative? Smoke some nuts, tomatoes, or cabbage using the griddle option fire pit grill top.
Griddle. More and more grill masters are discovering the power of their grills by adding a griddle. Gather Grills includes stainless steel griddle pans in addition to the fire pit grill grate. With this feature, you can fry up burger toppings like bacon, sliced mushrooms, or caramelized onions right on the grill. Vegetables that don’t work well on a typical fire pit grill grate like spinach, snow peas, or brussels sprouts can be cooked to perfection on the griddle. Why not get your fire pit with grill going for breakfast and use that griddle for bacon and eggs or pancakes? You can even expand your griddle to cover the entire firepit grille and cook up fried rice, shrimp and steak, hibachi-restaurant style.
Pick Your Grill Firepit Size. Fire pit grills from Gather Grills come in four sizes: the 28” Tailgater for intimate gatherings and smaller back yards, the 35” Pioneer for standard-sized back yards, the 39” Entertainer for larger back yards, and 46” Reunion for full-blown outdoor cooking events and professional use. The fire pit grill grate size is impressive, ranging from 615 square inches of grilling area on the low end, all the way up to a whopping 1,661 square inches on the largest size fire pit grill top. Prepare 25 to 50 hamburgers, 14 to 38 rib-eyes, or one to six whole briskets at once depending on the size. How big is your crowd? Gather Grills has your table top fire pit perfect fit.
A Versatile Fire Pit with Grill, Fit for a Party of Any Size
While fire pit grills are often thought of as being used for smaller get togethers, the size of your event is up to you with Gather Grills. You can keep it to a few close friends or open it up to the whole neighborhood. How might you entertain with your new fire pit grill combo? Read below to find your Gather Grills personality.
The Close-Knit Classic
The Home Base
The Event Coordinator
The Command Center
The family reunion. The church picnic. The football team. If hosting any of these large groups is right up your alley, or if you want to use your firepit grill commercially, the 46” Reunion will deliver on target for your monster-sized crowd. You can seat up to eight at the table top fire pit while the rest of the guests mingle, play, and eat.
Fire Pit and Grill Traditions: What We Do Around the Fire
When you think of friends and family gathered around a grill fire pit, what comes to mind? Roasting hotdogs or marshmallows on a stick? Making smores? Talking, playing music, and singing? These activities are classic for a reason; they just make us feel good. They create life-long memories. But with a fire pit grill table combo like Gather Grills, you may want to start some new traditions, too.
You can cook your entire meal on table top fire pit from Gather Grills, from appetizers to dessert. Then you can turn the grill into a firepit and let it get going just in time for supper simply by removing the fire pit grill top. Eating your freshly prepared meal around the fire is just the beginning of your new traditions. Try some of these ideas next time and mix it up a bit!
You might try investing in a popcorn popper designed for using over an open flame.
Record those memories
Time is fleeting; pull out your cell phone and put it to good use by taking videos of your loved ones telling their favorite story or sharing a memory.
Create a shared story
Have one person start a story, and each person around the grill firepit gets to add to it. Make it funny, scary, or both!
Make sure everyone is prepared to share their favorite new joke when they arrive, every time! Anyone not prepared (or the joke with the least number of laughs) has to clean the fire pit grill grate.
History? Astronomy? Growing tomatoes? With each gathering, designate one person to teach everyone else something that they know or do especially well.
Trivia? Escape room mysteries? Newly-wed games? Partner up and see which team comes out ahead.
Table Top Fire Pit Safety
Any time you’re playing with fire, you’ll want to make sure you’re following safety protocols. When you’re having fun, it’s easy to let the rules get a bit lax. But don’t worry you can keep it safe and still let the good times roll. Here are some basic safety tips to keep in mind while entertaining with your grill fire pit dining table.
It may seem obvious, but be sure your fire pit with grill isn’t too close to your house or other structures. Shoot for at least ten to twenty feet away from plants and other fire hazards.
You’ll want to keep your grill fire pit combo far away from any lower overhanging tree branches. Remember that sparks can fly up from time so if there’s any doubt, trim the branches or put your firepit grille in a different area.
Always make sure that someone is physically present around the grill firepit when there is an active fire. Because Gather Grills is also a fire pit dining table, keeping someone there to keep an eye on things won’t be a problem.
Cut your grill firepit logs so they are no longer than three-quarters of the pit’s diameter. This will help keep longer logs from accidentally rolling out when they break apart in the fire.
Don’t use lighter fluid or gasoline to start your fire. Get it rolling with softwood, fire starter briquettes, or your leftover smoldering charcoal from cooking dinner on your fire pit grill top.
Ensure that the fire is completely out before calling it a night. Objects like paper or dead leaves can blow into the smoldering embers of a firepit grille and reignite the flames.
A huge bonfire may feel exciting, but it can easily get out of hand, even when confined to a burn bowl or stone grill fire pit. Bits of burning ember from raging fires can be spit up into the air, landing on easily ignitable materials.
When removing the fire pit grill grate after cooking, set it somewhere safely out of the way, where it won’t be stumbled upon. Also, if it’s still hot, avoid putting the fire pit grill top in places where it might accidently ignite dried leaves or debris.
Keep some items handy to keep a fire under control, just in case. This could be a fire extinguisher, a fire blanket, or a water hose.
When you add a grill, the fire pit experience is leveled up. But fire pit grills are only as enjoyable as they are safe. If you keep these common-sense tips in mind, you and your guests will have fun time and time again gathered around the fire pit dining table.
Keep Your Grill Fire Pit on the Right Side of the Law
In the countryside, you can pretty much fire up your fire pit grill combo on your own property any time it’s not too windy or too wet. Backyard fire pits with a grill are legal in most areas as long as they are kept confined and never left unattended. If you’re in a populated area, you’ll want to check to make sure there aren’t any additional restrictions on firepits for entertainment. This may include seasonal burn bans. Some areas may also require a permit. Check with your county fire marshal if you’ve got any questions or concerns. Having your fire pit dining table party crashed by police is not our definition of a good time.
Welcome Home the Smoker, Griddle, Fire Pit, Grill Table Combo of Your Dreams
From ancient tradition to modern innovation, Gather Grills truly gives you the best of both worlds. You can experience that rustic, old-fashioned firepit gathering and prepare a delicious meal befitting your honored guests. With Gather Grills, you can grill, griddle or smoke for your friends and family who are right there at the tabletop fire pit with you. Choose the right size for your style of gathering and turn a cookout into a night to remember.
Don’t let another opportunity for connection pass you by. Learn more about our epic grill fire pit dining table choices and find the right one for your epic gatherings.