Gear

Magnify Your Heat Radius with Heat Deflector

Mar 1, 2023
By Carolyn Owen

“How much heat does this thing put out?”

“How far away can you be from your fire pit and still feel the warmth?”

“Do you have to stand over your fire pit to feel the heat?”

This blog is for you if you’ve ever had a question remotely similar to those above. But, while we’re here, we need to be upfront about something: measuring your fire pit’s heat radius is not a perfect science. There are some key contributors to creating the hottest fire possible.

Fire Pit Size

The clearest and present variable when it comes to having a hotter fire in your Solo Stove is definitely which of our fire pits you’ve chosen to burn. If you’re new to our product line, allow us to explain. First, there was Bonfire. The fire pit for the everyman. This is our mid-sized fire pit that’s perfect for the backyard and beyond, as its construction lends itself to travel as well as at-home fires. Next came Ranger, the smallest fire pit, built for those on the go. Last is Yukon, the fire pit built to sit and stay, letting you burn the biggest, baddest fires.

It doesn’t matter which Solo Stove Fire Pit you choose– you can’t go wrong. You’ll still experience clean, smokeless burns. But we’d be amiss to leave out that the amount of fuel contributes most to heat output. As our fire pits are sized, temperature output varies respectively. Expect the hottest fires in a Yukon and the tamest in a Ranger.

Deflection

Imagine a sphere made of clay. Now, imagine that sphere being pushed down into a circle. The diameter of the sphere was smaller than the diameter of the circle of clay that now exists. The same idea applies to your heat radius when the radiating sphere of heat that sits above your existing flame is deflected outwards. How can this be possible? Thanks to the Solo Stove Heat Deflector. Heat Deflector is a key part of a larger heat radius, using angles to bounce heat down and out. Read on to learn just how effective Heat Deflector can be.

The next few points are mentioned in a blog of their own. To get a deeper look and to learn “How To Make Your Fire Extra Hot”, click here:

Wood Type

Your heat radius will vary significantly depending on whether you are burning hardwoods, softwoods, and even green or wet woods. The best way to ensure a hot fire is by using hardwoods. Hardwoods produce higher BTUs than softwoods, and burn longer, magnifying your heat radius.

Airflow

Airflow is a great way to ensure an even hotter temperature in your fire pit, and you need to ensure there’s as much air flowing through it as possible while it’s lit. If your fire pit is full of ash before you light it, this will also impact whether or not your heat radius can reach its full potential. Remember to empty the ashes as often as possible, or at least after every few burns.

Wood Stacking

Is your wood stacked correctly? If not, your fire pit could be struggling to output heat. Make sure not to overstack– don’t place logs any higher than the interior secondary burn holes. This will ensure proper airflow so you can have a perfect secondary burn. When arranging wood in your fire pit, or adding it to your fire, place logs on the outer edges of the grate rather than the middle. The key to this technique is bringing heat from the center of the fire pit to the outer walls. The warmer the walls, the better the secondary burn; therefore, the hotter your fire. The hotter your fire…? You guessed it– the wider your heat radius.

Solo Stove Goes To The Science Fair

This information is fine and good in theory, but how does it stack up in practice? We put two Bonfires head to head to help prove some of our research. If you’re a student looking for a science fair project or a fire junkie who wants to see how different fire pit sizes and wood types impact your heat radius, feel free to use our methods to test it out for yourself!

Here’s how we modeled our test:

Both Bonfires were unused; therefore, no ashes were present, and air could fully circulate. Each contained 6 piñon logs stacked log cabin style, complete with two Starter Packs. It was about 50° F outside at the time of this test, and temperature readings were taken at hand level while seated.

Both Bonfires were lit at the same time, and once the fire was caught and fully blazing, we added a Heat Deflector to one of the Bonfires.

Using our Infrared Thermometer, we measured heat output at three different distances from each fire pit. Special thanks to our guinea pig, Brian, for helping us out! We began our test with Brian seated two feet away from each fire pit.

Here’s what we found:

Next, we moved Brian three feet away from each fire pit. Here’s what we found:

Our last measurement was taken with Brian seated four feet from each fire pit.

While results may vary depending on the variables listed at the top of the blog, our conclusion to this experiment is that there’s no wrong answer when it comes to feeling the burn! Whether you use a Heat Deflector or not, you can still warm right up next to your Bonfire. While using a Heat Deflector puts out more heat, it just comes down to preference at the end of the day.

We’d love to see your Heat Radius experiments! Tag us on social media @solostove, or submit photos to our monthly photo contest here!