Can You Put Lava Rocks in a Wood Burning Fire Pit? Avoid Explosion!

close up of hot burning lava near an active volcano somewhere in the world

Wood-burning fire pits are a great way to enjoy the outdoors, but it’s essential to use the right materials. Most online resources mention lava rock, a rock that explodes when exposed to heat and moisture simultaneously, as one of the popular options for wood-burning fire pits. But can you put lava rocks in a wood-burning fire pit? 

You can put lava rocks in a wood-burning fire pit. These rocks are heat resistant and can help spread the heat evenly. Plus, they’re porous, which means they help circulate air and prevent your fire from smoldering. However, you must ensure the rocks are dry to avoid an explosion.

This post will show you how to avoid a lava rocks explosion in your fire pit. I’ll also share some pros of using lava rocks for your wood-burning fire pit. Read on to learn more.

How To Avoid a Lava Rocks Explosion in Your Fire Pit

As mentioned, you can use lava rocks for your wood-burning fire pit. But there are some things you need to do to avoid an explosion. 

Ensure the Lava Rocks Are Dry

Lava rocks are popular for fire pits because they’re durable and add a unique visual element. But before adding lava rocks to your fire pit, it’s vital to ensure they’re completely dry. If there’s moisture on the lava rocks, it could cause them to explode when heated.

One way to ensure the lava rocks are dry is to let them sit out in the sun for a few hours. That will help remove any moisture trapped inside the rocks’ pores.

You can also buy pre-dried lava rocks from most home improvement stores. Either way, taking the time to dry out the lava rocks will help you avoid dangerous accidents.

Ensure the Drain Holes Are Working Perfectly

Any good fire pit will have a few drain holes built into it, and those holes serve an essential purpose. They help drain any water that gets into the fire pit, which is important because standing water can cause the lava rocks to explode. 

If the water can drain away quickly, that danger is minimized. That’s why it’s essential to ensure that the drain holes in your fire pit are clear and unobstructed. 

Otherwise, you could be putting yourself at risk of a dangerous situation. So take a few minutes to check those drain holes and ensure they’re in good working order. It could save you a lot of trouble down the road.

Cover the Fire Pit With a Metal Screen

One way to help prevent explosions in a fire pit is to cover the pit with a metal screen. The screen will help keep water or moisture away from the lava rocks while allowing air to circulate. That will help prevent the rocks from becoming superheated and exploding. 

Additionally, the metal screen will help deflect any sparks emitted from the fire pit, helping to keep your home and property safe.

Use Quality Lava Rocks

Another way to avoid an explosion is to use quality lava rocks. Cheap, poor-quality lava rocks may be more likely to explode than high-quality ones. That’s because the lower-quality rocks may not have been adequately dried before they were sold, or they may be made of a softer material that’s more prone to explosions.

To be safe, it’s always best to buy lava rocks from a reputable dealer. That way, you can be sure that you’re getting a quality product that won’t put you at risk of an explosion.

For starters, you can try these Midwest Hearth Lava Rock for Fire Pits (available on They’re well-reviewed and come in a natural color that will add a nice touch to your fire pit. Besides, they’re a natural volcanic rock, making them heat resistant and durable.

Use the Right Amount of Lava Rocks

It’s also essential to use the right amount of lava rocks in your fire pit. If you use too many, the heat from the fire may not be able to circulate properly. That could cause the rocks to become superheated and explode. On the other hand, if you use too few, the fire may not be as hot as it could be, making it more difficult to control.

The best way to find the right amount of lava rocks is to experiment a little. Start with a small amount and add more if necessary. It’s always better to err on the side of caution, so it’s better to use too few than too many.

Burn One Piece of Wood at a Time

If you’re using a wood-burning fire pit, it’s important to only burn one piece of wood at a time. Burning multiple pieces of wood can create a lot of heat, and that could cause the lava rocks to explode.

So, if you’re using a wood-burning fire pit, make sure to only add one piece of wood at a time. That way, you can be sure that the heat from the fire won’t get too high and put you at risk of an explosion.

Note: If you need more tips for using lava rocks in a wood-burning fire pit, consult an expert. They can help you figure out the best way to use lava rocks in your specific situation and can offer additional tips for avoiding explosions.

Reasons To Use Lava Rocks in Your Fire Pit

Now that we’ve gone over some of the dangers of using lava rocks in a fire pit, you may be wondering why you would want to use them at all. After all, there are plenty of other materials that can be used in a fire pit. So what are the benefits of using lava rocks?

Lava Rocks Help Spread the Heat Evenly

One of the most significant benefits of using lava rocks is that they help to spread the heat evenly in the fire pit. That’s because the rocks are very porous, allowing the heat to circulate through them easily. 

As a result, you’ll get more even heating from your fire pit, and that can be helpful if you’re trying to cook food or keep warm.

Besides even heating, the rocks will also help radiate the heat outward, making it more comfortable to sit around the fire pit.

Lava Rocks Are Porous

Another benefit of lava rocks is that they’re very porous. The pores in the rocks help circulate the air, which is one reason why they help fires burn evenly. Additionally, their porousness also helps the rocks drain any water that may be present. Doing this can prevent the rocks from becoming saturated and exploding.

Lava Rocks Are Heat Resistant

Finally, lava rocks are very heat resistant. That means that they can withstand high temperatures without breaking down.

As a result, they’re an ideal material to use in a fire pit. They won’t break down over time, so you can use them for many years.

Their heat resistance also makes these rocks a good choice for use in other  high-heat situations, such as grilling.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, it’s possible to use lava rocks in a wood-burning fire pit, but there are both risks and benefits to doing this. It’s essential to be aware of the dangers associated with using lava rocks in a fire pit so that you can avoid them. 

If you’re going to use lava rocks in your fire pit, make sure to take the necessary precautions to avoid any accidents. And if you have any concerns, talk to a professional before using lava rocks in your fire pit.

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