Q & A Fire Stones

Thought I'd share a recent email inquiry.

Q. My parents have a house in Camden, ME that they're adding onto and one of the additions is a stone patio area. My dad really wanted to put in a stone fire pit, but heard that granite fire pits are susceptible to exploding if the stone gets too hot. Can you shed any light on this?

A. All I really know about stone in fire settings is that soapstone is the best for taking high heat. I've used it in masonry fireplaces and in fire pits with consistently good results. I'm lucky to have sources of natural and quarried soapstone here in Southern Vermont. I don't know
about availability in Maine. Maybe the best advise would be to throw a bunch of granite pieces into a hot brush fire and see if they're still in one piece after the ashes cool down. If they survive that inferno in one piece they'll probably be fine for lining a fire pit.