For hosts that have fire pits I offer my recommendation.
Recently hurricane/tropical storm Irma blew a fairly large limb onto my metal fire pit. Looking to replace it I came across an artist who creates 40g steel vertical fire pits. Although she has many stock designs that she has created, she will also do custom designs.
These vertical fire pits gave me a pause to begin with because I couldn’t imagine how they worked. Basically I learned to drop several small branches into the vertical fire pit, followed by two or three split and dry pieces of wood. Then through one of the cutouts in the bottom I put a lit piece of kindling. The kindling ignites the small branches which in turn light the wood. As the fire catches, gravity feeds the fire. You can add more wood as time goes on.
But!!! You will never need to poke the fire to get it to consume the wood. Gravity pulls the wood into the hot coals ensuring the fire stays lit.
To me the greatest benefit as a host has been when my guest come into my house after sitting around the fire, their clothing doesn’t smell and thus my home doesn’t smell like smoke. The reason is simple, the fire pit is about 40" tall thus all the smoke exhausts above your head and even if the wind shifts it’ll never blow into your eyes or face. It’s the most popular item at my place right now. In the spring I’ll probably put a solar light in it and set it up to just be garden art until it’s fall again.
This pit is at my cabin being enjoyed by guests while my traditional pit goes unused.
This fire pit is a custom design for a military vet.