The 4 Types of Fire Pits: What’s The Best For You?
Who doesn’t love being around a warm campfire? It adds comfort and ambiance to any space where family and friends can gather to cook a delicious meal, roast marshmallows, and tell stories. A fire pit is also a great addition to your backyard, whether for decoration or to make it more livable on cold days.
If you are considering buying a fire pit, you have probably found many different options. The secret is doing a little research before purchasing one to ensure you get a design that suits your needs.
There are 4 types of fire pits: wood-burning fire pits, natural gas fire pits, and gel-fuel fire pits, and these are categorized by the type of fuel they use.
In this article, we’ll dive into each type of fire pit one by one, discussing their features, pros, and cons. Keep reading!
It’s easy to see the benefits of sprucing up your outdoor space with a fire pit. They serve as an endless source of entertainment, illuminate outdoor living spaces after dark, offer warmth, and bring an inviting, cozy ambiance.
(Bonus: you can cook s’mores!)
But before you buy a fire pit, there are a few factors to consider. To make the best decision, consider where you’d like to put your fire pit. Keep in mind that it needs to be placed in an open area and a safe distance from your home (and any combustible materials).
Also, your fire pit size depends on how much space you have and how prominent a focal point you want it to be. Are you strictly installing a backyard fire pit as a warm central gathering area, or do you plan to use it for cooking? These details will help you decide which type and style would work best for you.
1. Wood Fire Pit
A wood-burning fire pit is like having a campfire at home and is highly popular for backyard setups. They provide warmth, the crackle of wood, and natural smoke, all while keeping the fire fully contained.
They are very easy to install. Besides, the enclosure for these fire pits can be made of any material that won’t burn, like metal or stone. Furthermore, it will include a structure to contain the logs.
Wood fire pits can also double as a grill for those who enjoy making BBQs or cooking outdoors. Depending on your needs, the fire size can range from small to large by adding more logs for a larger fire. Cut firewood is inexpensive to buy, and you can’t beat the authentic and cozy crackling that occurs when it burns.
Pros of Wood Burning Fire Pits:
- It comes in various styles and sizes.
- They can be placed anywhere due to their versatile sizes that go from compact to large.
- They give a natural atmosphere of a traditional campfire.
- Unlike others, a wood-burning fire pit allows you to cook over its fire.
- They are budget-friendly: they don’t cost you anything beyond the price of the structure itself.
Cons of Wood Burning Fire Pits:
- You can’t regulate the fire rapidly. Increasing the flame’s size is easy by throwing in more wood. But, it becomes difficult to control the fire promptly.
- Unlike gas-burning fire pits, you can’t extinguish a wood-burning fire pit.
- It produces big amounts of smoke that irritate your eyes, nose, and throat.
- It requires more maintenance since the smoke and ash also discolored the pit.
Wood-burning fire pits come in a variety of different types, such as:
-Wood Burning Grill:
This type of wood-burning fire pit acts as a wood-burning grill, and many people use it for cooking and grilling. It comes with a grill gate that attaches above the flaming embers.
They can be portable or built-in designs. Either one will significantly enhance your patio. Outdoor fireplace design can be similar to an indoor fireplace.
-Brick or Stone Fire Pit:
This is a relatively easy, cost-effective DIY project. Brick or stone fire pits can be built using cinder blocks, stones, or bricks from almost any local hardware store.
2. Propane Fire Pits
Propane fire pits offer homeowners the ultimate convenience. They allow for a nice flame without needing a refilling gel or wood. Most propane fire pits are large and become the patio’s focal point.
This fire pit can become your patio focal point thanks to its impressive design, which also gives a contemporary vibe.
A fire pit powered by liquid propane is more portable than natural gas since you can buy propane in refillable tanks. It also burns clean and bright and gives off considerable heat.
This fire pit is ideal for use under a gazebo, pergola, or outdoor structure.
Propane fire pits are most commonly constructed using glass, faux wood, copper bowls, and rock pebbles. Propane fire pits can also be fitted with wheels for mobility or cooking.
There are three kinds of propane fire pits are:
-Portable Propane Fire Pit:
A portable propane fire pit can be an excellent investment. It provides warmth, ambiance, and cooking capabilities, and it’s also conveniently designed to move anywhere in your yard. You can find it in designs with wheels, while others are lightweight and easy to carry.
-Copper Bowl Fire Pit:
A propane copper design is one of the fanciest –and most expensive– options for an outdoor fire pit. Since copper has a very high melting point, it is highly durable and will last a long time.
-Fire Pit Table:
Many propane fire pits have a table-like appearance, with a rim encircling the flames. This large ledge supplies a safe area for children not to get too near the fire. It is also handy for resting your drink or plate around the fire pit.
Pros of Propane Fire Pits:
- These fire pits are portable and adaptable enough to be placed anywhere.
- Unlike a wood-burning fire pit, you won’t notice dirty ashes in or near the propane fire pit.
- You also can use a fire pit table version during the hot months without using the fire pit.
Cons of Propane Fire Pits:
- The maintenance and use of these fire pits become expensive due to tank refills.
- They provide less warmth than a wood-burning fire pit can.
Propane fire pits can be a great choice if you are looking for contemporary and sophisticated designs for your backyard.
3. Gel Fuel Fire Pits
Gel-fueled fire pits are the perfect way to add ambiance and intrigue to your backyard if you desire a fireplace that does not give off any smoke. They are also highly versatile and can be moved almost anywhere in outdoor and indoor spaces.
Also, gel fuel fire pits don’t require electricity, gas connections, or chimneys to operate correctly.
A gel fuel fire pit employs a special alcohol-based gel to torch a fire which renders an exquisite environment. To light this pit, you have to pour the gel fuel into the hole and then set the gel fuel on fire using a gas grill lighter. The fire puts itself out when the fuel is consumed entirely.
Here are a couple of different types of gel-fuel fire pits.
- Gel Fueled Logs:
You can get gel-fueled logs to place in any fire pit design. They create a fire’s natural look and feel while concealing the gel fuel holders inside the logs.
- Tabletop Fireplace:
A gel-fueled tabletop display firepit is perfect for those who want a small fire in the backyard. These can be easily moved indoors or out and add an excellent display to the patio table.
You can buy beautiful tabletop firepits at The Outdoor Plus.
Pros of Gel Fuel Fire Pits:
- They are easy to use.
- You can use it inside as well as outside your home.
- Safe to use inside the house.
- It is an inexpensive option.
- It doesn’t provide any smoke.
- The gel helps the fire burn for a few hours without hassle.
Cons of Gel Fuel Fire Pits:
- The heat output is much less than a wood-burning fire pit.
- You cannot regulate the flame levels.
- The fuel or construction of this fire pit may cost you little, but refueling can cost you about $3 per hour if you are running a 3-can model with a gel fuel can.
- You must refuel it more than once for the fire to keep burning for an entire night.
4. Natural Gas Fire Pits
Consider a natural gas fire pit if your backyard can install a natural gas line. Similar to propane designs, this fire pit is a permanent fixture in your backyard.
One amazing thing about natural gas fire pits is that they never run out of fuel. In addition, gas is cleaner and safer than wood and doesn’t bombard guests with smoke.
Here are a few different ways to design a natural gas fire pit:
- Sunken Design:
A sunken natural gas fire pit is constructed into the patio or ground. You must be careful around these designs, as the flames are close.
- Square, Round, or Tabletop Design:
Design your fire pit to be raised above the patio with stone, brick, or copper designs, among others. They make a lovely complement to the space.
Pros of Natural Gas Fire Pits:
- It is an inexpensive choice.
- It will add value to your house.
- They are also expected to live for a few decades with little care, given their durability and robustness.
- There is no mess to clean up.
Cons of Natural Gas Fire Pits:
- The fire pit is not ideal for cooking.
- It isn’t portable and can’t be shifted once installed.
Installing a natural gas fire pit as a landscaping enhancement is an incredible idea if you wish to increase your home’s value.
Some ideal locations can be wood decks and concrete patios.
Safety First: Tips
Concerning safety, where you locate your fire pit is just as important as how much you use it. Built-in fire pits or heavy fire bowls won’t be moved, so be sure there are no overhanging tree branches or nearby shrubs.
Also, safety is critical for open flames, so position any fire pit at least 10 feet or more from anything flammable. Besides, look out for areas prone to wind. Natural gas or propane fire pits have neither embers nor ash, but you’ll still need to be cautious.
Fire Pit Accessories
If you want an outdoor fire pit, fire extinguishers are mandatory. Keep one in the backyard close at hand.
Invest in a few fire pit accessories to maintain your fire pit and ensure that you and anyone enjoying your fire pit are safe at all times.
For example, heat deflectors and spark screens reduce fire risk and injury. You’ll want to buy a durable lid or protective cover to keep the pit in excellent condition.
A log rack and a fireplace tool set may be necessary to keep the area around your fire pit clean and well-organized.
Overall, the accessories you need will depend on the type of fire pit you got. Be sure to concentrate on options that help in cleaning, general maintenance, and protection. Then, you’ll be able to enjoy your fire pit for as long as possible.
Which Is The Greatest Fire Pit For Cooking?
Wood-burning fire pits are the most popular and best fit for cooking, whether you want a casual Sunday dinner or a barbecue party.
Before signing up for a cooking lesson, choose your fire pit carefully. Softwoods, such as pine, may not be the best choice for this purpose since they render a resinous smoke that might spoil the flavor of your food.
What Activities Can You Do Around Fire Pits?
Besides protecting you from the cold, fire pits are installed to enjoy the winter days and spend more time with your loved ones.
If you need one last push to make up your mind, here are some of the things you can do with your family and friends around a fire pit:
- Play cards and fun board games.
- Karaoke, playing musical instruments and singing.
- Tell spooky campfire stories.
- Share memories.
- Watch a movie.
- Contemplate the sunset or the sunrise.
- Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or coffee while listening to music.
Ready To Get Your First Fire Pit?
To conclude, you can install four main fire pits: propane fire pits, wood-burning fire pits, natural gas fire pits, and gel fuel fire pits.
With so many fire pit options, there is something for everyone. Consider the safety, purpose, and effect of each on the environment when choosing a fire pit for your backyard.
Purchase your new fire pit this winter and look forward to many nights spent delighting family and friends around the open flame.