4 Types of Backyard Fire Pits

Who doesn’t love sitting around a campfire? The comfort and warmth it brings on a brisk night while friends and family gather around to tell stories. Fire pits offer the campfire experience and ambiance in the comfort of your own backyard. They are a great addition as they create a desirable location in your outdoor living space for both you and your guest to enjoy.

There are four different types of fire pits to choose from — wood burning, gel fuel, propane or natural gas. Let’s take a closer look at each type and how they differ from each other.

1. Wood Burning Fire Pits

These fire pits are almost like having a campfire right in your own backyard. They offer the same warmth and smoky ambiance and as a campfire while keeping the fire in a contained bowl and often with a screen cover for safety. The majority of wood burning fire pits are made of steel with the biggest differentiator between them being the size of the fire bowl. The larger the fire bowl the bigger the fire that can be made. The legs of the fire pit offer a level of safety by keeping it off the ground and away from the patio floor while also raising the heat closer to guests gathered around it.

Wood burning fire pits come in a variety of styles and sizes. From marble to steel, and from compact to oversized you’ll be sure to find a fire pit for any outdoor space. Selecting a fire pit with decorative cutouts is a great way to add to the décor of your backyard. Celebrate game day with the logo of your favorite college, or choose a more subtle design to accent your space. Wood burning fire pits can be placed just about anywhere and can convert the atmosphere of any backyard into a perfect place for friends and family.

2. Gel Fuel Fire Pits

Gel fuel fire pits are great to add ambiance to any outdoor space. Gel fire pits benefit from the gel being clean burning and not giving off any smoke or burnt wood smell. These fire pits do not give off as much heat as their counterparts, however, because of this they are very versatile and can be placed just about anywhere in your backyard.

The gel fuel these pits burn is refilled by either replacing a gel canister or refilling the reservoir with gel fuel. To ignite the pit you simply light the gel fuel using a gas grill lighter, and after the fuel is consumed, the flame puts itself out.

3. Propane Fire Pits

Propane fire pits are the ultimate convenience allowing a quality flame without refilling gel, or building one with wood. These fire pits are larger than gel or wood burning pits, and often the focal piece of the room. The flame of these pits is impressive rising from beneath either faux wood or glass or rock pebbles.

The ignition switch is normally housed under the fire pit along with the propane tank and makes lighting the pit a breeze. To extinguish the flame simply eliminate the propane supply. Most propane fire pits accommodate a 20-pound propane tank that can be found at your local grocery store. Propane fire pits are very versatile and can be placed just about anywhere in your backyard.

4. Natural Gas Fire Pits

If you have the capacity for natural gas installation in your outdoor space, you may want to consider a natural gas fire pit. They are similar to propane fire pits but they have a permanent connection to a natural gas line, thus eliminating the risk of running out of gas. Natural gas fire pits are the least portable of the fire pit family because they cannot be moved, however, they are the least expensive to operate and easiest to maintain.

Fire pits are a big trend in backyard renovations or even as a final touch to an already great backyard. They offer warmth on a cool night and are a great place for friends and family to gather and chat.

Jeff Flowers

About Author

Jeff Flowers has been a self-described beer geek for over a decade now. When he's not chasing his daughter around, you can usually find him drinking a fresh brew and wasting too much of his time on both Google+ & Twitter.

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