Wood Vs Propane Fire Pit – We Break Down The Best Option For Your Home

wood vs propane fire pit
Wood Vs Propane Fire Pit

Every one of us is looking for an escape; often, it is from the familiar four walls of our offices and homes. Over the past couple of years, the number of people working from home has increased many folds; this has meant a growing demand from people who want to escape the four walls to unwind. That’s where having a fire pit comes in.

The best way to escape the confines of your home is to go outdoors. However, to enjoy your time outdoors, there needs to be something that keeps you, and everyone around you entertained. Thankfully, with some creativity, it is possible to create an ideal and comfortable outdoor space that everyone can enjoy.

You have the option of adding a propane gas fire pit or a wood-burning fire pit, which will help you extend the living space. This will mean you can enjoy the great outdoors throughout the year.

However, the million-dollar question that every homeowner asks is which is the best fire pit for their home. There is no one best option, which is why weighing the pros and cons of each is essential. 

In this article, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of each type of fire pit and also make a few recommendations.

Gas Vs Wood Burning Fire Pit – What Do They Cost?

Unless you are part of the top 1%, the price matters, but more importantly, the value matters, especially if you can get more value by paying a little extra. The most noticeable difference between gas and wood fire pits is their cost. In most cases, the size will undoubtedly be a factor. Larg fire pit types are generally more expensive. 

The other factor affecting costs is the material the fire pit is made from. Common materials include copper, cast iron, concrete, granite, and steel.

The good thing about wood fire pits and wood fires is that their upfront costs are lower compared to propane and gas fire pits. Many big box stores will also have a couple of budget-friendly options, which you can assemble yourself in under 30 minutes.

Natural gas fire pits tend to cost slightly more. One reason for the higher cost is that you need a professional to install it. However, the BTU output from propane and natural gas fire pits will also affect cost.

As a buyer, you also need to consider operating costs. If you have a natural gas or propane fire pit, the maintenance costs will depend mainly on how often they are used.

If you opt for a wood-burning fire pit, remember that you will need lots of wood. This can end up costing you more because finding wood these days is hard unless you live in a forest or near one. Though many people opt for it because it gives them that campfire feeling they can’t enjoy with propane or natural gas fire pits.

The drawback apart from the costs is that the wood-burning fire pits require extra work like cutting and hauling all that wood.

Installation of Gas and Wood Burning Fire Pits

Most fire pits can be made from scratch and are available in various shapes. They can be built using masonry products like bricks, pavers, and heat-resistant stucco. However, most homeowners will find purchasing a pre-made fire pit is their best option.

The significant benefit of wood-burning fire pits is that anyone can assemble them. All you need is to place them in the backyard on a level surface, and there should be enough open space to vent the smoke.

On the other hand, installing a gas pit fireplace will require more planning, and thus the setup isn’t as cut and dry. A gas technician must be hired to ensure that the firepit is installed correctly and works safely.

The technician will need to lay a natural gas line from the source over to the fire pit, which is good news if you also want to add a built-in grill to your outdoor kitchen.  

On the other hand, propane fire pits will only require a small tank to be installed near the grill. This makes the setup process relatively simple. But if you want to use a large propane tank, a professional will need to be hired.

How To Fuel the Outdoor Fire?

Another reason why people opt for natural gas fire pits is that they don’t need to worry about fueling them. However, with wood, you need to have a source, and it also needs to be affordable.

One issue that could make natural gas fire pits more practical is the location. If you live in a rural area and thus don’t have access to natural gas, then propane and wood is your only option. 

Propane fire pits tend to be less convenient since the tank needs to be refiled or it needs to be switched out. However, you can also invest in a larger permanent propane tank which will reduce your need to refuel it multiple times if the fire pit is used more frequently. Thus, most people find propane a good option for their cottages.

Ease of Starting and Extinguishing Fires

One of the things everyone should consider when in the market for a fire pit is the ease at which they can start and then extinguish fires. The ease of use can be a significant factor when deciding what type of firepit to buy.

One of the most significant drawbacks of having wood-burning fire pits is the time and effort it often takes to ignite a flame. It sometimes takes even longer to put them out safely.

Fully extinguishing a wood fire pit often means letting the wood being reduced to ashes. Then put a bucket of water on to it the pit. You do this until there are no signs of burning ambers and no sizzling from the water.

The other option is to push a button to start and stop the fire. Here natural gas and propane are the most convenient. The best method uses remote ignition, which will start the fire, and then when you press a button, it will go off. Though there are inexpensive fire pits, they can also be started and put off like you do a stove, using a lighter and match.

Fortunately, turning off a gas fire pit is easy once you are done. You only need to twist a knob or press a button to stop the gas supply. So, if you want convenience, then propane and natural gas fire pits are your best bet.

The legality of Backyard Fire Pits

Usually, various zoning restrictions in the area will dictate precisely what type of fire pit you cannot use. This often means you must research local laws and regulations before deciding on a fire pit.

In places where outdoor wood burning is permitted, they will often issue a temporary ban during the dry weather to reduce the likely hood of local vegetation catching fire.

Since natural gas and propane tank fire pits are easier and safer to control, they are considered comparatively safe.

The Question of Smoke – Wood vs. Gas Fire Pits 

The most appealing feature of wood-burning pits is their ambience. The resulting pit is warm; you can enjoy the dancing flames and hear the logs crackling. There is also the pleasant smell of an outdoor fire that you can’t get with any other fire pit.

Though all of these positives are overshadowed by the problem of smoke. Nothing does a worse job ruining your fun than having too much smoke.

On the other hand, ones fueled by natural gas don’t give out as much smoke, and thus, the odds of it ruining your fun are much lower. The only drawback is that gas-fueled fire pits don’t have the same charm as their wood-burning counterparts. 

Top Gas Fire Pits You Can Buy Today

Square Fire Pits

Elementi Manhattan Outdoor Fire Pit Table 36 Inches Square Firepit Concrete Patio Heater Electronic Ignition Backyard Fireplace Cover Lava Rock Included, Liquid PropanE

The heavy-duty outdoor fire pit is an excellent addition to any size patio. Made from cast concrete, it is made to withstand harsh temperatures while lasting for years. The best feature is the reflection of dancing flames, offering visual comfort and adding to the cozy vibe of your outdoor abode.

Essential Lounger 35 Inch Outdoor Fire Table, 50,000 BTU Square Concrete Firepit Table for Outside with Wind Guard, Waterproof Cover, Lava Rocks, Propane Gas Fireplace Table – Grey

Made from GFRC, it is a glass fibre-reinforced concrete composite, a material shown to be superior to concrete. It is more flexible, can bear higher temperatures, and requires minimal maintenance. Furthermore, it is highly durable, outliving most concrete and steel firepits.

Rectangular Fire Pit

Best Choice Products 52in 50,000 BTU Outdoor Wicker Patio Propane Gas Fire Pit Table w/Aluminum Tabletop, Glass Wind Guard, Clear Glass Rocks, Cover, Slide Out Tank Holder, and Lid – Gray

Elegantly designed, this outdoor firepit is the perfect addition to any backyard or patio. The beautifully designed aluminum top and wicker design make an instant centrepiece of any backyard setting.

ECOTOUGE 2-Piece 56″ Outdoor Rectangle Propane Fire Pit Table with Tank Holder, 50,000 BTU Concrete Fire Table with Weather-Resistant Pit Cover, Auto-Ignition, Free Lava Rocks, Fits 20lb Tank Outside

The propane gas fire table is designed and made from sturdy, high flame-retardant magnesium oxide. The burner bowls are made from stainless steel. However, unlike many other campfire fire pits, this one is CSA certification, ensuring it is 100% safe for use.

LEGACY HEATING 57 inch Gas Fire Pit Table Outdoor Propane Fire Pit Table, 50000BTU Fire Table with Lid, Rectangular Bronze Firepit Table for Garden Courtyard Deck Poolside Party

This rectangular table-top fire pit is an excellent choice for people with large families and friends who enjoy gathering around it. It comes with a handy lid and is a perfect substitute for a regular or average patio coffee table.

Fire Pit Round Bowl

Measuring 42 inches, this modern concrete fire pit table bowl, with a glass guard and crystals, is available in grey. The modern design helps your outdoor space stand out, with its perfectly crafted crescent moon shape, and brilliant sparkling smokeless fire. If anything, this is undoubtedly going to impress friends and family alike.

Fire Pit Round Base

The beautiful aqua-blue fire, coupled with its low-profile design, almost begs you to tell stories around it. Measuring 40.5 inches, the rounded base patio heater can output 50,000 BTU heat via its sizeable stainless steel burner. Coupled with electronic ignition and a safety valve, this is the perfect firepit to make memories.

Fire Pit Square Bowl

Measuring 34 niches, this square-shaped fire pit table is made from concrete and offers high floor clearance. Made from glass fiber with reinforced concrete, the excellent finish ensures high resistance to heat. Plus, it serves as the ideal centrepiece for any outdoor event. It is the perfect propane patio heater for those who want a comparatively lightweight and easy-to-use patio heater.

Best Wood Burning Fire Pit For 2023

Outdoor Wood-Burning Fire Pit

The LEMY 32-inch outdoor fire pit comes with a durable steel mesh, kept in place with a strong frame. Made from durable steel, this fire pit is designed to withstand the rigors of being kept outdoors in addition to regular use. All you need is to assemble and put it in place.

Crossweave Outdoor Fire Pit  

It is the perfect firepit for large gatherings of friends and family members. The pit measures a generous 36 inches and is 24 inches high, with 11 inches of depth. The cross-weave pit weighs just 29 pounds. Made from rust-resistant, heavy-duty steel, it is finished with black paint and thus can resist the elements and fit right in with any outdoor furniture.

Solo stove bonfire fire pit

It is one of the more unique fire pits we’ve recommended. It pushes the limits of a combustion airflow with a minimal outdoor design. The stainless-steel construction is brilliantly engineered to ensure an excellent backyard fire experience. Since its Kickstarter campaign, the patented design has sold over $1.1 million units.

Gas Vs Wood Fire Pit – Conclusion

The fire pit you choose will mainly depend on what you want. That said, with our choice of the best fire pits, regardless of if you want to buy gas or a wood pit, you can’t go wrong with them. Fortunately, there is something for everyone.