Enjoying the warmth and dancing flames of a fire is a relaxing way to spend a night or even prolong your time spent outside. A fire pit allows you to spend more time with family and friends outdoors at your home, campground, or cabin, but what type of fire pit is the best for your space? Should you use a wood-burning fire pit or a gas-burning fire pit?
When choosing the right fire pit for you, there are a few things to consider before making a purchase. Consider how much space you have to use the fire pit and how much storage space you have for wood to fuel wood-burning fire pits. How much money do you plan to spend on a fire pit and its installation? How much time do you want to put into creating a fire pit space, and how much do you plan to use the fire pit? What do you want to use the fire pit for? Do you want a warm and inviting place to enjoy social gatherings, or do you need to use the fire pit for yard work too? These factors will help you decide which fire pit style is the best for you. Read on to learn more about the differences between gas and wood-burning fire pits.
The first major (and obvious) difference between the two types of fire pits is the kind of fuel that is required to create a fire. Fuel type is a major contributor to determining what you can use the fire pit for. Fire pits that are fueled by firewood are great for bonfires with friends and family, burning brush and yard debris to keep your yard looking clean, and for heating larger outdoor spaces. Fire pits that are fueled by natural or propane gas provide the cozy ambiance of a fire for social gatherings but without as much heat and flame as wood-burning fire pits provide. Gas fire pits can’t be used to burn wood or debris found while taking care of your yard because they are not designed to burn wood, only gas.
Convenience and Maintenance
Another difference between wood-burning and gas fire pits is the maintenance that each fire pit requires. Wood-burning fire pits provide a rustic, even nostalgic experience, but they require more maintenance than a gas fire pit. The ashes left over after a fire in a wood-burning fire pit need to be removed (once cooled) so it’s ready for the next time. Wood-burning fire pits experience more degradation due to the high heat of flames and general use over time. Gas fire pits don’t really require a lot of maintenance. Wipe off the top of it every once in a while to maintain its new appearance and remove dust buildup, and you’re good to go!
Convenience is another factor to consider when determining which fire pit is best for you. Wood-burning fire pits can be trickier to light and keep lighted, depending on your materials and experience starting a fire. You need kindling, wood, oxygen, and patience to get a fire started and then more wood to keep it going. Storing firewood and kindling on a log rack is the best way to keep the wood covered and off the ground so it can dry out.
Gas fire pits, on the other hand, only need to be turned on when you want to start a fire. Just connect the fire pit to a propane tank or ensure the gas line is connected properly, and then turn the knob to release gas and watch the flames come to life. To set up this easy-to-ignite option, a gas line must be put in or a propane tank must be connected. Gas lines can be expensive, but after they are in place, using your fire pit will be easier and take less time to get going. Propane gas fire pits don’t require installation but will need a propane tank to fuel the flames. Because gas fire pits give off less heat and have a controlled, clean-burning flame, they can be used in many settings, as long as there is plenty of ventilation and the fire pit is placed on an even surface. Gas fire pits can be used on decks, patios, balconies, and porches, unlike wood-burning fire pits.
Both kinds of fire pits are generally safe, but there are certain settings in which using a gas fire pit over a wood-burning fire pit is better. If you live in a dry climate or there is a burning ban in place, it may still be safe to use a gas-burning fire pit because the flame is contained and easier to control than that of a wood-burning fire pit (check local regulations and weather conditions before igniting the fire pit). Gas fire pits are also clean-burning, meaning they don’t release harmful waste into the air or create smoke or sparks. Smoke, embers, and ashes from wood-burning fire pits pollute the air and fall down as you sit around the fire, creating a potentially dangerous situation, even with a spark screen and especially during dry conditions.
If you enjoy fire-roasted treats and cooking over a fire, a wood-burning fire pit is the best way to go. While you can roast marshmallows over a gas-burning fire pit, you should not cook hot dogs, burgers, and other foods over a gas-burning fire pit. Oils and fats that burn off while cooking these items can leak into the gas line and cause fires or even explosions. To avoid damaging your fire pit, it’s best not to cook over a gas-burning fire pit. Check out this blog for additional information and tips for fire pit safety.
One last thing to consider when shopping for a fire pit is the kind of environment you want to create while using it. The crackle of firewood as it burns, the rise of smoke as the wind carries it upward (on a good day), the falling of ashes, and the aroma of burning wood create an inviting and cozy place to enjoy time outdoors. Many people agree that there’s nothing quite like sitting around a hot fire, enjoying conversation, drinks, and snacks with your loved ones.
Unlike wood-burning fire pits, there isn’t any smoke or ashes to swirl around you, but there is an orange, dancing flame, warmth, and an ambient glow that surrounds you while sitting around a gas fire pit. Gas fire pits are perfect for s’mores nights because they are great for roasting marshmallows. Most gas fire pits have a table-like top that is a handy place to set plates, graham crackers, and chocolate while you prep the ‘mallows. Gas fire pits also feature more decorative designs to fit in with any outdoor decor. Gas fire pits can be used as coffee tables or footrests (when not lit) also.
There are many factors to consider when deciding which fire pit style is the best for you. Ultimately, the type of fire pit you choose depends on your preferences and how you plan to use it. Both types of fire pits offer a cozy place to enjoy warmth and a fun place to gather with loved ones. Check out some of our other blogs to learn more helpful tips about fire pits.