Cozy up to a gas fire pit that combines classic features with modern conveniences. With so many great gas fire pit ideas, you might decide to pick up a portable fire pit or design and build the permanent gas fire pit of your dreams. Read our tips as you navigate your decision.
As you search for a new gas fire pit, you may know you want features like easy installation, push-button start, and an environmentally friendly design. But before you buy, take a look at the options available for gas fire pit fuel types, as well as fire pit styles and other considerations to keep in mind as you shop.
Advantages of Gas Fire Pits
Whether you’re gathering the family for late-summer stargazing or chatting with a friend over a fall flame, a gas fire pit allows for extra flexibility in both the size of your fire and your ability to cool it at a moment’s notice. Regardless of the fuel source you choose, a gas fire pit offers a number of benefits over a traditional wood-burning flame.
- Precise heat control: Both propane and natural gas fire pits utilize small dials to control the amount of fuel released to the fire. This level of precision can allow for low flames on warm summer nights and high heat on chilly fall days — both without the typical trial and error methods of wood logs.
- Environmentally friendly operation: Propane, natural gas, and gel/ethanol fire pits produce a flame that’s entirely clean burning. With no harmful by products, soot, or ashes, these environmentally friendly fires are smart choices if you want to keep your air cleaner.
- Quick starts and stops: Whipping up a few s’mores on a cool night doesn’t have to be a major operation. Gas fire pits offer push-button spark ignitions, electronic or hot-wire ignitions, and even match-lit starts for quick enjoyment. Turning the flames off is just as easy with a flick of a dial or even a simple blow.
- Ability to customize: Because of their clean-burning qualities, gas fire pits allow you to add custom fillers to change the look of your backyard feature. Whether you choose fire logs, lava rock, or shades of fire glass, you can change your fire pit’s look for every season with just one small swap out.
Gas Fire Pit Fuel Types
Propane Fire Pits
A true plug-and-play solution, propane-fueled fire pits run off the standard 20-pound propane tanks available at your local hardware store. With just a few quick hose attachments to install the tank, a propane fire pit’s standard push-button spark ignition can light a warm, adjustable flame in seconds. It’s just as easy to turn off with a click of the switch to stop the gas flow and extinguish the flames.
Propane fire pits do require that the propane tank is located within or very near to the fire pit. Because the standard tank measures around 24 inches high, fire pits that can conceal the tank inside are generally taller than their non-concealed counterparts. For this style, a gas hose runs from the fire pit to an exterior propane tank, which you can hide with a tank cover.
Natural Gas Fire Pits
Natural gas fire pits are fueled by the same natural gas supply that runs to your home. In order to tap into this natural energy source, a gas plumber must run a new gas line from your home or gas meter directly to the fire pit. This isn’t a DIY job, and you may even be required to obtain a permit before having the work done. Once the installation is finished, however, the gas is available for use anytime — unlike a propane tank that you need to refill.
Gel and Ethanol Fire Pits
If you don’t really need the heat but love the look of flames, gel fuel and bioethanol fire pits offer a quick, clean-burning solution. Gel fuel comes in small tins filled with flammable gel. You can light these fire pits with a match. There’s no ability to control the size of the gel-fueled flame, and when you’re done enjoying the fire you just blow the flame out.
Ethanol fire pits offer more control over flame size and a larger burner area to fill with the flammable liquid. Because of their small size, both gel and ethanol fuel sources require more refilling effort than a propane fire pit.
Gas Fire Pit Styles
Whether you have a small patio or you’re looking to warm up a space for the entire family, there are plenty of gas fire pit designs from which to choose. From portable fire pits and tabletop styles to fire pits built for entertaining, explore these options for your new gas fire pit.
Choosing Decorative Fire Pit Fillers
Once you’ve selected a gas fire pit and outdoor fire pit fuel type, you can also accessorize it with fire glass and rocks. Colorful reflective fire glass, fire beads, fire gems, and even crystal fire diamonds offer dazzling options for decorating your pit. You can also select traditional lava rock, pebbles, and fire logs. Get creative and match your fire pit filler to accent the style of your fire pit or coordinate with your outdoor decor.
Ready to decide? Now that you’ve learned more about the features and benefits of gas fire pits, take time to browse our selection for the perfect way to warm up your outdoor living space. You’re sure to find a stylish and functional gas fire pit that’s right for your space, entertaining plans, and budget. Best of all, you’ll be able to enjoy your new purchase right in your own backyard.
Ready for more inspiration? Find additional outdoor heating ideas:
- Check out our Top 7 Fire Pits
- Learn How to Choose the Best Fire Pit for Your Backyard
- Find more options with The Best Outdoor Heating Solutions for Your Backyard