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How to choose a fire pit based on the fuel you want to use

How to choose a fire pit based on the fuel you want to use

When it comes to creating a warm and inviting ambiance in your outdoor space, a fire pit can be the perfect addition.

However, with so many fuel options available, it can be challenging to decide which fire pit fuel type is right for you. We've put together a guide to help you evaluate which fuel type suits your lifestyle, space, and maintenance preferences, helping you to make an informed decision.

  • Propane (LP)
  • Natural gas
  • Gel
  • Wood

All fuels create a warm and cozy ambience and will burn safely when you follow the product instructions. The important thing to consider is which fuel type is available at your home and suits the needs of the space where your fire pit will be located, and how much effort you are willing to invest in maintaining the fire pit operation.

The upsides and downsides of each fire pit fuel type


This fuel type is convenient and easy to use, making it an ideal option for those who want a low-maintenance fire pit. Propane fire pits can be turned on and off with a switch, and you don't have to worry about cleaning up ashes or sparks.

The pros of propane fueled fire pits:

  • Bright and controllable flame
  • Efficient heat output (over twice as efficient as natural gas)
  • Can be turned on and off quickly.
  • Can be used in small areas

The cons of propane fueled fire pits:

  • Need to swap or refill your fuel tanks, or keep a spare.
  • The price of LP fluctuates.
  • You may want to conceal the tank. (We'll consider this 1/2 a con – see note below)

Hiding in Plain Sight: Clever ways to disguise your propane tank

While concealing the tank might seem like a bit of a nuisance, Boxhill has a range of stylish propane tank covers that can both add to the style of your space and function perfectly as side tables. Additionaly, several of our fire pits also conceal the propane tank within the fire pit itself.

Natural Gas

Natural gas fire pits are a great option if you have a gas line available at your home. They are a cost-effective option and provide a steady flame, making them a perfect choice for those who want a long-lasting fire without the need for constant attention.

The pros of natural gas fueled fire pits:

  • Easily controllable (often operated with auto-ignition systems).
  • Won’t run out of fuel.
  • Most cost-efficient.
  • More “natural” white flame than propane.
  • Can be turned on and off quickly.
  • Clean-burning with minimal residue or soot.

The cons of natural gas fueled fire pits:

  • Requires professional installation
  • Not movable

Natural Gas Fire Pits


Gel fuel fire features are a popular option for those who want portable fire that can be used indoors or outdoors. They are clean-burning and produce minimal smoke and odor, making them an ideal option for those who live in apartments or have small outdoor spaces.

The pros of gel fueled fire features:

  • Smokeless and odorless.
  • Environmentally friendly.
  • Easily lit with a match or lighter.
  • Portable and more contained.

The cons of gel fueled fire features:

  • Can be expensive.
  • Fuel canisters rarely last more than four hours.
  • Emits less heat and light.

Gel-Burning Fire Features


Wood-burning fire pits are a classic option and provide a natural ambiance that is hard to replicate with other fuel types. They require more maintenance than other fuel types, but they are a great option if you love the crackle and aroma of a real wood fire.

The pros of wood fueled fire pits:

  • Use the same wood as for your indoor fireplace.
  • Traditional ambience, aroma, and sound.
  • Strong source of heat and light.
  • Can be used for cooking.

The cons of wood fueled fire pits:

  • Labor-intensive (requires regular tending).
  • Messier (ashes must be regularly cleaned out).
  • Slower to get started – must be lit using kindling.
  • Can be riskier and less controllable (sparks and flare-ups).

Wood-Burning Fire Pits

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