58,000-Btu propane fire bowl. CSA-approved fire bowl. Certified fire pit is safe to use during most campfire bans. Includes durable weather-resistant cover, attached 10-foot hose with regulator, propane tank stabilizer ring, and decorative rock set. 24-inch diameter. Stainless steel burner and fasteners. Chrome knob with rubber comfort grip. Steel construction with high-temperature powder coating. Protective enamel finish.
For more heat, consider placing smaller blocks in the bottom of of the bowl. Laying larger rocks too close to the ring can obstruct the holes.
58,000-Btu propane fire bowl. CSA approved. Safe to use during most campfire bans. Includes cover-carry kit, attached 10-foot hose with regulator, propane tank stabilizer ring, and decorative rock set. 19-inch fire bowl. Stainless steel burner and fasteners with high-temperature powder coating. Chrome knob with rubber grip. Protective enamel finish. Good cooking flame.
Doesn't have a built-in igniter. Strap melts if the unit doesn't cool before strapping the lid back on.
35,000 Btu output fire pit table. The size and classy design of this fire pit are well worth the price tag. Customers love the look of the included stones, which look like melting ice cubes when the flame is ignited. Table measures 44 by 32 by 23 inches.
Some customers had issues with the ignition. Far more expensive than most competing models. Low heat output.
58,000 Btu. Burns clean and smokeless. 19-inch-diameter all-weather fire pit. 10-foot hose included. Lightweight and easy to carry. Easily stowed in your vehicle for camping, parties, tailgating or other adventures. Included decorative lava rocks are long lasting and complete the look for maximum visual appeal.
No built-in igniter.
40,000-Btu propane output. The raised design puts the fire at a comfortable height. Includes protective cover. Stainless steel burner. Includes a small amount of lava rocks. A classy design that works well for most patios. Includes a paint pen to fix minor chips. Puts out a reasonable amount of heat.
Some customers received damaged columns or found cracks after a season or two.
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When you want a campfire but don’t want to deal with the hassles that go with it, a gas fire pit comes in handy. Unlike a wood fire pit, a gas fire pit uses propane — the same tanks used for gas grills — as a fuel source. As such, a gas fire pit burns cleaner without creating either smoke or ash. Propane is also more convenient than wood, generally cheaper, and easier to control.
There is any number of options available to you when shopping for a gas fire pit. In addition to the broader questions of heat output, size, and assembly, there are features specific to gas fire pits, such as ignition system (if any), burner, and cover.
We’ve put together this buying guide to help walk you through some of the features you’ll need to consider before purchasing a gas fire pit. We also dive into the various price points and offer up some suggestions for pits that we particularly like.
There are several types of gas fire pits available, most of which consist of metal, resin wicker, and faux stone. In rare cases, pure stone fireplaces are available for purchase. Stone provides more of a rustic look but is difficult to move, whereas metal, resin wicker, and faux stone are more portable.
The heat output of most gas fire pits is measured in British thermal units (Btu) and ranges from 30,000 Btu up to around 58,000 Btu. Simply put, the higher the number, the more heat the pit can produce. A fire pit with a low Btu level is really more decorative and atmospheric than a significant source of heat.
The size of gas fire pits varies quite a bit, anywhere from under 20 inches to 32 inches or more in diameter. The pits also range in height from under 10 inches to 30 inches or more. If space is an issue, go with a more compact fire pit, although you should be aware that smaller pits have a lower heat output than larger pits.
Take the weight into account, too, particularly if you plan to be moving the fire pit around frequently. As mentioned, metal fire pits might be a better (and lighter) option if you plan to do much tailgating or camping with your gas fire pit.
Most fire pits come preassembled or nearly so. As such, you shouldn’t have a hard time setting up a pit and starting your first fire. Those that do require some assembly should include clear, easy-to-read instructions and all the necessary hardware. Also verify what, if any, tools you will need to put a pit together.
The burner emits the flame. You should focus on a pit that includes a rustproof and durable stainless steel burner. The burner should generate a clean flame that doesn’t give off any smoke. For maximum safety, try to find a burner that is safety tested and UL rated.
The ignition system is largely standard on gas fire pits, although some do not have one, so you’ll have to light the pit by hand. An ignition system should be easy to use, often by simply pushing a button. Some systems work via batteries, which may or may not ship with the fire pit.
While controls for gas fire pits are typically minimal, you should have some way to adjust the flame’s height and intensity. Any controls should be easy and comfortable to use.
The hose connects the burner to the propane tank, and the standard hose is 10 feet’ in length. This is long enough to allow you to tuck the tank behind patio furniture or other element, which is both safer and more aesthetically pleasing. The hose should have a built-in regulator.
Most gas fire pits come with a cover. A decent cover offers both UV and weather protection for when the fire pit is not in use. Some covers (particularly for metal pits) also have fasteners to hold the cover in place when you’re transporting the pit.
Most gas fire pits also include lava rocks, which provide a more realistic flame effect. You should receive a large enough supply to fully cover the interior of the pit.
While you can find a few small gas fire pits for under $100, most start around $100 and can reach up to $400 or more. As you move up in price, you’ll find larger-diameter pits that are better able to stand up to the elements, stone/rustic pits, and fire-pit tables. Pricier pits also offer a more protective cover and more lava rocks.
Q. Can a gas fire pit be used inside in addition to outside the house?
A. No. Because it burns propane and produces toxic fumes, a gas fire pit should only be used in a well-ventilated area. Manufacturers recommend that these pits only be used outdoors.
Q. What safety precautions should I take with my gas fire pit?
A. As you will be dealing with an open flame, you should approach a gas fire pit as you would any fire. Set up your pit away from structures when using it, and leave as much space between you and the pit as you can when lighting it. Never leave a gas fire pit unattended, and don’t use it during periods of high wind or very dry conditions. Take advantage of the hose length (usually 10 feet) to keep the propane tank as far from the pit as possible when it’s being used.
Q. Can a gas fire pit also be used with natural gas?
A. While some buyers have successfully managed to swap out the propane line and controls for natural gas ones, this is not recommended, even for those with superior do-it-yourself skills. Natural gas is highly flammable and explosive, and even a minor leak in a DIY conversion could prove catastrophic. Your best option is to seek a fire pit specifically designed to be used with natural gas.
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