Which Type of Fire Pit Gives Off the Most Heat?

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Are you looking for a cozy outdoor gathering spot, but not sure which type of fire pit will keep you and your guests the warmest? Whether you want to host a winter barbecue or stay cozy in your backyard, it is essential to have a fire pit that kicks off enough heat. In this article, we will explore different types of fire pits and discuss which ones give off the most heat.

Types of Fire Pits

Before we dive into the specifics of which fire pit gives off the most heat, let’s discuss the types of fire pits available.

Wood-Burning Fire Pits:

Wood-burning fire pits are the most traditional type of fire pit. These pits run purely on the heat generated by the burning wood, making them an eco-friendly option. However, wood-burning fire pits also require gathering wood, igniting the fire, and maintaining it throughout your outdoor event.

Propane Fire Pits:

Propane fire pits use propane as their fuel source. These pits come in different shapes, sizes, and designs, from tabletop models to large, stone designs. Propane fire pits come with easy ignition, adjustable heat, and no ash cleanup needed.

Natural Gas Fire Pits:

Natural gas fire pits are fueled by gas drawn from the home’s natural gas line. Natural gas is cheaper and more convenient, but the fire pit requires installation by a professional and a natural gas line to function.

Gel Fuel Fire Pits:

Gel fuel fire pits use a specially-formulated gel that produces smokeless and odorless flames, making them an eco-friendly alternative to propane, natural gas, and wood-burning fire pits. Gel fuel fire pits come in different sizes and shapes but are not recommended for large outdoor gatherings.

Which Fire Pit Gives Off the Most Heat?

When it comes to the heat output of fire pits, wood-burning fire pits are the clear champions. Woods such as oak, hickory, and ash have the highest heat output, releasing as much as 32,000 BTUs per cord (3.6 cubic meters) when burned.

However, wood-burning fire pits come with the hassle of buying, storing, and breaking down logs and require cleaning up ashes after use. Moreover, wood-burning fire pits also emit smoke, sparks, and odors that may not be suitable for all households.

Propane and natural gas fire pits come in second when it comes to heat output. A standard propane tank contains around 430,000 BTUs while a standard natural gas service line has up to 1,000,000 BTUs. It is worth noting that propane and natural gas fire pits can move from average to maximum heat output within seconds.

Lastly, gel fuel fire pits are not recommended for maximum heat output. While they produce flames hot enough to keep you toasty, they emit about 3000 BTUs and are not suitable for large outdoor gatherings.

Concluding Thoughts

Choosing the right fire pit depends on your preference, needs, and budget. If you’re looking for a fire pit that gives off the most heat, then a wood-burning fire pit is an excellent choice. However, propane and natural gas fire pits are still reliable alternatives that offer convenience, heat control, and no cleanup requirements.


Q. What type of wood should I use for my wood-burning fire pit?

A. Woods such as oak, hickory, and ash are great for fire pits since they have a high heat output.

Q. Can I use a propane fire pit for cooking?

A. Yes, propane fire pits are excellent for cooking outdoors, and some come with grilling grates included.

Q. What are the safety concerns that come with fire pits?

A. Fire pits should always be placed away from flammable objects, and children and pets should be supervised around them at all times. You should also extinguish the fire completely before leaving the area unattended.

In conclusion, choosing the right fire pit can depend on a variety of factors, including heat output, convenience, and eco-friendliness. We hope this article has given you a clearer understanding of which fire pit gives off the most heat and has helped you make an informed decision for your outdoor gatherings.


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