Propane fire pits are always a great addition to any backyard, but it can be a hassle to light up real fire logs.
An alternative is to use a propane fire pit which uses propane gas to generate fire. These fire pits offer exceptional convenience and beauty, and come in many designs ranging from subtle to elaborate.
The full sized fire pits use a standard 20 gallon propane tank for fuel. At the push of a switch, an electric starter ignites the flame, eliminating the need to spend 15 minutes starting up a log fire. Many propane fire pits have artificial logs from which the flame lights from, simulating a real crackling fire. Some systems use decorative lava rock for additional aesthetic appeal. Depending on the fire pit’s design, the propane tank will either be hidden under the pit or sitting off to the side and connected with a long hose.
If you want to enjoy the warmth of an outdoor fire but don’t want the hassle and smell of handling firewood, a propane fire pit is a no-brainer. These fire pits function very similarly to a propane grill. To use, simply open the gas valve and press the ignition button. When used properly, outdoor gas fire pits are very safe. The propane flames provide warmth that radiates out in all directions, perfect for keeping visitors toasty. Unlike log fires, the propane flame can be adjusted higher or lower to change the heat level. The heat given off by these systems can be quite impressive, providing enough even heat to warm a small group of people. The flames dance and sway just like a log fire and are quite impressive. When done, simply shut off the propane valve until next use. When comparing the power of these pits, remember that maximum heat levels are measured in BTU’s, or British Thermal Units. The higher the number, the hotter the fire pit’s flame can get.
Design And Beauty
Propane fire pits come in styles to fit any taste. The main aesthetic elements of an outdoor gas fire pit are the base, pit, and table top (not on all models).
The base is what holds everything up, including at least three legs. The base can be made from artificial brick, ceramics, or metal (most common). The metal is usually powder coated with a heat resistant paint. Heat resistant paint can be highly decorative, coming in not only flat colors but textured or speckled ones as well. Generally, wrought iron bases are not painted, as this type of metal does not need protection from the environment. Bases like the one shown on the right conceal the propane tank from view. The gas hose is connected to the tank and then slid underneath out of sight. Some bases are not designed to conceal the tank, as shown in the first picture. Instead, the tank sits at a distance underneath hidden away under a table. A hose runs along the ground to provide the fuel.
The pit holds the artificial logs and flame ring. The pit can be one of the most decorative parts of the unit, as shown in the beautiful copper pit on the right. The pit is made from a heat proof material which can be metal, ceramic, or even glass. Typically, the pit can be removed from the base for cleaning. If glass is used, it is of a high-temperature tumbled variety as to not shatter under extreme temperature changes. The gas line valve is attached to the bottom of the pit where the fuel travels to the emitter ring to be ignited.
Some propane fire pits have a decorative table top where users can place drinks, food or even rest their feet. As shown on the right, table tops can be made from elegant and expensive materials such as polished granite. A granite propane fire pit can cost quite a bit of money, but are unparalleled in beauty. A table top can turn any fire pit into a great place to chat and dine at the same time. Other table materials include glass, metal, and stone. Stones are often arranged in a mosaic pattern on the surface in earthy or garden designs. A propane fire pit is not only an amazing piece of outdoor furniture but also a creative outlet of self expression.
While you might be able to roast up a couple hot dogs on a propane pit, a more substantial gas cooker is needed for outdoor cooking. For this, I recommend the Weber Go Anywhere gas grill.