Gas or Wood Fire Pit? Pros and Cons of Each

If you have decided that an outdoor fire pit is something you want to invest in for your outdoor entertainment, one of the first choices you need to make is whether to buy a wood or gas burning fire pit. If you are anything like me, the memories that you will make sitting around a fire with friends will be awesome! There are endless options for both types of fire pits, so you have to weigh the pros and cons of each. Wood and gas fire pits each have features that make them great, so doing proper research about the specifics of each will ensure that you enjoy your fire pit from day one and continue to enjoy it for years to come.

Wood Burning Fire Pits

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The traditional fire pit, the one that uses wood as its main source of fuel, has been around for hundreds of years. If you have ever put some rocks in a circle and burned wood in the middle of it, then you have had a fire pit. The design has really advanced as time has gone on, but the general concept has remained the same. They offer a rustic appeal that can’t be outdone if you are looking for a relaxing evening with friends.

Pros of Wood Burning Fire Pits

• You don’t have to worry about running out of fuel – just make sure you have plenty of hard wood such as Ash, Birch, Hawthorn, or Beech.

• Cost – wood fire pits tend to cost less both to purchase and to fuel when compared to gas burning fire pits.

• There is just something about the feel of burning wood – the smell it leaves on your clothes, the smoke filling the air, and adding the wood and poking the hot coals around simply has an ambiance to it.

• Easier to set up – you just need to place it on a level surface, put some wood in with fire starters, and get going!

• Can be moved more easily – if you need to move it for any reason, you just need to make sure the ashes are disposed of, pack it, and go. Make sure you bring wood with you!

Cons of Wood Burning Fire Pits

• Smoke – the burning wood releases a lot more emissions into the air when compared to gas fire pits, and the EPA explains in this article what you can do to minimize your environmental impact. The smoke can also be annoying if it gets in your eyes.

• Wood takes longer to get going – when you first light the fire you have to grow it by adding wood until it gets to the right temperature. This can sometimes take around an hour or so.

• You have to keep wood dry and away from your home – termites love to make their home in fire wood, and if you keep it close to your house, they might make their way in!

• They require more maintenance – you have to clean them out every time you use them, and you have to make sure that the fire is out at the end of the night to prevent accidental fires.

• Local ordinances – there may be certain bans or policies in place in your city or county preventing you from legally burning wood on your property. You need to be aware of this before lighting a fire to prevent possibly getting a fine.

Gas Fire Pits

Kind of new on the scene, gas fire pits provide a more modern approach to the age old classic. They are fueled by either propane or natural gas, and they provide their own set of pros and cons to consider when making your buying decision.

Pros of Gas Fire Pits

• No smoke – you don’t have to worry about the smell or getting smoke in your eyes, and the fumes from gas are far less harmful for the environment.

• More convenient – they usually start with just the click of an igniter button, and they provide ample heat from the moment they start up. No waiting for it to get hot enough!

• Less maintenance – you don’t have to empty the ashes after every use, and there are some models of gas fire pits that you can hook directly up to the natural gas in your home if you have it. Natural gas is even more convenient and cheaper than propane.

• You can use a gas fire pit even if a burn ban is in place restricting burning wood.

Cons of Gas Fire Pits

• Less convenient – you have to have a propane bottle full and ready unless you are able to hook it up to the natural gas in your house. If you run out of propane, you might be in trouble if you can’t get any more.

• Not as portable – Gas fire pits are also not as mobile as wood burning fire pits because of the need for a propane bottle.

• Harder to set up – before you get to the point where you don’t need as much maintenance, you have to go through getting it set up. There are more steps involved in a gas fire pit related to safety to ensure it is always ready to go.

• Cost – gas fire pits tend to cost quite a bit more than traditional wood burning fire pits.

Final Thoughts

If you are trying to decide between a gas and wood fire pit, there is really no right answer. It comes down to personal preference. I personally prefer a wood burning fire pit, but I have tried some gas ones that are excellent. It is always important to note that most gas fire pits can be used as wood fire pits if you unhook the gas, and you can actually purchase an insert for wood fire pits that converts it into a gas fire pit. Amazon has a lot of quality converting rings for fire pits like this one here. So if you end up thinking that you bought the wrong one, you can always try it the other way.

Top Post: 5 Fire Pits on Amazon for Under $100

I hope this post helped you make a decision on whether you want a wood or gas fire pit. If it did, leave a comment below!

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