Propane vs Wood Burning Fire Pits: Top 5 Differences

When you’re choosing a brand new fire pit for your home, one major trait you’ll need to choose is their primary source of energy – the modern propane/gas or the classic wood. This will heavily change the fire pit’s capabilities, style, price and even preferred location.

To ensure that you make the right choice for your home, we’re going to be taking a look at the top 5 differences between propane and wood burning fire pits. Let’s get to it!

Propane vs Wood Burning Fire Pits

Heat Output

Due to their obviously different sources of fuel, the two types of fire pit will deliver hugely different heat outputs. While in propane ones it comes labeled on the product’s page how potent they are (in BTUs), in wood burning ones it mostly depends on their size since the overall heat output is dictated by how much wood you put in.

In the end, not even a super powerful propane fire pit can match the sheer heat output of an equally large wood burning fire pit.


You should consider the fire pit’s placement before purchasing one as it’s a crucial differentiating factor. While propane fire pits can be placed pretty much anywhere – even indoors – wood burning fire pits need a fairly secure and ventilated space.

This is not only due to the safety aspect of having open flames but also due to the smoke and embers. Due to these factors, you should scope out your patio and home first to decide where you want to place your fire pit and which style fits the location perfectly.

Feeling of Hearth

Subtle but undoubtedly important, that warm cozy feeling you get when warming up differs heavily from one fire pit to the other. While propane fire pits will certainly give you comfort, a warm blanket of heat and the nice visuals of controlled flames, they’re still artificial and lack that unique feeling you get from a real fireplace.

This is where the truly classic wood-burning fire pits shine – they deliver that unmatched natural ambiance of heat and comfort that we’ve enjoyed for centuries.


Propane Fire Pits Are Often Always More Expensive Than Their Wood Burning Fire Pits

As expected, propane fire pits are often always more expensive than their wood burning fire pits. Propane ones are more complex in design and materials plus they need actual propane to run, while wood burning ones are often only made of durable metal and only need easily available wood to provide you with heat. Another point for wood burners.


One of the biggest differences between the two is in their usual style. While propane ones tend to focus more on modern, minimal designs, wood burning units most often go for the classic and timeless look. This is apparent not only in their designs but also in the materials they’re often made with.

While this one comes down to personal preference, it’s always good to know this little difference so you can properly match the fire pit to your patio or home’s decor, ensuring it looks stunning no matter what.

Wood Burning Fire Pits


Whether you’re going for the more traditional wood burning option or for the more modern propane one, you’ll absolutely be happy with your choice. Fire pits in general are an excellent addition to any patio and their warm, cozy company is worth every single penny!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Roast Marshmallows on a Propane Fire Pit?

Yes, you can roast marshmallows on a propane fire pit. Just make sure that the pits are completely coated with cooking spray and heat up the grill to medium-high heat before adding the marshmallows. Once they’re hot, turn them over so that they cook evenly and let them cool slightly before enjoying!

Which Fire Pits Give Off the Most Heat?

If you’re looking for an indoor fireplace that gives off a lot of heat – both during the day and at night – then you may want to consider purchasing an outdoor wood-burning fireplace. These types of fires are often much more versatile than traditional ones because they can be used in various settings (inside or outside). Plus, they generate significantly more heat than other types of furnaces.

Are Propane Fire Pits Efficient?

It is difficult to determine whether or not propane fire pits are efficient because there is limited research on the topic. However, a study conducted in 2017 found that while propane fire pits generate temperatures similar to those achieved by open fires, they use more wood than open burning and produce higher levels of CO2 emissions. In addition, using a 144-gallon tank for an 8-hour day will last about 4 hours before needing refueling, which means you may need to refill the tank multiple times per day.

Do Propane Fire Pits Use a Lot of Propane?

It depends on the size and type of fire pit. Generally speaking; however, a small propane fire pit will use a fraction of the propane that a large propane fire pit would. So, if you’re concerned about how much propane your fire pit is using, it would be a good idea to check the size of the fire pit before buying it.

You may read also – How to Remove a Freestanding Fireplace

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