Propane vs. Wood Fire Pit

Fire pits can ​adorn your backyard gracefully ​besides being a very convenient and functional unit. Be it for that charming warmth on a crisp winter evening or for toasting marshmallows with your family, fire pits elevate the experience to a whole new level. But choosing one can be tricky, especially if you are someone new into these. Propane and wood are the two most common and popular choices to use in a fire pit. This article will walk you through the basic differences between the two types and help you decide on the one which suits you best.

Propane Fire Pit

Gas fire pits function using liquid propane or natural gas and are ​much faster to light than their wood burning counterparts. They tend to be smaller as well, on account of not having to hold large logs. They also rely on a constant supply of gas, rather than wood, to provide light and warmth as an outdoor heating source for your backyard. You can see them typically feature push buttons for igniters or you can simply turn on the gas supply and light them up manually using lighting wicks.


  • Propane fire pits are comparatively a lot easier to light up and they can get to their full flame faster than wood burning fire pits.
  • They are comparatively friendlier for the environment because they do not create any ashes or any other residue from the fire.
  • Propane is a clean burning fuel source in the sense that it does not produce the amount of smoke that wood does.
  • Propane fire pits also do not entail the risk of embers, which you can expect to get burnt with wood burning fire pits.
  • There are fewer chances of fire hazards due to the lack of sparks and embers.
  • They take up less space and do not require additional storage space for the logs.


  • They cost significantly higher than wood burning fire pits.
  • Gas lines can be quite dangerous if they get ruptured. Gas pipes leading to the propane fire pit can also be a tripping hazard.
  • They require large propane fuel tanks to keep them going and you have to replace the tanks when they run out.
  • It takes fairly longer, and costs more, to install in your home when compared to a wood burning fire pit.

​Wood Burning Fire Pit

Wood burning fire pits are a traditional means of an outdoor heating source. They provide ample amount of heat and light to make backyards a lot more comfortable during the cold weather and provide a beautiful focal point for outdoor events as well. ​Not to mention the unmistakable ​aroma the pit gives off; ​this provides a complete natural experience ​along with the log-crackling ​background sound. This can be a very crucial deciding factor for a nature lover.


  • Wood burning fire pits are a lot cheaper than their propane fueled counterparts and that ​matters for a lot for most people.
  • The time taken to install wood burning fire pits is practically nothing compared to the propane fire pits because all you have to do is place them in the right location, add wood and fire them up when you’re ready. The cost of installation is lower as well.
  • The traditional aspect of wood burning is aesthetically more pleasing than a fuel source that is not visible.
  • Provides an overall better experience.


  • While they can be installed quickly, they are not as fast when it comes to starting up. Burning wood and getting it to the right momentum can take a significant amount of time.
  • Wood is not a clean burning source. If ventilation between the wooden pieces is not proper, they do not burn properly and create a lot of smoke.
  • There is a lot of ash which can be left to shovel out and clean up after using a wood burning fire pit.
  • There is always a chance of fire hazards.
  • You have to keep on working to maintain the fire by adding wood as it burns.
  • It takes up a lot of space and requires extra storage for the logs.

Propane vs. Wood Fire Pit ​: Final Thoughts

​I​f you are considering the initial costs of the unit, fuel, ​supplemental materials ​along with the cost and speed of installation, nothing gets simpler than a wood burning fire pit. It is affordable and does not require a lot of understanding on how to fire it up. But do keep in mind the space for storing logs and the additional tasks of ordering, seasoning and carrying ​them as well. On the other hand, albeit being difficult to set up, gas fire pits start functioning at the mere press of a button. This, and the lack of need to replenish the fuel source frequently, make them super convenient to use. If you are willing to pay the extra price, gas fire pits are the one.

Safety is an issue with both types, as ​propane pits have possibilities of leaking and wood pits containing crackling red-hot embers. If installed properly with regular maintenance, ​along with proper measures and precautions taken, both the types should be safe to use.

​Wood fire pits take a lot of time to fully provide the experience it can and ​tend to produce too much smoke. ​​But once it starts, it can take you back to nature and have a relaxing effect for quite some time. Besides, wood is a renewable energy source. But not as clean as gas. While gas fire pits does not provide the full wilderness feel, it is much more easy on the atmosphere. If you are willing to give up some of the natural experience and are looking for a more environment friendly option, gas fire pits are for you. Otherwise, wood fire pits are the perfect addition to your backyard to take you away from home, while at home.

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