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The Pros and Cons of Different Types of Fire Pits

A fire pit is a fun addition to a backyard. It can provide warmth on cool evenings in late summer and fall. Plus, you can grill burgers, chicken, hot dogs and corn for friends and family over your crackling fire pit. If you’re interested in getting one, it’s helpful to know a bit about the different types available. Take a look at some information about fire pits, including the pros and cons of each one, before you make your decision.

pros and cons of fire pits

Fire Bowl

Fire bowls are available in a variety of sizes. Some of them are shaped like traditional bowls, while others are rectangular or square. They can be made of concrete, stainless steel, copper, and other materials. Some are wood-burning, while others run on propane.


  • With the addition of a grate, it can be used for grilling.
  • A stylish fire bowl can enhance the look of a patio.
  • They are easy to clean and maintain.
  • Many fire bowls are portable.


  • It can be expensive to install a propane-powered fire bowl.
  • A fire bowl sitting on a stand can be unsteady and pose a potential safety hazard.


chiminea is a bulbous structure with a large, round opening on one side. A large chimney funnels the smoke up and away from the wood burning in the bottom of this fire pit. Most chimineas rest on a four-legged stand.


  • Along with providing warmth, a chiminea has a unique appearance that adds interest to a patio.
  • The design of a chiminea directs smoke away from people relaxing in the area.
  • Some chimineas are very inexpensive.


  • If a chiminea doesn’t have a solid base or stand, it can be knocked over.
  • Depending on how much snow you get in the winter, it may be necessary to store your chiminea in the garage during the colder months.

Fire Table

A fire table is essentially a fire pit built into a table. Normally, there’s a propane tank beneath the table that fuels the fire pit.


  • The fire pit can be covered, allowing you to use the entire surface of the table.
  • It gives people a place to put their drinks and plates.
  • The propane makes it easy to start the fire.


  • These types of fire pits can be expensive.
  • The table itself needs to be cleaned and maintained along with the fire pit.

Permanent Fire Pit

A permanent fire pit is built into the ground. Most of these fire pits have a border of brick or stone.


  • This type of fire pit provides warmth and light to a large area in a backyard.
  • They add value and appeal to a piece of property.
  • They are very easy to use.


  • This type of fire pit can’t be moved to a different location.
  • They need to be covered over the winter to protect them from the elements.
  • Ashes and/or charcoal need to be cleaned out of this fire pit regularly.

Wood vs. Propane

Some types of fire pits are wood-burning, while others are powered by propane. Of course, there are pros and cons connected with each type of fuel.



  • The fragrance of burning wood is pleasant.
  • A crackling wood fire sets an appealing tone for a backyard gathering.
  • The smoke from a wood fire adds to the flavor of grilled items.


  • Wood leaves behind ashes and soot.
  • A wood fire must be monitored in order to keep it burning.



  • It’s easy to light a propane fire pit.
  • The fire burns continuously.
  • This fuel burns cleanly.


  • Propane is highly flammable and potentially dangerous.
  • A fuel tank is necessary to store the propane.
  • Propane is more expensive than wood.

So which type of fire pit sounds most appealing to you? Just imagine all of the fun you can have this year toasting marshmallows in the backyard with family and friends! Thanks for reading. – Alan

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