Best outdoor fire pits are a great way to spruce up your back yard setup, especially in colder climates. They look nice, provide a nicely comfortable heating area for you, your family, and your friends and neighbors to all enjoy when they come over to visit.
Wood fire pits are nice, but provide their own unique challenges, needing fuel and being unsafe to use in especially dry climates.
That’s where propane come’s in; no smoke, no sparks, no hassle.
A propane fire pit provides most of the advantages of a traditional fire pit without any of the drawbacks, and can be tailored to suit your own unique aesthetic tastes.
Finding the right one can be time consuming, but thankfully if you keep a number of criteria in mind, you can narrow it down to the ones that fit what you want out of an outdoor fire pit reviews. And it could be even easier; you may even be happy with one of the best and safest models I’ve located below!
Our Top Choice
Outland Living Series 403
Outland Firebowl 893
AZ Patio Heaters
How Do I Choose The Right Propane Fire Pits?
Here are the factors to consider when choosing the best propane fire pit.
In general you do want to make sure it hits a basic level of competence when performing is basic function: providing heat. It needs have a high heat output to even be considered. 40, 000 BTUh (British Thermal Units per hour) is a good average, and is the most common you will see. Somewhat lower isn’t necessarily a disqualification, but it is something to note; a propane fire pit that runs a bit colder isn’t going to be as suitable for colder, harsher winters. Burning higher is likewise considered a plus, as it can simply be turned down if it’s too hot.
Other than you should how to troubleshoot a propane fire pit, you want to be sure it is made of sturdy materials and well constructed. This ensures you have a long lasting and durable fire pit that can be a permanent fixture of your yard or patio. Steel is an excellent material, as is stone, but any material that is slow to deteriorate in the elements is a good candidate, so long as it is fireproof of course.
Finally, you’ll want to consider the fire pit’s purpose. Is it mean for use in the home and be a decorative piece (like smokeless fire pits), or is it meant merely for warmth? If the latter, you likely want it for camping or similar activities, and that means it needs to be portable. You’ll want a model that is lightweight, easy to stow and move, and can be pulled out quickly while being easy to set up and use.
Beyond those three main features, however, it is largely up to subjective measure. The main thing is does it look nice?
Aesthetics are very important for home and outdoor fire pits, and choosing one isn’t as simple as “do I like how it looks”? An important thing to consider is that it looks nice with your specific decorations and surroundings. You could fill a room with pieces of furniture that all look individually nice but clash horribly, producing a gaudy mess; the same applies to your back yard.
You want to consider how the fire pit looks based on your circumstances; how is your back yard maintained and decorated. Is there a garden? Does the natural terrain trend toward green, gray, red, or some other color? Does it compliment your best outdoor gas or wood pizza oven? What looks good on grass may not look good on red clay, as an example. For this reason the fire pit having a versatile look is important.
Choosing a propane fire pit can be difficult as in many ways a lot of the criteria are subjective, hence why this list isn’t ranked in any specific manner. Same with getting wood fire pits.
12 Best Propane Fire Pits Reviews (2023)
1. Best Overall – Outland Living Series 403 Brown Outdoor Propane Gas Fire Pit Table
Why you’ll love this:
This beautiful brown wicker surface of this fire pit compliments the tasteful black glass top well, making it an excellent coffee table in addition to its surprisingly good heating ability. An excellent addition to most porches and patios.
This is one of my favorite models on the market today, at least in terms of aesthetics, with a very nice synthetic wicker (heat resistant UV treated HDPE) that goes well with almost any design; the coffee brown color is very versatile and fits in anywhere.
The heat output leaves much to be desired, at 50, 000 BTU unit as opposed to the 401 model with only 30,000 BTU. This is clearly designed to be used in warmer climates more than anywhere else, and while it will serve to keep you warm in harsher winters, it doesn’t create quite the same “bubble of warmth” even a slightly more powerful propane fire pit would.
This combined with the price makes it difficult to recommend this model for many people, but its easy to use nature and very aesthetically pleasing design makes it well worth considering if it’s within your budget and fits with your own decorative sensibilities.
It does have the merit of being easy to use and nicely hides all of its more functional components at a cursory glance, with the piezo ignition switch located underneath the lip of the table (which is sadly a bit slender for how large the flame is, but serviceable) and the sides being pulled down by still decorative looking nobs to replace the fully hidden propane tank. My only complaint is the tank is a bit hard to slide in and out with the configuration of the paneling, being much longer than it is tall.
2. Runner Up – Outland Living Firebowl 893 Portable Propane Gas Fire Pit
Why you’ll love this:
This is, by a long shot, the best portable propane gas fire pit I’ve come across. It’s compact but powerful, and is extremely efficient, making it great for taking on camping trips for easy access to heat. Of course, it doesn’t look like much, but it’s cheap and has great performance: really all you could ask for.
If you want a reliable, inexpensive, and safe model for taking on a camping trip, this Outland propane fire bowl can’t be beat.
Not only is it easy to use, with very simple propane hookups and automatic ignition on the knob, it’s safe to use even under a lot of fire bans, being CSA approved as safe for use during such bans. It’s both smoke free and spark free, and produces an unwavering flame without the rocks in the middle.
This fire bowl is easily portable, weighing in at only 24 and a half pounds, and small enough to tuck pretty much anywhere (though separate storage may be needed for the loose volcanic rocks).
It’s ready to use outside of the box, containing everything you need to get going and even a cover with a carry bag to make that transport even easier.
It is sizable (19 inches wide by 19 inches long by 11 inches high) but short, more suited for huddling around in camping chairs and sitting on the ground than in any more casual or comfortable setting. The heat output, however, is amazing; it is able to put out a whopping 58, 000 BTUh, suitably warm for even the colder winter months.
This is a great purchase for the seasoned camper, either for someone who does it as a hobby or is used to traveling around in an RV or something similar.
Why you’ll love this:
An alternative for those with a taste for more metallic looks, the brass surfacing of this one is very nice. In comparison to our winner it also makes a much better table, though sadly it trades off in performance as a heater. Still, if you like the look better the price drop doesn’t hurt.
This is a great understated and classy propane fire pit. It has very easy to replace propane tanks with nice looking and wide opening doors that keep the tank well ventilated but completely out of sight.
The antique bronze finish is quite nice and fits in well with many different decorative styles. It’s quite spacious, with a total 36 square inch surface area on the tabletop (though only 19 square inches is usable when it’s lit; 17 square inches are taken up by the burning area) and is set at a comfortable 28 inch height, perfect for anyone seated around it to easily set their drink or small plate of food and just relax around the fire.
The heat output is stellar, with a solid 40, 000 BTUh flame, set nicely to flickering by the clear glass rocks in the center.
That latter bit is my only real complaint; I think it would look better with volcanic rock in place of the glass, going much better with the muted earth tones of the rest of the fire pit.
Even the price is quite good, being very reasonably priced for a fire pit of this quality. It’s very hard to do better than this unless wherever you’re putting it (patio, backyard, etc.) is decorated in such a way that the color of this clashes with what you already have set up.
4. Fire Sense Bellante 48-Inch Propane Round Fire Pit Table
Why you’ll love this:
Price is the main downfall of this model. While its performance is solid (similar to our winner), its appearance is just a bit too simplistic to be a proper decorative piece. Its utility as a table is slightly better from others, but it’s too mediocre to really justify the cost.
This small round table is perfect for sitting in a comfy little corner with your friends and having a few drinks, with a wide lip and a fairly small flame overall.
The faux wicker design looks very nice, and more importantly fits very well within the design parameters of pretty much anything. Unless your back yard is apportioned in bright neon colors or something, this will look right at home in any back yard, patio, or garden.
The performance is quite good for what it is. Nothing in particular to write home about, but well worth the price you’re paying for something of this size and quality. 50, 000 BTUh of heat provides a nice little bubble of warmth in more temperate climates. I wouldn’t rely on this to keep you warm in temperature below 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but for anything in that range it should keep you quite comfortable.
Much like most of these mid to high end fire pits, the construction is solid. Cast aluminum is lightweight but sturdy; nearly as much so as steel, and will last you a while if taken care of.
For the price, you can do a lot worse here, and not much better.
5. BALI OUTDOORS Firepit LP Gas Fireplace.
Why you’ll love it:
- Nice understated aesthetics.
- Easy to use.
- Relatively portable.
- Low price.
- Easy to replace propane tanks.
I like the overall design and shape of this one. It’s set up to look almost like a square brazier, but with a bit more of a lip around it to act as a table.
This fire pit splits the difference between a stationary and portable model. While it’s quite sturdy and can act as a permanent fixture of your patio or yard, it’s also not too terribly heavy, nor does it need to be installed. It weighs in at around 70 lbs so you know it’s not going to go anywhere unless you want it to, but it’s just light enough to be moved by hand by one or two people.
The aesthetics are nice and it’s versatile, fitting in with a variety of different decorative styles. Really anything except some brightly colored decorations would be fitting.
Performance is great, with a 50, 000 BTUh heat output and very nice volcanic rocks for decoration and heat retention. The propane tanks are easy to remove and replace, while being hidden very well and the fire pit is easy to ignite and stay lit. It uses 20 lbs liquid propane tanks, the same available pretty much anywhere.
Especially for the low price this is an excellent fire pit you shouldn’t overlook when looking for a nice and affordable new fixture for your back yard entertaining needs.
6. Bond Manufacturing Newcastle Propane Firebowl
Why you’ll love it:
- Solid performance with 40, 000 BTUh of heat and good quality volcanic rocks.
- Very nice design.
- Good height.
- Slim, so it fits in more secluded corners or cramped spaces.
I really like the looks of this model, but much like the Christopher Knight Crawford fire pit above it suffers a bit in performance for its stellar aesthetics.
It also has a bit of an issue needing a very specific aesthetic to pull together. If your back yard is overgrown, with a deliberately cultivated “wild” aesthetic, or a vague tiki theme, it works great. Otherwise, it’s iffy.
I’m also not a fan of the control panel being so obvious; it clashes with the design in a way that a lot of others don’t. Liekwise this is one of the few models around that definitively does not double as a table, with only a faint rim around the fire pit portion in the center.
This gives this model significantly less utility and makes it less a centerpiece of your patio’s design and more something you want to shove I a corner and maybe buy a few more of to scatter around; it doesn’t look particularly good on its lonesome, but 2 to 4 together look very nice.
The performance itself is okay, putting out 40, 000 BTUh and having those nice lava rocks to retain heat and make the flames waver a bit is cool, especially with how nice this looks when lit, but for the price I’d expect better.
Basically if it fits your very specific aesthetic choices this is a solid pick, but otherwise it’s kind of niche.
7. Blue Rhino Outdoor Propane Gas Fire Pit
Why you’ll love it:
- Very nice blue glass.
- Excellent tabletop, both functionally and aesthetically.
- Good price.
- Sturdy and easy to use.
This one from Blue Rhino is a real mixed bag, and hard to recommend at the asking price.
First, the good: this one is very nice looking. I’ve always been a sucker for blue glass chunks and cubes, I just think it looks exceptionally nice. The contrast with the orange flames is perfect and produces a great effect, though may look a bit tacky to some people. I’d suggest putting it nearer to something else blue or a complimentary color like green; it would look excellent near a well trimmed shrub or close to an in ground pool.
The top is well made, with a nice stone design, but made of sturdy steel. It’s wide enough to make quite a good table even when lit, and sits at a very comfortable height for people floating around it as a centerpiece.
The main issue with this fire pit is its performance; it only puts out 30, 000 BTUh of heat, and this is exacerbated by the use of glass instead of volcanic rock. Glass is an excellent conductor of heat in its finished form and will cool off within seconds of the heat being turned off, unlike the volcanic rocks which can smolder for a while afterward and still provide heat at the end of the night while everyone is saying their goodbyes.
I could only recommend this for somewhere with a warmer climate, where a lot of heat is not necessarily desirable.
8. Christopher Knight Home Outdoor Square Propane Fire Pit
Why you’ll love it:
- Sturdy magnesium oxide and steel body.
- Very nice stonework finish.
- Good size.
- Solid heat output at 40, 000 BTUh.
This is a very nice stone (in appearance) fire pit. This is an excellent fit for any outdoor seating area with a stone appointment, and works especially well in the back yards of homes made of brick or stone.
The fire pit is an immovable fixture of whatever home it’s installed in, so be sure it’s the one you want.
The performance is fine, with 40, 000 BTUh of heat output and a very sturdy construction, with legs magnesium oxide and a body of the same magnesium oxide mixed with steel. Very heat and weather resistant, and sure to last for a long time.
It sits at a good height (23.8 inches tall) but isn’t very suitable as a table when in use, the fire pit being wider and the rim being a bit narrower than usual. The propane tanks are a bit hard to replace but the controls are very simple and placed well out of the way.
This fire pit is okay, and would generally be one of my favorites, but the price on this one is steep for my tastes. The perfromance is lackluster compared to every other model we’ve talked about so far, having the same or less heat output than the others, but the price is significantly higher, sitting at over double our winner.
It looks nice but that alone is not enough to justify the price when you could have something else that looks just as nice but performs better at a much lower price.
9. TACKLIFE Propane Fire Pit Table
Why you’ll love it:
- Very sturdy stainless steel construction.
- Great table when the lid is on.
- Excellent heat output.
This is an affordable but quite high performance propane fire pit. It has a nice sizable table (28 square inches, though most of it is taken up by the fire pit in the center) and is extremely sturdy, being made entirely of stainless steel.
The bottom door is unobtrusive and easy to open for replacing propane tanks quickly and easily.
The wicker substitute (a very nice paint on the steel frame) looks nice, though is not as decorative as many similar types of propane fire pits. The aesthetics are, I think, where this model falls most short, being a little too plain for a lot of outdoor setups. It doesn’t look BAD, but it is certainly unimpressive and not likely to turn heads; it mostly fades into the background.
Still its performance is top notch, with a 50, 000 BTUh heat output keeping you and your friends and family warm even in the coldest winter months.
The table is also a bit small once the top is take off of it, being somewhat impractical for use, but still fine enough for small drinks (thankfully propane fires don’t waver very much even with the volcanic rocks in play, so it’s safe to set things pretty close by).
All in all this is a great placeholder model for when you’re first setting up your patio or outdoor sitting area and want to prioritize a cheap, well performing, but nice looking model before potentially looking for one that pairs more nicely with your final design and has similar performance.
10. Camp Chef Redwood Portable Fire Pit
Why you’ll love it:
- Easy to use one click ignition.
- Excellent performance; 55, 000 BTUh heat output.
- Safe for cooking, making for great campfire meals and snacks.
- Easy portable. Small and rugged design.
- Comes with everything you need to get started.
- Safe for most campfire bans.
This is a great, relatively inexpensive pick if you want a high performance and versatile fire pit for trekking the great outdoors.
It doesn’t look like much, being an extremely bare bones design. That’s to its advantage, as it makes it rock sturdy and easy to carry around, pack, and store away when it’s not in use.
The performance is excellent, putting out a massive 55, 000 BTUh. The lava rocks help it retain heat, keeping you warm long into the night and letting you sve a bit on fuel if you’re low by using it in bursts.
This model is also safe to cook over, coming with roasting sticks and having the rocks packed densely enough to protect the burner for dripped grease or other dropped food, so you don’t have to worry about sputtering or messy clean up; just run the rocks under some water for a bit and you’re good to go, if it all doesn’t char and evaporate during use.
This is the perfect little fire pit to take camping or tailgating and makes an excellent companion on both casual and more extreme camping trips. It has few moving parts and a rugged design maximum performance at a reasonable price; it’s perfect for a veteran camper or hiker. It even works during all but the strictest campfire bans, so you don’t need to worry about roughing it in the cold during dry seasons.
11. XtremepowerUS Premium Outdoor Patio Heaters LPG Propane Fire Pit Table
Why you’ll love it:
- Very nice coloring.
- Great design.
- Excellent tabletop; one of the few on the market actually wide enough to be sued as a proper table.
- Good Performance At 40, 000 BTUh.
This is a beautiful table with an excellent design and aesthetic from XtremePowerUSA. The thing that immediately jumps out is the very wide table portion, making this fire pit perfect for use as an actual dining table for casual meals and drinks with friends. It provides enough room to set normal sized plates and glasses down at a comfortable height in most chairs (the ones pictured are a bit lower to the ground than is my preference).
The propane tank is easy to reach and replace, with a nicely unobtrusive side door opened via a nicely decorative handle. The table itself is quite nice, being a “hammered bronze” color; a perfect brownish tone for almost any kind of patio or back yard setup.
While bronze colored it is made of sturdy steel, and can weather pretty much anything you throw at it (though is still better covered).
The heat output is fairly standard, at 40, 000 BTUh, and is comfortable in most climates while not being suitable for cooking due to its overall design. It is easy to ignite and turn off with just the flick of a switch and twist of a knob.
The only real aesthetic stumbling block is the use of glass hemispheres (they look like mancala pieces) instead of more irregular chunks or volcanic rock. It is neither as aesthetically pleasing as the chunks (which refract light very nicely) or as practical as the volcanic rocks (which also look better at rest. An odd choice.
Still, overall this is an excellent choice for the price and fits well for almost any taste
12. American Fyre Designs Versailles 54-Inch Natural Gas Firetable
Why you’ll love it:
This enormous stone fire table is absolutely beautiful, and is great for intimate gatherings of friends, especially with comfortable low seating cushions to sit around. However, its exorbitant cost is likely to be offputting to most people; this one is a definite investment.
This is the kind of fire pit that certainly doesn’t fit into the design of everybody’s back yard. It comes in a few colors that help it blend better with certain types of stone, but the overall round shape with the ball feet is hard to make work in a lot of the aesthetic designs people go with.
But when it works, boy does it work. It looks very nice in anything that can properly complement or even drastically contrast this fire pit. Shar angles or a rounded design; no in between. Even the more corrugated rocks behind it look a bit weird in comparison to this fire table.
Once you’ve jumped that hurdle though, you’ll find this is also an exceptionally high performance fire pit. The star burner design creates a larger, more realistic looking flame than most burners, which tend to be round or straight. In addition it puts out 60, 000 BTUh of heat, making it quite effective at actually heating the area around it. It’s not quite enough to keep up with the extremes of cold that can be found in some climates, but for moderate or even quite chill climates it works well, particularly if you put it in a semi enclosed space where you can cut the wind chill.
he overall construction is likewise, as you’d expect, sturdy. You get a strong concrete overall construction with a 304 stainless steel burner, so it’s definitely built to last.
The only rub is the price. This fire pit is beyond expensive, and while it will likely last you a lifetime if you take good care of it, you’d better be very sure whether this is the fire pit you want to have for the rest of your life first.
Almost all of these models are great picks. My top choice is the Outland Living Series 403, with a close second being the AZ Patio Heaters Propane Fire Pit. Both share a lot of the same advantages, and are exactly what I look for in a more fixed fire pit; they serve a practical use as a table and centerpiece while still providing a lot of warmth, and look very nice overall. Form and function meet perfectly.
If you are looking for portability choose Outland Firebowl 893, it is an excellent option for camping, RVing, or any other occasion where you could foresee yourself needing to stay in the wilderness overnight.
All other options are solid as well, but a bit more niche, either being aesthetically limited to certain decorative appointments or suffering some kind of performance related problem.
Are Propane Fire Pits Safe?
If you have reservations about the safety of propane fire pits, then worry no more. Propane fire pits are extremely safe to use. In fact, modern fire pits are usually safer than traditional wood-burning pits and they are less likely to cause a fire or release harmful chemical gases.
Before leaving the factory, all propane fire pits have to go through stringent quality assurance and testing processes to guarantee the safety of the equipment. They also have to bear the UL-listing mark of certification to confirm that the fire pit meets the minimum set standards for design and safety.
The hallmark of these fire pits is their smoke-free design. Unlike wood-burning fire pits that release carbon dioxide and other harmful gases, propane fire pits tend to burn clean – they virtually don’t emit any smoke or odors. This comes in handy if you are struggling with smoke allergies and sensitivities.
Another important safety feature integrated in a propane fire pit is the ignition switch that allows for safe and easy lighting. With this safety ignition switch, you do not need a match to light your fire pit. Some pits also come with a shutdown valve that automatically closes the connection to the propane tank in case the burner is not producing flames.
How to Light a Propane Fire Pit
Understanding that there are likely some variations on how to start your propane fire pit, given the model and specific features, we have put together this “how to” based on the simplest operation options. We’ll walk you through models with electric starters and models that have manual staring. Do keep in mind that there may be some variation to this process depending on your specific fire pit, so do make sure that you read the owner’s manual and operating instructions before you operate your propane fire pit.
Propane Fire Pits with Electric Starter
Propane Fire Pits with Manual Lighting
Troubleshooting Guide: Fire Pit Won’t Stay Lit
There is nothing as frustrating as looking forward to sitting in front of your propane fire pit, enjoying a cool evening, only to have it sputter out just a few minutes after you get settled.
When this happens, there are a few things that can be happening, while some are fairly obvious and simple to fix, others can be a bit more challenging.
Here are some potential issues you may be experiencing with your propane fire pit, when it won’t stay lit, and solutions for fixing the problem.
1. Propane tank low on gas
This is probably the most logical reason for your fire pit to not stay lit. If you are having a hard time getting your fire pit to stay running, the first place to start is checking the propane tank, and making sure it is full.
2. A blockage in the burner
Since your propane fire pit is going to be outside, and exposed to all sorts of things that you might not think about. One of the most common reasons that your fire pit might not stay lit is because there are things blocking the burner.
3. A kink in the supply line
Another simple problem to solve when it comes to troubleshooting your fire pit. If the supply line that runs from the propane tank to the burner is kinked, you may not be getting a consistent flow of gas to the burner.
4. A leak
This seems like a minor problem, but in reality, this problem can end up being very dangerous. If you have a gas leak in your propane fire pit, the reduced pressure to the burner may be enough to cause your fire pit to not run consistently.
5. Air in the gas line
Another fairly simple problem, but one that will require you to be thoughtful in your response. If you get air pockets in the supply line for your propane fire pit, you’ll notice that it will burn, then go out, and then may be difficult to restart.
6. Broken valve
This is by far the most challenging of the problems that you could be facing if your propane fire pit won’t stay lit. If the control valve on your fire pit is broken or malfunctioning, you may have issues keeping your fire pit lit.
Burning Questions: Can You Roast Marshmallows On a Propane Fire Pit?
So can you cook marshmallows on a propane fire pit? The answer is yes, but you’ll need to rethink some of your old habits. While the heat distribution is better, you may find yourself performing more intense cleanups after the fact. Adapt the way you roast and use caution, especially with a new fire pit.
Educate yourself on any chemicals that may have been used in its manufacturing and understand how to proceed with roasting safely. With the proper precautions, you can have just as much fun as you would around a traditional campfire.
Making Your Own Propane Fire Pit
A DIY propane fire pit creates a cozy fire for you and your loved ones to gather around, and it is not difficult to create your own hearth. Once a propane line is installed, you can add the proper elements to build up your own fire pit to enjoy all year long.