Jeff Flowers on December 1, 2014 5 Comments Who doesn’t love sitting around a warm, toasty campfire? It adds comfort and ambiance to a crisp evening where family members and friends gather to roast marshmallows and tell stories. A fire pit is also a great addition to your backyard, adding spice to an otherwise dull space. Many areas of the country are even able to utilize their fire pits year round, making them well worth the initial investment. There are a lot of different types of fire pits, and each has pros and cons. Do a little research before purchasing to ensure you’re getting a design to suit your needs. With portable, temporary, and permanent structures available, you’re certain to find one to increase the overall look and feel of your backyard. Let’s take a closer look at four different types of backyard fire pits, and the pros and cons of each. 1. Wood Burning Fire Pits A wood burning fire pit is like having a campfire right in your very own backyard. They provide warmth, the crackle of wood, and real smoke all while keeping the fire completely contained. There are a variety of different types of wood burning fire pits you should be aware of. Wood Burning Grill: A fire pit that acts as a wood burning grill is specifically used for cooking and grilling. They come with a grill gate that attaches above the flaming embers. Outdoor Fireplace: An outdoor fireplace, whether a portable one or a built-in design, will greatly enhance your patio. The design is usually similar to an indoor fireplace. Brick or Stone Fire Pit: This is a relatively easy DIY project, and usually cost-effective as well. Brick or stone fire pits can be built by using cinder-blocks, stones, or bricks from almost any local hardware store. While wood burning fire pits have much to offer homeowners, they can also be fairly high in maintenance. Not only do you have to regularly purchase or chop wood to run your campfire, but you also need to have a dry, covered area to store it. And remember, no matter where you choose to store your wood, insects will inevitably be attracted to it. 2. Propane Fire Pits Propane fire pits offer homeowners the ultimate in convenience. They allow for a beautiful, quality flame without needing a refilling gel or wood. Most propane fire pits are large in size and become the focal point of the patio. They are also often impressively designed with faux wood, rock pebbles, or glass. Here are a few different types of propane fire pits. Portable Propane Fire Pit: A portable propane fire pit is one of the best investments you can make. Not only does it provide warmth, ambiance, and cooking capabilities, but it’s also conveniently designed to move anywhere in your yard. Some designs come with wheels, while others are lightweight and easy to carry. Copper Bowl Fire Pit: One of the fanciest options for an outdoor fire pit is a propane copper design. Since copper has a very high melting point, it is extremely durable and will last a very long time. They are one of the more expensive options when it comes to fire pits. Fire Pit Table: Many propane fire pits have a table-like appearance with a rim surrounding the flames. This large ledge provides a safety area for children to not get too close to the flames. It is also handy for resting your drink or a plate of food while sitting around the fire pit. There are many benefits to a propane fire pit, but there are also a few drawbacks. Not only do you have the added expense of purchasing the propane, but there is always the concern that it will run out when you’re entertaining. The taste of food cooked over propane is usually lacking the depth of flavor that a wood-cooked meal offers, so keep this in mind when making your decision. 3. Gel Fuel Fire Pits Gel fueled fire pits are the perfect way to add ambiance and intrigue to your backyard. The gel is clean and burns without producing a scent or smoke. They are also extremely versatile and can be moved almost anywhere in your backyard. Here are a couple different types of gel fuel fire pits. Gel Fueled Logs: You can purchase gel fueled logs to place in any fire pit design. They create the real look and feel of a fire while completely concealing the gel fuel holders inside the logs. Tabletop Fireplace: For those who want a small fire in the backyard, consider a gel fueled tabletop display. These can be easily moved indoors or out, and add a great display to the patio table. Like indoor gel fireplaces, this type of fire pit is convenient and beautiful to sit around. However, considering they don’t give off nearly as much heat as the other types of fire pits on the market and the gel can sometimes be hard to find at big-box stores, means they’re not for everyone. Many owners just end up always buying their gel fuel on the internet since it can be difficult to find in stores. 4. Natural Gas Fire Pits If your backyard has the capacity to install a natural gas line, then you might want to consider a natural gas fire pit. Similar to propane designs, this type of fire pit is a permanent fixture in your backyard. One of the best things about natural gas fire pits is that they never run out of fuel. Here are a few different ways to design this type of fire pit. Sunken Design: A sunken natural gas fire pit is built down into the patio or ground. You need to be especially cautious around these designs, as the flames are close. Square, Round, or Tabletop Design: Design your natural gas fire pit to be raised above the patio with stone, brick, or copper designs, among others. They make a beautiful addition to the space. While natural gas is fairly inexpensive to run, having the line installed in your backyard is another matter. Depending on the location, it can be costly. They are also permanent, so you wouldn’t ever be able to move the fire pit. With so many fire pit options to choose from, there is definitely something to fit every patio. This trend doesn’t seem like it will go away anytime soon, and why should it? Everyone enjoys the warmth of a fire on a cool evening. Purchase your new fire pit this season and look forward to many nights spent entertaining family and friends around the open flame.