What is a Fire Pit Used For? - Backyard Boss
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What is a Fire Pit Used For?

Fire pits can provide you with a delightful setting for your backyard, being a key element in recreating the campfire-like experience that you want. With so much going on in the world right now, finding comfort in the area of your own home is even more important in times like these. But let’s see how fire pits work in general and take a look at the four most common types of fire pits that money can buy.

What Can a Fire Pit Be Used For?

A fire pit is a wonderful thing to have because you can opt for smaller models that can fit in your backyard no matter how small it is. Or you can start one yourself with some DIY ideas. There are many great things that a great fire pit is useful for, so let’s underline a few of them:

An empty stone fire pit with just ashes left

  • Fire pits can keep you warm when you decide to have a nice evening outside, or together with friends and family. Simply by standing in front of an open fire, you can afford to stay outdoors even as nights are chillier.
  • Fire pits can also be used for barbecues, especially if you buy a special metal fireplace that has a suitable grill on top of the hot embers.
  • If you ever need to make ash to serve as garden nutrients, to clean your driveway, or use it for whatever other purposes ash is used for, a fire pit is a great way to produce higher quantities of ash at once. However, you will need a wood-burning fire pit for this purpose (read on to find out what the different types of fire pits are).
  • Fire pits can also serve as an ambient light source when you want to switch from the traditional outdoor light that you’ve been using for so long. While the light that comes from that one burning fire isn’t the brightest (maybe even not bright enough for you to read a book outside at night), it is an ambient source of light that creates a cozy atmosphere for either some alone time, or some quality time with loved ones.

Types of Fire Pits

Luxury backyard fire pit at sunset

As you start browsing and learning more about fire pits, you will come to distinguish four different types that we’d also like to briefly walk you through:

Wood Burning

Wood-burning fire pits are basically home-made campfires, as long as they’re a safe distance from the structure of the home. They give you that authentic feel of listening to wood cracking inside the fire pit and sensing that unique scent of burning wood that reminds us of roasting marshmallows in front of the fire when we were kids. But wood-burning fire pits come in more than just a single style.

Some of them can be used for grilling and cooking, and they have a grill grate which is placed on top of the burning embers. Some wood-burning fire pits are just like an indoor fireplace, only with slightly modified designs to better fit outdoor requirements. Other wood-burning fire pits are made from brick or stone, and some actually prefer making one of these as part of their home-improvement DIY projects.


Propane fire pits are probably the most convenient type and often end up being the number one choice for plenty of homeowners. As you can imagine, instead of needing raw materials such as wood, these fire pits use the power of propane to start a fire.

Fire pit in a modern backyard with patio furniture.

Propane fire pits also come in many different types. Some of them are portable, and they are designed to be moved around your yard, as most of them have wheels and are easy to carry around. Other propane fire pits are made with a copper bowl, because copper is one material that is very resistant to heat due to its high melting point.

However, note that copper bowl fire pits are also the most expensive option. You could also opt for a fire pit table that is designed to be safer compared to other models because of its large ledge that keeps children away from the flames. The rim of a fire pit table can also offer support for your drinks or your food.


The third most common types of fire pits are the ones fueled by gel. The main advantage of a gel fuel fire pit is the fact that the fire itself doesn’t produce any smell and is smokeless because of the cleanliness of the gel. There are usually two main types of gel fuel fire pits.

First, you have the gel fueled logs that are compatible with every fire pit design. You can also opt for a tabletop fireplace which some people like to move in and out of the house, although most people choose this kind of fireplace to boost the ambiance of their patio. Most have glass stones or actual decorative stones at the base of the flame for aesthetic purposes.

Pergola with patio area. Tile floor decorated with flower pots. Stone trimmed fire pit, patio table set and barbecue

In case you have a natural gas line running through your backyard, you could opt for a natural gas fire pit. The fire pits are fixtures that will stay in a permanent location in your yard, and they bring forth a series of advantages.

One of the most important pros of this type of fire pit is the fact that you will never run out of fuel considering the fact that it will be attached to your home’s gas line. Some natural gas fire pits have a sunken design, which means that is actually built into the ground of your backyard. Other models include round, square, or tabletop designs.


A fire pit can basically be used just like a traditional campfire can: whether you want to make a barbeque, toast some marshmallows over an open fire, or just have a warm and cozy source of light that allows you to actually spend your evenings and nights outdoors for once. Fire pits are the kind of investment that people don’t usually make because it’s not something they need, but those who do invest in one often discover the huge perks that having a fire pit brings.