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Read This Before You Buy An Outdoor Fire Pit!

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by: Chris Basher
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Word Count: 547
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2009 Time: 12:28 AM

Although there is a seemingly endless variety of outdoor fire pit styles, there really are only two main types, wood burning and gas. Actually, these designations refer to the fuel that is burned. In a wood burning fire pit, wood is the fuel. In a gas fire pit, either propane or natural gas is the fuel (the substance that is burned).

So which outdoor fire pit should you buy, gas or wood burning? This is entirely a matter of personal preference. Each one offers certain advantages.

For instance, some people prefer the experience of working with wood. There is a certain enjoyment involved in gathering and stacking wood, building a fire, watching it burn down to glowing embers, savoring the woodsy aroma. Even the popping and crackling sounds from the fire create a pleasant, soothing auditory experience.

The cooking benefits of a wood burning outdoor fire pit or fireplace also are important to many people. For some, a family gathering around the outdoor fire pit isn't complete without roasting marshmallows or building S`mores.

Other people prefer the simplicity and ease of an outdoor gas fire pit. Starting the fire and putting it out is as easy as turning one or two knobs, and there are no ashes to dispose of.

Maintaining an outdoor gas fire pit amounts to little more than changing out the empty propane tank. If you have a natural gas hook-up, you don't even have to worry about the tank.

Related to the outdoor wood burning fire pit is the fire ring. A variety of styles and sizes are available, mostly depicting cut-out designs of nature scenes or wild animals. Nevertheless, most fire rings are made of black-coated steel or cast iron in order to stand up to high heat.

A fire ring (or fire pit ring) does not have a bottom, which means it is designed to contain a fire built directly onto the ground, similar to a campfire. Obviously, a fire ring isn't a good idea if you want to build a fire on your patio or deck. In that case, the outdoor fire pit is best, since it has legs and a bottom, and it's designed to contain the entire fire instead of just keeping it in one place on the ground.

In terms of choosing between natural gas or propane for an outdoor gas fire pit, both are viable sources of fuel, and both are often used to fuel outdoor fire pits and patio heaters.

Actually, propane is a by-product of natural gas production. Because propane is heavier than air, it is easily condensed and stored in portable containers.

On the other hand, natural gas is a mixture of several gases, and it is not easily condensed. Therefore, utility companies pump natural gas into homes and other buildings using dedicated fuel lines.

Although both are effective fuel sources, propane produces more BTU's and is more portable. On the other hand, natural gas is cheaper and burns cleaner than propane.

Wood burning or gas? Outdoor fire pit or fire ring? Propane or natural gas? It totally depends on which features are more important to you.

About the Author

Chris Basher is the owner of , a unique online source for outdoor fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, gel bowls, patio heaters, wood racks and holders, mosquito traps and other backyard products. features both wood burning and gas fire pits in a number of styles from reputable manufacturers. With core values that focus on customer service and quality products, shopping at is a pleasure. Mr. Basher's interest and knowledge relating to safe use of outdoor fire pits and related products stem from years of camping in the Adirondack Mountains of New York and backyard landscaping at home. Additional information regarding selection and use of outdoor fire pits and related products may be found at

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