Did you know that 69.7% of homeowners believe that a large backyard is an essential outdoor feature in every home?
That’s because people are gradually shifting towards a more balanced indoor-outdoor living.
Of course, this means you should make your outdoor space just as comfortable as your indoor living area.
Having a fire pit is one of the most cost-efficient ways to do this.
If you already have one or are planning to buy one, you will most likely come across one crucial question, “What can I burn in my outdoor fire pit?”
What Can I Burn in My Outdoor Fire Pit?
There are many different types of fire pits, which means what you burn in yours may not necessarily be the same as what your neighbors burn in theirs.
Nonetheless, if you still haven’t found the answer to this burning question, we’ve got you!
1. Seasoned Wood
Seasoned wood is arguably the most popular fuel used in burning fire pits.
Humans have been burning seasoned wood for centuries. As we continue to develop different types of burners, this material will probably not go out of style any time soon.
One of the biggest advantages of using seasoned wood is that it generates a lot of heat, allowing the fire pit to provide warmth to a group of people despite the cold environment.
Another reason people choose this fuel source is that it’s relatively easy to acquire. You can buy it from a log supplier or a garden center.
If you are quite the lumberjack yourself, you can also get it on your own by heading into the woods.
Just be sure to consult your local government regarding their regulations on cutting trees.
Seasoned wood also exudes a distinct smokey aroma that will really set the mood for your fire pit session.
However, one disadvantage to using this type of material is that you need to ensure it’s properly seasoned and dried.
Otherwise, it will generate a lot of smoke that’s just extremely difficult to control.
2. Dried Logs
Dried logs are almost the same as seasoned wood. One significant difference is that dried logs have very little moisture content.
That’s because, as the name suggests, dried logs have been air- or kiln-dried for a specific time period.
Because of the low moisture content, dried logs produce very little smoke and generate a higher heat rating than seasoned woods.
Moreover, dried logs are much more effective in providing warmth to a group of people than seasoned woods.
However, one problem with dried logs is that the entire drying or preparation process takes days before you get logs perfect for fire pits.
You can also burn charcoal in your fire pit. It’s almost the same as wood, except it’s already burned in an oxygen-deprived burner.
Nonetheless, charcoal will continue to burn if you put it in a fire pit. It generates adequate heat but also produces a lot of smoke.
More often than not, people burn charcoal in a fire pit if they plan to use the pit for cooking as well.
4. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
Some fire pits burn propane or liquefied petroleum gas.
It’s a very convenient option because you don’t have to gather logs or pieces of wood and dry them up just to start your fire pit.
To burn this type of fuel, your fire pit must be able to attach to a propane tank. If it can, everything else is extremely easy.
You just turn the fuel valve open, and the fire pit will ignite the LPG and keep burning for as long as there’s fuel in the tank.
One major advantage of burning LPG, aside from being extremely easy, is that it does not produce smoke at all.
However, you must keep in mind that this type of fuel does not generate a lot of heat. So, if you’re using your fire pit for warmth, this is not your best option.
Nonetheless, most fire pits that use LPG also utilize fire glass or lava rocks to amplify the heat, albeit still not as intense as solid fuels.
5. Gel Fuel
Gel fuel is another convenient material to burn in your fire pit.
The best part is that it’s very clean, which is great not just for your health but also for the environment.
Burning gel fuel in your fire pit will not produce smoke at all.
On top of that, finding gel fuel is relatively easy as there are numerous private sellers and businesses online that sell this fuel source.
The flames it creates are also mesmerizing; they are not as intense and unrestrained as the ones you get when you burn wood or logs.
However, just like LPG, gel fuel does not generate adequate heat.
If your fire pit is mainly to enhance the visual appeal of your environment and not for warmth, then gel fuel is a great choice.
If you’re all about eco-friendliness, the most environmentally friendly fuel you can use for your fire pit is ethanol.
It is a biofuel that burns the cleanest, leaving a very minimal carbon footprint along the way. Moreover, ethanol is almost odorless.
You won’t be inhaling toxic fumes or irritating fragrances from your fire pit while also ensuring it doesn’t pollute the air around you.
However, starting a fire pit with ethanol is quite tricky. You will need to start it on a tray before hooking it up to the fire pit.
Additionally, like LPG and gel fuel, ethanol does not generate enough heat to keep you warm during cold winter nights.
7. Smokeless Fuel
One of the best options you could use is smokeless fuels. This type of fuel does not produce a considerable amount of smoke.
Despite that, smokeless fuels burn efficiently, generating high temperatures that keep you and other people around you warm.
However, one of the biggest problems with burning smokeless fuel is that it’s not compatible with most of the fire pits on the market today.
These pits are designed to burn wood, coal, or LPG, so looking for smokeless fuel will also prove to be difficult.
Which Is the Right Choice for My Fire Pit?
Fire pits are created differently, so they are often intended for a specific type of fuel only.
Generally, fire pits are divided into three major categories, and knowing each will help you determine which fuel type you can use.
Wood-Burning Fire Pit
Wood-burning fire pits use solid fuels. You can burn seasoned wood, dried logs, charcoal, and smokeless fuel on this type of fire pit.
Propane Fire Pit
Propane fire pits are almost always exclusively designed to attach to an LPG tank.
While this type of fire pit uses various media like lava rocks or glass, the primary fuel source that feeds the flames is the propane tank.
Liquid and Gel Fuel Fire Pit
As the name suggests, this type of fire pit burns gel fuel and ethanol.
While some liquid and gel fuel fire pits can burn wood and charcoal, others are built rather weak, and burning solid fuels may damage the pit.
Choosing the Fuel Type
The answer to the question, “What can I burn in my outdoor fire pit?” depends on what type of fire pit you have in the first place.
Once you’ve determined that, you can choose any of the corresponding fuel types we’ve listed above to keep you warm at night.