Fire pits are one of the most popular outdoor living elements that we design and install for homeowners at E.A. Quinn Landscape Contracting. They’ve become so popular that the options have increased, particularly when it comes to fuel source. Gone are the days when a fire pit is a simple bowl loaded up with seasoned fire wood. Nowadays, fire pits come in all shapes, sizes and are fueled by a variety of sources. So what’s the best fuel source for a fire pit? Well, as with most landscape design questions, that depends!

The main options for fueling a backyard fire pit are: wood, propane and natural gas. Below we go through some of the pluses and minuses of each of these options.


Firewood – The best thing about firewood is that it’s easily accessible. You might have a free supply in your backyard! But chances are you’ll have to buy seasoned firewood that’s ready to burn. If you are planning on only having a few fires a year, you might pick up a bundle at a local store. But if you plan to burn several times a week, you might need to purchase wood from a supplier. The stacking and storing of firewood can be time-consuming and messy. But some people love it! Also, there’s nothing like the quality of heat and the crackle of a wood fire.


Propane – There are several benefits to propane for your fire pit. First, lighting the fire is quick and easy. Second, propane tanks, which are often used for grills, are easily available for purchase at gas stations and groceries. Propane also burns cleaner than firewood, making it better for the environment and better for anyone that is sensitive to changes in air quality.


Natural Gas – Like propane, natural gas fire pits are easy to light and burn clean. But unless you have a natural gas hookup to power your stove or hotwater, it may be too costly to set up just for a fire pit.


Finally, cost is a factor to consider with any fuel source. At any given time, energy sources change in price, so always do your research on what the current pricing situation is for wood, propane or natural gas before you design and install your fire pit.