Light Up Your Social Life (But Not Your Grass) with a Fire Pit Table

You may have always dreamed of a home fireplace or campfire, but building one into your existing lawn can be a logistical nightmare. But just like there are artificial fireplaces for indoors, there are now also many artificial fire pits for outdoors. With easy setup, intuitive controls, multipurpose function, and safety certification, a fire pit table makes gathering around the fire better than ever.

All the Appeal Without the Work

If you aren’t an experienced camper or live near a forest, fire pit tables avoid using wood and are better suited for more urban areas (by Ward Young Architecture)

Everyone loves the look of a large, toasty fire, but creating one can be a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. Gas-based fire pits remove the hassle by letting you turn a dial to get a solid flame. For those of us that aren’t outdoor enthusiasts, a fire pit table is much more accessible for an evening get-together. Unlike wood burning fire pits, there’s no actual wood involved (though you can buy a fire pit-safe replica if you enjoy the aesthetic). You also don’t have to worry about stoking the fire or dowsing it when you’re done. Although artificially created, fire pit tables do contain real fire when operating and can burn you without basic fire safety.

What Does It Require?

Just like your car, your fire pit fuel can be replenished at most gas stations (by bba ARCHITECTS)

Because it’s a real fire, it needs fuel. Rather than wood or natural gas, fire pit tables use propane tanks, usually one gallon size for a single fire. This is where your fire pit can get pricey due to how often you need to refill it. Each pit comes with a side dial to adjust how high your flame goes. Naturally, the bigger the fire the less time you have until you need a refill. That said, the additional cost is justified because acquiring propane is much easier than chopping logs and balancing a fire to the right size through positioning and volume.

Can I Put Things on the Table?

A fire pit table ensures that no one ends up with ground snacks and the critters they attract (by Krista + Home)

So what makes a fire pit table different from a regular fire pit? The answer is of course in the name. Every fire pit comes with a built-in table, or every table comes with a built-in fire pit. If you’re entertaining, this lets you set your drinks and foods down somewhere better than the ground. Though like any bonfire or fireplace, use good judgement. Avoid materials that can melt or burn easily near a fire like plastics. Understand that anything on your table is likely to warm up just like with any nearby heat source. And absolutely don’t put your waste (e.g. napkins, wrappers, foam cups) in the fire once you’re done. You can damage or block the propane line and reduce the safety rating of your pit, causing a hazard later.

What Do I Do in the Summer?

While you can’t beat the heat during the day, summer nights are usually cool enough for a beautiful fire as winter (by Hardoin Architects)

While a fire pit table is a great way to extend your deck usability into the cold season, you may wonder if it’s worth the cost to have during the hottest months of the year. You don’t want to use it on nights with record-breaking temperatures, but a fire pit is as much of a visual enhancement as a warming one. As long as you’re not too close to the fire itself, you can enjoy sitting around the fire most summer nights. If it does end up being too much heat, you don’t need to put your fire pit table away. The table portion is still a table, and some models come with a pit cover. This allows you to utilize more overall surface space while the fire is off.

Can I Move My Firepit Table?

Unsure of where your fire pit table should go? You can move it around your space to find the perfect spot (by Ence Homes)

Unlike a dug pit for campfires or a brick or stone enclosure with in-line natural gas, you can move fire pit tables from one spot to another. If you find that you can’t gather everyone around the fire or need it farther away from something else on your lawn, your initial placement doesn’t have to be its permanent home. That said, it’s still a heavy piece of equipment, so moving it isn’t easy. Always make sure you’re not lifting by yourself and aren’t using your back. And don’t let moving the propane tank make you nervous; most fire pit tables have automatic safety shutoff built into the ignition.

While no existing technology perfectly replicates the feeling of an all-natural campfire you built yourself, a fire pit table gets pretty close. So skip all the hard steps and let yourself and let yourself enjoy the great outdoors with just the turn of a dial.