How Hot Does a Fire Pit Get? (2022 Answer)

Have you ever been into a campfire and while having fun roasting your squishy marshmallow, you suddenly wondered how hot does a fire pit gets?

Well, a hot fire pit can reach ranging from 800 up to 3000 degrees Fahrenheit or 600-1650 degrees Celsius. There are several types of fire pit that you can choose to enjoy in the market nowadays. But how hot does fire pits get will usually affects or depends on what type, material and even fuel being used.

Choosing fire pit fuels

In finding the right amount of heat that would be suitable for your need, you must first know the different types of fuels and how much heat they can give. BTU – British Thermal Unit is used in measuring the heat output from fire pits. It is used to categorize products such a barbeque grills, water heaters and fire.

Stated below are the typical fuel options which you check which would suffice the heat you need.

1. Wood

Wood is the most old school yet classic type of fuel that has been used over the years. This type of fuel can create a good source of heat that provides a cozy ambiance to your chilly nights. It is considered as most convenient fuel since it can easily be found almost everywhere.

When it comes to calculating the amount of heat that this fuel can give, wood is quite hard to determine for there are lots of underlying factors that might affect the heat production from burning wood.

Thus the fact that any fire bowl that uses wood reaches higher temperatures than gas burner will always remain.

When wood burns there are two types of heat plays, first is produced as the wood burns and the second is the radiant heat from the glowing loop embers. The temperature reaches over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, and the heat output is up to 100,000 BTUs.

In a wood fire pit, the heat output and temperature depends on the size of the bowl where the fuel is burned and also the air flow that travels around the fire has will also influence the heat levels. The bigger the bowl, the bigger the flames will be and the higher the heat output; same goes with the higher the airflow the greater the heat output will be.

2. Propane

This type fuel is a much more sophisticated for any type of fire pit and is also safe to put in your open yard. It is advertised that this type of fire pit is easier to light that wood and the fire produced from it can be controlled.

However, in terms of heat, propane gas does not produce as much heat as of other fuels mentioned. There are propane pits that just produce 10,000 BTUs. Mostly propane pits tend to more decorative and were usually advertised for its style and design more than the heat it generates. The highest heat output of a commercial fire pit is around 70,000 BTUs. Adding to its downside gas produces a harmful chemical called carbon monoxide that when frequently inhaled can cause and triggered health problems.

3. Bioethanol

This type of fuel is mostly considered more decorative and is not really designed for outdoor use. Bioethanol also tends to be smaller, which means that the amount of fuel, the size of the flame and heat output is lesser than any other type. Approximately, the heat output of this fuel is between 1,000 and 4,000 BTUs.

The amount of heat output it provides is enough to warm your home if you were using this to avoid the chill outside, however, this amount of heat will struggle in giving the ample heat you need if you’re gonna use this outdoors.

What Fire Pit Gives Off the most Heat, wood or gas?

If you are looking for a fire pit that gives best heat then, wood-burning fire pits must be on the top of your list. Wood fire pits doesn’t only provide iconic looks that was very traditional and which people adored for long period of time, but it also burns hotter.  It is better than gas or even from natural gas because it produces the most heat which makes it the best choice. However, wood fires can be difficult to start and creates more smoke especially when it’s not well started or it has problems with proper air flow, moisture of wood and other considerations at hand.

While gas doesn’t burn as hot as wood when it comes to convenience this gives much of it.  Gas fuel makes starting the fire as easy as turning the switch,  once the tank is connected, you can just turn the switch on/off. Other designs even allow multiple level of gas output which enables you to control brightness, heat output and the money you’re going to spend with its fuel.

In conclusion, wood gives much more heat than gas, and gas lots of convenience than wood, depending on which is much more favorable to you, selecting wood over gas should be on your to do list.

2 Common types of Fire Pit

1. Metal Fire Pit

This type of fire pit can reach up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit or 426.67 degrees Celsius depending on the material used. Metal fire pits can be made of steel, cast iron or aluminum.

  1. Steel fire pit.
    Using steel as a material in creating a fire pit is a good choice because it is manageable and flexible enough to mold whatever your choice of shape you preferred. It is thinner and less dense than the cast iron so it can produce heat quicker. However, this kind of fire pit is prone to damage and can be easily rusted when not maintained properly.
  2. Cast iron fire pit.
    This type of material is lightweight material and easy to work with. This also seen as one of the most recommended choice due to its heat retaining properties. Although, cast iron takes longer to heat than steel because it is thicker and denser, yet it can keep the heat longer inside the pit even if you put out the fire.
  3. Aluminum fire pit.
    Aluminum fire pit can also be an option when looking for a material. Its also pocket friendly material since it won’t cost you much penny in buying and even when maintaining it.

Advantage of metal fire pit.

  • They are sturdier and more durable when compare to the other type/s of fire pit.
  • Can last longer.
  • Can withstand any type of weather.
  • Heats up quicker and produce adequate level of warmth.
  • Cost-efficient.
  • Add modern aesthetic looks to your backyard.

Disadvantage of metal fire pit.

  • Not so children friendly because there some kind of fire pits that remain hot even after you put out the fire.
  • Easily caused burns when touched especially those fire pits that consists of lightweight materials.

 2. Wood burning Fire Pit

If you are looking for the most traditional and classic type of fire pit then, wood burning fire pit is the best for you. Depending on what type of wood used, wood will start igniting at about 300 degrees Celsius (572 degrees Fahrenheit) and heat up to 1,100 degrees Celsius (2,012 degrees Fahrenheit).

Best woods for a fire pit

  1. Ash
    This type of wood has light in color. It is commonly used in creating house furniture. Though, when ash wood has a direct contact with soil it will be prone to rotting. But nothing to worry because it can also be a best friend to your wood burning fire pit for it gives a long-lasting fire.
  2. Beech
    This wood makes a great firewood. Just like with the ash wood, beech wood also produced a long-lasting fire with a good smell.
  3. Cherry
    Cherry wood is one of the most known woods to have in fireplaces because of its pleasant aroma but as a saying goes “quality comes with price”, this wood cost more than other firewood mentioned.
  4. Maple
    This firewood is quite similar to Ash firewood when ignited.  Is commonly used in the United States because of its accessibility.
  5. Pine
    Pine firewood is the best choice if you’re fun of a cost-efficient type of firewood. However, according to experts, pine works best as wood starter rather than as fire logs because it burns so quickly.

Advantage of wood burning fire pit

  • Can be made just by yourself.
  • Produce a good smell than metal fire pits
  • Eco friendly.
  • Best choice for grilling or cooking.
  • Add classic aesthetic looks to your backyard.

Disadvantage of wood burning fire pit

  • Smoke from wood burning fire pit affects your health in the long run.
  • Cannot withstand any type of weather specially when rainy season.

How to measure fire pit temperature?

In making sure that you’re getting the accurate measurement of your fire pits temperature using an Infrared Thermometer is the most effective way.

Safety Precautions

Having fire pits in your backyard can be beneficial most specially in cold months, but in doing so following these simple rules to ensure everyone’s safety is a must.

  • Position of installation
    In installing your backyard fire pit, make sure it will be 10 feet away from any structure or flammable things that might adopt the fire especially from your neighbor’s house. Do not put the pit under any covered porch, low hanging trees or anything that might burn above it. Do not place it under any wooden deck or directly to the grass.
  • Igniting
    Before lighting your fire pit check the direction of the wind, do not light if it’s too windy. It is also discouraged to use any flammable fluids when lighting re relighting, thus using tinder and kindling when starting the fire is recommended.
  • When in use
    It is greatly advised to never leave your fire pit unattended even when the flame is already going out or you finished using it. Before leaving the fire, make sure that you have already put out with water. When in use, ensure that everyone maintains safe distance from the pit, and that the person hovering over it doesn’t wear too loose clothes that might adapt the fire. Additionally, avoid putting garbage or any other materials that shouldn’t be thrown on the pit to avoid fire accidents, also, be sure to limit the amount of fuel and use just necessary amount to keep it burning. Lastly, secure a container of water near the distance of your fire pit for any emergencies that might arise.


“All limits are self-imposed” same goes with the entertainment in today’s era. Gone are the days when people are limited to enjoy different indoor even outdoor activities due to cold weather. Fire pits is a great solution to extend the fun outside your home. This can also be used as a gathering space where you can relax while roasting your marshmallow.

Where most countries in the Northern and Southern part of the world uses fire pit not just to simply soothe their cold nights but also a great tool to have a delicious meal. We can now partly consider that firepits has a became an essential appliance to every home. But the question how hot does fire pits get will still depends on the type, material and fuel used. It may come in a different sizes, materials, and styles but choosing the right type and how often you will utilize it and where you plan to put it must take into consideration.

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