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An Overview of Outdoor Fireplaces

Updated on October 17, 2011


Outdoor fireplaces can turn a cold night outdoors into a cozy experience. Why not extend the time you can enjoy your deck, patio, or other outdoor living area? With an outdoor fireplace, you’ll be able to add several months a year of outdoor fun!


A couple of years ago, as my wedding anniversary was approaching, my husband asked me what I wanted for a gift. When I told him I wanted an outdoor fireplace, he was a little surprised. Our anniversary is in August, and at that point in the summer, a heat source of any type is about the last thing anyone wants here in South Georgia. As usual, however, I was thinking ahead to fall.


Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love those clear frosty nights – you know, the ones when the humidity is low that you can see a billion twinkling stars in the black sky. Stargazing is one of our favorite activities, and the outdoor fireplace I got from hubby has made this activity much more comfortable.


We have a large family and a wide circle of friends, and we often entertain. Our outdoor fireplace has come in handy for our get-togethers, too. Since our outdoor fireplace is portable, we can easily move it around from place to place. At our last cool-weather party, we set the fireplace up under the carport. Since it was actually cold that night, we held the party indoors but had the outdoor fireplace ready, just in case a few folks wanted to go outdoors to smoke. Funny, despite the chilly weather, every party guest ended up outdoors near the fire!


There’s just something primitive about a fire that draws humans to it. I think it’s encoded in our DNA or something. Fire meant survival to early man. It provided him with warmth, a way to cook and preserve foods, and protection from wild animals. If you really think about it, fire also provided our ancestors with a form of entertainment. How many times have you stared into the flickering flames of a fire and subconsciously created images from the flames? It was the caveman’s television!


Outdoor fireplaces come in all sorts of designs.
Outdoor fireplaces come in all sorts of designs.

Types of outdoor fireplaces

You can find several different types of outdoor fireplaces. Some are portable, and others are stationary. Some are in the form of a pit, chimney, or ring, and some are tabletop. You’ll also find that different types of outdoor fireplaces use different types of fuel.

A portable outdoor fireplace is light enough to be moved. Stationary foreplaces might be built in or free-standing units that are simply too heavy to move.

As far as materials go, you’ll find copper outdoor fireplaces, stone outdoor fireplaces, black metal outdoor fireplaces, clay fireplaces, and concrete outdoor fireplaces.

Some outdoor fireplaces, especially the copper outdoor fireplaces and copper fire pit, are enhanced with tile or slate.

Copper outdoor fireplaces are beautiful!
Copper outdoor fireplaces are beautiful!

Wood burning outdoor fireplaces

We have a wood burning outdoor fireplace. To me, there’s just nothing like the smell of wood smoke in the air. Our wood burning outdoor fireplace is freestanding and portable. It’s round, with wire mesh walls. The lid lift off for loading and cleaning.

Another type of wood burning outdoor fireplace is a simple pit that’s like a large bowl. Most of these are also portable and are fairly lightweight.

A wood burning outdoor fireplace can also be found in a table model. The pit is in the center of a table, which perfectly lends itself to gathering around the fire.

Chimeneas are very popular, too. These might be made of metal or clay. They’re typically round, with a tall chimney.

You can find copper outdoor fireplaces, along with ones made of other metals and clay. One of the most popular copper outdoor fireplaces is the copper fire pit.


Outdoor propane fireplaces provide instant heat. Stone outdoor fireplaces are available in several styles.
Outdoor propane fireplaces provide instant heat. Stone outdoor fireplaces are available in several styles.

Outdoor propane fireplaces


Many people prefer outdoor propane fireplaces to those that burn wood. An outdoor propane fireplace uses propane, the same type of fuel that’s used for most outdoor grills. Unless you have an inexpensive supply of firewood, an outdoor propane fireplace might be your best bet. Another good thing about outdoor propane fireplaces is that the heat is instant – no bothering with having to start a real fire.


Many of the outdoor propane fireplaces are in the form of a stone-covered square column. At the top is the fire bowl, complete with lava rock. Other shapes are also available, including round and gently curving columns.


A gel fuel personal outdoor fireplace.
A gel fuel personal outdoor fireplace.

Gel fuel outdoor fireplace


This type of outdoor fireplace is really increasing in popularity! Most of these are in the form of personal outdoor fireplaces. They’re small and totally portable. Instead of wood or propane, these outdoor fireplaces burn a gel fuel like sterno. The gel is in small cans, and a can is placed inside the globe to create a personal outdoor fireplace. Each can of fuel will usually burn for about two hours.


These outdoor fireplaces come in several styles and construction materials. They provide a wonderful ambience for romantic evenings for two, and they’re super easy to use and mess free.


Find a great outdoor fireplace online!
Find a great outdoor fireplace online!

Shop online!

To find the largest selection and the best prices on outdoor fireplaces, search online. You shouldn’t have any problem finding one to match your specific needs and tastes.

Below, you’ll find several varieties of outdoor fireplaces for sale: copper outdoor fireplaces, the copper fire pit, outdoor propane fireplaces, stone outdoor fireplaces, wood burning outdoor fireplaces, and tabletop outdoor fireplaces.



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