Sitting By a Tabletop Fire Pit, Will You Be Cold?


Many people would agree adding a tabletop fire pit makes sitting outside in the cold more enjoyable. Tabletop fire pits are convenient and aesthetically pleasing, but how effective are they? 

Overall, you will be able to stay warm near a tabletop fire pit. A standard tabletop fire pit will burn at about 800 degrees Fahrenheit. This can increase the radiant heat around the table to keep you substantially warm. There are several factors that will impact how much heat you feel, standing or sitting by a tabletop fire pit. 

Tabletop fire pits are gas-powered and give off a sufficient amount of heat. A tabletop gas firepit can be a convenient and safe way to warm up on your outdoor deck. 

How Much Heat Can a Tabletop Fire Pit Give Off? 

Depending on the type of tabletop firepit purchased, these small gas-powered fires can give off enough heat to keep one person relatively warm. Depending on size,  the average temperature reached with a standard tabletop fire pit would be about 800 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Heat outputs from fire pits are measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units. BTU is used globally to measure the energy used to determine heat. Depending on the type of burning fuel and the size of the fire, a fire pit BTU will be different. The higher the BTU, the warmer the fire. 

In a wood-burning fire, temperatures can reach almost 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and the heat output can be nearly 100,000 BTUs. Wood is one of the best materials to burn as it burns hot and reaches high temperatures. You’ll be the warmest with any wood-burning tabletop fire pit. 

Propane and gas fire pits have lower BTUs, usually around 40,000. These tend not to produce as much heat as wood-burning fires but reach higher temperatures. Propane fires can reach up to 3,967 degrees Fahrenheit, while gas fires typically burn around 3,560 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat radiated from this temperature will only warm your skin.

 Bring an extra jacket or blanket if you’re sitting around one of these on a chilly night. 

Amount of Heat Depending on Tabletop Firepit Type

When searching for the perfect tabletop fire pit for your deckOpens in a new tab., you’ll find a few different options. Tabletop fire pits are a convenient accessory for any backyard, patio, or deck. It’s easy to move around and even offers a beautiful centrepiece when not in use. From style and design to burning type, find a suitable tabletop fire pit for your outdoor space.

Propane Gas Tabletop Fire Pit 

Propane tabletop fire pits are a great addition to any outdoor porch or deck. Propane fire pits burn clean, which means no ashes to clean after use. 

Since it uses propane, refills and replacements are an expensive downfall of this fire pit type if used often with a high flame. Switching your propane tabletop fire pit on a lower flame setting can help make it last longer. The beads or lava rocks underneath will also radiate residual heat. 

Propane fire pits tend to burn hotOpens in a new tab. at 3,967 degrees. However, this heat is not radiant, so you will only feel a slight warmth coming from the fire pit when outdoors. Maybe wear an extra jacket when using it in the colder months. 

Gel Fuel Tabletop Fire Pit 

Gel Fuel tabletop fire pits use a combination of isopropyl alcohol, water, and thickening substances to burn slowly over glass rocks or beads. This type of firepit is easy to clean and has no harsh odour and can be used indoors or outdoors. 

One downside to using gel fuel is the low amount of heat it emanates. This type of firepit is better for ambiance and aesthetic purposes. Gel Fuel tabletop fire pits generally radiate about 3,000 BTUs, so there is not much heat given off. If you use a gel fuel fire pit indoors, it will raise the temperature in a small room about ten degrees. 

Ethanol Fire Pit 

Ethanol fire pits are an eco-friendly way to enjoy a tabletop fire on your deck. Bio-ethanol fuel burns clean, so no messy ash or embers to clean. They require no ventilation so that they can be used almost anywhere in your home! Indoor, outdoor, on the porch, or in the living room; no harsh odour or special containers. 

Ethanol fire pits, unfortunately, do not provide a substantial amount of heat, but they are a great way to use as a supplemental source of heat on the deck! Most Ethanol fire pits radiate about 12,000 BTUOpens in a new tab. and raise a room temperature about 5 degrees. 

Wood Burning Tabletop Fire Pit 

When you think of a campfire, you think of the classic wood logs set aflame, a warm blaze keeping you comfortable on a chilly night. 

Wood-burning tabletop fire pits are ideal. They give off the most heat compared to the other types of tabletop fire pits. Wood-burning fire pits can reach anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 BTUsOpens in a new tab., and temperatures can reach up to 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit. This will keep you nice and toasty! 

However, wood-burning fires have some downfalls. The flames cannot be controlled by a switch or valve, burning too fast or too slow. Clean-up is the messiest, with ash and embers that need to be cleaned and removed after use. 

Tabletop Firepit Style and Design 

When choosing a style of tabletop fire pit, consider your other outdoor furniture and functionality. The amount of heat coming from the fire pit will also depend on the style, size, and shape. Tabletop fire pits can be customizable, from the rocks or glass beads you put under the flames to the table or vessel that contains it.

You can create a look that’s unique to you and your home. Mix and match it with your deck colour and texture to create a unique and functional element to your home. 

How to Choose a Tabletop Fire Pit That Will Safely Keep You Warm

Choosing the right tabletop fire pit isn’t just about aesthetics or heat power. Consider what’s safest for your deck type and size. If you have a smaller deck, maybe stay away from wood-burning tabletop fire pits. Wood-burning fires are more susceptible to carrying embers, and if you place it on a smaller deck close to your house, it becomes a greater fire risk. 

Perhaps opt for a lower level flame-like ethanol or gel fuel. These are easily controlled with a valve to make sure the flame doesn’t get too high. 

Review the instructions and warnings provided by the manufacturer with your tabletop fire pit to ensure proper safety measures are constantly taking place. 

When it comes to warming up by the fire, choosing the right tabletop fire pit for you is an essential step for maximum warmth. Each one offers different elements to consider, including safety and style. 

Ryan Nickel

A Red Seal carpenter, passionate about building decks to be enjoyed.

Recent Posts