Cooking, Tips

The Best Outdoor Fireplace to Meet Your Needs

By · November 15, 2022

When you make the decision to buy an outdoor fireplace you have made a choice that will transform your outdoor living space and will bring the warming glow of a fire to your backyard. But that's not all you get. You create space and add value.

Your outdoor fireplace will be a focal point where friends and family can gather around far after the traditional backyard outdoor season has ended. You will now have a destination right on your own patio, or next to your gazebo or pool.

Outdoor Fireplace Patio

Let’s take a look at the Best Outdoor Fireplace to Meet Your Needs.

Benefits of an Outdoor Fireplace

  • Extend Patio Season
  • Increase Home Value
  • Focal Point

Backyard outdoor season seems to end way too soon every year and by adding an outdoor fireplace you can extend the patio season. Having the option to curl up next to a fire makes the patio into basically another room for when the temperatures begin to drop. Sounds pretty romantic too.

Couple by Fireplace

There are several features that are sought after when people are looking for homes to buy. An outdoor fireplace is one of them. So if the return on investment is part of your consideration in adding in a stone outdoor fireplace or one of the many stylish gas models, you will be making a sound investment according to realtor associations.

As a focal point , it works outdoors the same as indoors. The fireplace is the focal point. The fireplace can tie an entire room together by adding a degree of luxury and stylish comfort, warmth and beauty.

What to Consider When Choosing an Outdoor Fireplace.

  • Budget/ Cost
  • Material: stone, steel, concrete, stucco, cast iron
  • Function: warmth, cooking, both
  • Maintenance: easy to clean and maintain
  • Wood-burning, gas, or electric.
  • Size of space/ size of fireplace
  • Fixed or portable.
  • Style that fits your design
  • Pro or DIY installation/ assembly requirements, ease of assembly

With so many options and accessories, styles, and materials choosing an outdoor fireplace can feel a bit daunting. Consider what it is that you want from your fireplace.

Take into consideration the size of your patio, backyard or deck. Aesthetically speaking, what will it look like in your backyard? Fuel type will be a deciding factor, and will you be able to cook on it? 

Imagine yourself sitting in front of the fireplace enjoying a cool evening with friends watching the fire, what would this look like? What would it take to make that fireplace happen? 

Here are a few things to consider:

Size

The fireplace will be a centerpiece, but it shouldn’t be overwhelming or understated. The size of the fireplace is important when considering what direction you will go and where it will be placed.

You want the size of the fireplace to fit aesthetically, not too big, and not too small. This may sound a bit oversimplified, but the fireplace needs to fit your backyard. 

Material

Materials range from metal, brick, different types of stone, stucco and concrete. The material you choose will compliment your backyard and add style and accent. 

Fuel type

If you want the sights and sounds of a campfire complete with the unforgettable smell of seasoned wood burning, then a wood-burning fireplace would be an obvious choice. But there may be restrictions, regulations, or just personal preference, making fuel types a big part of the process when considering what type of fireplace to buy.

Required Maintenance

Maintenance is required with outdoor fireplaces. Keeping the fire hazards to a minimum by cleaning debris leaves and ashes out of the wood-burning fireplaces. Gas fireplaces require maintenance as well. Keeping water and debris in check and making sure ignitors, pilot lights and safety screens are working properly.

Uses

If you're wanting to use your outdoor fireplace to cook then accessories and cooking capabilities would be something to consider. If you're wanting it to stay warm the fireplace will need to have that performance ability.

Accessories

Accessories can range from a poker included to fireplace covers, cooking grills, and oven tops. What extra goodies are you looking for and are they included?

Our Top Favorite Outdoor Fireplaces

Top Pick – Sunjoy Wood-Burning Outdoor Fireplace

Sunjoy has created a ready-to-assemble wood-burning outdoor fireplace that can add a stylish and practical look to your patio or outdoor seating area. Made of manufactured stone and powder-coated steel with wood highlights, this unit has a functional chimney that ensures the smoke goes up, out, and away.

Features like two mesh screen doors that keep the embers and ash confined safely inside, and built-in storage shelves below for wood, puts everything you need right within reach and contained within the fireplace underneath a chimney cap. 

Another top pick feature is in its dual-purpose removable grate system. Having a removable grate makes cleaning out the ashes easier and the design of the grate itself allows for greater airflow translating into a more consistent fire with bigger flames.

Sitting by a roaring fire in the comfort of your own backyard is the ultimate in stay-at-home destinations. All the features, price point, and ease of assembly make this a top pick for a wood-burning outdoor fireplace. 

Pros:

  • Assembles in a couple of hours
  • Easy set-up
  • Light weight

Cons:

  • Not cooking compatible
  • Doesn't come with a cover

Size: 81.5″ L x 24.02″ W x 48.03″

Material: Manufactured Stone and Metal

Fuel type: Wood burning

Price range: $2300 – $2400

Unique features: Rust-proof powder-coated steel frame, Easy access mesh doors, Combustion support system, Functional chimney, Storage space, Poker Included

Purchase Here

Best Value – Endless Summer Wood Burning Fireplace

Endless Summer Wood Burning Fireplace

With the price ranges of outdoor fireplaces ranging from under $100 to being able to spend over $20,000 this Best Value choice will definitely not break your bank. The price is only part of what makes the Endless Summer Wood Burning Fireplace a good value.

The value begins with affordability but also the value of being able to sit in front of a warm fire with friends or throw on a few burgers on the slide-out cooking surface and just hang out in the comfort of your own backyard. 

With no tools needed to assemble you can have a fire built and ready for the evening in a flash. And as for cleaning out the ashes, there is an “ash receiver” to make that job a whole lot easier.

So, if it's an afternoon cooking up some burgers or a chilly evening snuggled up next to the fire, this best value choice delivers ambiance and functionality to your outdoor living space.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble / no tools needed
  • Removable ash tray
  • Super affordable
  • 360° view of fire
  • Heat felt from all sides

Cons:

  • Small

Size: H 45.3 in, W 25 in, D 20 in

Material: Steel

Fuel type: Wood burning

Price range: $99-$249.95

Unique features: Slide out cooking surface, Wood grate and cooking grate available, 360 View, Fade resistant, Mildew resistant, Water resistant, UV protected

Purchase Here

Best Wood Burning – Dillonvale Steel Outdoor Fireplace

Dillonvale Wood Burning Outdoor Fireplace

A stylish design will draw the eyes focus, and the Dillonvale Steel Outdoor Fireplace has just that style. Made from heavy duty 12-gauge steel and handmade in the USA the rectangular column of purposeful distressed steel is a sure fire hit for your backyard living space.

The beauty of this weather resistant fireplace will develop over time as the steel takes on a patina. This weathered look will enhance the style and beauty adding an decorative artful center piece to your patio.

The shape lends itself to a fireside experience free of running from the smoke. It’s said when the smoke follows you around the fire, it's because” smoke follows beauty”. The smoke from the Dillonvale follows the chimney. Wrought Studios artistic design is functional as it is beautiful and built to last for years without worry of maintenance.

Pros:

  • Strong and sturdy
  • Weather-resistant
  • Artfully designed

Cons:

  • Hot to the touch

Size: 66” H x 28” W x 15” D

Material: 12-gauge Steel

Fuel type: Wood Burning

Price range: $789.99 – $1079.99

Unique features: Lightweight and moveable

Purchase Here

Best Propane – Cal Flame Propane Outdoor Fireplace

Best Propane Outdoor Fireplace goes to Cal Flame. Having a propane fireplace has several advantages over wood fires. Immediate on/off capabilities, cleaner burning fire, no smoke or smell.

Boasting a 55,000 BTU burner output this fireplace can heat up around 1200 sq ft  creating a cozy outdoor fireplace experience. Some really nice touches on the Cal Flame are its crafted color stucco finish , and the detailed stone face and added lower porcelain tile mantle, adding a luxurious style to compliment your backyard decor.

The electronic ignition commands fire at the push of a button into the 8 pc. log set with grate and added lava rocks creating a beautiful fire that with a 20lb propane tank can burn for up to 8.5 hours.

The 16 ga all steel frame holds a 36” fiberglass arched firebox surrounded by Ameristone acrylic stucco which won't stain over time if by chance the sprinklers hit your fireplace. All the electrical is tucked away inside so no wires are visible.

Pros:

  • Burns cleaner
  • Easy set-up
  • Instant heat

Cons:

  • Heavy one-piece unit

Size: H 59 in, W 48 in, D 38 in

Material: Steel, Stone

Fuel type: Propane

Price range: $3121.93 – $3572.00

Unique features: Stucco finish, Porcelain tile accents, Lower mantle, One-button ignitor

Purchase Here

Best for Cooking – Aztec Allure Cast Iron Chiminea Fireplace

The “Aztec Allure” chiminea style fireplace is a cast iron fireplace, grill and oven all in one unique styled unit. You can build a fire and grill burgers, or put the top on and create an oven for making pizza.

Weighing 230lbs makes it somewhat portable and setting it up is easy as attaching the four screws in decorative feet. Made of sturdy cast iron, the Aztec Allure has a fiberglass lining in the cap to create the oven space, and for easy cleanup there is a convenient ash drawer.

This uniquely styled outdoor fireplace falls into the “Best for Cooking” spot easily having stainless steel grill racks and a removable rain lid that doubles as oven space, but it is also a stylish addition to your outdoor living space that will bring people together for food, and a cozy fire.

Pros:

  • Portable
  • Easy to clean
  • Cooking applications
  • Oven space

Cons:

  • Prone to rust

Size: 16 x 18.5 x 44 inches

Material: Cast iron

Fuel type: Wood burning

Price range $753.76 – $1114.67

Unique features: A very unique style, cooking and heating, oven feature

Purchase Here

Best DIY Kit – Pavestone RumbleStone Outdoor Fireplace Kit

Pavestone Rumblestone Fireplace Kit

Best DIY Kit goes to Pavestone Rumblestone Outdoor Fireplace Kit. A mortarless construction process using construction adhesive. The kit comes with five pallets of stone that will surround the firebox, 24 tubes of adhesive to glue it all together. Using no-cut stone step by step and stone by stone you can build your own magnificent outdoor fireplace that will turn the ordinary backyard into a luxury destination.

Total product weight is 10,500 pounds that is dropped at the curb ready for you to DIY. The BOHO Mediterranean style kit will add a dimension to your backyard that only a wood-burning stone fireplace can. And you can say you did it yourself.

You will need to take into consideration the need for a foundation to sit your new fireplace on but once it’s done you will definitely have a magnificent focal point and a stunning outdoor living area for gathering around the fire with friends and family.

Pros:

  • DIY
  • Complete Kit
  • Adds Value to Your Home

Cons:

  • Extra work for foundations
  • Super Heavy

Size: H 94.5 in, W 84 in, D 94.5 in

Material: Stone

Fuel type: Wood burning

Price range: $4603.86 -$4499.00

Unique features: DIY, Mortarless construction

Purchase Here

A Quick Summary

Top PickSunjoy Wood Burning Outdoor Fireplace

A ready-to-assemble wood-burning outdoor fireplace, stylish and practical.

Made of manufactured stone and powder-coated steel with wood highlights, this unit has a functional chimney.

Best ValueEndless Summer Wood Burning Fireplace

No tools needed to assemble, Slide out cooking surface, Wood grate and slide out cooking grate, 360° fire view, fade resistant ,mildew resistant, water resistant, UV protected steel outdoor wood-burning fireplace.

Best Wood-BurningDillonvale Steel Outdoor Fireplace

Super stylish , all steel outdoor wood-burning fireplace made in the USA. A rectangular column made of purposeful distressed 12 gauge steel that with time creates a beautiful patina finish and needs no exterior maintenance. 

Best PropaneCal Flame Propane Outdoor Fireplace

55,000 BTU burner output of this fireplace can heat up around 1200 sq ft 

Crafted color stucco finish , detailed stone face and lower porcelain tile mantle

Best for CookingAztec Allure Cast Iron Chiminea Fireplace

Stylish cast iron outdoor fireplace with stainless steel cooking grill and a fiberglass lined rain cap that doubles as an oven lid.

Best DIY KitPavestone RumbleStone Outdoor Fireplace Kit

Ultimate DIY stone outdoor fireplace. No mortar setup, 5 pallets of stone, 24 tubes of adhesive and a weekend with some friends and you have a spectacular stone fireplace.

Should I Purchase an Outdoor Fireplace or Build One Myself?

There are many styles that come assembled as well as DIY kits so the option to build your own is available. DIY kits come in pallets of stones that interlock to form your outdoor fireplace.

If and when you feel like you want to DIY a fireplace or just want to have a fireplace right now, the choice is yours.

DIY Fireplace Kit

Depending on your skill level professional installation might be something to take into consideration before attempting to DIY.

Gas, Electric, or Wood-burning Outdoor Fireplace: Which Should I Choose?

Choosing between natural gas, electric, and wood burning fireplaces boils down to preference, regulations, proximity to natural gas lines, and size of your backyard.

Of course price, style, design, and practicality will also be a factor, but the reason you would prefer one or the other is in the details. Let’s explore the three different types of fireplaces and look at the advantages and disadvantages of each

Gas Outdoor Fireplace

Gas Fireplace

Advantages

One of the biggest advantages of a gas fireplace is a consistent heat. If you do not want to have to keep adding wood all evening or like the ability to more regulate the heat, then this would be something to consider.

  • Consistent Heat
  • Immediate on and off
  • Increase property value
  • Minimally impact insurance rates
  • Sleek aesthetic and artful designs

Disadvantages

  • More expensive to install/ additional gas lines if not available
  • Gas logs don't look realistic

Electric Outdoor Fireplace

Electric Fireplace

Advantages

  • Ease of Installation
  • Portability
  • Ideal for smaller spaces
  • Cheapest outdoor option

Disadvantages

  • Not a real fire
  • Doesn’t work if the power goes out
  • Not as many styles and options

Wood-burning Outdoor Fireplace

woodburning-fireplace.jpg

Advantages

  • Look and smell and feel of a real fire
  • Doesn’t need gas or electricity
  • Crackle and smell

Disadvantages

  • Purchasing and hauling wood
  • need regular inspections
  • Issues with insurance
  • Not as efficient as other fuels

FAQ’s

1. What is the average cost of an outdoor fireplace?

MaterialPrice RangeAverage Cost
Stone$1,500 – $20,000$10,750
Brick$1,500 – $20,000$10,750
Metal$100 – $20,000$10,050

See this helpful article on How Much Does an Outdoor Fireplace Cost to Build?

2. What do I need to build my own outdoor fireplace?

Building your own fireplace can be challenging and rewarding. The first thing you will need is to build a foundation for your fireplace. After that, you need a weekend and some good friends and the will to make it happen.

3. What is the best material for an outdoor fireplace?

Brick natural stone, manmade veneers, and stucco are all good materials, cast iron and steel can be the best for the budget. There really is no one best material for outdoor fireplaces. Your style, your vision, your budget, and your choice are all the best materials for your new outdoor fireplace.

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