Do Tabletop Fire Pits Give Off Heat?

Home fire pits are available in a variety of designs and sizes. A widespread misunderstanding regarding tabletop fire pit is that it is only used to heat outside environments.

Do tabletop fire pits provide heat that is pleasant to the touch? Even though they produce heat, they are much less effective than a typical space heater in radiating warmth.

A tabletop fire pit has an average BTU/hr of 50,000, comparable to a campfire. Mildly warm but not burning. A tabletop fire pit must be gas-powered to provide sufficient heat.

Do Tabletop Fire Pits Give Off Heat

How Much Heat Do Tabletop Fire Pits Give Off?

Like with regular-sized fire pits, the heat produced depends on many factors, such as the size of the tabletop fire pit, the type of fuel used, and where it is placed.

A medium-sized gas-powered tabletop fire pit produces around 50,000 BTU/hr (52,753 kilojoules). It isn’t trivial heat since it’s comparable to a medium-sized bonfire and hotter than a barbeque grill with three active burners (about 40,000 BTU/hr).

Consider how near you have to go to your grill before you can feel the heat scorching your flesh. You’re unlikely to feel any warmth if you’re more than four feet away.

Because a good fire gives off more heat, traditional fire pits are hotter than tabletop ones. They have size on their side.

It should be noted, however, that even giant fire pits need closeness to be visibly warm. Outdoor flames are ineffective heat radiators, directing heat upwards rather than outwards. Thus, any warmth is readily lost to the environment unless a reflecting surface is employed to bounce the heat downwards into a specific region.

Tabletop fire pits emit heat, but only in tiny quantities since they are smaller and more controllable than typical wood burners.

They primarily give atmosphere and natural romanticism to outdoor spaces. To put it another way, you probably couldn’t heat a fantastic outdoor dining area sufficiently to remove blankets and long sleeves.

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Here Are Some Of The Reasons Why Tabletop Fire Pits Can Only Generate A Limited Amount Of Heat

Their Size

They must be kept securely inside a tiny trough/depression on a tabletop.

Outdoor Fires Are Inefficient Radiators

The coals, not the flames, provide the ideal heat. When you approach a fire, it looks nice and feels hot. The heat from the embers isn’t enough to adequately warm a space unless it is radiated laterally and outwardly and then insulated. That’s why the hottest fire pits are buried under the earth.

The Environment

Open flames need ventilation, which requires plenty of room. If your tabletop fire pit quickly warms an outside space, the space is most likely too small. Make sure there is enough space for smoke and gas to escape.

Lack Of Wood/Coals

Wood burners produce the hottest fire pits, but they are dangerous to start on a tabletop or any non-metal-coated surface, such as a burn barrel. The blazing coals will burn through.

Amount of Heat Produced versus Amount of Warmth Radiated

Tabletop fire pits emit heat; however, most of the heat is lost to the atmosphere. A wood-burning fire pit that generates 90,000 BTU/hr or more is necessary for a warm fire. 

Do Tabletop Fire Pits Give Off Heat

Heat Produced From A Tabletop Fire Pit vs. Regular Fire Pit

A medium-sized tabletop fire pit generates 40,000 to 50,000 BTU/hr. On the other hand, a medium to big wood-burning fire pit may easily create 90,000 BTU/hr or more.

There is a significant difference between the two, but the setting better influences both. A little fire may seem substantially hotter than a vast open fire if the heat is directed to the appropriate places.

The warmth you experience is not the same as the warmth emitted by a fire. It simply refers to the quantity of heat that makes it to you before being lost to the environment.

It isn’t about having the most flames. If you want heat rather than merely the atmosphere and light of an open fire, adding a reflecting surface behind it is an excellent approach to assist it generates more heat.

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Build a recessed fire pit on a deck or patio for naturally heated flooring in the winter.

Why Buy A Tabletop Fire Pit For Your Backyard?

Why are tabletop fire pits so popular if they don’t provide much heat?

Here are a few reasons why I still believe they’re cool:


Because they are smaller and more enclosed, they are ideal for locations too small for a traditional fire pit.

Safer For Children And Pets

There are no burning embers, and most tabletop fire pits include settings to manage the size and severity of their flames and auto shut-off capabilities to avoid gas leaks.


There is no smoke when there is no wood. Tabletop fire pits are, therefore, more eco-friendly, less disturbing to neighbors, and healthier overall.


Many tabletop fire pits are portable and can be lifted and relocated to any appropriate outdoor surface. Some everyday items employ gel fuels, making them safe to use inside. Make sure your fire pit is adequate before you attempt this. Carefully read the manufacturer’s directions. 

Do Tabletop Fire Pits Give Off Heat

What You Should Know About the Heat Emission from Tabletop Fire Pits

If you’re considering purchasing a tabletop fire pit for your backyard, keep the following information in mind to get the best deal:

• Tabletop fire pits aren’t designed to heat outside environments. They’re supposed to give ambiance and light. If you want a tabletop pit that gets hot, you’ll have to spend more money on one of the few high-powered devices (80,000 BTU/hr or more).

• Tabletop fire pits cannot properly light inside unless they utilize gel fuels and are clearly labeled in the manufacturer’s handbook.

• Placing a reflecting surface behind a tabletop fire pit is an easy method to boost the heat it emits and make it seem warmer.

Bottom Line

Tabletop fire pits provide some heat and warmth, but not a lot. It’s not because the items aren’t valuable or well-designed.

Because of air heat loss, open flames are far less hot than most of us perceive. The amount of heat generated differs from the amount that reaches us and warms our skin.

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