Fire pits add something a little extra to any outdoor and indoor space, and they have become increasingly trendy in the past few years. A gas-fueled fire pit can be used in a variety of spaces as it doesn’t release smoke the same way a regular fire does, but can you also use it to cook?
Cooking over a gas fire pit is considered safe, but that doesn’t mean it’s advisable. Most modern fire pits weren’t designed for cooking, and you could end up with a big, greasy mess that will take hours to clean the following day.
That said, there are many other ways to use a gas fire pit that won’t compromise the product (or your sanity at the time of cleaning), and we have listed a few of them.
Is It Possible to Cook Over a Gas Fire Pit?
These types of fire pits aren’t made for cooking. Yes, you could theoretically use a fire pit to cook food, grilling hot dogs, and heating coffee, as gas fire pits are safe to cook on, but just because you can cook over a fire gas pit it doesn’t mean that you should.
Propane and butane gas do not produce any harmful fumes or chemicals – they are alkane gases which is what makes them safe to use also for foods. You are not likely to experience any strange flavors or unexpected nutritional downsides.
However, the problem is the mess your food might make. As fire pits aren’t made for cooking, you will likely end up with a very messy pit. Imagine food grease dripping down into the pit or someone accidentally spilling something while trying to heat it up. Then what? The clean-up process is going to be both complicated and time-consuming.
You might get away with grilling a hotdog to make the kids happy, but it is not advisable to use grill grates, and similar as this is going to produce a guaranteed greasy mess. Your fire pit is not a grill and should not be used as one.
We recommend a multi-functional gas fire pit like this one. It can be converted to a dining table, a bar table, or a coffee table with a few quick adjustments. It is also big enough to cook on without having to worry about making too much of a mess.
Can You Cook Marshmallows Over a Gas Fire Pit?
If you still feel you would like to get more of a bonfire feel when sitting there by your gas fire pit, why not grill marshmallows instead? Marshmallows can safely be used with a gas fire pit and are not as messy as meat and other food items.
Bring the family together, bring out marshmallows and crackers and make it your family-friendly mission to make s’mores! It is your best bet if you want to cook over a gas fire pit, and to leave all other cooking for the household stove or a real grill.
Gas Fire Pit Safety
A fire pit that is fueled by gas is not the same as a bonfire with burning logs, mainly because there is no smoke, but you still need to undertake the appropriate fire safety precautions. An unattended fire could cause a tragedy within minutes.
If there is more than one person living in the household, everyone should be instructed on how to properly use a gas fire pit and what safety precautions are necessary.
While gas fire pits are often classified as decoration, it is not the same as placing an inanimate object in your living room. Fire needs constant supervision, and it is not something you can walk away from if you get a phone call or if you want to take a shower.
Where to Place a Fire Pit
Gas fire pits can usually be used both indoors and outdoors, but you need to make sure there is proper ventilation to prevent disasters like carbon monoxide poisoning. It is usually the homeowner who is the direct cause of an incident, often as a result of not taking gas fire pits seriously, even though they prevent as big of a fire risk as regular fire.
Pick an area where you can clear away any fire hazard, and if you choose to use your fire pit inside a house, verify that the room has the advisable ceiling height. You can usually find this information in the user guide or in the instructions that come with the product.
Who Can Use One?
Fire pits should only be used by people over the age of 18, and by those who understand the importance of fire safety. It is a great additive to a room or outdoor area – one that will make people want to come over and sit around and chat, and kids are guaranteed to love it provided they are taught how to act around the fire.
Speaking of kids! Kids often associate burning fires with s’mores, marshmallows, and grilling hot dogs, but before you start cooking up their lunch over the fire pit, you are going to want to read the information below.
Alternative to Cooking Over a Fire Pit
Perhaps you are still feeling that you would like to try and cook over your new gas fire pit, despite everything that speaks against it. Can you? Yes, you can, but it is recommended that you invest in a cast iron dutch oven in this case.
With a cast iron dutch oven, you can heat up food with the help of your gas fire pit, but without the food making any contact with the fire pit itself. It is a clever workaround for someone who is dead set on giving it a try.
Cast iron dutch ovens will also allow you to cook more different things than what you could cook if placing food on, for example, grill grates. You can get quality products that will last for years, and if you do, just make sure you use it in accordance with the product instructions.
Follow Manufacturer Instructions
When you read the instructions for your gas fire pit, you may notice it saying something along the lines of “not to be used for cooking.” Consider this when you set out to potentially cook something over your gas fire pit, as the company probably states it for a reason.
The manufacturer needs to make sure the user understands that gas fire pits are designed for decoration purposes, which is why it is not generally recommended to cook anything other than roasting marshmallows or grilling the occasional hotdog.
There are a lot of things you can do with a gas fire pit, and quite a few you probably shouldn’t do. You can use it to enjoy time with friends or family, but it probably won’t work as a heating source or main source for cooking.
You can theoretically cook over your gas fire pit, but you probably shouldn’t considering how messy it can get. A messy fire pit is hard to clean, and it could potentially damage it. Greasy food tends to drip, and grease is not something you want covering your brand new fire pit.
Another thing to remember is that you cannot leave your fire pit unsupervised, ever, as an accident can happen within a matter of minutes. Keep an eye on it, roast a marshmallow or two, allow it to bring your family together, and don’t forget to put it out and turn off the gas before you leave the room.