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Not everyone wants the hassle of a wood burning or gas fire pit. Other times having an open flame can be a risk that you’re not willing to take on. While they might not be the traditional way to do things, here’s our best outdoor electric fire pit review to find another option.
Best Outdoor Electric Fire Pit Review
Of course, fire pit is a bit of a misnomer here. Electric fire isn’t really fire. Most of the time it’s done with some combination of lights (usually LEDs nowadays), an electric heater, and blower.
But if you want fire for the ambiance and warmth rather than toasting marshmallows, electric options can be a great choice. Especially if you want the fire pit close to your house or on a balcony.
Can You Put an Electric Fireplace Outside?
Yes, there are plenty of options for outdoor electric fireplaces. If you’re using a built-in fireplace, make sure it’s rated for outdoor use. An indoor-only fireplace isn’t going to be built to hold up to outdoor weather conditions.
Some covered patios in areas with great weather might be more forgiving (I know someone who keeps a TV on their deck covered deck all summer) but doing so is probably going to void your warranty.
Another option is to stick to portable electric fireplaces that can be brought onto the patio for the evening and then stored safely inside when you’re not using it.
Are Electric Fire Pits AKA Fireplaces Warm?
Most electric fireplaces give off heat, some more than others. Electric heat is usually measured in BTUs, which is a type of thermal unit. As a rule, you need about 5,000 BTUs to heat a 12 x 12 room.
Since you’re going to be heating outside the results will be different than an enclosed location.
Most electric units also have a blower that will project the heat out so you can feel it further away. If you’re wondering how far the heat will go, expect it to be similar to most other heat sources outside; it will warm you when you’re close, but not heat the whole patio.
One last thing to note if you live in a warm climate (or want to use the fireplace during hot summer days) some electric fireplaces allow the heat to be turned off so you only have the flame effect.
Most electric fireplaces are meant as a supplemental heat source, even when used indoors.
What to Look For When Buying an Outdoor Electric Fire Pit (or Fireplace)
As mentioned above, the amount of heat it gives off and whether or not a blower is built in to push that heat out.
Do you prefer a flame that looks like wood burning or the streamlined gas powered look? There’s quite a few style options out there to fit your patio’s vibe.
LED Lighting Options
Speaking of flames, some LED electric fireplaces actually have a variety of lighting options. That includes changing the colour, and sometimes style, of the flame effect. Electric fireplaces also double as an extra light source.
Can you hardwire it? Do you need to build it in, or can the fireplace be hung on a wall? Is it freestanding? What kind of plug and electricity voltage do you need? Always use grounded plugs outdoors.
Remote or Thermostat
Both these features are super handy. A remote makes it easy to adjust the fireplace without getting up, and a thermostat is a must if you want to use your outdoor electric fire pit during a variety of seasons.
Best Outdoor Electric Fire Pit Review
Great electric fire pits, or fireplaces, that are suitable for outdoor use are hard to find. Here’s some of the best options in a variety of styles that would be perfect for your yard, deck, or patio this summer.
Best 3 Sided Electric Fireplace – Amantii TRU-View-XL
This one is absolutely gorgeous if you have it on a column or other sitting area that’s accessed from multiple sides. It needs to be built in, which makes it a great choice if you’re planning patio renovation this summer.
Inside, the wood is stylish and modern for a more natural look. You can also adjust the flame to both traditional flame tones and contemporary colours like blue and purple.
Finally, you can also add a hard wired thermostat and it comes with a remote.
- 3 way viewing
- Adjustable flame options
- Remote is included
- Gives off a good amount of heat
- Thermostat sold separately
- Can only be hardwired and built-in, no other installation options
Best Electric Wood Stove – TURBRO Suburbs Compact Electric Fireplace Stove
If you want a more country or rustic look this electric wood stove is a great option for your deck or patio. Although it’s not specifically made for outdoor use, it can be used outside. Just make sure you keep it out of the elements and store it indoors when not in use.
There’s a built-in knob that allows you to adjust the heat so you can use this fireplace during warmer and cooler days – or just turn on the flame by itself without the heat if it’s really warm.
- Freestanding so you can put it anywhere
- Warm with adjustable heat
- Compact and easy to move around
- Has a blower
- Fairly small
- Blower is on the bottom and the unit is low, which means it puts heat out close to the ground (not as good for outside)
Best Gas Imitation Outdoor Electric Fireplace – Remii 65″ Extra Slim Indoor or Outdoor Electric Fireplace
This ultra thin fireplace is perfect for contemporary design decks and patios. It’s only 4” deep, which means it’s easier to install. Unfortunately this one does have to be built in, but it’s worth the extra effort.
As far as features go, this fireplace has everything. You can run it with or without the heat for great ambiance in all temperatures. The included remote adjusts both the flame style and heating options.
Finally, there are two types of fire glass included, or you can replace them with something else that better matches your decor style.
- Super stylish, contemporary fireplace with fire glass
- Included remote adjusts flame and heat
- Lots of heat options ranging from comfortably warm to no heat at all
- A few unique flame colour options, but would be nice if there were more
- Included fire rocks are a bit lacklustre
- Must be built in
Best LED Fake Flame Outdoor Electric Fire Pit – Decorative Artificial Fire Flame Light
This little light is perfect if you want to have a kid-safe imitation fire pit. It uses light, air, and silk to create a fake flickering flame that is reminiscent of having your own little tabletop fire pit.
There’s no heat output or anything, but it’s a fun electric fire pit option for a place where real flames aren’t an option.
- Pretend fire design that’s safe to the touch
- Lightweight and easy to move anywhere
- Plugs in; not battery operated
- Can be used outdoors temporarily but should be kept out of the weather and brought in when not in use
- Made of plastic and not very expensive looking
Best Budget-Friendly Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace – Bestherm 36 in Electric Fireplace Inserts
This electric fireplace can be built in or wall mounted, but I’d recommend the latter if you’re planning on putting it outside. It’s not designed for outdoor use, but should be fine if you hang it somewhere that’s protected from the elements.
Wall mounting also means you can install it with more flexibility and bring it inside during the winter months so it doesn’t break.
- Can be wall mounted or built in
- Flames can be adjusted with a lot of options included dual colours (remote included)
- Can be run with or without heat output
- Not specifically designed for outdoor use
- Lower quality than some of the other built in options
What is the Best Outdoor Electric Fireplace?
When it comes to design, quality, and longevity we just have to give it to the Amantii TRU-View-XL indoor/outdoor fireplace.
First of all, the 3 way viewing angle makes it look so much more sophisticated, especially when mounted to a column or custom wall. Outside, it matches well with wood, vinyl siding, and even masonry.
The features are robust, including flame colour options, heating settings, and the option to just show the flame without heat. The fact that you can install a built-in thermostat is also handy, but a shame it isn’t included.
Finally, I really like the wood pieces over some of the other options. They’re a little more traditional and “real” looking than fire glass, but still look more modern than thicker logs. It’s a great balance for a variety of decor styles and resale.
If this model doesn’t work for you it should also be noted that this fireplace comes in a variety of size options.
Best Outdoor Electric Fire Pit Review – Conclusion
Each of these reviews are the best outdoor electric fire pit options available in their category. Of course, as we mentioned before, there really isn’t a true eclectic fire pit out there; instead you’re going to want some type of fireplace that works outside.
Still, if you’re looking for a safe and convenient way to add extra heat and ambiance to your backyard, deck, or patio an electric fireplace is a great option to consider!