We cover a lot of portable fire pits and stoves on our site and the majority that we come across are compact designs that are mainly used for burning wood or coal. While portable fire pits are often the preferred methods for camping fires, you’ll likely come across areas where this is banned.
Another great alternative to the traditional fire pits is therefore a propane fueled fire pit which will often be an accepted alternative in places that do not allow wood fires (check the laws and regulations in your camping area).
In this article, we are going to look over one of those very products in the Camp Chef gas fire ring. We’ll look through the features and accessories that come with this product as well as the pros, cons and our overall verdict.
This is quite a basic model compared to others on our list of the best portable fire pits but you’ll find it still comes with some useful features.
One of the strange things we’ve noticed about this product is that it’s designed to be relatively compact and portable, but the fact that it requires a propane tank for fuel significantly reduces the portable aspect. It means that you can’t really take this too far from your vehicle as you’d also need to carry the propane tank.
There is however, a significant benefit to having this propane tank as a lot of campsites and forests will actually prohibit the use of wood-burning fires. This gas powered product is usually an accepted alternative and it’s therefore a way to still make use of fire without breaking any laws.
** Always check local state laws before using this product.
The fire ring is incredibly easy to set up. On first use, you’ll need to fill it with the supplied lava rocks, cover it with the wire mesh (also supplied) and set it on high for 10-15 minutes. This will allow the lava rock to set as they may crackle or pop on first use.
After this initial set up though, the Camp Chef is reliable and easy to use each and every time. It’s relatively quick to start up and does not burn through fuel as quick as some of the competitors products do.
With that said, you do have control over the flame with the built in dial, however, it’s quite limited in flame size so don’t expect to have a large roaring fire with this product. The flame is a decent size but will only go so high above the rocks at around 8” – 10”.
Best Suited For
We’ll be honest here, this product has a mass appeal for a number of people. To make it easier, we’ll say the only people this product won’t appeal to are backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts who like to build their own fire from scratch with wood and rock pits.
The people this product will appeal to are:
- Campers, RV road trips, tailgaters, and even backyard patio users.
- People that do not want to go through the hassle of collecting or buying wood and starting fires from scratch.
- People that want a smoke-free fire for some warth or roasting marshmallows with family/friends.
- People that are tight on space and need a portable and compact product.
- People that don’t want a loud, hissing fire (we’ve not mentioned yet but this fire pit lets off minimal noise in terms of hissing from the gas).
We could go on but you get the idea, this is a universally liked product and that’s one of the main reasons as to why it’s rated so highly online!
The product is made from alloy steel and has a really heavy-duty build quality to it. As you won’t be burning logs or coal in it, there is less need to worry about wear and tear from ash and smoke damage and the solid build also creates a stable base so that it’s well adjusted for windy conditions.
The components are good quality and the included carry case means you can pack this away after use and extend the lifespan of this product just through ease of storage alone.
Pros and Cons
- Smoke-free: As this product doesn’t require wood, it can be used smoke-free and is therefore not only good for sitting around in a circle but it’s also useful for backyard use without upsetting your neighbors.
- Aesthetic: As far as portable fire pits go, this is a surprisingly aesthetic product. The carved designs in the casing and lava rocks all combine to create a fire pit that is easy on the eye and won’t look out of place on a backyard patio.
- Adjustable Flame: The adjustable flame is useful for managing your gas and maintaining the desired flame and as it’s a controlled fire in a closed container, it can be used in some instances where wood fires are banned (though you will still need to check forest guidelines).
- Accessories: The product comes with some useful accessories including two extendable roasting prongs, a carry case, a 6ft pressure regulating hose, and 12 pounds of lava rock.
- Portability: Our opinion is slightly torn on this point, while it’s definitely a small and compact burner that folds away neatly into a carry case, the main downside is that you’ll always need the propane tank to fuel it which significantly reduces its portability for outdoor use.
- Cooking: The cooking options are limited with this product and it’s therefore mainly used for roasting marshmallows and little else.
Overall, this is a really solid product that is durable, easy to use and most importantly, can be used smoke free in a variety of forests/woodlands or even your own backyard.
The few downsides to this product is that the need for propane reduces the portability and the flame height is quite limited so you are unlikely to get a roaring fire going. We still feel it’s a great option for road trips, camping, and backyard use though and the fact that it comes so highly rated is a testament to that!