Any excuse to eat outdoors is a good excuse. There’s a special kind of feeling one gets when they break bread with their loved ones in the great outdoors (even if the great outdoors is actually the backyard). I’m here to tell you that this feeling is amplified and deepened when you throw a glowing fire in the mix. But why complicate things by buying a separate fire pit? It’s possible to simply buy a dining table with a fire pit in the middle! To those uninitiated, purchasing this kind of contraption may seem like a daunting task. Luckily, I’ve already done all the research and sifted through hundreds of options to present Captain Patio’s favorite dining tables with fire pits in the middle. Buckle up, you’re about to see some fantastic patio furniture!
- Factors to consider
- Dining Tables With Fire Pits
- Best High Top Dining Table With Fire Pit
- Cheapest Fire Pit Dining Table Set With Chairs
- Best Full Size Fire Pit Dining Table Set
- Best 9-Piece Fire Pit Dining Table Set
- Cheap DIY Fire Pit Dining Set
- Commonly Asked Questions
Since you’re here, I suspect you’re already in the market for one of these masterpieces. And since that’s probably the case, I won’t spend any more time trying to sell you on their virtues. However, if you don’t do your research, you risk buying a low-quality lemon that might not last 2 seasons! So, how do you make sure that doesn’t happen?
Factors to consider
First, you need to know what to look for when buying a dining table with a fire pit in the middle (also known as a fire pit dining table). Some things are obvious: it needs to look good, it need to be comfortable, and it needs a high quality of construction. With that being said, the devil is in the details (as always). When picking out your favorite fire pit table, be on the look out for the following things.
First, which type of fire pit dining table do you want to get? Are you content with just having a dining table that turns into a fire pit? Perhaps you’d be happier if the fire pit could be on while you were dining? You shouldn’t assume that you’ll be able to do both with any fire pit dining table! In fact, these simultaneous features are typically reserved only for the high end models. If you’re wanting something a bit cheaper, you’ll have to determine which aspect you value more.
Of course, construction material is one of the most important characteristics of both an outdoor dining table and and outdoor fire pit. It stands to reason that it remains important when buying a dining table with a fire pit in the middle! But what kind of material are we looking for? The manufacturers end up making this easy for us. The frames for these dining sets are typically made out of aluminum or steel. And being a dining set, the products are finished with an antique bronze look. Aluminum frames are slightly better than steel frames, owing to being significantly lighter and rust-proof. However, either choice would suit your outdoor area just fine.
Table space is another often-overlooked aspect of fire pit dining tables. Many folks will choose the best looking model, or the fire pit with the greatest number of BTUs while completely ignoring how much table space they’ll comfortably need. So, how big does the surface of your fire pit dining table need to be?
You should have roughly 18″ in front of each seat for the fire pit table to be comfortable to sit/eat at. While the fire pit in the middle will definitely take up some space, most models should be able to accommodate this requirement. If it doesn’t, I’ll point it out in the review.
If you have a bad back like me, this may seem like a no-brainer. But if the dining table with a fire pit you choose has accompanying chairs, you’ll want to verify that they’re comfortable. This means they should be large enough to comfortably fit most folks’ rear ends. Also double check whether the chair has an accompanying back cushion (many products only have seat cushions). Although we don’t typically pick our patio furniture for ergonomics, the comfort level does matter.
Appropriate Heat Output (BTUs)
BTUs are rarely overlooked, but are still important to consider. You don’t simply want to choose the highest BTU model you can afford. In fact, for a fire pit that will inevitably have people sitting around it, this can be a recipe for disaster. You want an appropriate BTU level for the number of folks and the distance away you’ll be sitting. So, what kind of BTUs do you need for an fire pit dining table? I don’t need a graph for this one — you’ll find that 20,000 BTUs per hour will work fine for most situations. Anything more than that and things get quite toasty when you’re sitting right in front of it. Of course, you can push that up to 40,000 BTUs or so if you’re simply standing around it.
Patio dining sets typically come in one of two height configurations. First, you could have a standard height such as the kind that you’d find in your home’s dining room. In fact, you could probably put a set of this height in your dining room and it would fit right in (except for, you know, the fire pit!). The other configuration is bar-height / counter-height. These are taller dining sets and thusly, regular chairs will not fit around them. You’ll need “high-dining” chairs or barstools to comfortably sit at the table. Make sure you purchase the height you’ll be happy with!
I’ll actually go ahead and mention a third height, although it’s not found in dining sets. Your standard fire pit table is usually about as tall as coffee table. You can use standard fire pit tables as a dining set in a pinch, but they aren’t well suited for it.
How much are fire pit dining tables? Unfortunately, they can be quite expensive. While you can find some fire pit tables for as little as $300, most higher quality dining sets surpass $2000. And really, the sky is the limit in terms of the upper price boundary. But how much should you expect to spend for a typical fire pit dining table? For a model that seats four people with their meals comfortably, you’re looking at $1000 minimum. For a regular patio table that converts into a fire pit, I’ve seen models as low as $300 or so. If you add chairs, these prices increase. There is one dining table hack you can do (which I’ll save for the end of the article).
Dining Tables With Fire Pits
Let’s go ahead and dive into the models I’ve reviewed. After sifting through hundreds of listings, this is the list of the best dining tables with fire pits in the middle that I could find. Each one is special in it’s own way and I hope you’ll enjoy!
Best High Top Dining Table With Fire Pit
|Usable Table Space
|~1800 sq. inches
|22,000 – 40,000 BTU/hr
|Price not available
This counter-height fire pit dining set by Hanover is our pick for the best high top dining table with a fire pit. The set is eye-catching and the timeless style goes well in most outdoor spaces. The 19″ gas fire pit in the middle offers a modest 22,000 – 40,000 BTUs / hour of heat output, while a circular cover allows you to reclaim that space when desired. An aluminum frame keeps it light, while a bronze finish protects it from the elements and ensures that your purchase will remain in good quality for years to come.
One thing to note, this Hanover set comes with a natural gas conversion kit. If you have an outdoor natural gas output, you can skip the hassle of keeping the propane filled and simply use the kit. It comes with black fire glass, but you can easily switch this out for any color you prefer. Additionally, this set comes with high-top chairs that swivel 360 degrees.
One thing to note is the relatively high price. Unfortunately, if we’re looking at fire pit dining sets for your patio, this price point is relatively normal. There aren’t too many budget options yet (especially ones that include chairs). However, I do have a cheaper option just below this model, so stay tuned.
Overall, this is a great product that would find itself at home on any patio or outdoor space.
Cheapest Fire Pit Dining Table Set With Chairs
|Usable Table Space
|1156 sq. inches
|Price not available
This fire pit dining table set from Patio Festival is half the price of the Hanover option above and still manages to claim two-thirds of the charm. While not a “true” dining table, this conversation set has plenty of usable space and could serve the purpose of a dining table in a pinch.
The product is made from rust-resistant steel and is suitable for even the harshest of weather. Like the Hanover option above, it also has an attractive bronze finish, only adding to its appeal. The chairs sit a lot lower than the Hanover option (as expected), but are more comfortable to sit in. While the Hanover 5-piece has a cold steel back, this Patio Festival product has plush cushions to rest your back on. This marginal comfort benefit disappears when putting food on the table, as you’re forced to sit on the very edge of the seat to have ready access to the table surface.
While it may sound like I’m dogging on the unit, it’s actually quite nice. It’s not a true dining set (and you can tell) So, who is this fire pit dining table set appropriate for? The budget shopper who wants a fire pit table and doesn’t necessarily care about the suitability as a dining table. That being said, the dedicated can make it work.
Best Full Size Fire Pit Dining Table Set
|Usable Table Space
|~2514 sq. inches
Here’s the second Hanover Traditions piece on our list! Unlike it’s cousin, this model has a slatted aluminum top, has more table space, and actually comes in a couple hundred dollars cheaper. It’s also a full-size, bar-height dining table (with counter-height chairs to match). The chairs are almost exactly the same as the first Hanover option, differing only in color and height.
This model has slightly weaker BTU output, but an additional 700 square inches of usable table space. Because of the clear benefits, this is our #1 pick among the best dining tables with fire pits in the middle.
The only major con that we should point out is the lack of reviews at this point in time. My only guess is that this is fairly new product on the scene and hasn’t yet built a following. However, if you want a testament to Hanover’s overall quality, you can check out the reviews on one of their regular dining sets.
I can’t recommend this model enough. It really surpasses all reasonable expectations for what a fire pit table can be.
Best 9-Piece Fire Pit Dining Table Set
|Usable Table Space
|3696 sq. inches
|20,000 BTUs (x2)
|Price not available
This “World of Patio” 9-piece set was included on our list for those of you that fit one of two criteria:
- You have a super large family.
- You end up hosting a lot of al fresco dinner parties!
That is to say, this product is absolutely huge. With almost 3700 square inches of usable table space (when the fire pit covers are on), you could easily eat Thanksgiving dinner outside if you really wanted to. Additionally, this dining set comes with not one, but two propane fire pits built-in. They’re both fed from the same tank and create an impressive aesthetic.
The product comes with 8 chairs total (two swivel rockers, 6 dining), each with their own replaceable seat cushion. Like some of the other models, this dining set comes with a natural gas conversion kit in case your outdoor space is suited for that.
The one caveat I’d provide is that some folks have indicated that the assembly instructions are not very helpful. However, the manufacturer offers a direct number to contact if you have trouble putting the thing together.
Finally, “World of Patio” offers a generous 15-year frame limited warranty, so you can rest well knowing they stand by their product. If you’re in the market for a extra large, 8 person dining set patio table with a fire pit in the middle, you can’t go wrong with this product.
Cheap DIY Fire Pit Dining Set
If you’re looking for a good cheap DIY fire pit dining set that won’t break the bank, there’s a bit of a “hack” you can use. Simply follow these steps and you can create your own fire pit dining set for less than ~$250 or so.
- Buy an inexpensive, basic patio dining set (or use one you already have). Set it up as normal.
- Buy a liquid propane or ethanol tabletop fire pit.
- Simply place the tabletop fire pit on the dining set!
Any tabletop fire pit should do, but I’m quite fond of the Bond 50660:
Other people share my sentiment, you can click here to check out the other reviews on Amazon.
Commonly Asked Questions
I’ve been around fire pit tables for a long time, so I know which areas most folks get confused about. Rather than have you find out the hard way, I’m including the most commonly asked questions about fire pit tables below.
Are Fire Pit Tables Safe?
Any time you mix fire with people, a certain level of danger is going to be involved. However, are fire pit tables overall safe to use? The answer is a resounding “yes!” with a small caveat. The caveat being “you have to follow the manufacturers instructions.”
Why are fire pit tables safe? They’re primarily gas-powered and thus have a very controllable flame. Additionally, gas powered fire pit tables have a lower overall BTU output than their wood burning cousins. Finally, fire pit tables are higher off the ground than standard fire pits, ensuring that pets and children are further away from the flame.
Can You Cook On A Fire Pit Table?
Generally, you shouldn’t cook on a fire pit table. The exception would be if a manufacturer specifically details that the fire pit table can be cooked on. This isn’t a matter of safety as much as it is practicality. Fire pit tables are built for aesthetics and comfort, not utility. If you do choose to cook on a fire pit table, I would avoid using grill grates, instead opting for a dutch oven or griddle. Your fire pit table will look nice, you don’t want to ruin it with grease stains.
Can You Roast Marshmallows On A Fire Pit Table?
Yes, you can roast marshmallows over a fire pit table. Even better, the precise temperature control allows your to craft the perfect marshmallow experience. Making smokes on your patio will be fun and delicious.
“But Captain, you just said that you couldn’t cook on a fire pit table!”
Yes, but roasting marshmallows is an entirely different activity altogether!
How Far Away Does A Fire Pit Table Heat?
While many propane / gas fire pits can heat a pretty large area, fire pit tables tend to have a smaller radius. This is primarily due to two factors: a lower BTU output and the elevation of the heater. The BTU output is self explanatory, but why would the elevation matter in terms of heat? As you might remember from science class, heat rises. So if it already starts out at a higher elevation, it has less distance to travel to leave your general area. Simply put, I wouldn’t rely on a fire pit table (dining set or otherwise) to heat your outdoor space.
What Can You Burn On A Fire Pit Table?
For a fire pit table, you probably shouldn’t burn anything except the specified fuel. While it may be tempting to burn old mail or other debris, the mess that you’ll make on a fire pit table isn’t worth it. The exception would be if you bought a fire pit table with a wood burning fire bowl in the middle. You might be able to get by burning leaves/paper/old boxes, but you should always check your local burn ordinances.
Here’s a list of things you should never burn on a fire pit table:
- Pressure treated wood
- Painted wood
- Plywood / ODF / particle board
- Anything that emits black smoke
If you’re ever unsure, check out the FDA’s guide on open burn regulations.
How Far Should The Fire Pit Table Be From The House?
Generally, fire pit tables don’t produce enough heat to be a concern for your house. With that being said, the standard guideline is to put any source of flame at least 10 feet away from your house or fence. You should also take care and make sure there aren’t any low hanging branches or dry leaves that might catch fire. Finally, consider buying a fire extinguisher and keeping it nearby (just in case).
Can I Use The Fire Pit Table Underneath A Covered Porch?
I covered a similar question a while back in an article about grilling under a covered porch. Generally speaking, it can be fine. However, you run the risk of staining the ceiling where you put it. Not to mention, it does increase the likelihood of starting a fire. As long as airflow is good and the flames are far enough away from any flammable surface, you can probably use it there. However, I would hesitate before using the fire pit table in any screened in porches.