Last Updated on February 4, 2021 by Maggie
The Camp Chef Fire Ring will bring joy and warmth to you and your family, whether your traveling in the RV, car, or camping.
The Camp Chef Fire Ring is Great for all types of activities.
A warm friendly fire You can pack up easily, fit in any car, and take with you anywhere.
Great for on the spot parties at home or away. It can be used in most fire ban areas too, making it forest-friendly.
Or carry on to read the full review
The Camp Chef Fire Ring is worth a serious look.
With this small propane firepit, the options are endless due in large to its compact size and portability.
That’s the big reason why it has become a favorite.
If you’re looking for something a little smaller, but you don’t want to compromise the comfort or convenience of a quality portable propane firepit the camp chef fire ring may be right up your alley.
It measures just 15 inches in diameter and 7 inches in height. Compared to a lot of other products in the market this one is tiny.
Yet it continues to deliver a high degree of satisfaction to buyers across the United States.
Small and Mighty and Very Compact
It may be a compact fire pit but it’s also a powerhouse.
Smartly designed, the Camp Chef Fire Ring is built on legs that fold down to elevate it from the patio, ground, parking lot, or sandy beach.
So you can use it safely in many locations, even in areas where wood-burning fires are prohibited.
But check with the local authorities first as circumstances can change.
When your campfire time has come to an end and it’s time to put the fire ring away, you simply fold the legs back up under the basin of the fire pit.
What’s In The Box?
This propane fire ring comes complete with everything you need except the propane and the tank.
In addition to your 15-inch diameter fire pot, you also get a convenient carry bag.
This helps you keep everything together for a cleaner and easier transport from one location to another.
But what surprised me the most is that you also get a full 12-pound bag of lava rock.
That’s double or triple the amount based on the weight that you get with competing brands.
There’s also a wire mesh included. The role of the wire mesh is for when you first light the camp chef fire ring to cure the rocks. More about this below.
Those lava rocks are important because they help spread out the flame and the heat generated by the fire as the warmth radiates outwards in all directions.
With plenty of fire pit rocks, you can experiment with different configurations at different times and note the differences between the flames.
Also included is a regulator and 5-foot hose, plus a fully adjustable heat control knob that comes in handy, heat things up, or scale back on the heat as the situation warrants.
There’s another component that came in the box too. It’s a pair of extendable roasting sticks.
These are perfect for roasting marshmallows and hot dogs over the open fire, rounding out your campfire experience, and helping it feel that much more authentic.
Can It Be Used Where Wood Fires Have Been Banned?
Camp Chef propane fire pits do seem to be allowed in most areas where open wood fires have been banned but always check with the authorities before lighting up.
In some instances, other brands may not qualify.
Many previous Camp Chef Fire Ring buyers report getting full approval for use from park rangers in various regions across the country.
Proper Preparation of Lava Rocks Makes The Difference
Some of the lava rocks tend to produce a fair amount of dust which you’ll want to get rid of as much as possible.
There’s a simple fix for this. Take all the rocks outside. The best location is on the grass away from your dwelling.
Take two rocks at a time and bang them together to shake off any loose dust. Then add these ones to your pile of clean rocks.
Go through the entire bag this way and you’ll keep a lot of dust out of your fire pit, preventing clogging of the propane feeds.
Some of the rocks may be too small that they fall through the holes in the bottom of the pit. Simply discard those.
Due to the nature of lava rocks, the manufacturer recommends that you “cure” the lava rocks before using the fire pit regularly.
People often ask about the use of fire glass instead of lava rocks. It is ok to use glass either instead of or with lava rocks.
However, in our experience lava rocks hold and radiate the heat way better than the fire glass.
How To Cure Lava Rocks
To do this you simply set up the camp chef fire ring and lay the supplied wire mesh on top of the lava rocks before you ignite the fire.
Then let the flames actually “bake” the rocks for about 10 -15 minutes on the highest setting.
A screen is a protective tool in case any of the stones want to explode.
If you don’t use the mesh screen, you need to stand back from the fire.
During the curing or conditioning process, you might hear some of those popping sounds.
After about a minimum of 10 minutes or so of constant curing, these rocks should be safe to use.
Important note: Should these fire pit rocks absorb moisture again, for example, if you were to leave them out in the rain, you may have to repeat this curing process all over again.
It’s the moisture getting into the stones that’s the cause of the problem. But after this initial process, you won’t have anything to worry about as long as the lava stays dry.
Can I Use It For Cooking?
You would expect nothing less from a brand named “Camp Chef “
You can purchase fire pit grids in different shapes and sizes that fit over the top of the fire pit, you can certainly use it to heat water or even cook camp food using a tray or pots and pans.
Cooking burgers or steaks etc. directly on the rack may cause fat to fall on the lava rocks and cause severe discoloration and smell when stored afterward.
Rest assured, this is a good quality brand and your 15-inch diameter fire ring should last you a number of years, as long as you take care of it.
These compact fire pits operate the same way propane-fueled outdoor barbecues do.
A spark ignites the propane that’s fed through the hose from the tank. The only thing missing is the grill itself.
Once you get the rocks good and hot, you can simply adjust the flame down to a lower level and it will continue to radiate a substantial amount of heat.
That’s also what you would want to do if you’re doing any cooking or heating over the flames.
The Camp Chef Fire Ring Ultra is very Portable
After all, the more you can break it down, the smaller the pit becomes for traveling or tucking away in storage.
Although the legs are fold-able they are not designed to be removable. The legs do seem sturdy enough when fully extended.
Just make sure they are fully extended before starting a fire.
Oh and… if propane is not your fuel of choice, you can always have it changed
It’s important to do so with the manufacturer’s own conversion kit or seek out the services of a gas professional.
Why Convert The Camp Chef Fire Ring To Gas?
Why would you want to convert from propane? Some folks already have natural gas appliances in their homes.
They may even have a line out to the patio that feeds their natural gas grill. In this case, it makes sense to convert. ( read manufacturers information first before converting)
The thing to remember is if you bought this for its portability don’t convert it.
Camp Chef Fire Ring Design Details
The Camp Chef features a single circular burner that is about 8 1/2 inches in diameter.
This burner tube is located about halfway between the center of the pit and the outside diameter and it helps spread the flames across the span of the fire pit.
Like many of these fire pits, you need to open the valve on the fire fit slowly.
If you open it up too fast, the safety feature will respond as though there’s a leak and it will greatly reduce output.
When that happens, you need to shut everything off and try again, without tripping the safety by mistake.
Are you interested in the overall function and appearance of your fire? If so, the Camp Chef is worthy of your consideration.
Although small in size, it puts out a lot more heat than those decorative (and expensive) patio gas fire pits.
What Buyers Like Most
- Compact size. It’s a small fire pit that’s perfect as a portable campfire.
- Good for a couple. perfect for a couple or small group camping.
- Assembly. Very quick and easy to put together.
- Smoke-free fire. No smoke and no smelly clothes so relax, enjoy the fire.
- Easier storage. You’ll have to use the included wrench to remove the hose it then more compact.
- Safe. It can be used when there is a fire ban. (check with local authorities)
- Carry Bag. comes as standard equipment
- Fingertip control. instant heat that can be shut off quickly.
- Great Value. Great small portable unit at a very reasonable price.
- Looks good. Fir tree-shaped cutouts for air vents.
What Some Buyers Didn’t Like
- Lava rocks can get dusty and messy. Follow instructions and you shouldn’t have a problem.
- Runaway flames. The flames can sometimes go outside the ring, so you need to be cautious and alert at all times.
- Can’t get it just right. The flame produced is sometimes uneven.
- Short hose. The 5-foot hose provided is simply too short. (You can always buy a longer hose as an aftermarket addition but make sure it is fitted by a professional.)
Maybe the manufacturer will make their hoses a little longer in the future.
- Heat transfers below. It gets very hot near the bottom. This pit is not very high off the ground, to begin with, so you have to be careful about what surface you place this fire pit on.
- Seasonal fire pit. It works well in the summer not so well in the winter and in extreme weather conditions.
- Location of the valve. The control valve assembly is in a precarious position hangs down and off to the side.
- It’s a little bit awkward. Because it protrudes from the round base.
- It does not fit into the bag comfortably. It seems like this part might be vulnerable if the pit shifts during transit.
It offers everything you need, including enough firepower to fully enjoy an evening sitting by the fire, whenever you want.
For the price, this is a pretty darn good unit. It’s not for everybody, due to its relatively small size.
So if you’re looking for something that’s capable, yet compact, this Camp Chef Propane Fire Ring might be just the ticket.