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Feast Your Eyes on the Best Outdoor Heaters to Keep Patio Dining Alive Through the Winter

Though incredible strides have been made to stabilize the current public health crisis, the pandemic is far from over. For many parts of the country, outdoor dining is still the only option for safe, socially distanced gathering.

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With this in mind, we at the Inventory have put together a list of some of the best outdoor heaters in the game. Whether you’re shopping for a restaurant or your very own patio, we’ve got you covered.

Best for Restaurants: Frontgate Commercial Patio Heater

Illustration for article titled Feast Your Eyes on the Best Outdoor Heaters to Keep Patio Dining Alive Through the Winter
Image: Andrew Hayward

Here’s a great option for restaurants and other socially-distanced commercial spaces, if you need something sizable and seriously powerful. Frontgate’s commercial patio heater pumps out 46,000 BTUs of heat via a Piezo igniter system and uses stainless steel burners and a double mantle heating grid. It’s pricier than the Member’s Mark model but could be better suited for your space and needs.

Best Year-Round: Tacklife Propane Fire Pit

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Graphic: Juliana Clark
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Providing a safe and warm bonfire experience, the Tacklife 28-inch outdoor fire table uses propane fuel to provide a stable and green burning fire. This product is also fashionable enough that when you cover the lid it can be converted into a casual outdoor dining table or coffee table. The bottom steel panels have a wicker look that is guaranteed to fit seamlessly with the rest of your outdoor furniture. It also comes with an automatic ignition device to control the fire while maintaining its satisfying temperature.

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Best Portable Outdoor Propane: Mr. Heater MH9BX Buddy

Illustration for article titled Feast Your Eyes on the Best Outdoor Heaters to Keep Patio Dining Alive Through the Winter
Graphic: Juliana Clark
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With 4,000 - 9,000-BTU of power, the Mr. Heater MH9BX Buddy is a fantastic outdoor and indoor heater and can even operate safely at altitudes over 7,000 feet above sea level. For ultimate safety, the auto shut-off will be triggered if the heater is tipped over, the pilot light goes out, or if low oxygen levels. At max BTUs, this heater has a run time of three hours and is great for anything from emergency heat to sporting events.

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Best Tabletop Fireplace: Terra Flame Bowl, Graphite

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Graphic: Juliana Clark
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Nothing beats a rustic flair to our outdoor heating needs! This portable, small Terra Flame fireplace is great if you’re looking to soak in the ambience of a sunset on your patio deck. It’s 11-inches in diameter and over 5-inches in height. This product is hand-cast with organic concrete, and the bowl has a natural finish to look super southwest. It’s the perfect showstopper for when you invite friends for a socially distanced meal outdoors.

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Best for Outdoor Porch: Briza Infrared 1500W

Illustration for article titled Feast Your Eyes on the Best Outdoor Heaters to Keep Patio Dining Alive Through the Winter
Graphic: Juliana Clark
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The Briza Infrared Patio Heater - Electric Patio Heater is a great investment for your outdoor heating needs. This product can be easily mounted to the ceiling or wall of your patio just as well as it could be to its tripod stand. With carbon infrared technology, this heater produces infrared rays that are easily absorbed by surface areas, thus raising the ambient temperature. The tripod stands’ adjustable legs extend far out, providing a stable base that eliminates the need for sandbags. It also has three options for heat settings, including 900W, 1200W, and 1500W.

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Best Pyramid: Thermo Tiki Propane Outdoor Patio Heater

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Graphic: Juliana Clark
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Standing at 7'6" tall, this stylish propane gas heater is of commercial quality, radiating warmth from a ceramic-glass heating column with a 38,000 BTU output. This heater also comes with a built-in safety valve that will automatically shut off the fuel supply if the unit is tilted or tipped. Crafted with convenience in mind, this product includes wheels for easy transport and storage. While all required accessories are included in the box, be sure to purchase your own 20-pound propane tank and fuel in order for the item to be fully operational.

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Best Outdoor Dog Heater: Akoma Dog House Furnace

Illustration for article titled Feast Your Eyes on the Best Outdoor Heaters to Keep Patio Dining Alive Through the Winter
Graphic: Juliana Clark
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This pet furnace is designed to heat up to 300 Watts and can adjust from 30°F to 1o0°F. It can heat up to a 75 cubic foot dog house but also works great for smaller cat and dog houses. Note that this furnace doesn’t have any sharp edges that will hurt your pet and also has a heat shield for added protection.

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This story was originally published by Chaya M. Milchtein on 10/06/2020 and updated with new information by Juliana Clark on 03/10/2021. 


Chaya Milchtein is an automotive educator, freelance writer, and empowerment speaker who's made it her mission to engage and empower people in her community and beyond.