One of the biggest advantages of choosing a gas-based fireplace over one that burns wood is the upkeep. You’ll never have to store logs again, and tending a fire will become a thing of the past. Gas fireplaces burn cleaner and can produce plenty of heat, but only if you have a great set of logs. In this guide, we’re going to tell you how to find the right set for your fireplace while highlighting some of the best models around.
- The Best Gas Logs For Your Fireplace
- How to Find the Best Gas Logs For Your Fireplace
- Gas Log FAQ
The Best Gas Logs For Your Fireplace
While the best gas log for a fireplace can be vented or ventless, it has to meet the standards of the fireplace itself and fit your firebox properly. We chose models that range from 18” to 36”, which are the most popular sizes on average. We didn’t include any replacement logs in this roundup, however, as by the time most logs go bad, the burner is in rough shape as well.
#1 Peterson Real Fyre Charred Split Oak Log Set
The Best Complete Gas Log Set
As a leader in the field of fireplace logs and accessories, it was difficult for us to choose only one product from Peterson. Their Charred Split Oak Log set is our favorite and the best complete gas log set for fireplaces that burn natural gas.
Peterson designed this Real Fyre set to resemble a fireplace full of charred oak logs. Great detail went into painting these refractory ceramic logs to make them look realistic, but they are still sturdy with reinforced steel rods. As it’s a vent-free system, they are highly efficient, so you’ll get plenty of heat from the included burner.
This log set uses the G10 burner from Real Fyre, which is ventless and ANSI certified with a built-in ODS sensor. The company’s I-2000 Plus burner provides more space for the ember bed and turns your fireplace into a showcase when fully lit. Given the overall size of this system and its vent-free nature, you will want to check the manufacturer’s dimensions carefully beforehand.
As this is a complete kit, it comes with almost everything you need to get started. That includes a preassembled control valve, custom grate, connector kit, Bryte Coals, granules, and embers. We chose this model as it comes with an electronic safety pilot and remote control that allows you to adjust the flame height.
If you need a complete traditional gas log kit and are looking for one that’s highly realistic, you’ll want to give this system some serious thought. While it is pricey, it will drastically change the look of your fireplace and comes with an excellent tiered warranty on the gas logs, burner, and parts. The company has this set available in 18” and 30” lengths as well.
#2 Empire Flint Hill Log Set
An Affordable Vent-Free Gas Log Set from Empire
Empire Comfort Systems is a brand we’ve touched on in the past when covering the best gas fireplaces, and it’s only natural they have a solid lineup of accessories as well. The Flint Hill log set is an affordable option for homeowners that need a vent-free system that won’t break the bank.
This efficient set of vent-free gas logs are designed to work with natural gas fireplaces. The logs themselves are built from ceramic fiber but dual-vent. That means you can use them in vent-free or vented fireplaces, depending on your existing setup at home. That’s a bonus, and so is the ability to adjust the height of the flames.
Empire equipped this log set with their counter burner system, which comes with a control knob. This allows you to manually adjust the heat along with the flame height from high to low. It’s not on par with remote control systems when it comes to ease of use, but the knob is a step up from a match and key valve.
The 5-piece log set features hand-painted detailing, which helps add a degree of realism. The vent is also designed to resemble a fireplace grate but has precision ported tubes. It’s rated at 19,000 to 28,000 BTU, which is ideal for small to medium rooms depending on the venting. Other features to note include a piezo ignition system and rock wool embers.
The Flint Hill set hails from Empire’s White Mountain Heart brand and is priced competitively against other 18” log sets with a burner included. It’s also fairly compact considering it only requires 12” of firebox depth and can be converted to a vented set if needed. The Flint Hill set is backed by a 5-year warranty like the rest of the company’s vent-free logs.
#3 Rasmussen ALTERNA FireBall Set
The Best Gas Log Alternative
When you want your fireplace to stand out or be the centerpiece of a room, sometimes ordinary gas logs just won’t cut it. If you’re looking to completely change the vibe of your wood-burning fireplace, the ALTERNA FireBall Set from Rasmussen should be at the very top of your list.
With a custom burner pan and a series of natural colored spheres, this gas log alternative will definitely grab your attention. The design of the large burner pan can transform your fireplace into a fire pit but can be used with our without lets as well. You don’t need a grate for this system, just a natural gas line that’s run to your fireplace.
Each of the spheres in this set is constructed from refractory ceramic material, so they not only look good but will outlast logs made from fiber or refractory cement. The opposed louver lanced port burner is just as sturdy, and this sphere set can run you out of the room at 90,000 BTUs. You will need to control it manually through a key valve, however, as it’s not remote control ready.
Rasmussen has several variations of the ALTERNA FireBall set available. There is a 30” and 20” edition of this fire sphere set, and you can even choose the ceramic stain with colors like Adobe Red, Beige, or Black. You can upgrade the control method as well if you’re not partial to match light fireplaces, but it will significantly raise the cost.
The ALTERNA FireBall set is a unique alternative to traditional gas logs and reasonably priced considering the size and heat rating. We also like the fact it comes with sand, a damper clamp, connectors, and a bag of Ember Magic. While there aren’t many reviews for this set, the company has an excellent reputation, and the FireBalls are guaranteed for a lifetime.
#4 Real Fyre Split Oak Designer Plus Gas Log Set
The Best Outdoor Gas Log Set
Our second option from the Peterson Real Fyre brand is entirely different from the first. The Split Oak Designer Plus gas log set is one of the larger systems on our list and designed so that it can be used indoors or outdoors, depending on your needs.
It’s not difficult to find ceramic fire logs that will work outdoors, but the burner is a different story. This system utilizes the company’s G45 burner, which is made from stainless steel and has a T-shaped design. Flames arise from both the ember bed and the log set through the Triple T burner. The flame pattern is realistic, but so are the logs that sit on the burner.
Peterson used red feather detail painting on these logs. Both the ends of the logs and split end pieces are different colors than the bark, which adds an extra degree of realism to this set. The ceramic refractory logs are vented, and the set is listed at 120,000 BTU. While the company put a great amount of detail into the burner and logs, you’ll have to light this set the old fashioned way.
There’s no control valve with his model, but the burner can be customized to work with the company’s valve control systems. It comes with a custom fireplace grate, sand, glowing embers, burner clips, and a damper clamp as well. The logs are covered for the lifetime of the original owner, while the burner has a 10-year guarantee.
This is one of the more realistic sets from Real Fyre, and the extra burner in the front adds another layer of depth to the display. We would have like to have seen a manual safety pilot ignition given the price, but that’s really the only complaint we have on this model considering the extras and vented glowing ember bed.
#5 Duluth Forge Split Red Oak Log Set
The Best Propane Gas Logs
When you’re in the market for an affordable fireplace insert, Duluth Forge is a great brand to turn to. The company has a large line of accessories and fireplace logs sets as well. Our top pick from Duluth Forge is their Split Red Oak log set, which comes complete with hand-painted logs and a burner.
This 18” propane log set features eight logs made from ceramic fiber. They have a realistic design despite the price, with painted details and logs molded from real wood. As it’s a complete system, it comes with a U-burner chassis, which is powder-coated and produces two rows of flame. Consumers found that it puts out a considerable amount of heat as well.
With a rating of 30,000 BTU, this log set is suitable for rooms up to 1,100 square feet in size. While you can’t control this gas log set with a remote control, there is a manual thermostat dial. That’s a bonus, although some homeowners found it difficult to access compared to similar systems. This ventless system has an ODS sensor for safety and starts quickly thanks to a battery-assisted piezo ignition.
This is an ANSI certified log set that comes in three different sizes with 18”, 24”, or 30” depending on your needs. You can also choose between natural gas or propane if you are sold on this set but aren’t sure which fuel type is right for your home. The Duluth Forge 210059 is backed by a standard 1-year guarantee.
While they may not have the brand name recognition of Empire or Peterson Real Fyre, Duluth Forge has produced some of the most popular gas fireplaces and accessories. This log set isn’t the most realistic on our list, but it is well-made and performs as advertised. It’s hard to argue with the price, and we didn’t come across any significant complaints on this particular model.
#6 Rasmussen Chillbuster Evening Embers Log Set
The Best Gas Logs for See-Through Fireplaces
While all of the big company’s on our list put a great deal of effort into designing realistic-looking fake logs, you need something special if you have a see-through fireplace. Rasmussen has the solution for those double-sided beauties with their Chillbuster Evening Ember set.
The Chillbuster gas log set is filled with ceramic bonded cast logs and designed for vent-free fireplaces that are dual-sided. That means both sides of these fireplace logs have been colored and detailed to provide an amazing view from either side.
A char chamber adds a bit more depth to this system when combined with the included burner, although it doesn’t come with as many extras out of the box as other models. Rasmussen lists the DFC7 at 30,000 BTU and went with a single-burner design for this log set.
The C7 burner is efficient, and it’s easy to start with a manual safety pilot ignition system. A small dial on the front allows you to control the heat, while an ODS sensor ensures safe operation indoors. This configuration is engineered for use with propane, but a natural gas variant is also available.
There’s a lot to like about the Rasmussen Chillbuster Evening Ember log set. While it’s not cheap, it is competitively priced compared to similar see-through systems, and the logs are backed by a 5-year guarantee. This set is available in three sizes with 18”, 24”, and 30” logs.
How to Find the Best Gas Logs For Your Fireplace
Compared to purchasing a new gas fireplace for your home, choosing a solid set of gas-burning logs is relatively simple. They are an integral part of any gas fireplace, but not the type of accessory that comes with a wealth of features. That said, there are still several things you’ll need to keep in mind, including the type of gas used in your home.
Gas Logs Explained
A gas log is designed to sit in a fireplace that uses natural gas or propane as a fuel source. There is more than one type of gas log, however, and not all are created equal. If you’re looking to replace or renovate the existing gas logs in your fireplace, there are two options to choose from with gas logs and gas lot sets.
Gas logs are sold in sets that range anywhere from five to a dozen pieces or more. They are manufactured from brands both big and small, and the most affordable option. They are also typically used in non-functioning fireplaces unless they are specifically marked as vented or vent-free.
There are plenty of manufacturers that label their logs as “universal” as well, but you’ll often see poor reviews regarding odors and discoloration from their products. If you need to replace a few gas logs and know the model of the gas logs in your fireplace, the best thing you can do is contact the manufacturer for replacements. You can’t use any type of gas log with any gas fireplace for a variety of reasons.
The other alternative is a fireplace log set, which comes with logs and a burner at a minimum. While they are more expensive, you can completely change the look of your fireplace using these sets. They can range in size from 18” to more than 60” and often have accessories included like fire glass, ember beds, and ignition systems.
Natural Gas Logs vs. Propane Gas Logs
The first step to finding the best gas logs is to match them to the type of gas used in your home. Propane gas logs won’t work with a fireplace that burns natural gas, and vice versa. If you already have appliances in your home that use natural gas, the decision should be an easy one to make. For consumers converting a wood-burning fireplace that have only used electricity, things aren’t quite as simple.
Liquid propane burns hotter than natural gas, which is a bonus, although it has to be stored in tanks. While the tanks can be hidden or buried in some cases, they still need to be refilled. When a propane tank runs dry, you’re out of heat, and your fireplace is out of commission. It’s easy to find 20-pound tanks no matter where you live, but deliveries can be expensive for larger propane tanks.
Natural gas is piped into your home through a gas line that’s buried underground. It provides heat on demand and is tied into the natural gas grid in the city or county where you live. The cost to run a new gas line can be expensive but allows you to fuel other appliances in your home like grills, stoves, and water heaters as well.
In our experience, most homeowners that already use natural gas prefer to stick with it instead of switching to propane for a gas fireplace. If you don’t have a preference or natural gas line, you’ll want to consider the type of fireplace you have in your home, along with the cost of natural gas and propane in your area.
Vented or Vent-Free Gas Logs?
Gas fireplaces are vented or vent free, and so are the logs that go in these systems. This is where many homeowners can find themselves in a pickle considering the cost of some gas log sets and the fact they can’t be converted. Dual-fuel logs are an exception, but not as common as the ventless and vented gas logs.
Ventless Gas Logs
If you don’t have a chimney in your home and use a ventless fireplace, you will need to purchase vent-free gas logs. They are highly efficient, just like the fireplaces that house them, and don’t require ventilation outdoors.
This means they can produce more heat than a vented gas log, but placement is critical. Carbon monoxide can be produced when flames touch the logs, which means you need to leave them in a fixed position. You can’t rearrange this type of fake lumber, and they will produce some humidity due to their design.
- Highly efficient
- Eco-friendly as it burns more cleanly
- Produces more heat
- Can’t be rearranged
- Basic designs
Vented Gas Logs
When you want realistic-looking gas logs, vented ones are often the best choice. You can rearrange these ceramic logs to suit your liking and even decorate them with adornments like fake pine cones or embers.
While they are the best choice from a design standpoint, vented gas logs need ventilation, so they aren’t as efficient. You’re going to lose heat be the fireplace and logs being vented outdoors, and your fireplace must be in good working order. They also need to be cleaned more often because of soot, although you can keep it to a minimum with proper placement.
- Wide variety of options
- Can be decorated and rearranged
- Ideal for vented fireplaces
- Heating efficiency
- Can become dirty quickly
Gas Log Ignitions
If you’ve never owned a gas fireplace before, it could be easy to think you simply need to press a button to start up a fireplace. Well, that’s true with some models, but not with every style. Unless you’re just buying decorative gas logs or replacing a few in your current system, you’ll want to consider the type of ignition used in gas log sets.
Match Light Ignition
If you have an outdoor fire pit with a classic key valve, you may be familiar with this type of ignition. A match light fireplace log requires you to strike to start a fire, and you adjust the flames by adjusting the gas valve. It’s low-tech and only possible with natural gas fireplace logs, but you don’t need to worry about power outages or batteries. You do need to be more careful with this type of ignition, however.
Manual Safety Pilot Ignition
The most popular style of ignition is a manual safety pilot or standing pilot. These function like a pilot light on a gas-based HVAC system, as there is a small flame lit at all times. They are the safest type of ignition thanks to a safety switch that can shut off the gas the pilot light goes out, and usually consist of a push-button starter and thermostat dial.
When you hate leaving the comfort of your favorite couch or chair to adjust the fire, you’ll want a remote control starter. You can fire up your logs from a distance without striking a match or adjusting valves. They come with a variety of features depending on your budget and the type of remote, including the ability to adjust the flame height or give you the temperature.
Gas Log Sizes and Styles
If you are replacing an old set of fireplace gas logs, you may already have a good idea of the size you need. Whether you’re new to the world of gas fireplaces or an old pro, measuring your fireplace is a critical part of choosing the right size logs.
In order to know what size gas fireplace logs you need, you’ll need to take a few quick measurements. First, measure the width of the firebox, not the fireplace, in the front and back. You’ll want to get a depth measurement as well, and it’s a good idea to measure the height unless you have a large Rumford style fireplace.
When it comes to styles, you can find logs that resemble charred oak alongside unblemished white birch fire logs. 90% of the options are patterned after domestic tree species from the United States, but it’s easy to become overwhelmed with hundreds of options. The best fireplace gas logs will always have a measure of hand-painted details and should be molded after real timber.
While most fire logs actually look like logs, there are some interesting fireplace log altenrative aviablel as well. Fire spheres or round ceramic balls are popular, but you can also find decorative objects like skulls and dragons depending on your taste in décor.
It may not be simple to find the best gas logs for your fireplace, but we hope you found our buying guide helpful. Whether you’re dealing with propane or natural gas, always remember to keep safety in mind and defer to a professional when it comes to the installation of natural gas-based log sets. If you’re in need of a completely new fireplace, we have that covered as well!
Gas Log FAQ
Q: How often should I clean or inspect my fire logs?
A: Vented gas logs will need to be cleaned periodically along with your chimney while ventless logs should be inspected annually. It’s also a good idea to have all your lines and connections inspected once a year as well.
Q: What are gas logs for fireplaces made from?
A: Budget-friendly fireplace gas logs use ceramic fiber, while premium systems refractory ceramic and cement in the construction of their gas logs.
Q: Is it normal for gas logs to have an odor after use?
A: It’s not uncommon with some ventless gas logs, but you can vent them to help clear out the smell quicker. The smell should fade after the initial burn-in period which varies from brand to brand.
Q: Will the color of my gas logs change over time?
A: Eventually, all gas logs may change color and lose detail, but logs build from refractory ceramics will hold up far longer.
Q: What’s the safest type of gas log system for my home?
A: Vented gas logs if you have a proper way to vent them, and any system that utilizes a standing safety pilot at a minimum.