a can of gel fuel burning with a gel fireplace in the background

Gel Fireplace

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 1/21/2021

For many people, the dream of having a nice warm fireplace to come home to might not seem like a realistic option. However, with the invention of the gel fireplace, there is now a reliable and affordable alternative.


The term gel fireplace (or gel fuel fireplace) refers to a type of ventless fireplace that typically burns an isopropyl alcohol mixture in a gel form contained in a single use can. Gel fuel fireplace appliances come in a variety of sizes and shapes for both indoor and outdoor uses. These gel based units are convenient because they require no chimney, no gas hookup, or electricity, allowing them to be installed or used in just about any location. Gel fireplaces are quite safe if used properly and typically cost less than other fireplace options. However, they are mostly decorative and provide less heat than wood, gas, and electricity.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Gel Fireplace?

A gel fireplace is a great alternative to the real thing, if the real thing isn’t a possibility. However, there are some things to consider before running out and purchasing one:

  • One of the biggest advantages is that gel fuel fireplaces are truly ventless. This makes installation simple and convenient. It also requires less holes between the interior and exterior of your home.
  • Gel fuel cans only last about 3 hours and can cost between $3 and $5 each. This means it could get costly if you wanted to use a gel fireplace to heat a room for an extended period of time.