Outdoor patio torches can generally use petroleum-based oil, paraffin oil or citronella oil as fuel. Some varieties of outdoor torches have other power sources, such as gas, electricity and candles.
When choosing a fuel for an outdoor torch, consider the environment around the area where the torch is to be burned. Areas where there are many insects present can be made more comfortable by burning citronella oil, which smokes as it burns and helps repel insects. When the primary purpose of the torch is to provide a light or heat, consider a gas-powered torch, as these burn significantly brighter and hotter than oil-powered torches and are resistant to wind and rainy conditions.