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Dec 22

Chiminea 101

What is a Chiminea?  A chiminea is a fireplace designed with a single-mouth opening and chimney at the top to proficiently fuel the burning fire with fresh air.

Why choose a Chiminea? The design of a chiminea allows a drafting action which pulls fresh air into the fire and directs the smoke away from you and your guests. They are great for relaxing by the fire or cooking and they look cool too. Only a small amount of ash is left behind due to the fire burning cleaner and warmer so there is less mess. Also, because chimineas are enclosed people and surrounding items are better protected.

What type of Chimineas are available? Chimineas come in a variety of materials, such as: cast aluminum, cast iron, clay, sheet aluminum, copper and sheet metal.

  • If life longevity and easy maintenance are priority, the cast aluminum chiminea might be the best fit for you. Cast aluminum chimineas will not stain or rust and are typically portable.
  • Cast iron chimineas are great for permanent locations, such as campgrounds. They can weight up to 200lbs and are prone to rusting or staining.
  • Although clay chimineas look cool, they are high in maintenance. If you are looking for a fireplace that is safer and lasts long, clay may not be the best option for you.
  • Sheet aluminum is a great alternative to copper when looking to save some cash. However, due to the thin material they can oxidize or lose their protective finish.
  • Copper is popular due to the safety of the material and the unique look.
  • If you’re looking for a short term, few-use fireplace then sheet metal is the way to go. Chimineas made of sheet metal are considered more disposable due to their likeliness to melt, warp or rust quickly.

What can be burned in a Chiminea? When cooking with your chiminea charcoal is the best fuel source for a longer-lasting heat. Otherwise, a good hard wood, such as oak, provides the best fire. Pinon wood is popular among chiminea owners due to it’s earthy pine aroma and ability to repel insects.

What about safety? No matter what type of fireplace you use, safety should always be your first priority. Make sure to have a fire extinguisher or water source available and never ever leave a fire unattended. Also make sure to avoid touching the exterior of the chiminea as much as possible, as the surfaces will heat up. Chimineas are for outdoor use only.

Is taking care of a Chiminea difficult? The answer really depends on what type of material your chiminea is made of but for the most part they are low maintenance and easy clean up. You want to make sure to clean your chiminea after every few burns and for extra care, cover it with a chiminea cover when not in use.

Are there Chiminea accessories? Chiminea covers and stands are available to help you better take care of your investment. It’s also a good idea to have a wood or log rack available to store your fire essentials.

How do you pick the right Chiminea for you? First, decide where you will keep your chiminea and think about the best fit for that space. Then, consider some of these questions: Would a shorter or taller chiminea look best? What type of material would match your existing outdoor furniture? What type of chiminea material would best survive your weather conditions? How long do you plan on keeping your chiminea? Do you want a chiminea with decorative flare or a simple design? How much maintenance and attention are you willing to provide to your chiminea?