Chiminea is a free standing front loading fireplace or oven with a bulbous body and usually a vertical smoke vent or chimney.
Chimineas originated in Mexico and were used hundreds of years ago. Traditionally they are made of clay, but nowadays you may find cast iron and steel alternatives. Chiminea is traditionally used for heat but also for cooking.
Chiminea types – what is the best material
Everyone would love to have an outdoor fireplace and have a glass of wine by the fire at the end of the day. If you have a small patio then a chiminea would be the perfect choice for you. Although chimineas are usually made of clay, the ones made of cast iron or steel are much more durable. Clay requires some special care when first used as well as cold periods with frost. The disadvantage of clay compared to steel and cast iron is that it may crack if you lighted a fire on a cold day which is due to the rapid change of temperature. On the other hand cast iron or steel chiminea may rust from the moist. They are coated with heat resistant paint but it burns off quickly.
Choosing a chiminea – useful tips
The market today offers traditional chimineas and fire pits. The burning process is based on creating a drafting action and drawing fresh air into the fire. The air is directed upwards and thus people are protected from the smoke. Before buying your chiminea you need to decide what material you prefer, the maintenance and, of course, the safety. Depending on the material your outdoor fireplace will last longer or shorter. Experts recommend cast aluminum as the best and most durable material which is worth the investment. It does not crack or rust and is significantly lighter in weight compared to clay or cast iron. Whichever option you prefer, remember that safety should be your prime priority. Another consideration is the style of your chiminea. It has to add to the style of your outdoor area and modern designs are suitable for contemporary styled patios while the more traditional clay chimineas will complement traditional patios. After all, the main goal is to have a convenient and functional fireplace which saves space without compromising the visual appeal of the patio or the backyard but adding to the pleasure of spending time outdoors.
Cast iron is durable but susceptible to rust
Modern design for a contemporary patio
The compact shape is perfect for small patios
A great way to keep warm in the outside
Small and compact – a chiminea can be placed anywhere
Modern designs can be used as a garden decoration
An attractive design of a traditional wood burning fireplace
A cozy warm evening by the fire