It’s always a sad moment when you realise that the long summer nights are coming to an end and that there aren’t going to be many more opportunities to sit outside with your friends and family, talking and joking through the warm evening.
Well, have you ever considered a chiminea for a new addition to your garden or porch? They are simply stoves with their defining feature being the climbing chimney on top of it.
Not only can you cook foods in these wood burners, but they also are excellent at keeping you warm when sitting near one. Thanks to their growing popularity, you can now get various designs all made out of different materials to suit your garden.
They were traditionally only made of clay, and these designs look very rustic and homely.
Unlike the popular fireplace, chimineas need little to no attention and are pretty self-sufficient once you get the fire started. This leaves you with more time enjoying your company and less time trying to poke the fire back to life.
Now we’ve convinced you that a chiminea is the way to go, how to choose the right one?
Fortunately that’s where we step in with our extensive research and buyers guide. So all you have to do is choose the best model for you, sit back, and imagine those warm evenings all year round!
In a hurry? This is our winner!
Best Chiminea – Comparison Table
Best Chiminea – Reviews
Best Chiminea – Buyer’s Guide
Like we mentioned earlier, the traditional chiminea was made of clay. However, more and more chimineas that are being released on the market nowadays are being made of metal such as cast iron, steel, and aluminum on account of them looking sleeker and more modern. The material you choose will depend on your personal preference and situation, so let’s look at the two main materials to choose from.
Clay chimineas often look rustic and vintage, and they can feature carved patterns that can add a statement piece to your garden. Alternatively, some are covered in patterns that have been painted on with heat-resistant materials. Either way, there is no denying that a clay chiminea is a lovely addition to any garden.
The greatest benefit of clay chimineas is that the outside is less likely to get hot, even after long periods of use. However, you’ll find that this type of material is quite fragile and you’ll need to spend more time on maintaining the chiminea, as clay is particularly susceptible to cracks that could lead to irreversible damage.
Clay chimineas are only suitable for wood burning, so if you’re wanting to use charcoal or other types of fuel, this isn’t the right material for you. Wood burning is the only method that won’t cause too much heat that the clay cannot handle. Finally, clay is very heavy and not portable at all, so you’ll want to choose its place and stick to it.
On the other hand, metal offers a more modern look which is why metal chimineas are much more accessible than clay models. They also come in a bigger variety of designs, meaning it’s more likely you’ll be able to find one that will suit your garden space better. These models are lighter than clay alternatives and therefore more portable. This is helpful for you if the typical UK weather sets in and you want to move the party to slightly more of a sheltered area.
What’s more is that metal chimineas are more durable and require less maintenance than the alternative models, and they’ll require less maintenance to keep them working on top form. Having said that, metal is an excellent conductor of heat and therefore will get very hot very quickly.
The metal could also rust if they’re left out in the elements without protection, and the outer layer may be prone to peeling off after a few uses, depending on the quality of the heat resistant paint used. Ultimately, metal chimineas are an ideal choice as long as you choose a high-quality model that uses the proper materials.
The chiminea you choose will depend on what you want from your model and how you’re planning on using it. Some models offer cooking functions, while some are simply used for only heating purposes. Chimineas aren’t the best barbecuing devices, so only choose a model with the feature if you’re actually going to use it. You can get non-barbecuing chimineas with handier features without this, and you may even find that they’re easier to use.
The size of your chiminea you choose is important as you don’t want to get your model delivered and find that it takes up your whole garden. Bear in mind that if you’re going to be using your model for a heater, you’re going to want to leave enough room around the chiminea to position a few chairs for everyone to sit on.
On the other hand, if you want your chiminea to barbecue on you might find a larger model to be more beneficial as your cooking time will be significantly reduced.
Metal chimineas can be used to burn all sorts of fuel including wood, coal, and charcoal, whereas clay models can only burn wood. Whichever kind of fuel is most accessible to you, and which type you prefer using will affect which model of chiminea you purchase, so decide on this factor before you even begin looking at potential suitors.
As we’ve said already, metal chimineas can get very hot during use. While this shouldn’t be a problem if it’s only adults enjoying the heat of the chiminea, pets and children are particularly susceptible to touching the hot metal and potentially getting into painful accidents.
To combat this, consider choosing a model that comes with a spark guard. This should effectively keep children and pets away from the fire itself, and it will also prevent the flames from jumping out and causing accidental fires.
Having said that, a spark guard will not protect little fingers from the main body of the chiminea, so you may prefer to go for a clay model as the outside doesn’t get anywhere near as hot as metal models.
We all know how temperamental UK weather can be, which is why a cover for your chiminea is a very beneficial accessory to have. This will prevent your models from weathering and, if you have chosen a metal model, rusting.
We’ve already mentioned spark guards, however, this is another excellent accessory to look out for when choosing your new chiminea.
Height of Flue
It’s worth noting that the shorter the chimney part of your chiminea, the lower the smoke is going to be exposed to the open air. If this is too low you may find the smoke being released at the same height as you and your guests’ faces. We’ve all experienced the painful feeling of smoke in our eyes, so it’s advisable to choose a model with a longer flue to avoid hurting your guests.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a chiminea safer than a fire pit?
In short, yes chimineas are considered safer than firepits, because the flames are directed up into the properly designed chimney of the model. As firepits are commonly open with no protection against the flames, chimineas are less likely to cause accidents and you have much more control over a chiminea fire.
Do you have to put sand in the bottom of a chiminea?
It is advised that you put a layer of sand at the bottom of a clay chiminea as they are more prone to hairline cracks after being placed under a lot of heat. The sand protects the clay from having burning wood placed directly on top of it and gives it a much longer life than if you were not to use this protective layer of sand.
How long does a chiminea last?
If you take proper care of your chiminea and follow protective measures, we see no reason as to why your model wouldn’t last you for years to come. We could recommend using a chiminea sealer every three to four months to keep it performing as well as it can, and cover it when not in use. This will prevent any premature weathering from occurring so that you don’t have to replace your model anytime soon.