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!
- Traditionally styled chimenea
- Constructed from durable steel (main body) and cast iron (Legs)
- Finished in an attractive Pewter Effect
We know you want to get going and purchase your new chiminea so that you can invite all your friends round for an evening garden party, so we won’t bore you with any more details. Instead, we’ll just tell you that the best chiminea we found on the market is the Panama LA HACIENDA Cast Iron Chiminea, and here’s why we think it’s the best for you:
- The durable paint is powder-coated to prevent it from flaking and ruining the look after a few uses.
- There is a mesh spark grid to prevent uncontrolled fires or nasty accidents.
- This is a miniature model and vintage look that looks good in your house.
Best Chiminea – Comparison Table
Best Chiminea – Reviews
Panama LA HACIENDA Cast Iron Chiminea Garden Patio Heater Log Burner
This miniature chiminea is an adorable addition to your house. Its vintage look, simple yet elegant, adds an element of class that can bring the home together. The close-packed design is well suited for more compact spaces. The Squat Steel Chiminea enables you to make the most of your outdoor space.
If you desire a fireplace to keep you warm or make some smores, this is the perfect device, especially if you have smaller amounts of space, such as city gardens, smaller terraces, and balconies. The dimensions of this device make it perfect for wood or charcoal burning.
Because all the wood is in the container, it is easier to clean up soot and ashes. Steel and the cast iron frame are fitted with suitable ventilation to keep smoke levels low and the fire burning. It is relatively compact, making it easy to move from one area of your space to another.
The steel frame also helps to keep you warm, as it can radiate a substantial amount of heat, perfect for you and your friends to enjoy all year round. The chiminea is reasonably priced and serves as an excellent substitute for a traditional fireplace or BBQ stand.
Its steel frame is durable, and its cast-iron legs are sturdy and well-built, meaning this device will keep you and your loved ones warm for many winters. The chiminea can be well supplemented by a rain cover so that you can keep the fire burning while enjoying the gentle pitter-patter of the rain as well. This chiminea will require some minimal assembly before firing it up for the first time, but users have stated it’s a relatively simple process that shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes.
- Durable frame
- Easy to assemble
- Cast iron as opposed to steel legs.
- It is challenging to move firewood within the chiminea.
Tall Modern Cast Iron & Steel Etinas Chimenea, Log Burner (Large Garden Patio Heater, Fire Pit BBQ Chiminea)
Another extra-large model on our list, Blooma’s Chiminea is made from terrace cast iron and features a removable grill rack for whether you want to barbecue foods on it or not. This model is black and therefore will compliment any style of your garden perfectly. What’s more is that you can burn any type of fuel source you feel like with this one, whether it be coal, charcoal, or wood.
The design features a metal mesh cover which will keep the flames reaching in the right direction and you won’t have to worry about any accidental fires. This spark grid is actually lockable as well so there’s no chance of children getting it open. The design of this chiminea is certainly a unique one with it looking particularly rustic and intricate, one that is destined to amp up your garden to another level.
- Durable cast iron used to create this model.
- Removable grill rack and lid.
- Lockable spark grid.
- Some customers have experienced damages after postage.
- Cast iron weighs more than other metals and therefore makes this model less portable.
TecTake Large cast iron chiminea terrace stove 115 cm | removable grille rack | incl. poker
This extra-large chiminea is made by TecTake and they have taken a unique approach for the design of their model. Much like the La Hacienda extra large chiminea that we looked at above, the main body is actually spherical with a long climbing flue coming from the top.
This model is made from steel and features a chrome-plated cooking plate to make all your favourite barbecue dishes on. As this model is extra-large, you shouldn’t find that the cooking time with the chiminea is any longer than if you were to use a traditional barbecue.
You’ll also receive a rain lid, a fuel grate and a metal tool to give you all the equipment you need to make your evening nice and cozy. Thanks to the steel body, it only weighs 15kg so you’ll be able to move it around your garden, depending on where you’re hosting today’s party.
- It comes with accessories to help make the usability easier.
- Painted with heat-resistant paint to prevent it from peeling.
- Long chimney to prevent the party from becoming too smokey.
- Some users found that it came with no instructions.
- Doesn’t come with a cover so may be susceptible to rusting.
Next up is the one and only clay chiminea on our list – we told you they were hard to come by nowadays! This lovely looking chiminea features hand-painted designs across its body and adopts a traditional Mexican style. You can cook with this chiminea by simply removing the lid to unveil a chrome-plated cooking grill, however, this looks quite small and you may need to go through a number of cooking sessions to provide for all your friends and family.
The durable stand is made of sturdy metal which won’t go bending or breaking on you anytime soon, and you’ll also receive a rain lid that fits perfectly over the top of the flue. Although this isn’t the tallest model, it still gets the job done and you and your friends will be able to reap the benefits of a wood-burning fire throughout the whole evening.
- Authentic looking clay chiminea.
- Won’t get hot to touch during use.
- It comes with a rain lid.
- The grill plate is quite small and you may find cooking takes more time than a traditional barbecue.
- Only works with wood as the fuel source.
Fire Pit for Garden and Patio – Upgrade Black Steel Garden Heater/Burner for Wood & Charcoal,Able Use coal, Includes BBQ Grill，Spark Guard, Poker and Protective Cover (Hexagonal）
A little ambience never hurt anyone. This little fireplace can turn your backyard into a place of romance and serenity. This outdoor fireplace manufactured by Lucakuins, comes designed for a garden of any size. It is made from steel and at first glance appears to be quite a standard piece of equipment which is good. The simplicity is what makes it beautiful.
During the day you would say looking at this it comes in a matte black colour. A look during the night would show you the product has a bronze finish. Looking a little closer at the design and we can see it has a little wood shelf at the bottom. This will allow you to store wood comfortably for the fire. The only bad point of this fireplace would be that the bottom does not come out for an easy clean. There are also no sides to it meaning sparks can fly out in any direction.
- Flame Retardant Opening Limits the Flame Emitted from the Furnace.
- Classy bronze finish
- Wood shelf
- Relatively affordable
- Simple and easy to use with no installation needed
- It is a bit heavy
- Difficult to clean
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.