What Is The Best Chiminea For Your Patio?

Chimineas have been a go-to cooking method in Mexico for centuries. These days, those freestanding fireplaces with a Southwestern style can bring a festive ambience to a variety of spaces, such as gardens, patios, and decks. Not only do they offer grilling capabilities and warmth, but they can also add a decorative accent to outdoor living areas.

Most chimineas typically share a similar construction: a burn basket holding the fires and a chimney to release the smoke away. In addition to those shared features, their designs can vary a lot, and you should choose one that would work perfectly for you and your backyard.

This shopping guide will walk you through key considerations and factors you need to know before making your decision and choosing the best chiminea in the UK.

Key considerations to look for when purchasing a chiminea

Here are a few important things that you should consider when looking for a chiminea:

a) Finish and construction

A chiminea might the centrepiece on your outdoor area, patio, or deck, and as such, it should be outstanding. Though traditional models are typically constructed from clay, it is advisable to go for those products that are crafted from a long-lasting and rugged material, such as copper, cast aluminium, cast iron, or steel.

These materials can handle the main function of a chimenea better: fire, while also enabling them to ensure harsh conditions outside. To maximize durability, choose chimineas coated with a powder finish.

b) Weight and size

The weight and size of the chosen chimenea will mostly depend on your preferences and needs. If you want a leasing, roaring fire and much heat produced, make sure the fire basket is spacious enough to accommodate the wood and generate the heat.

Similarly, choose a suitable weight for your chimenea so that it can be moved easily around your garden or deck. A too light unit would be prone to tipping over, while a model weighing more than 150 pounds would be too bulky.

c) Assembly

Will the chimenea arrive mostly assembled, or will you have to set it up yourself with a few tools? Does the unit require any special skills to assemble? Make sure to find out the level of installation you expect before spending your money, as some products are much more difficult to put together than other units.

d) Heat output

In addition to delivering a visually pleasing source of heat for your outdoor parties, some chimineas would also work as a grill. Depending on your purposes, there will be different products with various designs and heat outputs to choose from. If you want both functions at the same time, then it is recommended to look for those chimineas which greater heat production and necessary accessories for your needs.

Key features to look for in a chiminea

Chimineas do not come with a host of features, but there are still a few things that you want to consider. These include:

i) Cap

A cap typically goes atop the chiminea’s chimney to keep water from penetrating and corroding interior areas. Some caps can be removed, while others are fixed permanently with a gap to release smoke. A good chimenea should come with this feature.

ii) Mesh screen

A mesh screen is responsible for offering a view of the fires while also protecting you and your family from popping sparks. This part should be slide or hinged so that add wood easily and maintain the fires.

iii) Log grate

There are often two log grates, which keep the logs in place in the burn basket. Also, they can raise the logs up to ensure air would reach the fires more easily. These parts are typically crafted from metal with durable and rugged construction.

iv) Accessories

There aren’t so many accessories for chimineas, but the package might also include a cooking grate, a fabric or plastic cover for protection, and a fire tool for repositioning logs.

Top 5 best chiminea reviews

1. Oxford Barbecues Black Steel 89-Cm Chimenea with Pull-Out Grill


– Material: black steel
– Dimensions: 89 x 40 centimeters
– Weight: 13 kilograms

Whether you are chilling out, dining, or just entertaining out in your patio, the Oxford chimenea could heat up things and keep your parties going for longer. This product offers the ultimate flexibility of a BBQ grill along with that of a patio heater. The whole unit is mainly constructed from premium steel and painted with heat-resistant powder for long-lasting use. Its curvy shape and black finish is very attractive and can add an unexpected touch to your outdoor space.

The package comes with all the necessary tools and hardware for straightforward setup. You can use this unit to produce heat and keep warm or cook some meals right in your patio. The gill can be pulled out easily for convenient cooking and cleaning. When not in use, you can protect the chimenea against weather conditions or dust with a provided cover. Overall, it is an excellent multi-tasker that features a distinguished design.

What I like about it:

  • Durable and strong construction
  • Crafted mainly from heat-resistant steel
  • Ideal for both heating and cooking
  • Include a cover to protect when not in use

2. Kingfisher FPIT3 Steel Burner Outdoor Furniture One Size


– Material: black steel
– Dimensions: 135 x 44.5 centimeters
– Weight: 10.2 kilograms

The Kingfisher FPIT3 chiminea is very fashioned-forward, with clean lines, slender and tall shape, and black coating. The construction is uncluttered and bold, with a built-in cubby to store logs and a cutout for fires. Crafted from black steel, it can resist high levels of heat and endure outdoor conditions for an extended lifespan. The top part comes with a small cap which can prevent water from penetrating and putting out your fire. Also, this component is specially designed to allow smokes and debris to come out quickly without contaminating the surrounding space.

Despite its relatively large size, the unit is actually very lightweight and compact, making it quite simple to move around your outdoor space. The heat generated can be adjusted easily to add warmth and ambience to your summer nights in the garden. If classic structures aren’t your choice, then this modern chimenea can be a great option for your garden or patio.

What I like about it:

  • Modern and sleek design
  • Built-in space to store logs
  • Lightweight and portable construction
  • Simple and quick to assemble

3. Gardeco Cast Iron Granada Chimenea Bronze Funnel


– Material: cast iron
– Dimensions: 124 x 44.5 centimeters
– Weight: 19.5 kilograms

This traditional Western-style chimenea can be a great addition to any courtyard or patio in the summer. Its steel construction and bronze finish are authentically beautiful and rusty. With the included grill and other accessories, this product can also work as a cooking tool for your family during the warmer season.

You can find instructions provided in the package, which makes assembly much easier and quicker. The log grate is large enough to hold up a large amount of wood and produce sufficient heat for your needs. After the fire has set, just close the mesh screen and enjoy the warmth. This chimenea can burn either fossil fuels or organic fuels like coal, charcoal, and wood. So if you are looking for a classic-look model that is both beautiful and useful, then you’ve just found it.

What I like about it:

  • Classical design to complement your space
  • Beautiful and stylish bronze finish
  • Can be used for heating and cooking
  • It is ideal for burning anything

4. La Hacienda Cast Iron Siera Chiminea Bronze


– Material: cast iron and bronze
– Dimensions: 112 x 42 centimeters
– Weight: 28 kilograms

Classic and durable, the Siera chimenea by La Hacienda will be certainly a great addition to your garden. Just like other models above, it comes with a curvy shape in the middle to provide sufficient space for wood and heating. Completely made of premium cast iron and painted with heat-resistant bronze, the unit can ensure extreme heat and last for years without wear and tear.

In addition to providing heat during the winter, this set can also double as a grill so that you can enjoy amazing BBQ parties in the summer seasons. Setting it up is simple and quick as the package already provides all the necessary tools and hardware. Just put this chiminea in the middle of a sunken garden or patio so that your family would enjoy the warmth and admire its stylish look.

What I like about it:

  • Completely constructed from cast iron
  • Heat-resistant bronze paint
  • Come flat packed for a simple build
  • Large log grate for wood and heat

5. Deuba Wood Cast Iron Garden Patio BBQ Grill


– Material: cast iron
– Dimensions: 124 x 44.5 centimeters
– Weight: 28 kilograms

The Deuba chiminea is the absolute eye-catcher and patio heater for everyone. Featuring an extra-large design, it can provide heat and warmth for medium to large-sized gardens or patios in chilling days. The whole unit is crafted from cast iron that can endure heat and weather conditions. Thus, you can produce different levels of heat and add ambience and warm atmospheres to your birthday or BBQ parties.

With the removable rack, you can cook and grill foods easily during the warm season. This means you can have a chance to enjoy tasty dishes and warm atmosphere at the same time just with a single tool. From coal, wood, or charcoal, the Deuba model can burn everything and create glowing fires. Overall, this a high-quality and exclusive chimenea that can add invigorating elements to your outdoor space.

What I like about it:

  • Burn both fossil and organic fuels
  • Removable grill rack for cooking
  • A great blend of modern and rustic features
  • Burn a variety of fuel

Frequently asked questions

How to light a chiminea?

Lighting a chiminea is very similar to lighting any other type of fire – you need combustible materials, dry kindling, and larger pieces of wood. Chimineas only burn wood, so don’t be tempted to add coal or any other type of material, and you should never use petrol, lighter fluid or any other type of fluid even if your fire is slow to start.

  1. Start with a layer of sand in the bottom – about 4 inches should do it. This will prevent smoke billowing out of the top.
  2. Place a layer of scrunched up newspaper or cardboard on top of the sand.
  3. Layer small twigs or shop bought kindling on top of the paper – the most effective way to do this is to create a “wigwam” structure, with the kindling pointing upwards in a triangle shape.
  4. Using a long match or the lit end of a twisted up piece of paper, carefully light the paper underneath the kindling. The kindling should light easily along with the paper.
  5. Once the kindling is well alight and the paper is all burnt away, add another handful of kindling until the fire is well established.
  6. Add a larger log or two, and wait until the embers are very hot before adding any more.
  7. Once the embers are glowing, you should only need to add another log when it looks like all the burning material is running out – burning your chiminea from its embers, rather than encouraging blazing flames, means that it will burn hotter, suck in less air and means that you don’t have to use as many logs.

How to stop a chiminea smoking?

Your chiminea may smoke for several reasons. Burning wet or damp fuel will make it smoke like, well, a chimney! Also, if it is positioned in a windy place, this can encourage smoke to blow around. If your chiminea is covered with dirt and residue you will also find that it smokes much more. Too much kindling can also make a chiminea smoke, as can leaves and twigs.

  • Keep your chiminea in a sheltered position, where is does not get too much wind blowing into it. This will reduce the amount of smoke you get – and if nothing else it will prevent it from blowing into people’s faces!
  • Only use enough kindling to get the fire going. It may be tempting to keep piling on the kindling to encourage bigger, brighter flames – but this will also encourage excess smoke.
  • Make sure the logs you burn are dry and well seasoned. Damp logs, or those which have not had time to season, will provide lots of unwanted, eye watering smoke.
  • Give your chiminea a good clean at least once a year. All fires produce tar, a sticky substance that can impede future fires, and produces smoke. If you scrub your chiminea out with a wire brush once a year, you should be able to avoid this problem.

What do you burn in a chiminea?

The answer to this question depends on what you want your chiminea for. Is it for sitting around on a cool night with a nice drink? For toasting marshmallows over? Or for burning bits and bobs from the garden that you can’t be bothered to take to the compost heap?

  • In order to enjoy a warm, cosy fire on a chilly spring or autumn evening, you should only burn dry, seasoned longs in your chiminea. They don’t tolerate coal, so wood is your only option.
  • If you just like to have a means of staring into some pretty flames, you can burn a lot of kindling or small pieces of wood, enjoy a fast burn and some pretty fire.
  • If your chiminea has become a dumping ground for twigs, prunings and leaves, you can still have a fire in it – but remember that it won’t be nearly as fast burning or efficient, and you might ruin your neighbour’s washing with the smell of bonfire smoke!

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