Chimineas have their history from Mexico where the chefs used to use them as stoves at an elevated level and the locals used to gather around these beautifully crafted objects for warmth. Fast forward to modern day and outdoor lovers use them as contained fire pits to keep their loved ones warm as they enjoy a night out in the patio. The basic design of a chiminea is a wide vase-like bottom with a vertical height that looks like a traditional chimney at the top.
Chimineas are used to give a space an authentic South Western look while providing warmth to your outdoors. Better yet, a chiminea is designed to function even when it’s raining without the flame being extinguished. The beauty of a chiminea is that one can use scented wood such as cedar and mesquite which give out a beautiful aroma around the fireplace.
There are different varieties of chimineas out there with designs from over the world. It’s possible to get overwhelmed on which chiminea to settle for especially when you have little information about these beautiful pieces of art. We have searched far and wide for some of the best chimineas available in the market that will for sure transform your outdoor space. Let’s dig in.
Top 10 Chimineas Of 2019 Reviewed
1. The Blue Rooster Cast Iron Casita ChimineaBest For Commercial Spaces
Made of heavy cast iron, this wood burning chiminea will definitely be a centerpiece in your commercial establishments such as a restaurant or campground. It’s both a fancy fireplace and an oven where you can cook your meals as you enjoy some nice warmth. Hidden behind the sunburst is a cast iron barbeque grill to help you quickly grill something over a wood fire which gives the food a beautiful taste.
The chiminea can also hold a 14 -16-inch pizza stone allowing you to prepare a delicious pizza over the grill. Included in the package are a mouth screen, a rain cover and a wooden tool. The chiminea is easy to clean and produces minimal smoke. You will also get a lifetime warranty with this product.
- Heavy cast iron construction
- Minimal smoke
- Easy to clean
- Cooking pizza on it requires a special technique
- The firebox is quite small
- Pizza door gets hot
2. BALI OUTDOORS Black ChimineaBest For Artificial Logs
This beautiful masterpiece is elegantly designed to bring ambiance to whichever space you choose to place it. The round wire mesh design allows everyone to view the fire from all directions. It also has a sliding door which easily opens so that you can conveniently add firewood and remove any ash left behind.
Instead of using clay, this chiminea is made of heavy cast iron that’s highly durable. The fire cage has a diameter of 22 inches and 20 inches high which allows it to hold a large amount of both wood and artificial logs. There’s also a two-piece log grate that allows adequate flow of air for better combustion. For stability, the chiminea has four sturdy legs made of cast iron that will last for long. It has a round roof that efficiently channels the smoke out without choking your guests.
- Sturdy legs for stability and secure placement
- 360-degree view of the fire
- Huge fire cage for holding the wood
- Doesn’t include a rain cover
- Rusts quickly if left outside
- Quite difficult to assemble
3. Deckmate Sonora Outdoor ChimeneaBest Embossed Design
The craftsmanship on this chiminea is to die for with embossed designs on the chimney that give it an authentic look. It also has a wire mesh spark screen which allows for a 360-degree view of the beautiful flames. Sturdily built handles that easily slide open to allow you to load your firewood. It also has an ash catcher which helps with easy removal of the ash and comes with a log grate and a fire poker for more convenience.
- Easily opens to log firewood
- 360-degree view of the fire
- Ash catcher for easy cleanup
- The metal grate may wear out quickly
- May rust if left uncovered
4. Blue Rooster Dragonfly CAST AluminumBest Rust Free Design
Due to the use of iron, most chimineas are prone to rust but this one is built of aluminum making it resistant to rust. It has a large firebox to allow you to load a large amount of firewood to generate enough fire for your cooking and warmth. The chiminea is easy to light and clean without making a mess with the ash.
For easy transportation, it’s made of aluminum that’s light in weight and has carrying handles. You will also get a rain cover, grilling insert and a mouth screen to ensure a smooth experience when using this beautiful chiminea. It also comes with a lifetime warranty to assure you of high-quality construction.
- Rust resistant
- Easy to transport
- Includes a rain lid
- May have toxic paint
- The latch is loosely bolted
- Some find the firebox too small for huge logs
5. Deckmate Corona Outdoor Chimenea
Comprised of designer embossing and a wire mesh screen, this chiminea will give your outdoor experience a nice touch. Its bulb shape allows you to view the fire from all angles making it a flexible chiminea. It also has a rain cover that helps it continue functioning even when it’s raining. The sliding door opens easily to allow you to add firewood which can be real wood or artificial logs.
The top is designed with a funnel that channels the smoke upwards. The classic color finish on this chiminea allows it to blend in easily with the natural look of your patio. It also has a steel grate that allows efficient flow of air which allows even burning of logs. A fire tool has been added to help shift the firewood and open the door screen safely.
- Efficient air flow
- All smoke is channeled upwards
- Includes a rain cover
- Doesn’t handle long logs
- Heavy for its size
6. Red Ember AltoBest For Small Spaces
If you are looking for a break from traditional looking chimineas, then this one will match your preferences with its modern look. It’s masterly crafted using steel with a deep black finish giving it an exquisite look. It’s designed for small spaces and may not be ideal for the large outdoors.
- Modern design
- Exquisite finish
- Easy to assemble
- Legs are wobbly
- Very small
- Rusts fast
7. Kotulas Outdoor Cooking Steel Chiminea
For large outdoors and spaces, this chiminea will provide adequate warmth and allow you to cook with its sturdy steel construction. It has a cabin style chiminea design that is built to provide maximum heat retention. It allows for the use of various types of fuel such as wood, charcoal, and artificial logs. The inside can be easily converted into a traditional brick oven by removing the adjustable grate. Allowing you to grill your meat, fish, and potatoes.
Its simplistic design adds functional elegance to your backyard allowing you to conveniently entertain your guests. The chiminea comes with a smokestack, a fire poker, and an ash catcher to ensure a user-friendly experience. Due to its minimalistic design, the assembly is a walk in the park. Weighing about 29 pounds, this chiminea is quite heavy but is built to last.
- Allows use of various fuel
- Easy to assemble design
- User-friendly features
- Pretty basic
- Not rust resistant
8. WHW Whole House Worlds Americana Garden Chiminea
Designed to provide an authentic look to your outdoor, this rustic looking chiminea will add some spice and act as a centerpiece to your backyard. It comes with a removable grill allowing you to cook on it and provide warmth to your guests. Its rustic look has been crafted using natural seawater and baked in sunshine. It’s light in weight and highly functional.
- Beautiful rustic look
- Highly functional
- Has a removable grill
- Doesn’t come with protective materials
- Doesn’t include a fire grate
- Too light
9. Sunnydaze Steel Chiminea
It comes in a nice compact size that saves you space but provides adequate warmth. With a diameter of 19 inches and 22 inches wide, you will get to enjoy that Mexican outdoor feeling in your backyard. It has a durable design due to the cold rolled steel construction that has been elegantly finished using beautiful black paint. Using wood as fuel and is easy to light up and including a 15-inch diameter wood grate with 1.5 inches between the bars to ensure sufficient air flow. Comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Sturdy steel construction
- 3 string legs for stability
- Sufficient air circulation
- Not for large crowds
- Doesn’t include a rain cover
- No screen to contain sparks
10. La Hacienda Murcia ChimeneaBest For Large Spaces
Just like its Mexican name, this classy looking will completely transform your patio/backyard. It’s large in size with a removable barbeques grill. The front has a mesh air vent to help with increased airflow for better combustion. It’s built using black paint that’s heat resistant. Included in the package are a barbeque grill, a fire poker, and a rain cover.
- Heat resistant paint finish
- Includes a rain cover and fire poker
- Mesh air vent for better combustion
- May rust if left uncovered
- Doesn’t cook a lot of food
- Some feel the quality of materials is wanting
Chiminea Buying Guide
For hundreds of years, Mexicans have used chimineas to keep warm as they whip up lovely meals for their families. Over time, the popularity of these fireplaces has risen and the design has evolved from traditional clay designs to metallic rustic looking products. Chimineas are used to give your backyard an authentic look as you entertain your loved ones and cook them some nice grilled food. Chimineas mostly use wood but some of them accommodate even artificial logs and charcoal.
Where Do I place a Chiminea?
Ideally, these Mexican fireplaces are designed to be placed outside since most of them have rain covers which means they can function even when there’s a downpour. For better functioning, it’s good for its back to face where the wind is blowing from. Since it has a long chimney at the top, it’s important to place it in a vertical position so that the smoke blows upwards away from your guests. For increased safety, chimineas should be placed on a concrete or brick floor.
Chiminea Care and Maintenance
Chimineas are prone to crack especially if made of clay or rust for the metallic ones. To minimize rusting, most have been coated with a paint finish but you need to apply a sealer before you start using the chiminea. You need to reapply this sealer every two months for extended service. During the et season, it’s advisable to cover the chiminea with a waterproof material to keep moisture that may cause rusting away. For easy removal of ashes, you can place sand, rocks or fire glass below the chiminea.
Things to Look Out For When Buying a Chiminea
- Construction – From the wide bottom to the long chimney, it’s important to ensure that your choice is expertly designed to accommodate all your needs. The exterior should have quality finish using non-toxic paint.
- Materials – Traditionally, chimineas are made of clay and terracotta which has a high heat retention ability but are delicate and crack easily. Modern designs are made of metal such as cast iron, steel, and aluminum. Metallic chimineas are stronger but are often coated with paint which may be toxic once it starts to burn.
- Size– Depending on the space available in your backyard or patio, you may want to pick the right size that won’t eat up too much space but still provide sufficient warmth.
- Fire cage – The size of the firebox should be large enough to accommodate a lot of firewood so that you don’t need to keep loading more which can be cumbersome especially when entertaining guests.
- Maintenance – Metallic chimineas are quite easy to maintain but you have to ensure that they have a rain cover and weather resistant construction.
With a chiminea, you have no reason not to invite friends over for a bonfire full of laughter and good food. Not only do these Mexican masterpieces add beauty to your backyard but they also ensure that your guests stay arm all through the night. We hope that this review has shed some light on these fireplaces that have been there for centuries and you have an idea of the best chimineas out there that will bring that authentic look to your backyard.