In this guide we’ll take a look at the best chimineas for the UK market.
I’ve compared design, size, safety and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What is the Best Chiminea?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
Excellent heat source and practical BBQ!
This Deuba Cast Iron Chiminea stands at an impressive 112 cm tall and is made of incredibly strong cast iron. It is very sturdy and can function both as a heat source and a BBQ. The included grilling rack has wooden handles for safety.
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Chiminea Reviews
Deuba Cast Iron Chiminea Review
This Deuba Cast Iron Chiminea is an impressively large, solid, cast iron unit – undoubtedly the best chiminea for people who want a permanent addition to their garden.
This impressive chiminea can function both as a large BBQ and a patio heater; it weighs an impressive 28 kg.
It’s robust and very sturdy, as you would expect. It has a removable grill rack, with a wooden handle that is cool to the touch, providing the perfect set up for BBQs.
It looks great and is extremely functional; one minute you can be cooking your BBQ on it, and the next filling it with wood or coal as a convenient patio heater.
If you are looking for the best chiminea which can do it all – this is a fantastically versatile unit!
Kingfisher BBQ Time Log Burner Chiminea Review
This Kingfisher BBQ Time Log Burner Chiminea is a modern take on the traditional chiminea. It is made of quality black steel and sure to be the focal point of any garden.
It sits on four sturdy legs and is rectangular, unlike traditional round chimineas. As a result, it offers warmth on all four sides. Each side is protected by a black mesh which shields against sparks.
This chiminea has a large hinged door making it easy to refuel. It’s large enough to handle medium-sized logs, wood and charcoal, plus it comes with a removable ash tray to make cleaning hassle free.
Oxford Barbecues X-Large Steel Chiminea Review
This Oxford Barbecues X-Large Steel Chiminea comes in a distinctive design, manufactured in heat-resistant steel with a black finish.
It stands at an impressive 134 cm and comes flat packed. Don’t let this put you off though – it’s very simple to put together.
If you fancy an atmospheric BBQ, this chiminea can also be fuelled with charcoal ready to do some grilling. The grill is easy to remove, allowing you to fill the base with wood.
With a log-burning fire inside it can be used as a beautiful light and heat source for those late summer evenings.
At just 11.4 kg this chiminea is also fairly lightweight, certainly compared to others on this list which are twice the weight. This allows it to be moved around if required, even after assembly.
La Hacienda Circo Black Steel Chiminea Review
If you’re looking for something a little different, something a little more modern and futuristic, cast your eyes over this La Hacienda Circo Black Steel Chiminea.
It certainly has the ‘wow’ factor and stands out a mile alongside more traditional chimineas.
It is made from black steel and comes in two parts for easy installation. The wood burner sits on top of a handy wood store which lets you keep your fuel within easy reach.
This modern interpretation on a classic chiminea is built primarily for warmth; there’s no BBQ grill included.
But if you’re after something which is aesthetically interesting, will keep you warm, and you already have a BBQ… it’s definitely one of the best chimineas to compliment a modern garden!
La Hacienda Dark Red Clay Chiminea Review
Back to a more traditional shape with this next offering from La Hacienda. In fact, we’re almost stepping back in time with this one: the red mottled-clay chiminea wouldn’t look out of place 400 years ago in a Mexican villa.
This La Hacienda Dark Red Clay Chiminea is hand crafted using traditional methods, so each one is a little bit unique.
It stands safely on a steel base which positions the fire at your eye line level when you are seated. This ensures the heat is delivered more evenly, letting you enjoy the great outdoors for even longer this year!
La Hacienda Manoa Chiminea Review
Whilst the previous model from La Hacienda was clearly based on a more traditional style chiminea, this La Hacienda Manoa Chiminea is another modern interpretation.
This is one of the best chimineas I’ve seen in terms of design; not only is it practical but it is genuinely striking and stunning.
It has been designed from a minimalist perspective but is also practical with its space for wood storage underneath the fire area. You can keep your organised and within easy reach and organised.
It is sturdy and robust, made from black powder coated steel which is manufactured to withstand the highest of temperatures.
It stands at 150 cm tall and its simple laser cut design is sure to receives compliments from your guests as you sit around enjoying its warmth.
La Hacienda Clay Chiminea Barbecue Review
La Hacienda are a company that specialise in chimineas of all shapes and sizes. From traditional shaped chimineas, to modern versions, as well as handmade clay models that look like they’ve been passed down through the generations.
This La Hacienda Clay Chiminea Barbecue is closer to the older looking clay versions but comes in a very distinctive yellow and brown pattern, giving it a unique feel.
Although it’s an older-style design, it’s got some modern-day innovation working for it too. The whole chimney portion can be removed and the included grill can be added, turning it into a fantastic BBQ!
Slate effect Gas Fire Pit Chiminea Review
If you’re serious about your patio heating and want to make a significant investment in something a little different, you might well find this Slate effect Gas Fire Pit Chiminea is the best chiminea for you!
The fire pit itself sits on top of a column which has been designed to look like slate brickwork. This column is large enough to conceal the 9 kg propane gas bottle that powers the flame in the pit.
The flame is clean, without sparks or debris, and can easily be controlled from high to low by turning the dials.
This model also comes with a sturdy waterproof cover.
Things to Know Before Buying a Chiminea
Chimineas have grown rapidly in popularity over the last few years, especially here in the UK. It’s not hard to see why, given that they are both attractive and functional.
These atmospheric heaters make wonderful centrepieces for your decking or patio, helping to keep you warm on cooler summer evenings. The best chimineas around will even allow you to grill in them!
If you’re considering purchasing a chiminea but aren’t sure where to start, the following tips will help you make an informed decision:
There are three main materials that chimineas tend to be made from. Here you have the pros and cons of each:
The clay chiminea is the original and most traditional. Originating from Mexico, these tend to be the most iconic – the style you think of when you think of a homely, rustic chiminea.
The clay shell retains heat, making it an excellent source of warmth even after the fire dies. These models don’t tend to get as hot as metal alternatives which is good to bear in mind if you have small children or pets.
In a clay chiminea you can burn: wood, paper and dry garden waste.
You must not burn coal or charcoal in a clay chiminea – it burns too hot and will cause the clay to crack.
Clay chimineas that divide into two sections can be used as BBQs. The chimney is removed, leaving a circular base. A grill can then be rested on top of this base. These tend to be on the smaller side, as BBQs go, but perfectly suited to cooking a few burgers, sausages, or veggies.
Your best bet, when looking for a clay chiminea, is to go for a well-known brand who make artisan, handmade models. This is the way to ensure you get an authentic, high-quality product and not a cheap, batch-produced imitation. The latter will only cause disappointment.
Brands like La Hacienda are well known for creating quality clay chimineas.
Clay chimineas are great if: you want something that will be safe around children and pets, you are looking for something traditional and decorative, you mostly want to use it as a heat source.
A clay chiminea may not be right for you if: you want to burn coal, you won’t be able to store it in winter (frost can cause clay to crack), you want something that’s easy to manoeuvre.
Cast iron chimineas are a more modern offering.
They have an amazing ability for retaining heat and can really help keep you warm outside. They’re especially good if you have a larger area to keep warm.
Cast iron chimineas are often pretty big. This is great news for keeping warm; the bigger the chiminea, the more fuel you can use to create a more intense fire.
Thanks to the size of their ‘belly’, these chimineas tend to well equipped to grill all sorts of food.
In a cast iron chiminea you can burn: wood, charcoal, paper, coal… they can stand higher temperatures than clay models so you’re not limited on fuel type.
Cast iron chimineas are great if: you want to use your chiminea regularly as a grill, you want to heat a large area, you want to burn coal.
A cast iron chiminea may not be right for you if: want to move it around (these models are HEAVY), you don’t want to do any maintenance (they may rust and require you to buff off the rust and treat them with paint before winter), you don’t want to buy a protective cover.
Steel chimineas offer the most variation when it comes to shape and size.
They can often be highly decorative, with laser-cut designs, and can take on a much more modern appearance than clay or cast iron models.
Steel is a lot lighter than both cast iron and clay, so you may opt for steel if you want a lot of flexibility in terms of chiminea placement.
These chimineas are also much less likely to rust than cast iron ones.
The biggest disadvantage of a steel chiminea is its heat retention – you’ll most likely need to use a lot more fuel to create heat compared to clay or cast iron burners. Steel models are only really suitable for small patios.
Many steel chimineas double up as BBQs and are very effective at grilling food.
In a steel chiminea you can burn: all types of fuel. However, if your steel chiminea is quite thin, avoid burning coal as it will be too hot.
Steel chimineas are great if: you want to move it around a lot, you don’t want to do any maintenance, you want to grill on it regularly.
A steel chiminea may no be right for you if: you’re trying to heat a medium-large patio, you want to burn the least fuel possible, you want a traditional design.
If you have pets or young children, safety will be even more of a consideration when choosing the best chiminea for your garden.
Chimineas that come with a spark guard will keep curious noses and fingers away from the fire. This is highly recommended, especially with very young children around.
Clay chimineas are one of the safest options in terms of exterior heat. Although the outside of a clay chiminea will get hot, the clay material doesn’t tend to cause a serious burn when touched. This makes them a slightly safer option than iron or steel, which can stay hot enough to cause burns long after the fire has been put out.
Chimineas are available in a range of sizes. Height, diameter, and weight are all important considerations.
Most traditional chimineas are around 1 m tall, but smaller and larger options are available.
Larger chimineas may be entirely practical – simply enlarged versions of smaller models – or they may be taller due to having a more modern design. They may have taller chimneys or extra height allowing a log store to fit underneath.
In general, the benefit of a large chiminea is that it can burn more fuel and create a more intense fire. If there are several size options available, professionals tend to recommend that you buy the biggest one (that you can still comfortably fit in your space!) to give you the most flexibility.
With a big chiminea, if you only want a small fire, you don’t have to use as much fuel. But, if you do want the option of a large fire, you will have the space to do so when you wish. If your chiminea is too small, there will always be a limit on how big a fire you can make.
If you’re craving the charm of a chiminea but you lack space in your garden, small models are available. These smaller models are also easier to move around, no matter what they’re made from, which may suit some people better.
Chimineas are available in a range of designs, so it really comes down to personal preference.
If you’re after a rustic aesthetic, a traditional clay chiminea is a great option. These look great in most gardens, and are classic models.
If you fancy something a little more contemporary, cast iron and steel chimineas each add their own unique stamp to your space.
Many cast iron chimineas still look quite traditional, in shape, at least. They often maintain the same form as the original clay chimineas. In general, this traditional shape, combined with their cast iron construction, creates a slightly more modern ‘industrial’ effect.
Steel chimineas tend to look a lot more modern. They often come with a sleek, minimalist design that makes them look like a contemporary piece of art rather than a standard chiminea. They create a very striking focal point in the garden, which might be just what you’re after!
This depends on the type of chiminea. Coal burns extremely hot, so isn’t suitable for clay chimineas. Cast iron and steel chimineas can use any fuel source, including charcoal and coal.
If safety is your priority, I recommend opting for a chiminea. They are safer for families with kids and pets, as they don’t have an open flame.
Chimineas offer more of a rustic look than fire pits. Fire pits provide ambiance and atmosphere, and are perfect for socialising around. They can be accessed from all sides, making them perfect for parties.
For smaller gardens, chimineas are a great option. They are warm, rustic and safe, with contained flames. There’s much less concern about hot ash and sparks than with a fire pit.
It is recommended to put sand, pea gravel or lava rock in the bottom of your chiminea. This is regardless of whether it’s made from clay, cast iron or steel. Sand in the bottom of a clay chiminea will protect the bottom from very high temperatures by spreading the heat evenly.