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chiminea

The UK's bestChimineas2022 Review

What To Look For in a Chimineas

The first decision is which construction material to choose. Clay chimineas are the most traditional and retain heat well, providing long-lasting warmth even after the fire dies down. Generally speaking, clay chimineas are the best choice if you have children or pets as they don’t get as hot as metal chimineas. 

If you have a larger garden or patio, you might want to consider a cast iron chiminea. They’re often bigger than clay and steel chimineas (around 100 – 150 cm tall), and they retain and radiate heat well. However, it’s worth considering the extra cost of fuel that comes with purchasing a larger design.

Steel chimineas offer the most variation in shape and size. Their decorative designs often make for an interesting focal point on the patio. Also, if you’re after something that’s portable and easy to manage, steel is the way to go. They weigh significantly less than clay and cast iron chimineas.  

Additionally, many modern chimineas double up as BBQs, so look out for an included grill if this is something that interests you.

Overall, I’ve chosen the Fire Vida Steel Chiminea as my top recommendation. This traditionally-shaped chiminea is ideal for medium-size patios. It’s 89 cm tall and 38 cm wide, painted black with a subtle ‘weathered’ finish; it offers a modern twist on a classic design and will suit most gardens. A range of accessories come included, such as a lid for rain protection, a spark guard to prevent accidents, and poker for safely opening the door. 

Check out the reviews below for more information about this chiminea as well as other excellent options.

What Are The UK's Best Chimineas?

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
best-chiminea Fire Vida Steel Chiminea
  • Black and antique gold finish
  • Range of accessories included
  • Long lasting construction
best-chiminea Deuba Gardebruk Chiminea
  • Extra-large cast iron chiminea
  • 112 cm tall
  • Removable grill rack
best-chiminea Kingfisher BBQ Time Chiminea
  • Large, stylish chiminea
  • Built-in spark guard
  • Perfect for logs or charcoal
best-chiminea Oxford Barbecues X-Large Steel Chiminea
  • Stylish, well-built chiminea
  • Easy to remove grill
  • Lightweight, easy to manoeuvre
best-chiminea La Hacienda Clay Chiminea
  • Red mottled clay
  • Handmade using traditional methods
  • Includes rain lid

Read Our Chiminea Reviews

B01GFZYWIO
5055998404113
Black and antique gold finish, Range of accessories included, Long lasting construction,

Fire Vida Steel Chiminea

best-chiminea Fire Vida Steel Chiminea
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Black and antique gold finish
  • Range of accessories included
  • Long lasting construction
RATING
100
PRICE
Check Price on Amazon

Fire Vida Steel Chiminea Review

The Fire Vida Steel Chiminea is another 360 degree chiminea with a black and antique gold finish. This steel chiminea is stylish and versatile, it looks good in any style of garden.

A lovely fusion of both modern and traditional, this chiminea is sure to be the perfect heating option for your garden, patio or terrace. It comes with a range of accessories, including a fire bowl, rain lid, charcoal grate, spark guard and even a poker.

Made from durable and sturdy steel, this chiminea will be a long lasting addition to your garden. If you’re looking for a versatile chiminea to warm any outdoor space, the Fire Vida Steel Chiminea is a great option.

B00CEW371G
4250525306149
Extra-large cast iron chiminea, 112 cm tall, Removable grill rack,

Deuba Gardebruk Chiminea

best-chiminea Deuba Gardebruk Chiminea
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Extra-large cast iron chiminea
  • 112 cm tall
  • Removable grill rack
RATING
99
PRICE
On sale at Amazon

Deuba Gardebruk Chiminea Review

For anyone looking for a large outdoor heat source, this Deuba Gardebruk Chiminea stands at 112 cm tall and has a wide body that can burn a substantial fire.

Whilst chimineas are often made from a range of different metals, this particular model is constructed entirely of cast iron; it not only distributes the heat evenly, but also results in a very sturdy structure overall.

It’s a wood burner that can fit several large logs inside, and also comes with a removable grill rack meaning that food can be cooked inside too. This makes it easier to spontaneously grill a couple of burgers or sausages without having to haul the entire BBQ out.

However, cooking on the chiminea isn’t an exact science: there’s no way to alter the height of the grill, so food can end up charred if the flames are too high.

Putting it together takes between 30 minutes to an hour, and is relatively straight forward to do, although the instructions aren’t very detailed. Getting all of the holes to line up during assembly can be difficult, but this can be helped by not fully tightening the screws until everything is together.

Once assembled, the chiminea weighs 28 kg so it’s best to put together in situ; it’s possible to move around with the help of two people, but easiest left in place. There’s also no cover included, so if it’s going to be left outside over winter it might be worth buying one separately.

Pros

  • Heat is distributed evenly thanks to cast iron construction
  • Removable grill means that food can be cooked in the chiminea
  • Suitable for medium-to-large size patios and gardens
  • Very stable in strong winds

Cons

  • Assembly instructions are only in the form of brief diagrams with no written instructions
  • When cooking food on the grill, it's not possible to alter the height of the grill to control cooking speed
  • Requires two people to move it around the garden due to its heavy weight and large size
B00IGAJYL2
5013478144355
Large, stylish chiminea, Built-in spark guard, Perfect for logs or charcoal,

Kingfisher BBQ Time Chiminea

best-chiminea Kingfisher BBQ Time Chiminea
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Large, stylish chiminea
  • Built-in spark guard
  • Perfect for logs or charcoal
RATING
98
PRICE
Check Price on Amazon

Kingfisher BBQ Time Chiminea Review

This Kingfisher BBQ Time Chiminea is a modern take on the traditional design; with a rectangular, black powder-coated steel construction, it’s quite different to round-bellied models.

Measuring 109 cm tall, the fire stands approximately 30 cm off the ground making it a good height for sitting around on the patio. Given that there are mesh walls on all sides, it also gives out direct heat from the fire through 360° so it can be placed in the middle of a group.

The log burner can be used as a BBQ as well, coming with a chrome-plated grill that can be positioned near the top of the chiminea to cook food on. There’s enough space on the grill to cook for approximately six people, which makes it a quick and viable option instead of getting out the main BBQ.

Overall, it measures 63.5 cm wide by 50 cm deep making it one of the best chimineas for small to medium patios. Thanks to its rectangular design, it can be moved into a corner when not in use.

It isn’t too difficult to move either, weighing just under 18 kg, so can be moved about, including in and out of storage, when necessary.

The powder-coated steel is likely to be more prone to rusting than cast iron would be, so it’s necessary to make sure the BBQ is stored well and kept relatively dry. There is a protective paint option that can be purchased separately which seems to work well to deter rust.

Pros

  • Compact design can fit into the corner of small/medium patios when not in use
  • Mesh sides allow heat to be felt all the way round the chiminea through 360°
  • Can be assembled quickly in between 15 - 45 minutes
  • Cooking area is large enough to serve 6 people

Cons

  • The steel may rust if it is not appropriately looked after (some customers choose to have it sprayed with rust-resistant paint)
  • Can dent easily and may require dents to be bashed out during assembly
B00D5DCE4Y
5055025561352
Stylish, well-built chiminea, Easy to remove grill, Lightweight, easy to manoeuvre,

Oxford Barbecues X-Large Steel Chiminea

best-chiminea Oxford Barbecues X-Large Steel Chiminea
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Stylish, well-built chiminea
  • Easy to remove grill
  • Lightweight, easy to manoeuvre
RATING
96
PRICE
Check Price on Amazon

Oxford Barbecues X-Large Steel Chiminea Review

Steel chimineas can be a lot more affordable than cast-iron ones, and this Oxford Barbecues X-Large Steel Chiminea is no exception. It’s a large size, at 50 cm in diameter, standing at 134 cm tall, yet a fraction of the price that a cast iron model would be.

There’s a big chrome-plated cooking grill included, suitable for cooking for several people if you choose to BBQ with it. Otherwise, it’s large enough to burn big logs to create a warming fire.

Assembly is relatively straight forward, and the instructions are clear and easy to follow. However, some pieces may need some persuasion to fit correctly. Also, it does state, even in the manual, that rusting is likely, but this is why steel products are cheaper than cast iron.

No protective cover is included, although this chiminea only weighs 8.7 kg so isn’t difficult to move from storage to the patio. This is another benefit of having a steel chiminea, because they’re much lighter to move around.

The tall chimney is positioned at a good height to keep stop smoke from engulfing guests when sitting out on the patio, and there is a mesh guard to protect from any jumping sparks.

Overall, this is one of the best chimineas on a budget, especially if you are looking for a large size. However, there are a few downsides as well. As mentioned, it is a little prone to rusting, and the overall finish isn’t of the highest quality. The paint may start to peel after a few uses, and some pieces can require bending in order to get them to fit in the first place.

Pros

  • Elegant and tall design that looks good in the corner of medium to large gardens
  • Grill is easy to position to quickly turn into BBQ
  • Tall chimney keeps smoke away from those sitting around the fire
  • Light enough to easily move in and out of storage

Cons

  • Paint may peel after a few uses
  • Steel construction does not retain heat in the same way as cast iron
  • Some of the pieces may need to be reshaped before they will align properly during assembly
  • Door latch does not always stay closed well
B008ETDI62
5055423114419,5055025670337
Red mottled clay, Handmade using traditional methods, Includes rain lid ,

La Hacienda Clay Chiminea

best-chiminea La Hacienda Clay Chiminea
FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Red mottled clay
  • Handmade using traditional methods
  • Includes rain lid
RATING
90
PRICE
Check Price on Amazon

La Hacienda Clay Chiminea Review

One of the most traditional-styles featured here, this La Hacienda Clay Chiminea has a classic shape with a red mottled finish. Each chiminea is handmade by artisans, constructed from clay in a traditional Mexican style, and hand painted.

It stands on a steel base which positions the fire at eye level when seated, helping to spread the heat, and it also retains warmth well.

In general, there’s a bit more preparation required with a clay chiminea than some other styles, and you need to start with gradual fires so as not to shock the clay. Therefore, it’s not the lowest maintenance option; however, this chiminea should stand up well against the elements in the long run.

There’s no grill option, so it doesn’t combine as a BBQ, but it does emit a lot of warmth as a heat source. There’s also a rain lid included, to stop water from coming down the chimney, although there’s no spark guard.

The overall footprint is 36 x 36 cm which is the same as the La Hacienda Circo Chiminea; this makes it another good option for fitting in a smaller space, as well as being one of the best chimineas if you’re looking for something authentic.

One of the main things to be aware of with this chiminea is how important it is to follow the preparation instructions carefully. Ensuring that the clay is cured will make it less likely to crack from heat.

Pros

  • Clay retains heat well so chiminea is good for spreading warmth
  • Produces a lot of heat so capable of warming medium-size areas
  • Fits securely into the included stand without feeling wobbly
  • Small footprint makes it suitable for smaller patios
  • Withstands UK weather well

Cons

  • Clay needs to be cured to prevent cracking unlike cast iron or steel chimineas

How to Choose The Best Chiminea

Chimineas have become more and more popular 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.

They make wonderful centrepieces for decking and patio areas, helping spread warmth throughout the year. Plus, some models will even allow you to grill in them!

Chimineas come in a wide range of styles, and some may be more suited to certain gardens than others. The following information will help you understand a bit more about the different designs available, and choose which will make the best chiminea for your garden.

Chimineas tend to be made from either clay, cast iron, or steel. Here’s a little more information about each material:

Clay

Clay chimineas are the ones you think of when you think ‘classic chiminea’ – they’re the most traditional.

They make good heaters; the clay shell retains heat well, making it an excellent source of warmth even after the fire dies. Clay models don’t tend to get as hot on the outside as metal chimineas, 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.

Whilst most traditional clay chimineas don’t have the option to place a grill inside and cook food, there are certain models that do. Clay chimineas that divide into two sections can be used as BBQs. In these instances, the chimney is removed leaving a circular base. A grill can then be rested on top of this base.

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 be more likely to cause disappointment.

Curing a Clay Chiminea

It’s important to properly cure a clay chiminea before lighting any big fires. This can take patience but is worth doing to protect the clay from cracking.

To cure a clay chiminea, first fill it 3/4 full with sand. This helps the heat to spread evenly. Use kindling and paper to create a small fire on top of the sand and allow it to burn itself out after approximately 5 minutes. Let everything cool down naturally. Then, clear out any ash and repeat this process approximately six times, allowing everything to completely cool before lighting the next fire. This process may take the best part of a day.

Clay chimineas are great if: you want something that will be safe around children and pets, you are looking for something traditional and decorative, and you primarily want to use it as a heat source.

A clay chiminea may not be right for you if: you want to burn coal, you don’t have a place to store it in winter (frost can cause clay to crack), or if you want something that’s easy to move around.

Cast Iron

Cast iron chimineas have an amazing ability for retaining heat and can help keep you warm outside. They’re especially good if you have a larger area to keep warm.

Cast iron chimineas can be quite large which is great news for using them as a heat source. The bigger the chiminea, the more fuel you can use to create a more intense fire. A lot of cast iron chimineas have the option for grilling food.

In a cast iron chiminea you can burn: wood, charcoal, paper, coal, etc. They can withstand 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, and you want to burn coal.

A cast iron chiminea may not be right for you if: you want to move it around a lot (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), or you don’t want to buy a separate protective cover.

Steel

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.

The biggest disadvantage of a steel chiminea is its heat retention. They don’t hold heat very well and you’ll most likely need to use more fuel to maintain heat compared to clay or cast iron burners. Steel models are only really suitable for small patios. However, many steel models double up as a BBQ and are very effective at grilling food.

In a steel chiminea you can burn: generally you can burn all types of fuel in a steel chiminea; however, it may be best to avoid burning coal as it may get too hot.

Steel chimineas are great if: you want to move the chiminea around a lot, you don’t want to do any maintenance, you want to grill on it regularly.

A steel chiminea may not 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.

Chimineas are available in a range of sizes. Height, diameter, and weight are all important considerations.

Generally speaking, large chimineas will be between 120 – 150 cm tall. Clay chimineas of this size tend to be big overall, with large mouths and the ability to produce a lot of heat. However, not all tall chimineas have space for large fires. Some more modern designs are tall because they have longer chimneys, or space for a log store underneath.

The height of the chiminea’s mouth is also worth bearing in mind; some chimineas have a mouth that is lower to the ground than others. A lower mouth may mean that the heat is felt more on your legs than on your body when sitting down outside.

Diameter will dictate how large of a fire can be made inside the chiminea. It will also determine the size of the grilling area if the chiminea doubles as a BBQ grill. Whilst most chimineas are at least 40 cm in diameter, you may want something larger if cooking for lots of people on the grill is a priority.

Finally, it’s important to be aware that not all chimineas are light enough to move around easily. Whilst some steel models can be carried by one person, the majority of clay and cast iron chimineas will require at least two. If you want to frequently move your chiminea around the garden, or in and out of storage, keep an eye on the weight of the chimineas you’re looking at.

Chimineas are available in a range of designs, so it really comes down to personal preference.

Traditional clay chimineas look great in most gardens, regardless of the style of garden or furniture. They’re versatile enough to fit in with both a modern or classic aesthetic. As mentioned, you’ll need enough space to store a clay chiminea over winter, so if you don’t have much room in your outbuildings, you may need to consider a different design.

Cast iron chimineas can still look quite traditional, at least in shape. 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. This may suit gardens that already have industrial design features.

Steel chimineas tend to look a lot more modern. They can have sleek, minimalist designs and may not resemble traditional chimineas. They are suitable for small patios and, depending on their design, can be some of best chimineas to sit around at social gatherings. This is because some steel chimineas have mesh sides which allow heat to be felt through 360°, around all sides of the chiminea.

Chiminea FAQs

This depends on the type of chiminea. Coal burns extremely hot, so isn’t suitable for clay chimineas. Cast iron and steel chimineas can often use any fuel source, including charcoal and coal, but you should burn these fuels carefully. Thin steel can still warp if it gets too hot, so it may be best to avoid burning coal.

If safety is your priority, a chiminea is a good option. They keeps the flames more enclosed than a firepit, and often have a spark guard. Generally speaking 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, but fire pits can be better for socialising around. They can be accessed from all sides, and give off heat on all sides, making them useful for parties and gatherings.

For smaller gardens, chimineas are a great option. With their 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. These materials help evenly spread the heat which can help prevent damage to the chiminea. They can also help the chiminea retain heat for longer.

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