Best Chiminea for the Perfect Dream Backyard

A chiminea can add a beautiful elegance to your backyard like few other pieces can. These front-loading, freestanding fireplaces have become especially popular recently but the question remains: what is the best chiminea for my backyard? There are many factors at play and it will ultimately come down to the unique look you are striving to achieve in your backyard, but the best chiminea is most definitely out there somewhere and there are plenty of ways to identify it.

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What is a Chiminea?

Simply put, a chiminea is a self-contained fireplace that can stand freely anywhere that it is placed. Some people mistake them for fire pits or outdoor fireplaces but a chiminea actually comes with completely different advantages and disadvantages to the former two products. Chimineas will typically come in three types: clay, cast iron and steel. All three models of chiminea came from Mexican design throughout the years with clay being the most primitive.

Each type of chiminea will have different performance standards and manner of performing in general.

This is a major reason why it is important to understand what you are looking for in a chiminea before biting the bullet and buying one.​

The Perks of a Chiminea

A chiminea’s biggest perk is the fact that it is a piece of art even when it is not in use. Many chimineas come in beautiful and elegant designs that help add a touch of character to the area that they are placed. If you are a fan of hosting parties in your backyard then a chiminea might be just what you need to perk up the place.

A fire pit is nice but with every use you are going to be faced with a messy cleanup. A chiminea has the same problem but the cleanup required is actually a lot more minimal than a standard fire pit. If your yard is particularly windy a chiminea might be useful as well. Their covers will allow the fire to keep burning without any ash or debris being accidentally flung into you or your guests’ faces.​

Some Assembly / Maintenance Required?​

For clay chimineas you only need to follow very basic steps to ready it: place the stand, position the chiminea and then fill the bottom with sand or lava stones. With cast iron or steel chimineas you might be looking at more assembly as these tend to come in packages with multiple parts to a single unit. A clay chiminea is the easiest to lift when moving it into position but steel and cast iron are going to be a bit more difficult.

As for maintenance, one of the great things about choosing the best chiminea for you is that there is very little maintenance involved. Simply cleaning the ash and debris after use will typically suffice to keep your chiminea looking pristine. If the paint on a clay chiminea begins to chip then you can easily fix it with emulsion paint. Out of all three kinds a clay chiminea is going to typically require the least amount of maintenance to maintain.

If you plan to leave your chiminea out year round than you are probably going to want to buy some kind of cover for it, especially in areas where there is lots of rainfall. They work like a traditional grill cover but will typically be a bit bigger to cover the entire chiminea. The cast iron chimineas are the ones that tend to last the longest out of the three in any given condition but with proper care and assembly a good chiminea can easily last a long time.

Safety

Once you have chosen the best chiminea for your patio or yard, you might have a worry towards the safety of the device, especially if you have young children or pets. A chiminea is much like any kind of fireplace or fire pit in that, by following proper instructions and assembly requirements, your pets and children should never be in harms’ way.

You should take into account where your chiminea is placed, if it has any kind of guard or cover on the front of it and if and when your children or pets might have access to it while you might be away. So long as your children do not have access to dry wood or anything that can prove flammable or provide a way to start a fire then there is little reason to worry. As with any kind of fire place it is recommended to take the standard precautions to protect yourself, your family and your guests.

How do I choose the best Chiminea to buy?

Ask yourself:

  • What kind of chiminea will look best in my yard?
  • What type of chiminea will work best for me and the weather conditions I live in? A chiminea in UK weather, for example, will probably need a year round cover to protect it against the rain.
  • How often am I going to be using my chiminea?
  • Will I have access to the typical dry wood used to fuel chimineas in order to make the best use of it?
  • What chiminea should I choose that will fit my budget or will be worth it for the money?
  • Do I want a chiminea that works for heat specifically or one that that will function for cooking as well?

That, along with your budget and yard size, will give you a great idea on where to start when it comes to choosing the best chiminea for you.

Highly Reviewed Chimineas to Point You in the Right Direction

#1. The Blue Rooster Dragonfly Chiminea in Charcoal

Via Amazon.com

What we like:

  • Beautiful design
  • Highly-rated
  • Sturdy
  • Easy to put together

    What we don't like:

    • Paint chips easily
    • Chimney screen rusts easily
    • Assembly can be initially confusing

    #2. Aluminum Wood Prairie Chiminea Finish: Charcoal

    Via Amazon.com

    What we like:

    • Non-rusting solid cast aluminum alloy body
    • Removable rain lid
    • Safe for grilling
    • High warmth output

      What we don't like:

      • Model is heavy, making movement difficult
      • Cooking capacity is limited

      #3. Oakland Living Leaf Decorative Outdoor Chiminea, 45-inch, Antique Bronze

      Via Amazon.com

      What we like:

      • Reasonable price
      • Chip and crack resistant
      • Antique pewter design

        What we don't like:

        • Doesn’t always match the size or look as shown in the picture
        • Delivery can be difficult when made at home
        • Size can make movement difficult

        #4. The Blue Rooster Gatsby Chiminea in Gold Accent

        Via Amazon.com

        What we like:

        • Comes with free bottle of paint for any repainting needs
        • Non-rust solid cast aluminum make
        • Comes with a removable rain lid

          What we don't like:

          • Model needs to be repainted every few years
          • On the smaller size when compared with other chiminea models

          #5. The Blue Rooster Cast Iron Casita Chiminea

          Via Amazon.com

          What we like:

          • Steel supports and hardware make for longer durability
          • Assembly is simple
          • Spacious enough for grilling and 15” wooden logs

            What we don't like:

            • Oven space is still relatively small
            • No included cover
            • Higher maintenance when it comes to cleaning

            Which model comes out on top?

            Via Amazon.com

            Blue Rooster Cast Iron Casita Chiminea

            Given the number of reviews versus the overall scores, the best chiminea model seems to be the Blue Rooster Cast Iron Casita Chiminea. It is rated highly by buyers, comes with a large oven space and is one of the better made in the Blue Rooster line, which is already one of the largest purveyors of chimineas. Ultimately, choosing the best chiminea for your backyard will come down to personal style, preferred type and the conditions of the weather in your area. Now you will have a better understanding of chimineas and how to choose the best one for yourself and your yard.

            Amelia
             

            Amelia Robinson is a lover of plants and gardens, as well as an educator on this topic. It’s her goal to make sure that you get the chance to learn what you need to about gardening to succeed with your own home garden at the blog RobinsonLovePlants.com. You’re not going to find just a collection of basic articles about gardening here. Instead, she wants to answer the difficult questions for you. She tweets at @robinsonplants

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