“ Type: Chiminea / Fire Pit „
It's summer time once again and in the usual way British weather unfolds we all know that the nights will be light and, if the last few summers are anything to go by, will be a little bit on the nippy side. But, as we Brits tend to just 'get on with it', we will still insist on sitting on our patios, or decking, with the idea of enjoying the terrible summer evenings we always seem to get.
The only dilemma being how do we keep that chill off our bones as we sit outside on them clear summer evenings drinking our Pimms and ice, (or what ever tipple you prefer). Fortunately, the good old boffins have come up with lots of ideas which will help keep us warm on those chilly summer evenings, from massive patio heaters that can punch a hole in the ozone layer in a millisecond to the good old fashioned 'putting on another jumper' brigade.
But personally I have found what I believe to be a cracking patio warmer which is 'quite' safe to the environment and it doubles as a cracking way to get rid of all your personal paper files instead of shredding them. The cracking idea I have found, and which I have had stuck in my garden for the past few years is the solid and quite butch looking la Hacienda Cast Iron Chimenea.
Well, there are a few different types, but the one I have sat in my garden is bronze in colour and looks very similar to what can only be described as a football on legs with a tube sticking from the top of it.
On either side of the main body, (the 'football') there are handles which hang loosely to give it a neat look. The three legs which the main body stand on are slightly curved but still seem sturdy enough to stop the solid body from toppling over.
As for the flue, well, this really does look splendid as it towers above the main unit, giving the entire burner a really good look to it.
The whole thing is a good size with the main body being a good 420mm in diameter and the entire thing standing a good metre high. Plus, there's absolutely no chance of this blowing over in the wind as it's made of cast iron and weighs quite a bit, ( I don't know the exact weight but it's heavy enough to stand upright yet isn't too heavy to crash through your decking).
There is an arched shape metal grate on the front which, when opened, allows you to throw in what ever you want, (giving you that perfect opportunity to get rid of all that incriminating evidence that you're hiding from the taxman maybe... only kidding, but then again...)
Anyway, inside the 'body' there is a 'shelf' which swings in and out, giving you an option of using it as an aid to cooking something like a baked potato or the like, (wrap it up in tin foil first though or it'll end up as black as a bailiffs heart).
As it's made of cast iron you know it will last through all types of weather and will laugh out load at the fire that will burn within its rounded belly.
WHAT DO I THINK OF IT THEN?
I love this little beauty and use it as often as I can, enjoying the fact that I can sit on my patio on those slightly chilly evenings enjoying my Pimms. 'what say?
I have always found this so easy to use, being able to get the contents inside ignited with in a few seconds.
The good size body allows a lot of 'fuel fodder' to be added so as to keep the heat at a constantly good state.
When I'm using it, as in burning all those logs and bits of paper in it, I certainly feel the heat coming from it, not just from the front opening but from the entire unit, which, by the way, and is very important to remember, remains very very hot for a while after the fire has been extinguished so please don't touch it or it will hurt a lot.
The three legs may look a little delicate but they are surprisingly strong, considering they do have to handle the entire weight of the 'burner', and they won't let you down.
Then there's the grate at the front which does a cracking job at stopping any hot ash from spitting out and damaging your precious patio or decking, saving you money and that embarrassing phone call to the fire brigade.
One thought though before you rush off out to get yourself one of these patio heaters is that you will have to put it together as it does come in a few parts, namely the main body with the legs already attached, then there's the 'flue' an finally the small lid with sits proudly on top of the flue. But it is a simple task and took me a matter of minutes to construct.
If you do want to get your hands on one of these then you may want to know the price, well, I managed to get mine a few years ago for just over £80, which was on a sale back then, but after a quick search around I have found that the prices range drastically from around £70.00 to a massive £125.00.
If you can get one of these for less than a hundred quid then go for it as you wont regret it one bit, although even for the £125 mark you're still getting an attractive garden ornament which will keep you warm on a chilly summers evening and is also good for disposing of those bank statements you usually shred.
One last thing... and I know I've already mentioned this but as I feel this is very important I will state it again...
This unit does get very hot during use and stays hot for a long while afterwards so do not allow anyone to touch any part of it when it is or has been used. Trust me, I've had a few burns off mine through pure stupidity.
Knowing that I need some form of heating in my garden for those long summer nights to come, I decided to look for a patio heater, I didn't want one of the standing heaters, you know like the ones that have in pub beer gardens, mainly because I don't want the extra expense of electricity bills, but there's also the fact that you really can't regulate the heat in them and if you stand too close to one you are likely to suffer from burns, This has happened to my husband in the past, so to avoid it we decided to look at Chimineas.
A Chiminea is a free standing unit made from either Terracotta or Cast Iron, they are used as patio heaters , generally in smaller gardens.The Chiminea is used by filling with fuel, either wood crushed paper or barbecue coals, and lighting.It is only to be used as a patio heater as opposed to an outside furnace.When it is alight it gives you all the attributes of an open fire ,but it is contained in an amphora like vessel and used outside.
I found a great Chiminea through amazon.co.uk it's made of cast Iron .The reason I chose this particular Chiminea was because it also has a swing out grill built in for barbecuing food. So Basically I don't need to buy a separate Barbecue.
The Chiminea arrived in an extremely small package and for a second we thought they had delivered the wrong item, not so ! on opening the box which weighs in excess of 3 stone you find all the various parts of the Chiminea ready to be assembled..these are
9 35mm bolts
8 20mm bolts
17 sets of nuts washers and nuts
1 cooking grill and bracket pin
1 rain lid and handle
1 flue grate
1 bottom bowl
1 cooking grill
1 mesh door
1 mesh door handle
2 side handles
1 fuel grate
1 air vent
2 air vent ad door latch
1 top bowl
To assemble this particular Chiminea you need 2 people, don't assume that you can do it alone, it is very heavy and 2 people are required to ensure that the legs are attached safely.you attach the legs to the bottom bowl and bolt from the inside , in my opinion this is the most awkward part of the assembly as you have to twist your hands to get inside.after you've done that you align the top bowl with the bottom one, and secure it with 3 brackets, then place the flue on the top of the top bowl and put the flue grate into it.
Attach the handles to the top bowl , again from the inside, (more finger twisting and extortion's required).Then the mesh door its says to attach the mesh door handle after but personally I found it easier to fix it before placing the door on the Chiminea.next attach the air vent to the bottom bowl, and again with the latch.Onto attaching the cooking grill this is the most simple step in assembly, you just slide it over a preformed hole in the grill,Penultimately you attach the rain lid to the pre attached bolt at the top of the flue and finally place the fuel grate in the bottom.
From first opening the box to having a ready to use Chiminea 3 hours.I don't believe you could do it any faster as its quite tricky getting inside to attach and tighten all of the bolts.
Advice on care for cast Iron chiminea...The high tempreture paint coating needs to be re-coated every 4-6 months to avoid rusting, this obviously isn't an issue with a terracotta chiminea but you can leave a Cast Iron one outside without fear that frost will damage or crack it.
As I said I got mine from amazon for £57.99 +£6.95 shipping and handling, which I consider to be a bargain as this Chiminea is selling in B&Q at around £139.99.
I think this Chiminea is not only a great patio heater, it's also a focul point in the garden, whether you are sitting next to it for warmth, losing yourself in the flame , or using the grilling and babecue facility.To me I believe I got a real bargain and would recommend this to everyone,
Add warmth atmosphere and cook on with this superb chimenea! All the components of these Chimeneas are sand cast in solid cast iron even including the flues. There is no weaker & cheaper rolled steel used! Assembly of your chimenea is easy and quick and should you ever require any spare parts a full range is always kept in stock. By its very nature cast iron will rust over time even though the surfaces have been treated with a high temperature resistant finish. Surface rusting is to be expected but this is cosmetic and in no way affects the performance of the chimenea. Height - 85cm Diameter - 40cm Weight - 27Kg Supplied with swing out cast iron cooking grill & protective lid