“ Type: Chiminea / Fire Pit „
I always thought of these things as more just a Garden decoration and not as functonal as they actually are. Looking for ideas to spruce up out Garden we got 1 of these the other year and although it looks nice just standing in the Garden it's good when it is on as well.
We got 1 of these out of a local small department store. It cost £49.99. There was different sizes of these, and we got the smallest one. It is still pretty big though.
These are made out of Cast Iron and like the dooyoo picture shows it is a ball shaped thing which goes thinner as it goes up. There is only the 1 opening on these which is on the bottom bit and the whole thing stands off the ground with Iron legs.
What you do with these is you make a Fire inside them, but putting it into the open part. You can use whatever you want to set on fire. Some people use Wood, which we sometimes do, but you don't want it all to smell like a Bonfire - well I don't anyway. It's a good way to get rid of Garden waste as well. This heats up the inside and you can stand at this and get a heat. The glow from the open part is nice as well. With this being Iron the unit gets pretty hot as well, so be careful where you place this. The good thing about the sort of tapered top part is that the Smoke goes out the top and doesn't blow is all around at the same level as the bottom part.
This makes a great Garden feature as a decoration, and also a nice Fire feature. It will add a bit heat to the outsides.
When these first came out a few years ago I never really understood what it was. But then we were at a friend's BBQ a few months ago and he had one of these things going in the garden, a nice little roaring flame inside this sort of elongated pot affair, and everyone was stood around it chatting away and warming themselves up against the evening chill.
We spend a fair amount of time out in the garden and decided that we could use one of these chiminea things in the cooler evenings. Hence, we managed to find this one in our local garden centre. At the time it cost us £55, and for that we got a cast iron elongated bulbous pot that is roughly shaped like a pear with an opening at the front. The whole lot then stands on a metal stand to keep it upright and is just under a metre tall.
The idea is that you light a fire inside, by putting wood or whatever you want to burn through the opening at the front. We live near some woods where we take the dogs for a walk, and any large branches that have fallen down we tend to collect and drag them home, cut them up and burn in this thing. We've also burned charcoal, paper and just about anything else that is burnable that could fit through the front opening. We spent one evening sitting outside just burning the garden waste and leafs one evening whilst enjoying a casual meal and a drink.
When it does get going, the internal fire and flames heat the whole lot up to radiate heat outwards. Of note, it does get very hot and can generate a lot of heat, which is good for those chilly evenings, but you also need to make sure it is not too close to anything like a fence or tree, because it will be difficult to move when it is hot.
I found at the BBQ that we went to that it almost becomes a sort of tribal gathering point, where tribesman used to gather around the camp fire at night to socialise together and keep warm, and this chiminea creates the same effect, with the fire roaring away inside and everyone gathering around to socialise and keep warm.
One of the good design features about it is that the chiminea narrows towards the top to create a sort of chimney, and this channels the smoke upwards and away from those standing around it.
There are various varieties and configurations of these chimineas and they seem to come in either clay or cast iron. Personally, whilst the clay is good, I'm not sure how robust it would be with the effects of the high heat levels over time, and if you intend to leave it out all winter, could it be guaranteed to be frost proof? Hence, went for the cast iron Tibor Chiminea version which I would hope, and have found, to be a little more robust. It does certainly seem to generate a little more heat than the similar clay versions that we have seen in action elsewhere.
So overall, if you do enjoy spending time in the garden in the evening and want an outdoor heater that is cheap to run, then I could highly recommend these chimineas to you.
A Chiminea - what????
That was my first reaction to my mum when she told me many years ago that she had bought one for the garden! I had never heard of them before, and when my mum showed it to me, I had never seen one either! Although this was about 8 years ago, and since then they have grown in popularity, and I would guess that most people know what they are now..
A Chiminea ( also spelt chimenea, or chimnea) is basically an outdoor heater, which is usually constructed of cast iron, steel, or more traditionally clay.
Chiminea's act as a kind of oven, they are filled with a fuel to burn such as coal, wood, paper etc, and set alight, and the heat produced inside the chiminea is quickly conducted into the shell of the chiminea, and can be felt from sitting around the perimeter of the chiminea.
A great plus to this design of heater, as opposed to a simple fire on the floor, is that the smoke exits the chiminea at the top of the unit, which acts as a kind of chimney, to send the smoke up into the air, and keep it out of your face. Also the bottom of the chiminea collects all the ash, and burnt debris, and so this keeps the patio clean, and makes clearing up the next day a lot easier.
I have owned my Chiminea for about 3 years now, and it has been a fantastic asset to my patio. Mine is constructed from Cast Iron, which are generally a little more expensive than clay, but I chose cast iron because I was concerned about the damage that might happen to a clay constructed chiminea. Cast Iron is a lot more durable, and will not smash if the chiminea falls over, and is also not likely to suffer damage from water ingress which can cause clay ones to crack.
I use it most during the spring or autumn, in my back garden to help keep any visitors warm when enjoying a drink outside - especially in the evening.
I tend to put all unwanted paper leaflets, torn up bills, statements, advertising leaflets to one side, and then I put them into the chiminea when I initially light it, to help get it going, and once flames are visible, I usually put small twigs in, followed by larger lumps of wood once the fire is ready.
One thing to remember though is that Chiminea's do get extremely hot on the external surfaces, so extreme care is needed to prevent children - or even adults from learning on the surface, or placing any part of their body onto it!!
Also due to the piping hot surfaces, the chiminea must be positioned carefully so that it is not in contact, or even close to any heat sensitive materials, such as plastics, fabrics, woods etc.
My Cast iron Chiminea cost me £90 and is an 85 cm tall design.
It is suported by three strong legs, which make it feel strong and sturdy, as does the fairly weighty feel to the Chiminea.
Prices have dropped to almost half that now, and there are a huge range of sizes and shapes available today. A lot of the newer designs also have an option of a grill plate, which is attached to a hinge, and swings into the heat of the chiminea and can be used to cook on - similar to a barbecue.
Overall I have been very pleased with it, and still love to use it. The Chiminea gives out a great heat, and presents a lovely crisp, sparkley natural fire light, which is very enticing on the eye. It is ideal for finishing off a great day outdoors, as the temperature cools down during the evening, and the containment of the ashes, makes it an easy task to clean up after use.
Thanks for reading.
© L500589 2010
I bought one of these chimineas last year when the weather started to turn after the end of summer so if friends were over we could still sit outside and enjoy the evenings. It has definitely been a worthwhile purchase and we have used it frequently over the past year.
One thing to note is that chinineas are very heavy so be prepared if you do decide to purchase one! Mine is made out of cast iron, and apart from being hugely functional is also a beautiful feature of our patio. Also, with it being extremely heavy, it doesn't move around in the wind or bad weather which is very reassuring. It comes with a cover so once that is on it can just be left outside until it is required.
The way to use the chiminea is to start a fire in the centre using logs, twigs or anything available which then provides a great deal of heat in the surrounding area which is great for sitting and chatting around with friends. Smoke can then exit via the top.The warmth and gentle crackling of the fire is hugely comforting and mesmerizing. It is best not to fill the chiminea with too much wood or flames begin to appear out of the top circle in a huge burst which can appear quite dramatic but a waste of heat and energy.
I have found that the chiminea is always a great feature, and last year whilst having a bonfire party it was the perfect thing to huddle round whilst watching fireworks over the valley. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone, it is so easy to use and at between £15 and £60 is great value for money
We brought our daughters a trampoline this summer, you know one of the great big ones which they loved to play on all day.
They were buisy bouncing around on the trampoline so didnt get cold but just sitting there the summer evenings do drop quite chilly so i brought us a chiminea from littlewoods for £69.
I didnt realise they were so heavy, made out of cast iron it takes two of us just to move the thing so now i have positioned it where i want it it wont be being moved again in a hurry.
I thought this was a great idea as it has more than 1 use, it as i primarilay brought it for is a patio heater and does give off quite a lot of heat, you can also use it to cook food in but i have never tried this so dont know how good it is.
We use ours to burn all sorts of things, you can buy coal or coke for it from most supermarkets for around £4 a bag but i tend to use it more to get rid of garden rubbish, i put my letters in to there instead of shredding them and boxing day wholst the kids played on there new roller scates i burnt the wrapping paper and boxes.
We had a real christmas tree so tomorow i am going to take that down and get rid of that in my chiminea too.
I must say i love my chiminea but was very dissapointed when after only 2 days outside in glorious sunny weather and not having been lit yet the paint started to peel but i fixed it by painting it with a tin of heat proof black paint from B&Q and also painted the flour details on the side in silver, it lookes better than it did when i first brought it.
I must admit I am an outdoor freak. As soon as I see a spot of sunshine, I am outside in a flash. I love holding barbecues or just having friends round for an outdoor drink or two. One problem is about 8 to 9 pm it starts to go a little bit cooler. The only solutions I could think of was to buy a chiminea or wrap my guests in blankets. I chose the chiminea option. The one I bought was a medium size 105cm in height for £139.You can buy them in small medium and large. Prices vary according to the size. My chiminea is made of clay and is a wood burning stove. Years ago Mexicans used them as bread ovens. Perhaps they still do, who knows. Today we use them as garden heaters on our patios. Maybe some of you, who are more adventurous than me, may attempt to cook on one. Adding fragrant pine wood or similar to your fire will create a nice smelling, warm atmosphere to your garden. A few points to remember. A chiminea does get very hot, be very careful if you have small children around. Always make sure it is on firm level ground. Do not put it next to wooden fences/sheds or bushy plants. I would also be careful if you have wooden decking. Lighting your fire. Put some sand in the bottom of the chimnea. Light a very small fire in the middle of the bowl shaped bottom. Use twigs or small sticks to get your fire started before adding logs. Common sense is needed when building a fire and keeping it alight, never build big fires in it as it will damage or break your chiminea. It may take a little time to get hot with only small fires, but trust me when it gets hot, it gets boiling. Do not use charcoal starter fluid or petrol of any kind. Never try to throw water over your chimnea to put it out at the end of the evening, let it burn out naturally. In the winter it is recommended
that you bring your chiminea indoors as the clay can crack if we have a very hard frost. Chimineas are sealed on the outside, so damp won't go through the clay. You should reapply a sealant every year or so to keep it in good condition. Having bought and used my chiminea, I would recommend you buy one, especially if you are like me who loves outdoors, but not the cold. Have fun this summer, thanks for the read.