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Chiminea

Chiminea

Chiminea

 One of the major benefits of a Chimenea over a typical outdoor fire pit is it will keep the smoke out of your eyes.   Intrigued?  Wanting  to know the difference between a  Chiminea and a typical fire pit, then  keep reading. 

Regular outdoor fire pits, draw air into  a fire in a in a complete 360 degree circle.  Chimineas basically can be defined as a fire pit that has a chimney to efficiently release the smoke into the air,  and only has a single mouth opening.  This design creates a drafting action, drawing fresh air into the fire, and directing smoke upward away from the area in which you and your guests are sitting.

The clay chiminea, with its pot belly design, and chimney on top, originated hundreds of years ago, by Mexican tribesmen.  The tribesmen developed the chimeneas, as a means of providing heat for their family as well as a vessel for cooking and baking. Originally, all Chimineas were made of clay, and  imported to the US from Mexico.  Because clay can crack easily, chimeneas are now available in other materials.  They are still available in the traditional shape, but as research has progressed on the Chiminea, they can now be found in more modern shape designs. 

Chimeneas can be found in such materials as Clay, Cast Aluminum (best Investment for money), cast iron, sheet metal, copper, steel & aluminum, and stainless steel.  Most chimineas have a height of about five feet and are about 24 inches across, at the firebox.   Some chimeneas have a grate to be able to cook on and other also have a spark arrestor  on top the stack to close off from rain and debris.   


MATERIAL COMPARISONS

                        
Clay Chiminea                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Clay chiminea have to be babied.  The wood needs to be feed slowly, and when not in use, they need to be keep warm and dry.                                                                                                            If you    want a fireplace that is going to be safer and last long, any other material on the market is a better investment.                            
                        
                   
                                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Cast Aluminum Chiminea
Cast Aluminum are expensive to product but are the best investment for your money if low maintenance and life span are priorties.     
Cast Aluminum chimineas will not warp, crack, rust, or stain your deck or patio.  Cast aluminum require very little maintenance,  just     
a shot of high temperature spray paint when needed, will keep it looking new.  Since Cast Aluminum chimeneas are lighter than Cast     
 Iron, they are a little bit more portable, should you need to move it (But still heavy.)  Picture on the right is a Cast Aluminum Chimenea. 

Cast Iron look very much like the cast aluminum, but can rust and stain the surface on which it is standing so proper placement should be considered. They have a higher degree of maintenance to keep them looking good. Maintenance consists of painting occasionally with high temperature stove paint to inhibit rusting. Cast iron is extremely heavy, up to 200 lbs.+, so don't expect to move it frequently.  For campground owners, they are the ideal chiminea, since the weight of them keeps them from  disappearing during the time they are used without supervision.


Copper looks great out of the box and is a very safe material used for years in cooking utensils. Watch out for steel supports or bases that can rust quickly. Also, don't expect that shiny new copper chiminea to look like that after a fire or two. The Copper Firepit will take on the patina look.  

Sheet Aluminum has become popular lately because of the high cost of copper. Check assembly parts carefully before buying. These fail primarily because the assembly parts are not heavy duty and not replaceable. Sheet aluminum since its thin can also lose its protective finish and oxidize quickly.

Stainless Steel fire pits are available. Some are completely welded and others are held together with pop rivets, screws and/or nuts and bolts. These fasteners may or may not be resistant to corrosion. What makes stainless steel "stainless", is a chromium oxide layer on a steel surface. If this layer is damaged, be it as a result of the manufacturing process or high heat exposure, the exposed metal is able to be attacked and your stainless steel will show signs of rust. Stainless steel works great for mouth screens and hardware. But complete Stainless steel fire pits and chimineas are not recommended.

Chimineas

SAFETY CONCERNS

Safety First -  An outdoor fire in a chiminea will always heat you and your family but please be sure and practice fire safety first. 

  • Unlike a fire pit, chimineas enclose a fire, protecting people and property. 
  • Location of Chiminea - Flat Surface that is fireproof such as rocks, concrete, bricks, pavers. 
  • Free from any over hanging trees, branches or bushes.  The Exhaust coming out of the top will rise far beyond the top of the chiminea.  Also you do not want any bushes to catch on fire. 
  • Clay Chiminea:  Main problem with clay is that when it does fail, (fall apart) it can happen without warning.
  •  Never leave a fire unattended. 
  • Make sure your fire is out before going to bed at night even if it means filling a smoldering fire pit with water. (Except Clay - throw sand on them)

Chimineas are for OUTDOOR USE ONLY!   Some people like to bring them inside their homes.  If you bring your Chiminea in - then use it only for a decorative accent by adding a plant or candles to the mouth of the fire pit.  NEVER BURN INDOORS. 

WHAT TO BURN

The design of a good Chiminea, creates a drafting action, which makes them easy to light.  So a good hardwood such as oak creates the best fire.  

  1. Pinon Wood: Is commonly recommended for its pleasant "pine aroma".  It also helps to repel mosquitoes and other flying insects. 
For aromatic woods you can try apple wood.  

 
 If you use your chiminea for cooking then wood is the number one fuel source.  Some good sources of cooking woods are:
 
       Hickory:  Who doesn't love the traditional taste of a tender ham smoked with some good old-fashioned Hickory? Try using Hickory in a Chimenea grill for some great tasting burgers.
 
       Mesquite:  Is also an excellent cooking wood.  It burns very hot, so limit the number of pieces.  Mesquite gives steaks an incredible flavor. 
 
Other sources are manufactured fire logs - but do not use if you are cooking. 

WHAT  NOT TO  BURN

  1. Pressure treated wood:  Emits toxic gasses when burned. A good rule of thumb is that if it has a greenish tint it may be pressure treated. If you are not sure DON’T burn it!

  2. Pellets:  Which are a type of fuel manufactured  for wood stoves, are not recommended for use in a Chiminea. They tend to burn hot and if the quality is poor they will leave a lot of ash.

  3. Charcoal: Most Chiminea manufactures suggest against burning charcoal

                                                                                                                        PROTECTIVE COVER                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 


Covering your chiminea is important.  This will prolong the life of the chiminea and protect the paint from the UV rays from the sun.  The paint will last longer.  If you do not purchase a cover and you are expecting  rain - Always cover the cool chiminea's chimney with a make shift cover of some kind  to keep the rain out.






‚ÄčNow that you have decided to become an informed chimiena owner, one thing that has changed since ancient  times - is the sheer variety of Chimeneas that are now available for you to choose from.  At  Fire Pit Tables and More we offer a large selection of chimineas to compliment your backyard, patio or garden area.  They are easy to operate and will provide years of enjoyment.  So don't stop enjoying your outdoors when the temperatures falls, shop today at Fire Pit Tables and More and Save. 
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