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Outdoor Mexican Chiminea - Clay, Copper and Cast Iron | Fireplaces Guide

Clay and Cast Iron Chiminea

A chiminea is a kind of an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. It was derived from the traditional Mexican  versions. Chimneas come in various sizes.

They are usually made of different materials. However, all of them basically have the similar structure. They have a bulbous bottom for the fire and a long chimney-like neck. They generally have designs on them and are quite attractive as an outdoor fire pit goes. No doubt that this type of outdoor fire pit is perfect for a porch, deck or backyard. Clay chiminea can help you to build an unforgetable and attractive place which provides warmth to gather around with family and friends.

Start your fire in these fire pits the same way you would in your wood fireplace.

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Outdoor Chiminea

Outdoor Chiminea

If your dream is to have a chiminea in your backyard, then you should consider some options when buying one:

Size of Chiminea

First of all, think about the suitable size of your future chiminea. Chimineas vary in size. For instance, a smaller one may be useful because it will fit on a small porch or deck. It can have drawbacks. You should make sure, the bottom bowl part is big enough to accommodate pieces of wood the size you will be using. Most firewood is not that small, so a smaller model may be a hassle since you’ll need to cut your own wood.

The Material of Chiminea

So words about the material of chimnea. The classic Mexican version is built out of clay, like terra cotta. It looks very attractive. However, it is not without problems. For instance, clay can crack with time, especially when exposed to the high heat of a fire. Moreover, they usually can’t handle large fires for extended periods of time. Before buying you ‘d better ask if your chiminea is air-dried or kiln-dried. Kiln-dried models are more likely to be painted and sealed, making them more durable.

Metal Chimineas

Metal models are very durable. They are either cast iron or copper and aluminum. They are heavy. However, this kind of chimnea doesn’t crack. Aluminum is lighter than cast iron. The downside to a metal model is that they can rust if left outside and exposed to water. This is why they require a tarp cover to protect it from weather between uses. You can also sand out the rust spots and re-paint it. Aluminum chiminea models tend to rust less than cast iron.

Spark Arrestor for Chimnea

Next thing to consider is a Spark Arrestor. This is a  mesh screen, similar to a fireplace screen. Some chimineas come with a spark arrestor either in the neck or in front of the opening to the bowl or both. If yours does not come with these mesh screens, you should consider buying one or making one. Spark arrestor is extremely important as it prevents burning embers from escaping.

When buying any outdoor fire pit you should consider, whether you would like to cook on your outdoor fire. You should keep in mind that a chiminea is not an ideal fire pit for grilling. There is no where to place a grill or rotisserie since the large, long chimney neck is directly over the fire.

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