A chiminea is both a beautiful and a functional centrepiece for your patio. Designs range from traditional Mexican styles to ultra-modern steel creations.What Is A Chiminea?
The chiminea is a kind of outdoor fireplace that originated in Mexico. Traditionally, they featured a rounded chamber with a tall chimney at the top, much like a potbelly stove. In fact, the Spanish word for chimney, ‘chiminea’, is where this fireplace got its name. Fuel is loaded in through a wide mouth in the front. Chimineas are not just outdoor heaters. They were traditionally used not only to provide warmth but also for cooking. The chimney design meant that, unlike fire pits, they could be used easily even in the rain. It also directed the smoke up and away from people, particularly useful on windy days.Materials
Traditional chimineas are made from clay, and are still prized today for their rustic appearance and sometimes their painted designs. Some clay chimineas come sealed and painted, while others need to be cured before they can be used. Often the bowl and the chimney are separate pieces. Clay is very attractive but can also be brittle and so many manufacturers have also made chimineas from other materials. Cast iron is another common chiminea material and is more durable than clay. Cast iron chimineas can be extremely heavy, but the metal material also makes them excellent at radiating heat. Some chimineas are also made from other materials such as steel, which are often lighter than cast iron or clay.Design
The classical chiminea is a wood burning outdoor heater and its design reflects that: a round bowl with a large front opening and a tall chimney. However, the use of different materials has opened up new designs. Some feature a more open bowl that is made entirely from mesh while others recreate the principle of a chiminea in a whole new cylindrical or pyramidal shape.Accessories
Accessories are the perfect way to keep your chiminea in good condition and get more use out of it. A chiminea cover protects your chiminea from the wind and rain, which helps to prevent erosion to clay chimineas and rust to metal ones while also preserving any paintwork. If you want to cook using your chiminea, various manufacturers make equipment for doing exactly that. These range from basic equipment like grills to more exotic items such as pizza stones.