Garden & Lawn

Top 8 Best Chiminea For Your Garden – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

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Last updated on April 21st, 2021

If sitting around a fire built inside a ring of stones on your back lawn is just a tad too “wilderness” for you, maybe you need a chiminea. For nearly 400 years, chimineas have been used as indoors ovens and central space heaters for huts and homes. Now, we take them outdoors for basically the same purposes. Chimineas are a really clever invention as, unlike a fire pit, they draw fresh air into the fire by sending the soot and smoke out of a chimney and away from the people sitting nearby. Not being left coughing and with watering eyes is only one of the advantages of these amazing garden appliances.


Comparison table of the best chimineas in this review

BEST PICK
La Hacienda 56063B 136cm XL Murcia Steel Chiminea with Grill - Black
RUNNER-UP
Tia Chimenea Black with BBQ Grill
BEST FIRE BOWL
Gardeco Elidir Cast Iron Fire Pit,  Bronze, 45 x 45 x 47.5 cm
Primrose Santa Lucia - 85cm Cast Iron Chimenea (Bronze) - Small
La Hacienda Extra Large Colorado 160cm Chiminea Chimenea Chimnea Outside Fireplace
Title
La Hacienda Murcia XL Steel Chiminea
Tia Chimenea Black with BBQ Grill
Gardeco Elidir Cast Iron Fire Pit
Primrose Santa Lucia - 85cm Cast Iron Chimenea
La Hacienda Extra Large Colorado Chiminea
Material
Steel with powder coated heat resistant paint
Cast iron and steel
Cast iron
Cast iron
Steel
Size
136cm high x 48cm wide
137cm Tall x 42cm Wide
47cm tall x 45cm wide
85cm tall x 47cm wide
160cm tall x 60cm wide
Cooking grill included
Yes
yes plus griddle & hot plate
Yes
Yes
No
BEST PICK
La Hacienda 56063B 136cm XL Murcia Steel Chiminea with Grill - Black
Title
La Hacienda Murcia XL Steel Chiminea
Material
Steel with powder coated heat resistant paint
Size
136cm high x 48cm wide
Cooking grill included
Yes
Buy from Amazon
RUNNER-UP
Tia Chimenea Black with BBQ Grill
Title
Tia Chimenea Black with BBQ Grill
Material
Cast iron and steel
Size
137cm Tall x 42cm Wide
Cooking grill included
yes plus griddle & hot plate
Buy from Amazon
BEST FIRE BOWL
Gardeco Elidir Cast Iron Fire Pit,  Bronze, 45 x 45 x 47.5 cm
Title
Gardeco Elidir Cast Iron Fire Pit
Material
Cast iron
Size
47cm tall x 45cm wide
Cooking grill included
Yes
Buy from Amazon
Primrose Santa Lucia - 85cm Cast Iron Chimenea (Bronze) - Small
Title
Primrose Santa Lucia - 85cm Cast Iron Chimenea
Material
Cast iron
Size
85cm tall x 47cm wide
Cooking grill included
Yes
Buy from Amazon
La Hacienda Extra Large Colorado 160cm Chiminea Chimenea Chimnea Outside Fireplace
Title
La Hacienda Extra Large Colorado Chiminea
Material
Steel
Size
160cm tall x 60cm wide
Cooking grill included
No
Buy from Amazon

There is currently a shortage of chimineas so most of our top picks are out of stock. We have done some more research and these are 3 alternatives we recommend considering:

Panama LA HACIENDA Cast Iron Chiminea
  • Traditionally styled chimenea
  • Constructed from durable steel (main body) and cast iron (Legs)
  • Finished in an attractive Pewter Effect
  • Small and easly portable around the garden
  • Suited to all styles of patios and gardens
Cuba Large Steel La Hacienda Cast Iron Chiminea
  • Durable cast iron fire bowl & legs with a steel flue. Protective mesh door. Metal tool & lid included.
Maxx Garden Helios outdoor Brazier Patio heater
  • Comfortable heater for the crackling of the wood in the garden or on the terrace.
  • Robust steel construction for easy mounting, 0.8 mm steel sheet
  • As of today, it is at least hot in the garden or on the terrace, as the Maxx Garden fireplace gives you in the cool hours of heat
  • Relaxed atmosphere around the campfire with dancing flames - with the Maxx fireplace no problem. When the flames glowing happy cm in the fire pit with a diameter of 45, the garden or the balcony in the cool hours will quickly inviting.
  • Treat yourself to this pleasant warmth for moments of relaxation in your garden.

We have also reviewed some of the best patio tables with built in fire pits here

Our review of the Best Chimineas for Your Garden looks at the pros and cons of the many models we review and gives our recommendation for each. Our Buyer’s Guide highlights what to look for while making your purchase decision. And our FAQ section has a couple of the most asked questions about this product.

There’s a lot to like about chimineas and we have quite a range of Best Picks for different features.

Our Best Pick is the La Hacienda Murcia XL Steel Chiminea With Grill. This large steel chiminea keeps you warm and well-fed with delicious grilled food in the coolest evenings. It’s also affordable.

Our Runner-up is the Gardeco Tia Chiminea with BBQ Grill and it’s also our Best for Cooking pick. This is a cast iron chiminea that comes with a selection of surfaces to cook on. Great for the experimental BBQer.

We also have a choice for the Best Fire Bowl. The Gardeco Elidir Cast Iron Fire Bowl is a surprisingly elegant fire bowl that has a grilling grate on which you can cook your steaks, fish or veggie skewers.

The Primrose Santa Lucia Cast Iron Chiminea is our choice of Best Premium model. This is one of the smaller chimineas in our review and its bronze colour screams high-end.

BEST PICK

La Hacienda Murcia XL Steel Chiminea
This steel chiminea has all the features you need for warming your guests in your outdoors living space and for cooking their food right in front of them. The grill rack is removable in case you just want the warmth that this model puts out into a medium or large size area.
 
This is a relatively lightweight unit that’s easy to move even though it’s an extra-large size. It has quite a contemporary look even though it has a traditional shape. This is a great chiminea that suits all garden styles and patio decors.

BEST FOR COOKING / RUNNER-UP

Gardeco Tia Chiminea with BBQ Grill
The Gardeco Tia Chiminea with BBQ Grill is also our Best for Cooking selection. This is a cast iron chiminea with an attachable off-set chimney that definitely directs the smoke and soot away from your people sitting around waiting for their food.
 
BBQ gourmets love the selection of three cooking surfaces – the regular BBQ grill and a two-sided cast iron hotplate with a flat surface (plancha) and a griddle surface. Choose which one you want to use before you start the fire and amaze your guests with the versatility of your menu.

BEST FIRE BOWL

Gardeco Elidir Cast Iron Fire Bowl
The Best Fire Bowl is the stylish Gardeco Elidir Fire Bowl. This cast iron bowl has surprisingly delicate-looking legs though the whole unit is very sturdy with a low centre of gravity. It’s durable enough to withstand quite hot fires, though whether the food you cook on the grill rack can is another question.
 
This is a heavy fire bowl so make sure you put it in the best location the first time as you won’t want to move it. This is an ideal choice if you like seeing open flames.

The 8 best chimineas to buy are listed below:

  1. La Hacienda Murcia XL Steel Chiminea With Grill – OUR BEST PICK
  2. Gardeco Tia Chiminea with stove – Best for cooking
  3. Gardeco Elidir Cast Iron Fire Bowl – Best Fire Bowl
  4. Primrose Santa Lucia – 85cm Cast Iron Chimenea
  5. La Hacienda Extra Large Colorado Chiminea
  6. La Hacienda Murcia Medium Steel Chiminea BBQ
  7. La Hacienda Skyline Steel Garden Chiminea
  8. La Hacienda Clay Chiminea BBQ

PREMIUM PICK

Primrose Santa Lucia - 85cm Cast Iron Chiminea
Our Premium Pick is the Primrose Santa Lucia Cast Iron Chiminea. This smaller size chiminea suits those with a reduced area to heat or not so many people to keep warm. The bronze colour of this chiminea just screams ‘style, and is a welcome change to the usual black paint. The manufacturer has considered your convenience by attaching two carry handles to the side of this unit to make it easier for two people to carry this rather heavy chiminea. This model is high quality, and looks it.

Top 8 Best Chimineas For Patios

1. La Hacienda Murcia XL Steel Chiminea With Grill

**NEW BEST PICK FOR 2021**

Buy on Amazon.co.uk

The La Hacienda XL Murcia only weighs 13kg, compared to its smaller size counterpart of 9kg. This model is made from robust steel and features a removable food safe grill, allowing for cooking or heating your patio. The XL Murcia can be positioned in medium to large gardens or patios.

The La Hacienda XL Murcia is a steel chiminea in the traditional style of a round belly and a chimney top. It comes flat-packed so you do have to assemble it yourself, so have your tool box handy.

This chiminea is made from steel that’s painted with a high temperature matte black paint. Despite this, the manufacturer states that this model starts to rust as soon as you move it outside. They advise that you keep the rust under control by rubbing the outside of the unit lightly with an oily rag in between uses. We suggest also buying the optional cover and using it when the chiminea is not in use.

The mesh door lets you see inside to watch the bright flames. Unfortunately, there’s no ash box that you can remove to clean the ashes out. However, there is an access door in the side that lets you reach in to grab the cold ashes.

Even if you start out using this chiminea just for heating, the idea of grilled food will soon tempt you. Just place the removable food grill inside the chiminea, put your burgers or veggies on it and leave the door open while everything cooks.

This easy to clean chiminea is a great size for medium to large gardens or patios.

Pros

  • Sturdy extra-large steel wood burner with a mesh door so you can see the flames inside.
  • High temperature powder coated matte black paint finish for an initial contemporary look.
  • Removable BBQ grill for flame grilled burgers all year round.
  • Comes with rain lid and poker, so you have the basic tools right from the start.
  • Perfect for medium-large sized patios, but still don’t place it close to anything flammable or that can melt.

Cons

  • Will still rust, despite the powder coating.
  • No ash box.

 Our recommendation

Overall, this product is a great choice for customers with a medium to large sized garden or patio who is looking to provide warmth and ambience to any social event as well as provide food. Even though it rusts, this adds to its traditional design to give an aged and well-used appearance.

This model is relatively affordable and is more than excellent value for your money. The La Hacienda XL Murcia Steel Chiminea is our Best Pick of the models in our review.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


2. Gardeco Tia Chiminea with BBQ Grill

RUNNER-UP

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The Tia Chiminea with stove is a unique practical and modern chiminea with a swivel BBQ grill, with the feature of a chim-stove, its perfect for outdoor cooking and barbecuing. You will also find that it burns any type of fuel, warms quickly and puts out a lot of heat.

The Gardeco Tia Chiminea with BBQ Grill is a cast iron chiminea that has an optional and offset chimney attachment that directs the smoke elsewhere. This is a good idea as long as none of your guests sit around that side of the stove. This combination heating and cooking unit offers a wide view of the flames within created by solid fuel, usually either wood or charcoal.

The Tia Chiminea has all the best features of a heating stove. The cast iron legs are bolted to the model, the mesh hinged door with a latch lets you see when the fuel is low and the opening air vent allows you to control the heat output. As with all metal chimineas, it’s going to rust over time if you don’t frequently repaint it with a high temperature paint.

Along with this, though, is a great set-up for cooking outdoors. The chromed steel barbeque grill swivels outwards so you can easily access its surface to put your food on and then swing it back over the flames. Remember that it’s going to be really hot, so use a poker or heatproof gloves to do this. If your food requires a flat surface to cook on (e.g. eggs) or a griddle (e.g. bacon), replace the BBQ grill with the (included) thick cast iron hotplate, with the appropriate side uppermost, *before* you light the fire.

Pros

  • Pot-belly design with a CHIM-STOVE attachment that’s offset to the stove to direct the smoke away.
  • Cast iron top and legs coated with a high temperature paint that resists rust.
  • Integrated swivel BBQ grill that you can also use as a griddle to or flat surface (plancha).
  • Use with wood or charcoal for fuel, whatever you have on hand.
  • Air vent for controlled burning and hence the amount of heat, especially when you’re cooking or barbecuing.
  • Comes with rain lid for the chimney to stop water getting into the stove part.

Cons

  • A bit wonky and may need propping up under a leg.
  • Prone to rust if you don’t repaint frequently.

Our recommendation

The Gardeco Tia Chiminea with BBQ Grill has the features to heat your patio and to cook your food and it does both activities well, and at the same time. The variety of cooking surfaces – barbeque grill, plancha (hob) and griddle – allows you to offer your guests a feast beyond the regular hot dogs and burgers. The cast iron construction is strong and very durable though, like all metal chimineas, prone to rust.

The Gardeco Tia Chiminea with BBQ Grill is our choice for Runner-up in our review. And it’s our choice of the chiminea that’s the Best for Cooking. It’s a great choice if you entertain outside and will take you right through the cooler evenings.

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3. Gardeco Elidir Cast Iron Fire Bowl

**BEST FIRE BOWL PICK**

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Gardeco Elidir Cast Iron Fire Pit,  Bronze, 45 x 45 x 47.5 cm

The Gardeco Elidir Fire Bowl is a cast iron bowl that can be called “elegant”. That’s not a word that’s usually used with metal containers that are built to have flames coming out of them, but this bronze-colored bowl with scrolled metal legs is a cut above the usual rustic design.

Beyond its good looks, the Gardeco Elidir Fire Bowl functions very well as a heating source on which you can cook your outdoors meals. It’s made from 100% cast iron, which is both good and not-so-good news. Cast iron is strong and long-lasting and gives stability to the unit. It can withstand heat from any of the size fires you may build, up to the biggest ones that this fire bowl can hold to keep your largest gatherings warm.

However, cast iron is heavy and you may have difficulties moving this fire bowl from place to place. So think carefully about where you want to put it while you have help moving it. And, like all metal outside furniture, it will rust over time.

The design of the Elidir Fire Bowl gives it a low centre of gravity, making it difficult to knock over, even in heavy wind storms, or even slide along your patio. It’s also fairly close to the ground so you do have to bend over to use it. This may become an issue when you’re looking after the food on the chromed steel BBQ grill. And you have around 1,500cm2 of cooking space you can fill.

Pros

  • Strong cast iron charcoal fire pit in a semi-sphere(ish) shape with a low centre of gravity for stability.
  • Uses solid fuel including wood, charcoal and coal, and the large bowl lets you build up quite a fire.
  • Three artistic scrolled legs add a touch of elegance with the bowl shape that takes this unit beyond the usual rustic look.
  • Chromed steel barbeque grill provides a large area to cook your food.
  • Includes multi-tool for picking up the hot grill or stoking the fire.
  • Five-year warranty backs up the durability of this cast iron construction.

Cons

  • Cast iron is a heavy material.

Our recommendation

The Gardeco Elidir Fire Bowl is a solid, sturdy and elegant cast iron fire bowl. Being cast iron, it withstands the heat of whatever size fire you build in it. But remember to match the size and heat of the fire to what you’re cooking if you’re preparing meals on this fire bowl. As with any fire bowl, you manage the heat by managing the fire – there’s no temperature control or air vent. It’s both an art and a science.

Overall, its one of the best fire bowls we have seen thank to its full cast iron materials. We chose the Gardeco Elidir Fire Bowl as our Best Fire Bowl.

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4. Primrose Santa Lucia Cast Iron Chiminea

**Premium Pick**

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Primrose Santa Lucia - 85cm Cast Iron Chimenea

The Primrose Santa Lucia Cast Iron Chiminea is a smaller chiminea than the other models we look at in this review. It fits nicely into outside spaces that don’t need the amount of heat that larger units put out, even if you could squish the bigger metal chimineas into a corner somewhere.

As with the larger chimineas, the Primrose Santa Lucia model both puts out heat and lets you barbeque at the same time, though you don’t have to. The swivel bbq grill is removable so you have easy access to the fire if you’re just using the unit for it’s heating property. You build the fire with any form of solid fuel – wood, charcoal, coal (if allowed in your neighbourhood) – and control how hot it gets through the air vent below the mesh door.

The mesh door stylishly is not flat, it bulges outwards a little bit. Some online reviewers, however, complain that the door is quite difficult to fit into place in the stove and they had to manipulate it quite a bit to make it work. This Santa Lucia chiminea comes with a rain lid for the chimney part and, unlike most other models, a cover for the entire unit. Make sure you diligently use both of these as cast iron is prone to rust.

Pros

  • Cast iron chiminea in a bronze colour that evokes thoughts of belonging in a Spanish Hacienda.
  • Swing out barbeque grill is also removable if you just want a heat source.
  • Takes solid fuels (wood, charcoal) so you can buy whatever’s on sale.
  • Finished with high-temperature paint bronze-colour paint for a sophisticated look.
  • Comes with a chimney rain lid and a cover for for the entire unit.

Cons

  • Door is difficult to fit and make work.

Our recommendation

The Primrose Santa Lucia Cast Iron Chiminea is a premium model with a cast iron construction and a smart bronze colour high temperature paint finish. It runs on solid fuel (wood, charcoal) and its barbeque grill is removable if you want to focus on this unit as a heat source. Unlike with many other units, your purchase includes a cover which we encourage you to use to delay the rusting process that comes to all metal chimineas, sooner or later.

The Primrose Santa Lucia Cast Iron Chiminea is our choice for Best Premium Chiminea. Stay warm with the flavour of a Spanish hacienda.

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5. La Hacienda Extra Large Colorado Chiminea

**CONTEMPORARY DESIGN**

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La Hacienda Extra Large Colorado 160cm Chiminea Chimenea Chimnea Outside Fireplace

The La Hacienda Extra Large Colorado Chiminea is an eye-catching piece of contemporary garden decor along with being an excellent source of heat. This sleek black chiminea is constructed of heavy gauge steel covered with a high temperature steel paint. As with all outdoors steel items, it will eventually fall prey to surface rust. The stainless steel band at the top of the flue, however, should retain its shininess.

This outside fireplace is 160cm tall so your visitors and neighbours can’t avoid seeing it in your garden. It’s best for a medium to large outdoors space as it does put out a significant amount of heat. Taking solid fuel, usually charcoal or wood, the arched entryway is open enough to put in large logs. But note that this model doesn’t have a door to protect the fire and anyone sitting close. Be very careful of any pets or kids around this unit.

Some online reviewers advise having a ready supply of fuel handy as this model eats through wood and charcoal quickly. But it definitely generates enough heat for colder evenings. Be careful where you place this chiminea though as it doesn’t have an underguard and the underneath of this unit becomes very hot. We recommend placing it on a fireproof surface or mat to protect your patio, deck or the ground.

Note that the La Hacienda Extra Large Colorado Chiminea is just for heating, there’s no facility for barbequing or grilling. Assembling this chiminea is reported to be straightforward and quick.

Pros

  • Steel chiminea that burns solid fuel to produce heat for a medium to large area.
  • Contemporary design that at 160cm tall is a striking addition to your garden
  • decor.
  • Black high temperature paint over steel, and a stainless steel flue collar for a neutral colour scheme.
  • Log grate and multi-purpose tool included to start your accessories set.
  • Assembly is straightforward so you can start your fire soon after taking delivery.

Cons

  • Burns through fuel fast
  • No door over entryway.
  • Underneath part gets very hot.
  • No BBQing or cooking facilities.

Our recommendation

The La Hacienda Extra Large Colorado Chiminea is a contemporary, attention-grabbing chiminea that is an excellent example of combining form and function. Its tall, sleek appearance is matched by its ability to produce enough heat for a large outdoors area. This chiminea doesn’t have a barbequing or grilling facility, though and it needs to be placed on a heatproof surface. But you and your guests will look great staying warm on the coolest evenings.

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6. La Hacienda Murcia Medium Steel Chiminea BBQ

**FULL STEEL DESIGN**

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La Hacienda: Murcia Medium Steel Chiminea BBQ. This chiminea is considered to be a high value item because of its features. However at just under £55 at time of review, It’s affordable.

The La Hacienda Murcia Medium Steel Chiminea BBQ is a traditional style pot-belly chiminea with a squat flue on top, but it has interesting curved legs that are quite delicate. The steel is painted with a black high temperature paint that will resist rust for a while. But eventually rust will win the war, and the chiminea will take on an aged appearance.

This chiminea is lighter weight than most of the others in our review as it’s made from steel and not cast iron. At just 9kg, it is possible to move this model around your patio without too much effort, perhaps from your dining space to your outdoors living area. The two ear-like pieces at the sides of the unit, with rings that look like earrings, are actually carrying handles, something you don’t usually see on chimineas and that reflect its light weight.

The chrome plated steel grill rack inside the chiminea is a rectangular shape and slides in and out. The rectangular shape makes it easier to arrange your food that a circular rack does. The usual flu lid and multi-functional metal tool are included with your purchase.

Pros

  • Steel chiminea for strength and durability but also light weight so you can easily move it around.
  • Carrying handles for easy transportation let two people lift it easily.
  • Traditional shape but with delicate legs makes for an interesting visual piece to add to your garden furniture.
  • Uses solid fuel, particularly charcoal.
  • Use for heat and to bbq a snack or two at cooler times.
  • Steel bbq grill is rectangular and slides out from the stove for easy access.
  • Comes with the lid for the flue and the do-it-all metal tool.

Our recommendation

The La Hacienda Murcia Medium Steel Chiminea BBQ is a traditional shape chiminea made of steel that makes it lightweight. It’s easily moveable with the carrying handles if you want to have more people over and need to transport the unit into a more wide-open space. The rectangular cooking grill slides out of the stove easily and is easy to load with straight-edged food. This is a great manoeuvrable chiminea.

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7. La Hacienda Skyline Steel Garden Chiminea

**UNIQUE LOG STORAGE**

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La Hacienda Skyline Steel Garden Chiminea Review

The La Hacienda Skyline Steel Garden Chiminea is another contemporary look chiminea and this one looks like a skyscraper in a big city. At 125cm tall, it’s not quite as high as our other contemporary model, the La Hacienda Extra Large Colorado Chiminea, but it still creates an arresting sight.

The Skyline chiminea is constructed of steel that’s been coated in black high temperature paint. This adds to its modern appearance but remember that steel rusts over time, giving an aged look to the structure. Faithfully using the included cover in between times to keep off the weather elements prolongs the original facade of this model.

The light weight of this steel structure has both pros and cons. It’s easy to pick up the chiminea and move it around to different parts of your outdoors entertaining space. But its lack of weight lends it to be fairly easy to blow over in wind storms, as reported by some online reviewers. However, the unique wood storage compartment at the bottom of the unit, when filled up, adds some weight to stabilise this chiminea. It also helps you to keep the area around this heating unit clean and free of stacks of fuel.

This Skyline chiminea is just for producing heat, there’s nowhere to grill or cook food. You can watch the flames through the open doorway as there’s no door to open and close. And speaking of flames, the laser cut pattern in the front of the chimney emits the warm orange glow of the fire when the evening moves to darkness.

Pros

  • Steel chiminea has a contemporary design that adds style to most patio decors.
  • Black heat resistant paint covering slows down the advance of rust.
  • Laser cut design in the flue emits orange glow of fire after dusk for a romantic ambience.
  • Wood storage compartment at the base keeps your patio tidy and helps to add stability to the unit.
  • Narrow width results in a small footprint for those with narrow patios.

Cons

  • Light weight of structure decreases its stability.
  • Only heating function, no cooking facility.
  • No door over open entry.

Our recommendation

The La Hacienda Skyline Steel Garden Chiminea offers style, function and convenience. This black chiminea has a very contemporary look, highlighted by the laser cut pattern in the flue that glows with the light of the fire after dark. This steel chiminea is lightweight and easy to move around. The compartment at the base of the unit is to store extra fuel for stoking the fire. Its sole purpose is to heat your outdoors area, so you need a separate BBQ for your grilled meals.

The La Hacienda Skyline Steel Garden Chiminea provides heat for your outdoors living style and looks wonderful while doing so.

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8. La Hacienda Clay Chiminea BBQ

**BEAUTIFUL CLAY DESIGN**

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La Hacienda Clay Chiminea BBQ Review

The La Hacienda Clay Chiminea BBQ is very different to the other models in our review and is the closest to the original chimineas from 400 years ago. This clay model comes in two halves, split horizontally, and is set on a sturdy steel frame. The large arch-shape opening is at the front and the chimney is somewhat squat and on the usual place in the top.

As well as being made from clay, the other main difference is that this chiminea is hand crafted and hand painted, making each unit unique. It’s a yellow-brown colour with chalky circles painted in a design around all sides and on the chimney. The ceramic rain lid for the flue and a two-pronged tool come with your purchase.

Another difference with the models in this review is how you cook your food, as this chiminea is also for both heating and grilling. Carefully remove the upper half of the unit, before building the fire, and place the chrome plated grilling rack across the top of the lower half. When the fire’s built, that’s your grilling space. The wood for the fire sits on a log grate you place in the base half.

Using a clay chiminea takes some care. Clay is a ceramic and will crack and shatter if roughly handled. It can also cannot withstand the heat of large fires, so keep your blazes small. On the plus side, clay doesn’t transmit heat the way that metal does, so the outside of the bowl remains relatively cool to the touch while radiating a constant wave of heat.

Pros

  • Clay handcrafted and hand painted chiminea on a steel stand as a 400-year throwback to its origins.
  • Burns wood or charcoal, though reviewers prefer to use wood.
  • Two-piece unit comes apart for cooking, letting you see the food and easily access it.
  • Chrome-plated cooking grill for use with the lower half of the unit.
  • Comes with rain lid, two-pronged tool and log grate.

Cons

  • No covering over opening.
  • Needs careful handling and use.

Our recommendation

The La Hacienda Clay Chiminea BBQ is a beautiful hand crafted and hand painted chiminea for both heating and cooking. It comes in two halves and you use the entire unit for heating and just the bottom half for cooking. Being the proud owner of this ceramic chiminea does give you some extra responsibilities in its care and handling, but the uniqueness and realism of this model are worth it.

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Chiminea Buyers Guide

Choosing which chiminea to buy involves only a few decisions, but they’re key. For you and your family and guests to fully enjoy their time in your garden in the cooler hours, take care to fully consider these points.

What is a chiminea?

A chiminea is a fireplace or ovenwith an opening at the front into which you polace the fuel, usually wood or some other solid fuel. The fuel goes down into the rounded bottom section onto a removable grate there. The design is such that fresh air is moved into the structure by smoke being pulled up through the chimney. The fire thus burns hot and clean.

Material

While chimineas can be constructed from quite a few different materials, we focus on the three used in the models we cover in this review.

Clay

Clay was the first material to be used for chimineas and is still used today though it’s not as popular as steel or cast iron. Many clay chimineas are hand crafted and hand painted, making each one unique and a work of art. Most are also found in the original style, with a large mouth at front which takes in a strong draw of air.

Clay chiminea
Clay chiminea

Clay chimineas can withstand the heat of fires burned from wood and charcoal but not coal. Create a small fire to start with, gradually “turning up” the heat.

Cast iron

Cast iron is a popular metal for modern chimineas. It’s usually coated with a high temperature paint that’s rust resistant. But over time, the paint wears away and rust sets in. Cast iron is a heavy material which, while adding to the stability of the structure, makes the chiminea difficult to move. Cast iron is easy to mould and you find these chimineas in different shapes, though the traditional pot-belly shape is still popular.

Cast Iron Chiminea
Cast Iron Chiminea

Iron chimineas can reach really high temperatures safely so they’re good for the coldest nights. However, metal is a good conductor of heat so the outer surface will become hot. Keep pets and children, and even adults, away so they don’t touch the hot surfaces.

Steel

Steel chimineas are similar to cast iron ones in that they’re usually coated with high temperature paint for rust resistance. Steel also rusts (unless stainless steel is used) so prepare for an eventual aged appearance to your product. Steel chimineas don’t get as hot as cast iron ones so you won’t create such high temperatures or heat as large an area.

Steel chiminea
Steel chiminea

However, steel doesn’t weigh as much as iron and so steel chimineas are easier to pick up and move around. A steel chiminea is a good choice if you want to grill or bbq food on the fire (as is cast iron).

Fuel

All of the chimineas in our review take solid fuel. This can include wood, charcoal, coal, peat, organic waste and so on. But some manufacturers recommend some fuels over others. Always check the recommendations that come with your model. This wide choice lets you choose the fuel you prefer, the one that’s on sale or the one that’s most environmentally friendly.

Other chimineas run on gas but we haven’t covered those in this review.

Function

All the chimineas we review have heating as a function, but not all have a facility for you to cook food on/in them. It’s your choice as to what functions you want or need. Metal chimineas are best for cooking in.

Maybe you just want a chiminea for its heat as you already have a BBQ. But ask yourself if you’re really going to fire up the BBQ for the burgers for your guests and also set up the fire in the chiminea so they can stay warm while you’re way across the patio cooking their food.

Style

As we’ve mentioned, clay chimineas tend to come in the traditional rounded shape. But metal versions are fair game for more modern and contemporary styles. We have two such models in our review. Once you’ve chosen your material and fuel source, look around for a style that fits in with your patio and garden décor.

Chiminea starting to rust as they always do
Chiminea starting to rust as they always do

As for color, most of the models in our review start out black. But unless you regularly repaint the structure, resign yourself to ‘aged rust’ or ‘patina’ being the neutral colour you end up with.

Size

Size refers to the actual size of the chiminea as well as the size of the area you want to heat. The sales blurbs for chimineas seem to refer to small, medium and large areas that are heated without any real indication as to what actual square metres they refer to. Plus it also all depends on the size of the fire you can build and the material of the structure. Unfortunately, that’s all the help we can give you with this – just read the reviews and gather what information you can.

Accessories and extras

All the chimineas we look at come with three items as accessories: a lid to put over the flue in case of rain; a grate to put the fuel on; and a strange pronged multi-purpose tool.

Those models on which you can cook come with at least one grill rack. One unit also comes with a cover for the entire structure. (If you don’t choose that model, please make sure to buy your own cover – it’s worth it.)

Other things you may eventually need include somewhere to store your wood, charcoal or whatever fuel. Only one chiminea here has a built-in compartment to do that. Fireproof gloves aren’t exactly a ‘maybe’ purchase as at some point you are probably going to burn yourself on one of the many hot surfaces.


FAQs

How do I care for my chiminea?

First of all, you need to cover your chiminea when it’s not in use. Only X models in our review come with a cover, so you probably need to buy one separately. Always use the cover when the chiminea is not in use to protect it from all kinds of weather, even sun, and environmental damage. If you have a clay chiminea and want to leave it out during winter, invest in a heavy-duty insulated cover.

Metal chimineas all eventually succumb to surface rust, even if they’ve been painted initially with high temperature paint. Remove the rust regularly with a lightly oiled rag or gently with wire wool. Consider repainting the unit or learn to live with the patinaed look.

Remove the ashes from the bottom of the unit regularly so they don’t build up over time. A thick layer of ashes affects the efficiency of the fire.

I’m worried about the safety of using a chiminea on my patio. What should I look out for?

First of all, follow the usual safety precautions about open flames and pets and children. (Use google for xx and read the manufacturer’s instructions.) Specifically for chimineas, always place them on a flat, non-flammable surface. If your patio is actually a wood deck, put down a floor protector first. It doesn’t matter if the bowl of the chiminea (or fire bowls) doesn’t touch the wood deck; the legs of chimineas and bowls also become hot and sparks may fly out onto the wood surface. Always keep a bucket of sand nearby to cover any errant flames or embers.

Along these lines, keep chimineas away from flammable materials in general. Plants, garden furniture, washing lines, roof overhangs, clothing, dog toys (and dogs for that matter), all fall into this category.

Don’t build large fires that your chiminea isn’t constructed to handle. Remember that the bowl or belly of the stove has to withstand the heat that the fire puts out without cracking. Everything part of the chiminea becomes hot, some materials more than others, so don’t touch anything, including the BBQ grill, without wearing fireproof gloves and using a poker.

Chimineas aren’t any more dangerous than other sources of open heat as they enclose the majority of the fire; so just use common sense and take safety precautions.


Final Conclusion

A chiminea for your garden, deck or patio is a way to add a functional and contained fire element to your outdoors living space, with the added benefit of a place to grill food. You also have the opportunity to choose a visually pleasing structure to add to the aesthetics of your garden decor. There’s something still primal about the heat from a fire and cooking outdoors that appeals, even in the middle of a city.

Our Best Pick is the La Hacienda Murcia XL Steel Chiminea With Grill. This is a traditional yet stylish steel model with a removable grill for your food. Stay warm in a medium to large space while you feed your family food cooked on your own fire.

Our Best for Cooking selection is the Gardeco Tia Chiminea with BBQ Grill. The three different cooking surfaces let your BBQ style move beyond the basics. This is a lightweight model that’s easy to move to your neighbours’ garden for their party.

Our Best Fire Bowl is the Gardeco Elidir Cast Iron Fire Bowl. This stylish bowl looks a little like a cauldron as you build a significant fire in it. Use the included grill for meat, veggie and fish meals.

Our Premium Pick is the Primrose Santa Lucia Cast Iron Chiminea. This selection is made from cast iron for strength, stability and durability.

If you’re not bothered about cooking on your fire, check out our Best Outdoor Fireplaces review. Or if a chiminea is just a little too tame, head over to our Best Fire Pits article for information and recommendations.

If you have the luxury of your own firewood supply, our Best Splitting Axe For Making Firewood review will be of help.


Last update on 2021-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

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