Why get an ordinary chiminea when you can get one that also has a grill for cooking? If you dream about a warm fireplace in your garden that’s also easy to cook on, this article should be of some use to you as I’m going to look at some chimineas with grills that are currently available.
What to look for in a BBQ Chiminea
When it comes to combining the delights of a chiminea with the practicalities of a BBQ, there are a few options available. To help you choose, ask yourself these questions:
Do I want to Cook with Charcoal?
Clay chimineas generally don’t cope too well when using charcoal. The fuel is simply too hot and you’ll crack the clay. Unless specifically stated by the manufacturer you should never use charcoal in a clay chiminea.
If you want to cook with charcoal you will need a metal chiminea – either a steel or a cast iron chim.
How Many People will you be Cooking for?
Have a good think about how many folks you’d like to be able to cook for. Unlike other cooking, BBQ generally does have to be done in batches, but with chimineas, your cooking space can be more limited.
To be able to cook for more people opt for a split chiminea option (on where the top is removable) – this will give you more grill space. Check the product description carefully and measure out the size of the grill at home so you can make an informed decision.
What Do You Want to BBQ?
If it’s just the odd marshmallow and the occasional steak for 2 then a regular chiminea with a secondary grill will suffice. If you’re thinking more of a cookout, then you’ll likely prefer a chiminea that comes with a grill installed.
For more information on chiminea, buying decisions check out this article – 9 decisions to make before you buy a chiminea.
Chimineas with Swivel Grills
Chimineas with grill attachments have become widely available these days and for good reason. They don’t detract from the chiminea look as such and can even be removed when not in use.
The big advantage of having this type of grill is convenience. Swivel the grill out, slap on what you want to cook, and swivel it back over your fire.
Watch and wait for deliciousness to occur.
Although super easy to use, there are a few limitations of this type of chiminea with grill. Firstly, it’s tricky to see the food without removing it from the heat. and secondly, the grills are usually quite small so always check dimensions to make sure they suit your needs.
Chimineas With Grills that Split in 2
This type of chiminea with a grill is a fun way to have some food grilling on a sunny afternoon.
They can easily cook up some sausages and tasty corn on the cob for the family. With this type of chiminea when not using the grill, it performs just like any other chiminea.
A few things to mention – they are usually clay so you will not be able to use charcoal (unless specifically stated by the manufacturer). There may be a slight gap at the join and this can affect how efficient your chiminea is.
They are prone to breakage because of moving the top part around more and remember of course not to try and remove the top when the fire is lit -ouch.
Above is a cast iron version of this split in 2 designs. The advantage here is you can use charcoal for cooking. Charcoal is generally considered better for cooking with because it can reach and hold a higher temperature and also doesn’t leave a curious taste on your food.
Please take note that the cooking area of this chiminea is quite small – 20cms diametre so not much to work with especially if you’ve got a larger group to feed.
TIP – if using wood to cook with consider using some wood that smells good – oak, ash, beech, and apple woods are good to cook with.
Adding a Grill to Your Chiminea
There are lots of options available to add a grill to your chiminea. La Hacienda and Gardeco have after-market accessories that enable to you add a grill to your chiminea simply by attaching it to your already existing door hinge.
This one pictured is from Gardeco – it’s designed to be added to the door hinge of cast iron (or steel) chiminea. This particular one is more of a pan so perfect for pizzas, pancakes, or anything else you fancy.
Hand Held Grill
Another option is to get a handheld grill. Unfortunately, these are usually quite pricey but also can do the job well. Literally, a grill that has a handle that you can put over a fire.
Remember when searching for these, they don’t have to be specifically for a chiminea.
Just make sure to check measurements so that it’ll actually fit in the mouth of your chiminea.
SPecially Designed Chiminea BBQ
Finally, let’s look at a chiminea that breaks the rules a tad when it comes to traditional shapes – this BBQ chiminea from Gardeco is described as a ‘combined chimenea heater and outdoor cooking stove all in one’.
This design allows for it to be used without much planning and you can spring on that grill at a moment’s notice to get the party started. Will have to get one of these just to give it a go!
Do You Need a Chiminea With Grill?
If you are thinking of upgrading to a chiminea that has grill functionality, remember there are some ways you can cook with your chiminea without a grill.
The easiest way to start cooking on a chiminea is by roasting some marshmallows. Kids love this! You can use skewers or anything long enough to stab them with and hold a safe distance from the fire.
Wrap any root vegetable in tin foil (aluminum foil for those of you across the pond) and bury it deep in the embers of your lovely fire for a few hours and you can look forward to some tasty treats later. Try cooking some baked potatoes like this and I promise you won’t regret it.
Grill for the Top of Your Chiminea
Yes, there are even more places for you to utilize when using a grill with a chiminea. The top of your chimney stack is yet another option. Perhaps more useful for cooking fish (doesn’t need as much cooking) the top of the chimney can produce enough heat.
This one pictured is a fantastic grill and smoker made by Gardeco. I have one of these and use it often.
There are some interesting options when it comes to using your chiminea to BBQ this summer. All of these chiminea with grill options have something to offer.
Keep in mind that if you do grill in the fire bowl of your chiminea, cooking speeds may be quite a bit faster than your average BBQ experience as the fire bowl is enclosed, there’s a mix of baking and grilling that goes on.
Don’t forget you can use a pizza stone in a chiminea also – a full article on this to follow!