What is the best chiminea you can buy? This guide will help you choose the best chiminea for you and your family – from the size that suits to the material that’s best. I’ll guide you through the potential pitfalls of your purchase and give you some great ideas of alternative stores to check out to get the best prices.
Here are some questions to keep in mind when making your chiminea choices:
- Do you want to cook on your chiminea?
- What type of fuel do you want to use?
- How big is your outdoor area?
- What style is your garden?
- Do you have children or pets?
- What’s your budget?
- What size chiminea do I need?
- What material chiminea would be best? Clay or metal?
- How hot does a chiminea get?
Just know that although there may seem like a lot to learn, chimineas are very affordable and easy to use when you follow simple guidelines – all of which you can read about to your heart’s content on this website .
Now that you’ve decided to invest in one of the most practical and affordable outdoor garden heaters, you may be interested to know that they also serve as a focal point to your newly created outdoor cosy area.
That’s before we even begin to touch on how gorgeous these stunning, rustic, outdoor, wood-burning stoves are.
Be careful, though – once you get the chiminea bug, you may never look back! My love for chimineas is a case in point.
It’s the perfect time to buy a chiminea when outdoor garden gatherings have become not only a fun option in summer but an essential part of family and friends connecting during the bleak times of covid.
Let’s check out the various options available.
Best Clay Chiminea
Clay is the traditional material of chimineas dating back 400 years to the birth of chimineas in Mexico. Clay chimineas offer that unique rustic look that looks great in almost any garden.
Tips for choosing a good clay chiminea:
- Avoid cheap clay chimineas as they are unlikely to last more than a season.
- Check the size of the fire bowl opening as they can get small in clay chimineas.
- Remember, it comes in one piece, so you’ll need some way of getting it home if you are buying locally.
- Clay chimineas are an excellent option for those with kids as they don’t get as hot as metal chimineas.
- Make sure to get a cover when you buy a clay chiminea, as it will need protection from the UK weather.
- When possible, clay chimineas should be stored in a shed or garage over the winter.
For a clay chiminea that won’t crack check out this one from Gardeco. They’ve developed a crack-resistant clay called Chimalin AFC for our recommendation for the best clay chiminea.
These chimineas come with a 5 Year Guarantee which is quite incredible for just under £300. You don’t have to worry about the usual maintenance with other clay chimineas or even cure it!
Best Price Chimineas
Let’s look at where to get the best-priced chimineas in the UK if you’re on a tight budget.
TIP – Stay away from most sellers on eBay unless the convenience and availability are worth the extra money you’ll inevitably pay. Most of the sellers here are simply reselling from some other store.
Some of the cheapest chimineas available at the moment are on Amazon. This 360 small steel chiminea is only £59 on Amazon Prime.
Chimineas are a great way to keep warm outdoors, and the Fire Vida Steel Chiminea is perfect for that. With a stylish black and antique gold design, this chimenea is made from sturdy steel and features a fire bowl, rain cap lid, charcoal grate, spark guard, and poker.
Whether you’re using it to cook food on the BBQ or just to keep warm in the garden, the Fire Vida Steel Chiminea Outdoor Garden Patio Heater BBQ Cooking Grill Chimnea is sure to be a great addition to your outdoor space.
Argos do the same one at £50.
Cheapest Clay Chiminea
The La Hacienda Swirl Clay Chimenea is only £63 on Amazon at the moment and is a best seller. It’s perfect for when the evenings start to cool down.
It has a natural clay finish with a fun red and blue design, and it’s supplied with a stand and lid so you’re prepared for anything. At 9.5kg, it’s easy to move around, and it’s fully assembled so you can start using it straight away.
Make sure to properly season this one or it will crack – read the reviews.
One of the best-priced chimineas that we found that’s currently in stock is from Argos. They have a couple of steel chimineas that are under £100, and their La Hacienda Extra Large Steel Chiminea – Bronze Finish is only £90.
I’ve had a go of this one and got a lot of great fires out of it. Like it a lot and will do a full review soon.
B&Q are another great place to get cheap chimineas, and they do a couple of cheap steel chimineas that are great for a first chiminea.
TIP – If buying online always check all the dimensions. Chimineas are inherently small fireplaces so a small chiminea can get REALLY small.
I have one of their Blooma Diogo Steel Chimineas and it’s sitting at about £65 now but I’ve seen it as low as £40.
Yes, it’s pretty small but perfect for your first chiminea to give it a go, and you can easily chuck it in the shed for winter.
You can also find these on Amazon for £63.99 at time of writing.
Best Chimineas for Heat
The best chiminea for heat will be the largest one you can find in cast iron, which is incredibly hardwearing and the best at conducting heat.
Obviously, the larger it is, the bigger the heat output, and if your priority is heat output, then go for a metal chiminea. Metal chimineas can get much hotter and can even burn charcoal (which burns hotter than wood).
TIP – Traditional chimenea shape with the bulbous fire bowl heat up extremely well due to the spherical shape.
Here’s an example of an Extra Large Metal chiminea that’s out of stock currently but it’s back in May:
The price is £279, including delivery which is good value though I have seen them listed for about £60 cheaper earlier in the year. It’s an extra-large chiminea that’s 129cm tall and a substantial diameter of 45cm.
It also comes with a BBQ grill, and they use the word ‘sturdy’ a lot in the description, which must be good.
Seriously though, an excellent option for the best chiminea for heat. If this one is out of stock when you’re reading this, use similar keywords to search for XL cast iron chiminea.
Have a look around the castironchimineas.co.uk website – they have the best variety of cast iron chimineas that I’ve come across in the UK. One thing to note is not all available stock is listed before stuff that’s unavailable, so it gives the impression that there is nothing in stock. You have to search this site with a keen eye to see what they’ve got. However, they do state when chimineas will be back in stock.
Best Cast Iron Chimineas
Cast iron chimineas are often more of an investment than other chimineas but with good reason. They can potentially last a lifetime with some gentle maintenance.
Possibly the only downside of them is their sheer weight. A genuine cast iron chiminea is one that you want to find a spot for and place there for its lifespan. Check out our article on how much does a chiminea weigh to get a clearer picture of what your back and quad muscles will be dealing with!
We’re a big fan of cast iron chimineas as they offer many benefits:
- Much more hardwearing and longer life span than other chimineas
- Less susceptible to the weather than clay chimineas
- Much less prone to cracking
- No need to cure it on first use
- Can be left outside using a chiminea cover for protection
- Radiates more heat than other chimineas
- Can use charcoal which makes cooking easier
- Often come with BBQ grills and attachments.
- Can warm a larger group of people
- Requires a LOT less maintenance than clay chimineas
As they are so versatile, these are often the chimineas that are the first to go out of stock. Instead of listing specific items, you can try some alternative online stores that you may not have thought of:
- Cast Iron Chimineas – https://www.castironchimineas.co.uk/
- Garden 4 Less – https://www.garden4less.co.uk/shop-for/Chiminea-Garden-Fires
- Wayfair – https://www.wayfair.co.uk/
- B&Q – https://www.diy.com/departments/outdoor-garden/garden-furniture/all-garden-furniture/garden-heating/chimineas/DIY581096.cat
Best Chiminea For Decks and Patios
You might get warned off using a chiminea on a deck entirely, but we think that as long as you take a few precautions, it should be perfectly fine.
TIP – This may not be the case if you are from hotter climes than our rather damp UK weather. In a climate where everything is bone dry and highly flammable, you will have to take more precautions.
Once you have identified where on your deck is suitable for your chiminea to sit, a heat-resistant mat or stone hearth is the way to go. Having this flame-resistant area should protect our deck but still allow you to enjoy your chiminea.
Now that you don’t have to worry about stray sparks or embers that find their way out of your fire bowl, you can take extra precautions and ensure that you have a bucket of sand ready in case you have to put out your fire in an emergency. Also, essential fire tools and heatproof gloves will ensure you can always keep firm control of your fire.
TIP – When choosing a position on a deck, make sure it’s not up against a building or under anything over hanging. This will reduce your risk of fire.
Clay chimineas are generally a good choice for decks and patios as they don’t burn as hot as metal chimineas. However, if you make sure to heatproof your deck before placing your new chiminea, it should be fine.
Best Chimineas for Cooking
The best chimineas for cooking are cast iron or other metal chimineas.
Clay chimineas can also be used for cooking, but they can present more of a challenge because you are limited to burning wood. Check out my article on Chiminea Cooking to read more if this is a priority for you.
Now that you know metal chims are better for cooking, you’ll want to find one with BBQ grill attachment – often in cast iron chimineas, they come with a BBQ grill that you can swing in place over the fire.
Other options are chimineas that split in half – so that when you want to cook, you can simply remove the chimney section of your chiminea, which transforms it into a more accessible cooking space.
This one’s an absolute cracker from castironchimineas.co.uk
These split chimineas are also available in clay models:
However, remember you’ll only be able to burn wood in these and how hot they get for cooking is debatable. Also, they are often over-priced, and I don’t recommend paying over £100.
They are a fun option but be super careful with that chimney when you remove it.
TIP – Any clay chiminea will require seasoning or curing with small fires before you can light a regular fire in your chiminea.
Another option is to try a chiminea with an alternative shape designed for cooking like this one on Etsy.
This stunning contemporary chiminea is available in 2 different sizes.
You might also like our article on how to repair a clay chiminea.
Best Looking Chiminea
Deciding on the best-looking chiminea is way trickier than the other categories because, of course, ‘best looking’ is purely subjective.
However, as I’m writing this article, my opinion and which ones I think are the best-looking chimineas will have to suffice.
This is indeed a beautiful beast weighing in at a stunning 75kg made from cast iron. The simple basket weave design on the chimney, standing 135cms tall and 54cm, it’s also one of the largest traditional shaped cast iron chimineas I’ve found. Love it!
Best looking traditional clay chiminea I found is actually in stock at the time of writing.
I love the traditional look of this one. Made by Hacienda, these are available in different colours and offer that perfect rustic charm to any garden. Perfect for a first chiminea, they are currently only £69.
For the best-looking contemporary clay chiminea, look no further than the Gardeco Botella Mexican Clay Chimenea in Charcoal Grey.
Bursting with rustic charm, this simple water drop shape chiminea changes colour the more it’s used. It oozes handmade charm and is often bought to use a stunning garden planter.
The best-looking contemporary metal chiminea that we could find was this one on bonfire.co.uk.
I just love the oxidised steel look of this one. Affordable too at under £150, another considerable advantage of this type of chiminea is there is no painting, sealing or even storage required. Exposure to weather is what makes this chiminea look terrific.
Once you have the desired look from the rust, you should cover it to extend life.
You might like this article on how to paint a chiminea.
Best Chiminea Accessories
Don’t forget about extras – remember once you’ve bought your chiminea, there are a few things you will need to buy to get your chiminea fired up:
- Heat mat or heatproof surface for decking
- Fire bricks for inside clay chiminea
- Sealant – crucial if you want your clay chiminea to last longer than one season
- Cooking accessories like BBQ grill attachment
The best chiminea is mostly subjective and particular to your circumstances and needs, but with keeping a few things in mind, you can make a good choice:
- Avoid eBay unless the extra cost is worth it for something you can’t find anywhere else
- Availability is key – chimineas come in and out of stock very quickly, so do your research now and contact the supplier, as some companies will allow you to reserve a chiminea
- Always check out a company before you buy from them – Trustpilot and other sites can quickly reassure you that a business is genuine. Simply enter the name of the company and ‘reviews’
- Check out our Facebook Page and follow for all Chiminea related content
I hope that this article has helped you choose the right chiminea for you and your family. Thanks for reading.
You might also like this article – best small chimineas.