smoke food with a chiminea

How to Smoke Food With A Chiminea

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Any fire that you can control – you can cook on. And that goes the same for smoking food.

From poultry, lamb, beef shoulder, and pork joint, not to mention fish, the list goes on, and there are endless possibilities with smoking your food on a chiminea. Let’s get into it.

Types of Wood For Smoking

The type of wood you use will determine the flavour of your smoked food. Any good hardwood that bears fruit is good to smoke with. You want to make sure any wood that you have has minimum 6 months of seasoning time or kiln dried.

Applewood is great for chicken and fish as it is very mild. Hickory is perfect for beef and even pork.

Be careful not to over smoke with hickory as it’s really strong. Pecan has a really mild taste and allows you to cook for a long period of time using only wood. When using stronger woods, you may want to partly cook with charcoal or milder wood to mellow the flavor and not overpower.


Typical BBQ is low and slow – 225-250 degrees Farenhight is about right. Some like to cook hot but you can cook a brisket over 12 hours for the dedicated smoker! The same joint can be cooked in less than half the time, but it’s just different techniques.

Chicken sem,s to do better at a hotter cook because it crisps up the skin and results in a less rubbery chicken.

Wet Marinade or Dry Rub for Smoking with a Chiminea?

Whether you make it on your own or throw together ingredients, marinades and dry rubs are essential to get the most out of your smoking experience.

You can go for some heat and spice it up or even something sweeter. Have some fun with rubs and choose something that works for you. There are some amazing recipes available online now, so check them out and give them a try!

A good all-purpose rub will have equal sweet and savoury notes and be versatile to be thrown on most meats to make them special.

Chiminea Dry Rub

Here’s a rub recipe that is tried and tested and works great in a chiminea. To make it, you need equal parts sugar to the rest, so your ratio from sweet to savoury is 1:1.

  • 1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • Half tsp Himalayan Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
  • Half tsp ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper to taste

For more chiminea recipes, check out chiminea cooking.

Get a Thermometer

Keeping an eye on your temps during smoking is a game changer and can transform your chiminea food from meh to nom.

I like the ThermoPro Meat Thermometer as it has an extension pen and an alarm!

You’ll learn much faster by knowing the temp of your meat, and it’s a huge piece of mind for chicken and pork to know that you not going to be producing something that can make peeps sick.

How to Smoke Food On a Chiminea

From fish clamps to threading meat on skewers, there are different ways to get the smokey goodness on your food.

You can also use something like the Gardeco Food Smoker to fit fire pits, BBQs and top of neck of chimeneas. It fits perfectly on top of your chimney stack and has a lid with adjustable ventilation.

It has a standard grill type inside that will let you smoke pretty much anything you like. Just make sure you have some heat-proof gloves (or at the very least oven gloves) to help you manage this, as you may want to lift it off while it’s still hot.

smoke on top of your chiminea

Why Smoke Food with a Chiminea

At certain temperatures, certain things happen to certain meats – e.g. pulled pork at 195 degrees goes from being stiff and chewy to the meat falling off the bone. Smoking your food on the chiminea can take you to GOAT level among your peers if you get it right.

Smoking is such a wonderful way of imparting maximum flavour on your ingredients and although the Americans are way ahead of us in terms of our experience in smoking meats, there’s a reason they love it!

I really hope you enjoy giving smoking meat on a chiminea a try. Let me know how you get on!

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