With a comparable size fire, a chiminea is hotter than a firepit. However, the beauty of firepits is you can have a much larger fire and heat more people.
However, the heat from the fire in a firepit quickly escapes into the atmosphere and goes as soon as the fire decreases in size. A chiminea is an extremely efficient wood-burning stove and therefore requires much less fuel to result in comparable heat output.
Can Chimineas Get Too Hot?
Yes, chimineas can get too hot if:
- flames come out of the top of your chiminea
- you over-fuel your chiminea
- you forget to remove the lid before lighting your chiminea
- you use the wrong fuel – eg charcoal in a clay chiminea
- you do not line the fire bowl of your clay chiminea with sand
Will High Temperatures Damage The Chiminea?
Yes, if your chiminea fire gets too big (particularly in a clay chiminea) the heat shock can potentially crack the structure of your chiminea.
To avoid damaging your chiminea as a result of overheating make sure to:
- Remove the lid before lighting
- Always start a small fire and build it gradually
- Never use more than one or two logs at a time
- Never have flames coming out the top of your fire
- Never use coal or charcoal in a clay chiminea
- Never use fuel accelerants to start a chiminea fire
Most chimineas don’t have damping control so once your fire is lit the control you have over it is limited.
TIP – make sure to have a way ot put out your fire in an emergency – a bucket of sand is perfect for this.
Are Chimineas More Efficient Than Firepits?
Yes, chimineas are more efficient than firepits. They require less wood to produce the same amount of heat and as the surface of the chiminea heats up, it will also radiate heat.
Metal chimineas are particularly good at this and will stay hot a long time after the fire dies. A chiminea will also carry the smoke upwards and away from the area.
When Are Firepits a Better Choice than Chimineas?
Firepits are a better choice than chimineas when:
- You have a circular area that needs a focal point in the cente
- You wish to have a larger group of people
- You want to have larger fires
- You have a large garden
- You want a 360 view of the fire
- You want to improve the value of your property by putting in a built in firepit
Both chimineas and firepits are great solutions to providing a focal point in your garden to keep people warm. Firepits are generally better for larger gardens in more rural areas where you are not concerned with smoke production or neighbours washing.
You might also like my article on fire pits vs chimineas.