Steel Chimineas – Everything You Need to Know
Steel chimineas bring a lot to the table when it comes to choosing a chiminea because they are:
- The cheapest variety of chiminea and the most versatile
- Perfect for beginners
- Readily available and much more likely to be in stock as they can be shipped easily
- Available in stunning contemporary designs to create a focal point in your garden
- Easy to move around and store in the shed for winter
- Offer fuel flexibility as they can burn wood, charcoal or coal
How Much Do Steel Chimineas Cost?
There’s good news and bad news. Steel chimineas are by far the cheapest type available which is perfect for an impulse buy or your first chiminea.
The bad news is that there are many resellers selling for 2, 3 and sometimes even 4x the fair price. Read my guide on finding chimineas in stock that should help you avoid overpaying.
You can pick up a simple, steel chiminea from the Argos or B&Q when they have them in stock. Unless you are interested in a larger, contemporary statement piece, steel chimineas should not be more than £120.
Are Steel Chimineas Any Good?
Yes! Steel chimineas offer tremendous flexibility and a cheap entry point for beginners.
Here’s my first chiminea that was only £40 from B&Q. A small, steel chiminea that’s perfect for a small garden set up as it takes up no space and I can just pick it up and throw it in the shed over winter.
Great value for money, the perfect entry point for beginners and can keep a few folks warm when it’s not too cold outside.
Where Can I buy a Steel Chiminea?
Steel chimineas are by far the most readily available. They are easily produced en masse and usually come flat packed for you to assemble.
You pick them up everywhere from Amazon, eBay, B&Q, and Argos. There’s also a growing artisan market for steel chimineas on Etsy.
These are often stunning, handcrafted garden features and are well worth the investment. A weird side point – Etsy will correct your search for ‘chimineas’ to ‘chimneys’ unless you correct it (the same way you would Google – click on the ‘search chimineas instead’ underneath. I mention this as it gives you very different results).
What Can I burn in a Steel Chiminea?
Here, we’re spoiled for choice. You can burn pretty much any solid fuel in steel chimineas.
Wood, charcoal, and coal can all be used safely in a steel chiminea. As always, check your manufacturer’s guidelines in case of any discrepancies, but in general, steel chimineas can handle significantly higher heat than clay chimineas.
Can I Use a Steel Chiminea for Cooking?
Yes. Steel chimineas are great for cooking as they allow you to use charcoal that’s much easier to cook on.
Steel chimineas are super versatile and the perfect starting point, even just for getting some marshmallows toasting!
Keep in mind the size of the mouth of the chiminea when shopping for one that’ll be good for cooking. This one from La Hacienda is great because it comes with a sliding grill included.
How Long Do Steel Chimineas Last?
From just a few short years to many happy seasons….the main enemy when it comes to a long life for any metal chimineas is rust (except for those lucky enough to have cast aluminium chimineas which we don’t currently have access to in the UK).
To hold off the rust demons as long as possible, keep your steel chim as dry as possible. Always keep the lid on your steel chiminea when not in use as this prevents water and debris from getting in your chimney stack.
A chiminea cover is a must and you should cover it whenever it’s not in use (obviously waiting for it to cool down first!). Store it inside somewhere over the winter
Oxidised Steel Chimineas
Oxidised steel chimineas, also known as weathered steel chimineas are a big favourite of mine when it comes to aesthetics.
Rugged and earthy yet contemporary and unique works of art – the rust orange colour is fantastic!
They usually come with the steel pre-oxidised and treated so that gives them good protection and if you look after them can last 20 years. Although needing assembly these are light and easy to put together.
They are such a terrific statement piece in your garden. Hoping to get one of these soon!
360 Mesh View Steel Chimineas
These steal chimineas with a 360-degree view of the fire are a really fun version of the steel chim. They are usually really affordable and a nice compromise between a chiminea and a firepit.
Although they do generally let out more smoke, once the fire gets going, it’s much better. Can always put it in the corner on a windy day.
These are perfect for a more sheltered area where you have enough space to put seating all around.
Summary of Everything About Steel Chimineas
Steel chimineas are awesome for your first chiminea experience. Cheap entry point, especially when you consider all the other bits and pieces as a beginner you’ll need to get, that is: wood or charcoal for burning, tinder, wood shavings or fire starter, and a basic fire tool.
Furthermore, they are easy to maneuverer, maintain, and source.
I hope that these few pointers can help you enjoy the world of steel chimineas if you fancy a bash!
Check out my article on the best cheap chimineas available.