|CHIMINEA||urban areas with limited space; much less smoke that’s directed away from people; easier to clean with less ash; safer, contained fire; use less wood and easy to adapt to cooking.|
|FIREPIT||rural properties; full 360 view of fire; better for larger groups and built in seating area; can be made a valuable feature on your property.|
If you are in love with chimineas as much as I am there’ll be no comparison but let’s look in more detail at the pros and cons of both to help you make an informed decision about your weapon of choice when it comes to outdoor heating.
Is a chiminea safer than a fire pit?
Yes! Chimineas are inherently safer than firepits because of the containment of the fire. As the fire is built within the belly of the chiminea, this prevents the fire from getting too big and also lowers the likelihood of stray sparks and embers.
This also applies to the smoke issue that comes with any fire. In a fire pit, it’s completely open so a slight change of direction of the wind and someone in your group will inevitably have to move as the smoke billows in their face.
The chimney of a chiminea largely reduces the smoke problem and takes the smoke up and away rather than being surrounded as so often happens in a fire pit.
Chimineas are safer and easier to manage around children and animals. Again because of the fire containment – there is only one angle to protect and makes it much easier to keep an eye on things.
Which gives off more heat fire pit or chiminea?
I see people asking this question a lot in forums as they are worried that chimineas don’t give out enough heat but this is simply not true, particularly for the metal chimineas.
A fire pit will no doubt give off more heat though it will burn through a lot more wood than a chiminea. There is also the all-around view that a fire pit offers and people gathered around the fire pit can all see the fire and be heated from it. However, unless you are having the footy team round for some beers, a chiminea does a terrific job of keeping smaller groups warm.
As the wood burns down to glowing embers this is when the chiminea shines and radiates heat that it can sustain for quite some time.
Cast iron chimineas (or any other metal chiminea) are really great at radiating heat. I was at my sister’s house the other day and my nephew was sitting near their small, cast iron chiminea without a jacket on, in November, in Scotland! He said it was too toasty for a jacket!
Can I Toast Marshmallows With a Chiminea?
Yes! It’s one of our favourite past times this winter so far, to get the mallows toasting on the chiminea. The heat is strong enough on cast iron chimineas that once you’ve had the fire going for a while, you can get them toasting without even opening the front grid.
Great fun for the kids.
Why Might I Choose a Fire Pit Instead?
There are some circumstances where you may feel that a fire pit is more suited to your needs.
The main reasons to choose a firepit over a chiminea are the size and 360 views of the fire. Firepits do generally require a lot more space than a chiminea, but if you are lucky enough to have a big space outside, then a fire pit may make more sense for your property.
If you often have gatherings of more than 6 people, a fire pit could make a great focal point for your space. There is definitely something primal about gathering around a large, open fire, and with a fire pit, you can enjoy this again and again.
- Radiates heat
- Sustains heat radiation
- Charming focal point
- Fire is contained
- Smoke is directed away from people
- Keeps the fire safe and contained
- Safer than firepits for kids and pets
- Can be used in smaller gardens
- Extremely efficient fire
- Can control fire easily reducing airflow etc
- Lovely, intimate fire
- Perfect for family time
- Can be used to cook food in the fire or even the chimney!
- Smaller fire
- No 360 view
- Less heat than a large firepit fire
- Heavy and difficult to move
- Clay chimineas may not radiate as much heat and be prone to cracking
Fire Pit Pros
- An outdoor heating solution at its most primal
- 360 view of the fire
- More heat than a chiminea
- Better for larger groups and creating a party atmosphere
- Some models can be used to BBQ or smoke food
- Built-in firepits can potentially increase the value of your property
Fire Pit Cons
- Can be difficult to control stray embers
- Extra consideration should be made for kids and pets
- Smoke everywhere
- Messy to clean up
- Requires a large area
TIP: You can mitigate a lot of messy clean up by putting some sand under your fire pit – this will help drain away sludge when it gets wet post-fire.
Chimineas: better for urban areas with limited space; much less smoke that’s directed away from people; easier to clean with less ash; safer, contained fire; use less wood and easy to adapt to cooking.
Fire Pits: excellent for rural properties; full 360 view of fire; better for larger groups and built-in seating area; can be made a valuable feature on your property.