It is a generally accepted fact that looking at fire is relaxing. The warmth, the crackling sound of burning woods, the dance of the flames… All this experience connects us to nature and helps reduce our stress levels. Wouldn’t you want to add a fire source for relaxation in your outdoor areas? In this article, we present you with the best backyard chiminea ideas to enjoy the soothing effect of flames.
Let’s start with getting to know a chiminea. Chimineas are freestanding outdoor fireplaces with vertical chimneys used for heating or cooking. They are originally from Spain (but they are also a part of Mexican culture due to the extensive cultural impact). Traditionally, chimineas are made of clay, but modern versions can be cast iron or aluminum. One of the best qualities of chimineas is that they allow for a controlled fire even in a small and covered area.
How to Decide For the Right Backyard Chiminea?
The authentic clay chimineas can easily carry you away; we know it for sure. However, before impulsively buying one, check out the following list to decide what kind of chiminea is more suitable for your outdoors.
We mentioned that traditional Mexican chimineas are made of clay. But they are not the only option nowadays. It is possible to find cast iron, steel, copper, cast aluminum chimineas in the market, each with its own unique looks and benefits.
If you decide to go for a clay chiminea, that’s great! The traditional form of clay chimineas is so aesthetically pleasing to the eye that even when they are not burning, they can be decorative elements of your backyard. However, it is to be remembered that clay needs regular care.
Metal chimineas can be equally beautiful and more durable than clay chimineas. Keep in mind that the assembled metal plates can get extremely hot when the chiminea burns. So, you may want to consider going for clay chimineas if the household consists of children or pets.
Chimineas can be found in all sizes! This means they can be adapted for any needs. For example, suppose you consider getting one for your covered patio. In that case, you should prefer a smaller one to avoid fire splash. But of course, go for a grand chiminea if you have a big garden!
Or, if you are here just for the looks, there are just a little bigger chimineas than a standard lantern. They usually serve decorative purposes (and it is still possible to light them to boost the atmosphere).
A traditional chiminea looks almost like an earthenware water jug. However, the modern versions usually have an oval base and a long narrow chimney, creating a pyramid shape. Either shape serves the same purpose, but it depends on the decorative style of your backyard or patio to choose the one. Or maybe you can go for an extraordinary chiminea made in the shape of ancient Latin American sculptures!
4. Fuel Type
Chimineas conventionally burn firewood. Burning charcoal or ethanol is usually not recommended. However, you may find it effortful and demanding to stock wood, start the fire and clean the chiminea after each use. Don’t worry, there are new options. The modern types of chimineas use natural gas or propane as fuel. Less worry, more relaxation!
How you are going to use your backyard chiminea must affect your choice. Is it a decorative item, or will it be used for heating for the outdoor family meetings? Or maybe, you may want your chiminea to be multi-purpose. Then you should go for more options that can be used as a barbecue. If so, you may need to purchase complementary items to turn your backyard chiminea into a piece of cooking equipment.
Where To Put Your Chiminea?
The title foresees that chimineas will potentially be placed in the backyard, but it does not necessarily be the case. It is possible to use chiminea in patios and decks. Make sure that there shouldn’t be any easily flammable objects or surfaces around the opening of the chiminea. Especially in half-covered areas like patios, keep that in mind. Also, placing the chiminea at a spot that can easily be overseen from the house is a useful safety measure.
While deciding on the spot for your chiminea, pay attention to the floor. Fire-safe outdoor materials like concrete, brick, or stone are the best options. If you don’t have a spot like that, you may need to consider paving a particular chiminea flooring. Moreover, the surface area must be flat for the chimneys to work safely. Sloping surfaces prevent the chiminea from burning properly and may result in smoking. In sum, it might be helpful to prepare a spot for your backyard chiminea which has easy access to a firewood rack and is away from flammable surfaces.
Caring for the Backyard Chiminea
It is crucial to remove the ashes and other materials like sand or rocks and clean the chiminea base. Clay chimineas may be prone to cracking due to extreme weather conditions. In contrast, metal chimineas may rust if left under the rain. So, it is better to keep your chimineas of any kind under covered places to prevent breakdown. But keep in mind, no matter how big and bold your clay chiminea looks, it can be very fragile to crashing. This means it is best to be very careful when moving them!