If you are looking for a patio fireplace that has an earthy feel you might want to consider a clay chiminea. Clay chimineas are a specific type of outdoor fireplace that, traditionally, have a bulbous shape with a round belly to contain the fire and a long slim neck to vent the smoke and keep it from blowing in the faces of those enjoying this outdoor fireplace.
Clay Chimineas As Outdoor Fireplaces
Clay chimineas have a distinct look and feel that make them unique, even though they now come in a few different styles.
They were originally used in warm, dry climates and because of the nature of clay they are better suited to these climates. But if you live in an area with bouts of rain and freezing temperatures you can still use clay chimineas, you just need to take a few extra precautions to help protect it.
For starters it is good to have a few simple outdoor fireplace accessories, mainly a chiminea cover. This is a good idea no matter what type of climate you have to help protect your outdoor chiminea. You can use something else like a grill cover to protect it, but a chiminea cover will be easier to use and made to fit better, plus a simple cover isn’t that expensive to buy. If you live in an area that has freezing temperatures during the winter you should store your clay chiminea in a shed or garage as the combination of low temperatures and moisture can crack the clay.
Before buying a clay chiminea ask questions so you know how to use it properly. Many clay chimineas sold today should be sealed before they are used. Ask if the model you are buying needs to be sealed and what you should use to seal it. With this type of chiminea you may also need to season it by burning only small fires the first few times you use it, before you work up to regular fire wood or pinion wood. And never use lighter fluid as the clay is porous and can soak up the fluid.
Clay chimineas have a distinct look and feel that makes them fun as outdoor fireplaces but they do require a bit more care than some other types of patio fireplaces as they are not as durable. If you like the look and style of outdoor chimineas you might want to consider a metal chiminea instead. Metal chimineas are more durable but they still have the same bulbous shape.
Other Uses For a Clay Chiminea
While a clay chiminea is usually used as an outdoor fireplace some creative people have found additional uses for them. Some people have used them indoors as an oversize candle holder or planter. It’s ok to use them as a candle holder but never burn a regular fire in them indoors.
They also add a decorative flair to a patio or garden when used as a planter with flowers and vines coming out of them. Broken clay chimineas are also very common for this giving them an afterlife when they can no longer be used as a fireplace.