The chiminea is a popular form of outdoor fireplace. Traditionally it has a bulbous shape, the larger body of it is where the wood is burned which leads to the thinner neck that directs the smoke up and out of the top. The specific design of a traditional outdoor chiminea is nice in that it helps keep smoke from blowing around and in the faces of those enjoying the fireplace.
The two main types are metal and clay chimineas. Clay chimineas provide more of a rustic Southwestern look but metal chimineas are more durable and will last longer in a larger variety of climates. Metal chimineas come in a variety of styles and designs from decorative to simple so they can fit pretty well into the design and feel of most outdoor areas.
If you want a metal chiminea that will be durable, long-lasting and pretty low maintenance you probably want to look at cast iron chimineas and cast aluminum chimneas. Certain other types are made out of metals that may be cheaper but may not last quite as long.
Cast Iron Chiminea
Cast iron chimineas are extremely durable. If you’ve had much experience with cast iron you’ll understand. One drawback is that cast iron is very heavy so you won’t be able to move a cast iron chiminea around much. This isn’t a good option if you are looking for a portable outdoor fireplace. But they are pretty low maintenance you just need to touch up any areas where the metal becomes exposed with some high temperature paint every so often to keep it from rusting.
Cast Aluminum Chiminea
Cast Aluminum chimineas are also very durable but they are much lighter and easier to move making them more portable. A cast aluminum chiminea should not warp or rust and it can withstand the elements pretty well so this type of patio fireplace should last you a long time.
As with most outdoor fireplaces you should also get an outdoor fireplace cover — a chiminea cover will provide the best fit — to help protect it and keep it looking its best. But with just a little care quality metal chimineas should last for a long time and help provide many fun evenings outside.