The 7 Best Chimineas – [2020 Reviews & Guide]

Chimineas have been around for centuries – and for good reason.

Though originally used for baking bread in 17th century Mexico, they are much more than simple stoves. These days, they’re a popular alternative to expensive gas or oil heaters.

With their iconic long vents and covered fire pits, they are also the ideal accent piece for patios and gardens, as they can keep burning in all sorts of weather conditions.

But before you get too excited about your next patio addition, you’ll have to make sure you’ve done your research. Not all chimneys are created equal!

To make this decision a little easier, we’ve reviewed the top chimineas on the market today. After reading, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make an informed investment.

Best Chimineas

 Bali Outdoor ChimineaKotula Cabin-Style ChimineaThe Blue Rooster Chiminea
editors choice
Construction:Cast IronSteelCast Aluminum
Dimensions:22 x 22 x 45 Inches20 x 25 x 43 Inches22 x 22 x 52 Inches
Warranty:NoNoYes
Extra Features:NoPoker, ash shovelNo

For more of my backyard recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: Cantilever Umbrellas, Patio Heaters,Outdoor Water Fountains.

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Chimineas For 2020

  1. Bali Outdoors Fireplace Chiminea 
  2. Kotula Cabin-Style Cooking Chiminea
  3. The Blue Rooster Sun Stack Chiminea 
  4. Deckmate Sonora Outdoor Chiminea
  5. Better Homes Cast Iron Chimney 
  6. The Blue Rooster Venetian Chiminea
  7. Sunnydaze Rustic Chiminea 

Our reviews of the top rated chimineas with our comparison table and buyers guide will help you choose the right one for you.


Chiminea Reviews

The Bali Outdoors Fireplace Chiminea is a modern take on the traditional fire burning unit.

With steel construction, sturdy cast iron legs and a rain cap, this model is strong enough to withstand the elements while providing a gentle blanket of warmth.

The long stack will funnel smoke up and away from guests, while the 2-piece log grate allows air flow for a steady yet controlled burn.

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This chimney’s mesh screening design also allows for 360 degree visibility, so you’ll get a prime view of the flickering flames. 

Clean up is a breeze due to the sliding door and ash tray. You’ll be able to add fuel and rake out ash with ease.

With everything you need to extend your living area into the outdoors, this is one of the best chimineas we’ve seen yet.

 

Bali Outdoors Fireplace Chiminea at a Glance:

  • Construction: Cast iron
  • Dimensions: 22 x 22 x 45 Inches
  • Warranty: No
  • Extra Features: No

The Kotula Cabin-Style Cooking Chiminea is certainly a show-stopper.

This weather-resistant, cabin-esque chiminea is built for long-lasting heat retention using your choice of fuel – wood, artificial logs or charcoal.

Featuring a removable, adjustable grate, it doubles as a brick-style oven for grilling meat, fish, veggies, and every other food group imaginable.

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The Kotula functions excellently as a fire center for entertaining – it is constructed out of 1mm gauge steel with a high temperature painted finish, so it won’t crack under high temperatures.

The smoke stack makes for a controlled and even burn as well, so you don’t have to worry about unevenly heated areas.

Also included in the package are a poker and ash shovel. This is definitely the best chimney for those with a taste for the aesthetically pleasing.

 

Kotula Cabin-Style Cooking Chiminea at a Glance:

  • Construction: Steel
  • Dimensions: 20 x 25 x 43 Inches
  • Warranty: No
  • Extra Features: Poker, ash shovel

The Blue Rooster Sun Stack Chiminea is a sturdy cast aluminum unit that was designed to last for years to come.

Capable of withstanding whatever the weather throws at it, this chimney requires very little maintenance and even comes with a lifetime warranty!

It features a spacious fire pit capable of handling full-sized logs, a large mouth opening for flame visibility, and a hinged safety door which makes clean-up a breeze.

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The efficient draft design also makes for little to no excess smoke, so you won’t have to worry about inhaling any harsh fumes.

It also comes with built in carry handles, which make it easy to maneuver around your patio or garden if you ever feel like playing around with layout.

This is one of the most versatile and durable outdoor chimineas available on the market today.

 

The Blue Rooster Sunstack Chiminea at a Glance:

  • Construction: Cast Aluminum
  • Dimensions: 22 x 22 x 52 Inches
  • Warranty: Yes
  • Extra Features: No

Next up, we have the Deckmate Sonora Outdoor Chimney.

This is a cast iron artisan chimney which features a rubbed bronze finish. The paint is temperature resistant for a wood burning unit that simply can’t be cracked.

Included in the design is also a cap on top to keep out rain, and a convenient sliding door for adding fuel.

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The Deckmate’s fire pit can take both real wood and artificial logs.

It is constructed with a wire mesh spark screen, which allows for a 360 degree view of the fire for all the pyromaniacs out there.

Included in the package are also a log grate and a fire tool for convenient set-up and clean-up.

This is a great addition to any backyard or patio, and is surely one of the best cast iron chimineas on the market today.

 

Deckmate Sonora Outdoor Chiminea at a Glance:

  • Construction: Cast Iron
  • Dimensions: 21 x 21 x 51 Inches
  • Warranty: Yes
  • Extra Features: No

Create a relaxing outdoor space with the Better Homes and Gardens Chiminea.

This cast-iron unit offers all the benefits of sturdy construction, with the aesthetic appeal of an antique bronze finish. It’s ideal for entertaining friends and family in the backyard!

Simply add in wood logs for ambient lighting and comfortable warmth throughout your garden.

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The best part about this model is that it can be paired with literally any kind of outdoor furniture. The color and silhouette are exceptionally versatile!

You also won’t have to make any other extra purchases, as it includes a matching fire poker and a nylon cover (a must-have for protecting the chiminea from the elements!).

Whether as your latest patio accent piece, a thoughtful housewarming gift, or even an impulse purchase, this is one of the best garden chimneys you can find.

 

Better Homes Cast Iron Chimney at a Glance:

  • Construction: Cast Iron
  • Dimensions: 22.8 x 22.8 x 46 Inches
  • Warranty: No
  • Extra Features: Poker

 

The Blue Rooster Venetian Chiminea is a cast aluminum masterpiece that requires barely any maintenance.

It won’t rust in wet or cold conditions and refuses to crack even under extreme heat.

Air vents and a wired screen make for efficient drafting, so this chimney is easy to light, simple to clean, and gives off negligible smoke.

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With a large and spacious fire pit, you’ll be able to fit in full size logs from 18 to 20 inches in size.

Like the traditional chimineas of old, this one doubles as a stove for your most elegant of garden dinners. You can bask in the evening fire and cook your dinner in it too!

Better yet, the Blue Rooster chimney comes with a lifetime warranty. If you run into malfunctions or defects, simply contact the manufacturer – they’ve got your back!

 

The Blue Rooster Venetian Chiminea at a Glance:

  • Construction: Cast Aluminum
  • Dimensions: 22 x 22 x 52 Inches
  • Warranty: Yes (Lifetime)
  • Extra Features: No

Last but certainly not least, we have the Sunnydaze Rustic Chiminea. This model will add instant charm and warmth to any outdoor area.

It is constructed with heavy duty thick steel and an oxidized rustic finish. An authentic rust patina is what gives this product it’s characteristically antique look.

This unique finish is formed when metal is exposed to water and oxygen. As a result, the color will continue to change over time. 

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With a relatively small diameter and partially-enclosed fire pit, this chimney is safe to use in smaller outdoor spaces.

The stack draws fresh air into the fire by moving the smoke and soot upwards and away from those present. The result is a fire that burns hot and clean.

To use, simply add firewood or kindling and light.

Complete with a 1-year manufacturers warranty, this is one of the best metal chimineas we’ve seen yet. 

 

Sunnydaze Rustic Chiminea at a Glance:

  • Construction: Steel
  • Dimensions: 23.5 (diameter) x 70 Inches
  • Warranty: Yes
  • Extra Features: No

Chiminea Comparison Table

Chimney ConstructionDimensionsWarrantyExtrasRating
Bali Outdoors ChimineaCast Iron22" x 22" x 45"NoNo4.7 / 5.0
Kotula Cabin Chiminea
Steel20" x 25" x 43"NoPoker, ash shovel4.2 / 5.0
The Blue Rooster Sun Stack Chiminea
Cast Aluminum22" x 22" x 52"YesNo4.5 / 5.0
Better Homes Cast Iron ChimneyCast Iron23" x 23" x 46"NoPoker4.2 / 5.0
Deckmate Sonora ChimineaCast Iron21" x 21" x 51"YesNo4.0 / 5.0
Blue Rooster Venetian ChimineaCast Aluminum22" x 22" x 52"Yes (Lifetime)No4.2 / 5.0
Sunnydaze Rustic ChimineaSteel23.5" x 70"YesNo3.5 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Chiminea – Buying Guide

best chimney
The Deckmate Sonora Outdoor Chiminea

Now that we’ve taken you through the best chimneys the market has to offer, it’s time to decide which you’ll be bringing home.

This is the toughest part – how do you choose just one from so many stellar options?

Rest assured – that’s where we come in! We’ve put together this comprehensive buyers guide which will take you through the key aspects of the selection process.

By the time you’re done, you should have no doubts about which chiminea best suits your patio, garden or outdoor area.

Construction + Materials

It’s easy to get distracted by the rustic motifs and gorgeous engravings decorating some chimneys – but don’t let yourself get too carried away with aesthetic value.

As a focal point of your patio, your chimney should indeed be beautiful. But, above all, quality of construction is the most important factor.

Chimineas come in a variety of different materials, with the most popular being clay, cast iron, cast aluminum and steel. There are pros and cons to each of these.

Clay

Even the best clay chimneys tend to be extremely bulky, and most susceptible to wet and cold conditions.

Constructed from 2 separate pieces (fire bowl and stack) that are joined by a seam, they are also most prone to breakage if mishandled.

If you go for a clay option, be sure to take care of it well.

You’ll have to apply heat resistant sealant to its outer body at least once a month, or it could shatter from high temperatures.

You’ll also need to store or cover the chimney during wet periods to prevent the structure from losing integrity. If it does get wet, it must dry completely before being used again.

Clay chimneys are by far the most care intensive – but they remain popular due to their charming and rustic aesthetic.

The original chimineas were made from clay, so they will always have a romantic, nostalgic appeal to them.

Cast Iron

Cast iron chimneys are the ideal option for people who don’t want to waste any time on upkeep.

These can spend long periods in cold and rainy weather, and don’t have to dry completely after getting wet. At the same time, they don’t crack as easily as their clay counterparts.

The downside to cast iron is its weight – these are extremely heavy and meant to be placed just one time. This eliminates portability and gives you less room to switch up the layout of your patio.

Bulk and weight aside, cast iron chimneys are a great investment, as they can even outlast their owners.

Cast Aluminum

Cast aluminum chimneys are usually the go-to option for most modern buyers.

Though these have a steep price tag, they’re designed to last with negligible upkeep.

Cast aluminum won’t rust or corrode, so your deck will remain stain free (the same can not be said for clay, cast iron, and steel options).

They’re also lighter in weight than both cast iron and clay chimneys, making them super portable and easy to maneuver.

Because they’re available in both gas-burning and wood-burning options, they can even be taken inside, provided you have the proper venting.

Best of all, the versatility of cast aluminum allows these come in the widest variety of designs and sizes.

Steel

Steel chimneys are by far the most budget-friendly option available. They’re also the most common, easily found in garden supply stores and malls.

The key advantages to steel varieties are their portability (these are very light) and replaceability.

Because of their low price, they are a great option to take traveling. They’re cheap to replace and easy to find anywhere – so you might consider buying one for a weekend event or camping trip.

These are also great if you’d like to experiment with design – they come in an abundance of shapes, sizes and styles, so you can easily swap them out.

Seasoning

Irrespective of the construction of your chiminea, you’ll have to properly season it. (No, not with spices).

“Seasoning” your chimney, also known as “curing” it, refers to the week-long process of breaking the unit in.

Do this by lighting small fires in its pit, allowing them to burn out down fully, then waiting for your chimney to cool completely.

Repeating this creates a coating on the inside of the fire bowl, which will prevent your chimney from overheating.

This is a crucial step – if you skip it, your chimney may crack on its first use, regardless of which material you go for.

How to Cure A Chiminea

How to 'cure' a clay chimenea before use to prevent cracking

Patio Specifications

Chimineas obviously contain burning flames, which make them a fire hazard. With that in mind, think carefully about the surface you’ll be placing yours on!

If your deck is wooden, you must cover the area before placing the chiminea, to ensure the wood doesn’t catch fire and burn.

The ideal surface to place your chiminea on is a flat slab of concrete or firebricks (especially if the one you choose doesn’t have legs).

If you put your chimney on an unstable surface (like uneven soil, grass or planks), you run the risk of it tipping over and causing a huge, flammable disaster.

Maintenance

As with most things, maintenance is really key here.

Before using your new chimney, be sure to apply some sort of sealant or acrylic finish. This glaze will protect it from water and moisture, which may ruin its integrity.

You can also consider investing in a chiminea cover to save yourself the need to reapply every month or so.

If you have a clay chimney, store it in a warm, dry place or cover it during rainy days.

You’ll also need to clean out ash from the fire pit. In order to do this, layer the bottom of your chimney’s fire pit with sand, lava rocks, gravel or fire glass.

Once you’e done this, either rake out the ash or run the mixture under some water to get the ash out. Then, return the sand/gravel into the pit.

Finally, don’t ever use water to kill the fire! The extreme temperature change can crack more susceptible materials like clay.

FAQs About Chimineas

Q: What do you put under a chiminea?

A: A flat, non-wooden surface is the best option. A base of stone or firebricks is most ideal, as these will be unharmed by sparks and falling embers.

If your deck is made of wood, be sure to put some sort of covering on top of it before setting the chiminea down. This will prevent falling debris from burning your wooden deck.

Q: Can chimineas explode?

A: Only when handled irresponsibly! If you use gas or flammable liquids to start the fire, you’ll be risking an explosion.

Be responsible and stick to wood or coal.

Q: Is a fire pit or a chiminea better?

A: In terms of safety, a chiminea is the better option due to its design. The flames are directed up and out of the long stack, giving a far more controlled burn than that of a fire pit.

This tunnel effect also means they give off far less smoke than fire pits. They’re also covered, which means they can work well in most weather conditions as the flames are always protected.

In the end though, it all comes down to personal preference.

Q: How far away should a chiminea be from the house?

A: As a general rule, keep your chiminea 30 feet away from your home, plants/trees, and any other flammable object.

This wide berth gives enough room for people to gather around the fire without risking injury.

Tips For Choosing A Chiminea

#1: Do your research.

Be sure of the type of chimney you want, whether it be clay, cast iron, cast aluminum, steel, or any other kind of construction.

This is important because the material used will determine the amount and nature of the maintenance required.

#2: Season it!

You must season your chiminea before use! If you skip this step, your brand new product could crack on its first use.

If you want a more visual guide to curing your chimney, simply check out the YouTube video linked in the ‘Seasoning’ section of our buyers guide.

#3: Maintenance is key.

Take good care of your chimney by seasoning it before use, sealing it monthly, and covering it in rainy or cold weather (depending on whether the chimney is clay or cast iron, etc).

While all chimneys are eventually fated to die, taking these simple precautions will extend their lifetime and preserve their longevity.

Summary

Now that you know all about how to select a good chiminea, it’s time to put your research to good use and select one for your home.

No matter which you choose, know you’ll be getting one of the top contenders on the market.

Thanks for reading & happy shopping!


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Monisha Pillai

Lover of traveling, shopping, and all things nature. When I’m not writing about the latest outdoor gear, you can find me lying out on the beach, trying new foods, or planning my next trip to Asia.

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