If you’re looking for an outdoor fire feature for your backyard, you’re probably pondering over a chiminea vs fire pit. There are many great benefits of having either of these. In this post we’ll go over the pros and cons of each option.
What is a Chiminea?
The word chiminea comes from the Spanish word for chimney. Chimineas (or chimeneas) are designed to be free-standing oven type structures with an opening in the front. This opening is for loading fuel into the round bottom section. Attached to this is a vertical stack which allows smoke to vent upward.
Chiminea fuel is typically firewood. But unlike a fireplace, it’s not advisable to use pressurized wood in a chiminea. Other fuels such as coal and ethanol can also be used in a chiminea. But it’s very important that you choose the fuel most appropriate for the chiminea you have. Always be sure to read your instruction manual and choose accordingly.
Our Favorite Chiminea
What is a Fire Pit?
A fire pit is exactly what it sounds like – a pit with fire in it. There are two types of fire pits – those that are dug directly into the ground and those that are contained in a bowl or free-standing container.
For the fire pits directly in the ground, it is common to surround the fire with non-combustible material. This prevents the fire from spreading further past the pit.
Fire pits are typically circular or square shaped. Since they are typically dug into the ground, fire pits can be constructed by you. This means you don’t necessarily need to buy a fire pit if you want to build one yourself.
Our Favorite Fire Pit
Chiminea Vs Fire Pit – A Comparison
Chimineas are typically more expensive. You will typically find chimineas in the $150 – $600 range. This depends on whether it’s clay, cast aluminum, or other material.[/one_half_first]
A chiminea will be hot to the touch as it burns, and after the fire is out as well. And since the chiminea isn’t open on all sides, it’s possible that those on the other side won’t know that it’s burning.
Since they are free standing, and often quite tall, they can tip over. You want to be careful with young children and dogs.[/one_half_first]
One of the bigger downsides of a firepit is that smoke and ash can blow out of the firepit. This can be bothersome when you’re sitting around it.
It depends on the style, but typically chimineas will have a warm, inviting appeal. Since a chiminea is more closed off, you’ll gather more closely around it.[/one_half_first]
EASE OF USE
Chimineas are relatively easy to use. If you purchase a clay chiminea you will need to prepare it for use before lighting any fires. You may also want to place sand or gravel at the bottom of the chiminea as well as bricks to hold up your fire.
After that, as long as the chiminea is in good working order (no cracks or chips), it will only take a few minutes before you’re enjoying a warm fire. [/one_half_first]
Chimineas should be emptied of ash in order to keep them burning hotter and cleaner. You can manually remove the ash by scooping it out. This can be tough depending on how big the access is to the belly of the chiminea.
Another approach is to use a leaf blower or something that blows air to disperse the ash up through the chiminea. [/one_half_first]
Chimineas are typically quite heavy. Chiminea owners typically leave their chimineas in place year round. Instead of moving it indoors, you can place a cover on the chiminea to protect it from the elements.
Due to this, if you don’t want to leave a chiminea out year round, you may want to look for a smaller/lighter option or small fire pit.
If you want a fire pit built in the ground, you’ll want to think about ways to cover it when not in use.
featured image from flickr -https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimwhimpey/8646836362/