chiminea vs fire pit featured

Chiminea vs Fire Pit – What’s Best for Your Home

If you’re looking for an outdoor fire feature for your backyard, you’re probably pondering over a chiminea vs a 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.

Click here for our list top chimineas for your outdoor enjoyment.

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 typical 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.

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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.

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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.


Fire pits are relatively more affordable. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Average range fire pits cost anywhere from $70-$150. As with anything, the higher priced models can be a few hundred dollars.



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.


Fire pits are typically a more open flame and therefore have different safety concerns. You want to get a screen it you’re concerned about flying ash. Additionally, if your fire pit is raised, you want to avoid any tripping hazards near the fire pit. Safety is the utmost importance with an open fire.



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.


A fire pit will have a more rustic appeal. However, due to the fact that it is an open fire, it’s visually accessible from any angle. This makes a fire pit better for larger crowds.


featured image from flickr