Do chimineas work? I have always wanted one as I love log fires but held off until the children were a little bigger. I’m always sad when the last fire of the winter has been lit but with a chiminea, we can have one all year round, because let’s face it, no matter how warm our summers are, the evenings are always a bit chilly…
After much deliberation I chose the Gardeco Cruz Mexican Chiminea from the Chiminea Shop. I knew I wanted a clay model and this one allows you to BBQ on it as well, I love the idea of cooking pizza or toasting marshmallows for the kids and the Chiminea shop sells all of the cooking accessories you need (I’ll let you know how that goes!) In terms of design, I thought the subtle detailing at the top was really pretty and the pale stone colour felt like the right shade for our garden. I would have considered a more contemporary model but because we have an old english garden, it needed to be fairly traditional. Best of all, other than the 6 screws for the feet, it needed absolutely no assembly!
The one thing that I was worried about with chiminea was whether the legs would be sturdy enough? What I found was that you need to wiggle them into position a little until they have no wobble left, make sure none of them are sitting on any kind of bump or patio slab edge.
This model came with a pretty lid which needs to be removed once the fire is lit, just one thing to note, the lid is often placed inside the chiminea on delivery and so make sure you don’t light it with the lid inside (I’m saying nothing…!)
As mentioned, I used standard logs that had been stored in our garage but next time, I will definitely go for the smokeless Gardeco fire logs as ours were a bit smokey (apologies to the neighbours!) I was curious to see how quickly it would heat up and I’d say within 5-10 minutes the whole chiminea was radiating a lovely heat. I was a little nervous about how hot the actual clay would get and if it would spark but it was fine, the clay was hot but not as scorching as I thought it would be and the sparks were ok as the actual fire is fairly deep-set into the chiminea. Also, if I use the Gardeco logs next time, I won’t need to worry about sparks.
If you are considering a new clay chiminea then there are just a few things to note; never move it while it is hot, don’t let it get damp (I would recommend a thermal cover for the colder months as severe cold weather can cause cracking) never put water on a fire to put it out as this causes cracking, clay chimineas need to cool down on their own. If you follow all of the basic care instructions then it should last for years and provide you with many happy fires.
Disclosure: This post has been written in partnership with The Chiminea Shop, all views are my own and I will only collaborate with companies that I feel are a brand match for my site and readers.