Chiminea Care Tips

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 5:23pm
Owning a clay chiminea can add a touch of artistic decor to any home, while adding to the enjoyment of your outdoor living areas for many year. To get the most life out of your chiminea, here are some instructions and reminders to help you along the way.
  • Chimineas are constructed of fired clay. Although the clay walls are thick, you must take caution in building fires inside the chiminea. Building large, raging fires can damage or destroy your chiminea.
  • Your chiminea can burn any type of wood or charcoal. Pinon wood is a popular pine from New Mexico with a nice southwest aroma commonly used in chimineas.
  • Lighter fluids or other flammable liquids are not recommended for use in starting your fire.
  • Like all clay pottery your chiminea can be adversely affected by moisture and weather. It is important that chimineas be protected from freezing temperatures. The easiest solutions include covering it with a tarp or brining it indoors during wet freezing weather. You may try applying a sealant, but since clay is a porous material it does not usually absorb surface paints or sealants in a uniform manner.

Chiminea Outdoor Safety

  1. BURNING Chimineas ARE FOR OUTDOOR USE ONLY! They are an open camp fire. Do NOT burn a chiminea in ANY enclosed are like a shed, garage, or enclosed patio--it could cause illness or death from smoke inhalation to people or pets.
  2. CAUTION: Do not place ANY chiminea directly on top of a wood deck! ALL chimineas must be placed on a fire proof surface such as concrete, stone, or brick.
  3. The FLUE must be unobstructed to allow exhaust smoke to flow to open air.
  4. Chiminea exterior is HOT when in use. Maintain a safe distance to other outdoor objects (at least 24" clearance all the way around). Observe extreme caution with children!
  5. Do NOT leave a chiminea unattended while in use.

Ways to Protect & Preserve the Life of Your Chiminea

  1. Layer the inside bottom of the chiminea with lava rock, sand, or a clay grate. This will act as a shield to keep the hot fire from sitting directly on the clay, which helps reduce the risk of cracking.
  2. First Firing. Your first 2-3 fires should be small. This tempers the chiminea to handle larger fires later. CAUTION: Ignoring this can damage your chiminea!
  3. CAUTION: Never over fire your chiminea! After your first few small fires, you can build medium-sized, manageable fires. The fire should never be larger than approximately half of the fire chamber. It is helpful to use small pieces of wood rather than large long logs.
  4. NEVER burn the chiminea when it is wet. This could cause sever cracking. Avoid moving or transporting the chiminea when it is wet.