Cooking, Tips

The Best Cast Iron Chiminea for Your Patio

By · January 14, 2023

The chiminea is by far one of the best additions to add to your backyard! The chiminea is best used as an outdoor oven or fireplace, and if you want a great all-around chiminea for your backyard, a cast iron chiminea is going to be the best go-to!

First introduced in the form we see today around 400 years ago in Spain and Mexico, the chiminea has remained largely the same through all this time. They are a great source of heat to use as warmth or cooking, as the air is drawn in through the bottom of the chiminea, giving it a very clean and efficient burn.

Cast Iron Chiminea Fire

They often produce little to no smoke if used correctly, and also produce very little ash or other debris when compared to a standard fire pit. A chiminea traditionally burns either wood or charcoal, but you can find ones on the market today that burn natural gas such as propane.  

Stainless Cuisinart Propane Fire Pit

Since most of us already have all kinds of cast iron cookware that many of us use in the house for day-to-day cooking, or on camping trips, we are all familiar in some way or another with cast iron.

A cast iron chiminea is going to be not only durable, but the best material to use if you want to cook with them, as well as have a standard fire. The chiminea is something that will be great for any backyard or patio, so today, we will look at our choices for the six best cast iron chimineas you can get!

What is a chiminea and what are its uses?

A chiminea is a traditional Spanish outdoor oven and fireplace that were originally made out of clay. These clay chimineas have been phased out in modern times in favor for metal designs that add a sleek and simple design to any of your outdoor spaces.

They were used primarily for cooking when first invented, but have now become not only a unique outdoor addition in the form of a fire pit. Most uses of the chiminea now are for hanging out around a fire for sporting events, holidays, family events, sitting outside sipping hot chocolate or pumpkin spice lattes in the fall, and any other event you want to have in your backyard or on the patio!

Hanging Out Around Chiminea

Benefits of Choosing a Cast Iron Chiminea

Cast iron chimineas are one of the best overall designs you can get, and for a good reason. Cast iron, when taken care of properly, doesn't rust, and can last for a very long time!

Cast Iron Chiminea Leg

Cast iron is extremely durable and sturdy as well, so it will last a lot longer than any other material. Using your cast iron chiminea for cooking is also a great benefit, since we already use cast iron to cook over traditional campfires or on the stove.

Food Cooking on Cast Iron Chiminea

Not only are they good for cooking, but they are also great if you want to heat any kind of outdoor space you want! Many standard outdoors firepits are made of cast iron, but with a chiminea, you get a unique design that grabs anyone's attention the moment they see it!

Since chimineas also burn clean and efficiently, it is a great alternative to the traditional firepit! Cast iron chimineas will immediately make any space better for hanging out, cooking, and any get togethers you have!

6 Best Cast Iron Chimineas

1. Bali Outdoors Cast Iron Chiminea Outdoor Fire Pit

At number one, we have the Bali Outdoors Cast Iron Chiminea Outdoor Fire Pit. This premium chiminea styled fire pit is super easy to use and will fit in with any space you want it! This chiminea is extremely sturdy and weighs 40 pounds, so no need to worry about it getting broken with use!

Like some other outdoor fire pits, this design features a wire mesh that wraps around the body which provides excellent viewing. Speaking of the body of the chiminea, it is able to be easily re-fueled and cleaned out. This fire pit is one of the best you can get!

Bali Outdoors Wire Mesh

The price of this chiminea is also going to be affordable compared to others, costing $200 retail, and $179 on sale. When looking at the size of it, it is a medium size, which is a great middle ground for any space! Overall, you can’t go wrong with this chiminea in anyway, so this is why we chose it as the number one pick!

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Sleek Design
  • Good Price

Cons:

  • Mesh May Rust

Purchase Here

2. Blue Rooster Casita Cast Iron Chiminea Outdoor Grill

Coming in at number two, we have the Blue Rooster Casita Cast Iron Chiminea Outdoor Grill, which is going to be the best option for cooking! Included with the base chiminea is a grate for grilling or baking, steel support stand, and a decorative rain cover, just to name a few.

Make no mistake, this is a very heavy duty chiminea that is more of a permanent fixture. It also sports a beautiful Spanish-inspired sun design on the outside. For those who want to be able to move their chiminea around very easily, this 260 pound beast, 285 pounds during shipping, is not going to be your friend! The benefit of this, however, is the extremely durable design of this chiminea.

The price and sheer size of this chiminea, however, is primarily why it ranks number two. This massive chiminea cost $889, and for those who don’t have a big outdoor space or that kind of budget, this is definitely not the best choice for you. But if you do and you want a great chiminea to cook with and have nice big fires to entertain guests, this is going to be perfect for you!

Blue Rooster Casita Cooking Space

Pros:

  • Heavy Duty
  • Beautiful Design
  • Great for Cooking

Cons:

  • High Price
  • Very Large

Purchase Here

3. Deckmate Sonora Cast Iron Chiminea Outdoor Fireplace

Looking at number three, we have the Deckmate Sonora Cast Iron Chiminea Outdoor Fireplace, which is a classic antique styled chiminea that will be perfect for those with an itch for vintage products.

Like other chimineas, this model also has the wire mesh around the main body that gives a great view of the fire and heat for anyone near it. Sporting a unique greenish tint, those wanting to have something different should look no further.

This chiminea comes in at a medium price point, being $288 retail and $214 on sale, which for a chiminea of this size and uniqueness, is a great price for those on a budget.

Deckmate Sonora Wire Mesh

It comes in at number three because many reviews claim that the mesh often melts under heat and the whole thing begins to rust very quickly. However, if you take care of it, and want something a little different than anyone else, this is going to be a good choice for you!

Pros:

  • Antique Design
  • Good Price Point
  • Good Fire Pit

Cons:

  • Rust Prone
  • Odd Design

Purchase Here

4. Oakland Living Antique Bronze Hummingbird Chiminea

Number four on the list provides us with a look at the Oakland Living Antique Bronze Hummingbird Chiminea. With a beautiful design featuring hummingbirds and a price of only about $465, this outdoor fireplace is a stunning piece.

This chiminea is a very durable option that is available in two different sizes, making it great for any space you want. Weighing 96 pounds, this is not going to be a very mobile fire pit, but it will be very durable against the elements.

The amazing design and easy fire pit functionality make this a great, easy option for a first time chiminea owner, and the wide mouth opening makes it great for larger fires and super easy refueling.

Oakland Living Chiminea Top

Because of the slightly higher price point and the higher weight, this chiminea may not be great for everyone, but it is a great option for those who want something with some beautiful artwork and great functionality!

Pros:

  • Amazing Hummingbird Design
  • Different Sizes
  • Wide Mouth Opening

Cons:

  • Slightly Higher Price Point
  • Higher Weight

Purchase Here

5. Better Homes & Gardens Antique Bronze Cast Iron Chiminea

Our number five pick is the Better Homes and Garden Antique Bronze Cast Iron Chiminea. This is a wonderful budget chiminea for those who want a simple and vintage looking fire pit for their backyard or patio. For only $150 and being able to easily match any space it is in, this is the best option for anybody.

Like other outdoor chiminea styled firepits, this fire pit also has the wire mesh around the body for viewing and heat.

Better Homes Gardens Chiminea Wire Mesh

This chiminea only comes in at number five because the outside coat of the material is prone to peeling, according to some customer reviews. The bronze coating can also oxidize like copper, causing the color to change and the overall look to change as well.

The wire mesh, like other designs with wire mesh around the body, is very prone to melting or rusting. Another issue is the lack of a grate or drain in the bottom, making it difficult to clean. However, if you are just getting started and want to start exploring the world of chimineas and all the different options, this is a great choice for you!

Pros:

  • Great Price
  • Good Starting Point
  • Durable

Cons:

  • May Change Color
  • No Grate or Drain
  • Rusting Possible

Purchase Here

6. Deckmate Corona Outdoor Steel Chimenea Fireplace

Last but not least, at number six, we have the Deckmate Corona Outdoor Steel Chiminea Fireplace. This small fire pit is the best option if you don’t have a high budget and want a basic design.

For the price of $95, on sale and $145 retail, this is the cheapest chiminea on this list. Nonetheless, it is a great starter option.

The color of the fire pit is odd, with a brownish almost copper color, it may not be the most flattering thing for certain spaces.

Deckmate Corona Chiminea Mesh

It isn’t the sturdiest one you can get, but it is a good starting point for those just getting a chiminea style fire pit. Since it isn’t the best on the market, and not true cast iron, we put it at number 6.

Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Small

Cons:

  • Flimsy
  • Rust
  • Won’t Last in the Long Run

Purchase Here

In Summary

The chiminea has been around for a very long time and were originally used as an outdoor oven. In recent times, they have become increasingly popular as an outdoor fire pit device seen on many patios and in many backyards.

Cast iron chimineas are the best overall bang-for-your-buck when you are looking to spice up your backyard. Doing your research and making sure you get the right chiminea for your needs is always important, but you really can’t go wrong with a cast iron chiminea.

If you want a brief rundown, here are our picks from the list above for some popular categories!

Best Overall Value: Deckmate Sonora Cast Iron Chiminea Outdoor Fireplace

Best Cooking Chiminea: Blue Rooster Casita Cast Iron Chiminea Outdoor Grill

Cheapest: Deckmate Corona Outdoor Steel Chiminea Fireplace

Best Fireplace: Oakland Living Antique Bronze Hummingbird Chiminea

Caring for a Cast Iron Chiminea

Cast iron chimineas are going to be similar to any kind of cast iron cookware you may already have. While they don’t necessarily need to be seasoned to be used for cooking, they do need to be protected and taken care of.

Fire in Chiminea

When first using your cast iron chiminea for a fire, be sure to season it correctly by building small fires about five times and letting them go out each time, so the paint can cure a little bit and the chiminea adjusts to the heat. It is important to note that the paint often used on the outside of cast iron chimineas is only heat resistant, not heat proof.

Making sure they are covered up when not in use, and put somewhere safe in adverse weather or winter, and not abusing them are all steps to making sure that your cast iron chiminea lasts. Make sure to do your research and figure out what is going to work best for you!

Covered Chiminea

Other Types of Chiminea Outdoor Fireplaces

TerraCotta: Terracotta clay chimineas are going to be the most common when looking at clay chimineas, and they are normally either painted or left their natural color. Terracotta is naturally more fire resistant the other clays, but it still requires more attention than metal chimineas.

If you want something that is traditional and good for cooking, a terracotta chiminea may be a good choice. Be warned that they are often heavy and expensive compared to metal chimineas.

Terracotta Chiminea

Bronze: Bronze chimineas are not seen a whole lot, but they are going to be similar to copper. They are going to be good for a more classic looking chimineas and those who want something different. However, bronze is prone to cracking if not taken care of, and can oxidize similar to copper, which can cause the color to change overtime if not properly taken care of.

Clay: Terracotta is not the only type of clay used to make chimineas, but it is often the most common. Other kinds of clay are far less common and can normally cost more, yet don’t have any special qualities other than color. An example of this is El-Barro clay, which was one of the original clays used for making chimineas.

While it may be the classic design for chimineas, clay is prone to cracking and can easily fall apart when used wrong or not protected from the elements. For this reason, they aren't used a lot in the modern day.

FAQ’s

1. What are chimineas used for?

Chimineas are great for heating outdoor spaces or cooking with. They can be used as a standard fireplace for hanging out, or a heater on a patio, as well as many other activities!

2. How long does a cast iron chiminea last?

Like other cast iron cookware and tools, cast iron can last for a very long time if you take care of it for a long time. A cast iron chiminea is no different from this.

3. Do you need to put sand in a cast iron chiminea?

Unless the manufacturer specifically says to put sand in the bottom, then this is not normally necessary. This is more common for clay chimineas.

4. Does a cast iron chiminea rust?

If not properly treated and taken care of, a cast iron chiminea can rust over time if exposed to moisture and bad weather. It is best to keep it covered when not in use and put away in the winter. If it is not able to easily be moved, refer to the owner's manual or other sources to find what is going to be best for you.

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