Cooking, Tips

The Top 5 Best Clay Chimineas: Our Picks

By · October 19, 2022

Chimineas have been around for hundreds of years. Used for cooking and heating, they were traditionally made out of clay. Originally from Spain and Mexico, these outdoor ovens and firepits are guaranteed to add some life to your backyard, patio, or any outdoor space! Today, we will look at the 5 best clay chimineas you can get!

Chiminea on Patio

Choosing a Clay Chiminea

When choosing a clay chiminea, it is important to think about a few things. First, think about what you want to use your chiminea for. A good cooking chiminea can vary from one that will be used as a fire pit.

The design and aesthetic should also be something to think about since there are a ton of options for your chiminea! They are perfect if you want a more traditional feel to your outdoor space.

However, make sure a clay chiminea is going to be right for you as well. They require more attention and work than metal ones, so if you want something that requires a little less maintenance, this type of chiminea may not be a great choice.

They are extremely susceptible to moisture, which can cause them to crack. Any adverse weather is not recommended if you want your chiminea to last. Being sure to season and set up your brand new chiminea is also crucial.

By doing your research and making sure you know what you want, you can minimize the risk in buying a chiminea.

Setting Up and Seasoning Your Clay Chiminea

When setting up your new clay chiminea, it is important to remember that they are fragile and require attention. Make sure you put it where you want it to stay, and where it will not have to be moved. Making sure it is on smooth and level ground away from any fire hazards, you can now start to season your new chiminea, just as you need to season cast iron cookware.

The first thing you will want to do when seasoning your new chiminea is to put sand or some kind of gravel in the bottom and fill it about ¾ of the way to the mouth of the chiminea, so the fire is not burning directly on the bottom of the chiminea, which can cause it to crack.

Next, you will want to slowly build fires in your chiminea. Start small, with only a few balls of newspaper or other tinder material, and let it go out. Do this a few times, increasing the size of the fire each time by using a little more newspaper, and letting it go out each time.

About the third or fourth time, start adding wood to the fire. At this point, build a normal-sized fire and let it burn for about an hour or so, without letting it get too hot or the fire getting out of control. After this, your chiminea should now be ready for use!

Top 5 Best Clay Chimineas

Lakeside Outdoor Wood Burning Clay Chiminea

The Lakeside Outdoor Wood Burning Clay Chiminea comes in at the number one spot on the list. This chiminea is extremely decorative, and its small size makes it perfect for any space!

Sporting a traditional rustic look, as well as a classic shape, it is perfect for any fans of classic chimineas. as. The outer design that is carved into the clay shows a classic Mexican inspired sun and other markings.

It comes with a metal stand to set it on and is perfect to use as a small fire pit. Coming in at only about $170, you cannot go wrong with this option if you love the classic Mexican-style aesthetic.

Pros:

  • Rustic look
  • Great price
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Easily broken
  • Thin material
  • Occasional shipping issues

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Gardeco X-Large Natural Clay Chiminea

Coming in at number two on the list we have Gardeco’s X-Large Natural Clay Chiminea. This chiminea comes with a metal stand, as well as a lid for the chimney, and has a more sleek and modern design to it. It is perfect for use as a fire pit for larger areas.

As the name implies, this is a very large chiminea, weighing in at 110 lbs. and being about 4 ½ feet tall. The mouth opening is also large, allowing for more viewing area and easy re-fueling.

Needless to say, this is a great option for those who want that modern look for a chiminea, and those who want to heat and enjoy a large area. You can pick this chiminea up today for about $340. For these reasons, we rank this chiminea number two on the list!

Pros:

  • Modern design
  • Easy-to-match color
  • Natural

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • A little pricey

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Rustic Clay Chiminea Outdoor Fireplace

At number three, we have the Wiosi Rustic Clay Chiminea Outdoor Fireplace. This is a small handmade chiminea that is beautifully crafted and perfect for a small fire in the backyard. It too comes with a metal stand and a lid to protect from the rain. It only weighs a mere 24 lbs, which is great for those who may need to move it occasionally.

The handcrafted clay and the designs of the chiminea are simply amazing. This may not be great if you want to heat a large area, and it is quite expensive compared to other chimineas of its size, costing $170.

But if you want something that will last if taken care of, and is able to be easily tucked away, this is perfect for you! Because of the fact that it is a little pricey for the size and craftsmanship, we rank this third on the list.

Pros:

  • Small
  • Handcrafted
  • Beautiful design

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive
  • Small heating area

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Vintiquewise Beige Maya Design Clay Chiminea

Coming in at number four on the list, we have the Vintiquewise Beige Maya Design Clay Chiminea. Featuring a Mayan design and a rustic look, this chiminea is a great addition to your backyard. This is another small chiminea, which can be used for heating a small area or cooking smaller meals. It also comes with a metal stand and clay lid.

This chiminea comes in at number 4 for a couple of reasons. One is, it is very expensive for its size, costing around $330 before shipping and tax. Another reason is many reviews claim it is almost always broken in shipping, and it is very fragile and poorly made. What saves this from the last spot on the list is its design and small lightweight size, weighing only 25 lbs.

Pros:

  • Sleek design
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Easily broken
  • Shipping issues
  • Expensive

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Classic Handmade Ruby Clay Chiminea

Lastly, we have the Classic Handmade Ruby Clay Chiminea. This chiminea is another small fire pit and is a beautiful red clay color. Handmade products are normally expensive when compared to the alternatives you can find, but this chiminea comes in at only $100! For something handmade and this pretty, it is hard to beat.

The downfalls come in the form of weight and aesthetic. This chiminea, despite its small size, weighs an astonishing 82.5 lbs. The red color, while pretty, gives this chiminea a kind of blah appearance that may stick out in some areas. Maybe this look works for you, and that is great! However, compared to the other more neutral and natural looks and designs of other chimineas, this places it last on our list.

Pros:

  • Small
  • Affordable
  • Handmade

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Ability to fit in

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Summary/Verdict

Sometimes, the classics are hard to beat. In the case of a clay chiminea, each one has its own quirks and uniqueness. Here is our overall choice for the best chiminea in some of our categories.

Best Price

Classic Handmade Ruby Clay Chiminea

Best Large Chiminea

Gardeco X-Large Natural Clay Chiminea

Best Small Chiminea

Rustic Clay Chiminea Outdoor Fireplace

Best Overall

Lakeside Outdoor Wood Burning Clay Chiminea

FAQ’s

1. What kind of clay is used to make a chiminea?

Clay chimineas are most commonly made with terracotta clay, which is fire resistant.

Terracotta Clay is Fire Resistant
Clay for making pottery

2. Will a chiminea crack?

With proper care and preparation, a clay chiminea will not crack when used. If left exposed to the elements, or not taken care of properly, it will crack very easily. Make sure to follow the instructions for your specific chiminea to prevent this.

3. Do chimineas give off heat?

Yes, this is one of the most common uses of the chiminea today. They are also good for cooking, granted you have one that will be good for this.

4. What can you burn in a chiminea?

Clay chimineas normally burn either wood or charcoal. Some chimineas and other outdoor fire pits burn natural gas. Be sure to check what you can and cannot burn in your chiminea.

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