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10 Best Cast Iron Chiminea | Product Review and Buyer’s Guide

Originally from Mexico and dating back centuries, chimineas are traditionally used for cooking and heating. Today, there are a wide range of styles and sizes available, making them a versatile as well as useful feature for your outdoor space.

Although they are compact, they output a generous amount of heat, keeping you warm outdoors on cooler evenings as well as creating a wonderful atmosphere.

In our buying guide, we’ll review the best cast iron chimineas of 2021, as well as give you tips on how to choose and use this useful outdoor fireplace.

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Best Cast Iron Chiminea Product Review and Buyer’s Guide

Best Chiminea Fire Pit for 2021

What is a Chiminea?

What is a Chiminea?

Chimineas are small freestanding fireplaces that can be used to provide heat or cook food. Traditionally, they are a single unit made up of a rounded base that sits on a sturdy stand, with the top tapering to a distinctive chimney.

They can be made of clay, cast iron, copper or stainless steel, and can look traditional, be painted, or glazed, or very modern and sleek.

Although they are often thought of as decorative, they’re highly practical and effective, adding character and function to your outdoor space.

What to Consider When Buying a Cast Iron Chiminea

  • Material – Good quality cast iron is key, as you want your chimenea to last and withstand the elements.
  • Location – You will need to be able to place it on a firm, level surface, away from foot traffic. It shouldn’t wobble or be in danger of falling off an edge.

    Keep it away from flammable materials (including trees and shrubs) and flammable surfaces (including wooden decking).
  • Size – Chimineas provide a lot of heat for their comparatively small size, and it’s important to remember that this heat radiates out to cover a wide area, so you may not need a large cast iron chiminea to keep everyone warm!
  • Style – There’s a style for every backyard, so take the time to find the perfect one for yours. In addition to very traditional styles, there are chimeneas that have antique finishes, are sleek and modern, or are themed.

What is the Difference Between a Chiminea and a Fire Pit?

These are two very similar and equally popular outdoor heating items, but while a fire pit is open to the sky, a chiminea is closed with a tall flue and a slot for adding wood and charcoal.

Difference Between a Chiminea and a Fire Pit
Fire pit

The flue helps keep smoke and soot away, while a fire pit has no way of channeling this. A chiminea is also usually more compact and less suited to cooking, while fire pits often have large cooking surfaces and grills. They both provide plenty of heat! 

What Fuel Can I Burn in a Cast Iron Chiminea?

The best fuel for a chiminea is wood, and we recommend a hard, slow-burning variety like apple, red cedar, eco-logs, birch, Douglas fir, or maple. This means you’ll get the most heat without having to continually feed the fire.

Charcoal doesn’t produce as much heat, and pressure-treated lumber should be avoided because of the chemicals in the wood, as these can be dangerous to inhale.

Here is our guide on How to Cut Firewood.

How to Maintain a Cast Iron Chiminea

What to Consider When Buying a Cast Iron Chiminea

Making your investment last is all about maintaining your cast iron chiminea! Here’s how.

  • Rust protection – No matter where you live, rust is inevitable if you have a cast iron chimenea. Most good quality models will have anti-rust protection, but it’s worth taking additional measures, especially if you live near the coast.

    This can include an annual clean with a pressure washer, followed by a coat of protective finish. The coating should be cured according to the manufacturer’s instructions to properly protect the chiminea.
  • Cover – It’s also a good idea to invest in a durable chiminea cover. This will provide protection from the weather and help reduce rust build-up and dust.

    If your chiminea is in a sunny spot, make sure the cover is UV-resistant, or it will deteriorate quickly.
  • Clean – Remove old ashes and debris regularly once the chiminea is cool, keeping in mind that coals and ash can stay very hot even a few days after the fire seems to have gone out.

    Cool wood ash can be used on your yard or in your home compost.

How to Use a Chiminea

How to Use a Chiminea

Making a good fire in a chiminea takes a little bit of technique – here’s what to do.

  • Start small – Never start a large fire in a chiminea, as they are meant to burn small amounts of wood. Instead, start with a very small fire and slowly build it up.

    This will allow the chiminea to heat up properly and safely.
  • Don’t use an accelerant – Patience is everything! An accelerant will add too much explosive heat at once and can cause a safety issue as well as potentially damaging your chiminea.

    This is especially important in colder weather, as you need the cast iron to heat up slowly and fully.
  • Let the fire die out – Never use water on a chiminea, as the sudden drop in temperature can cause cracks and damage. Instead, let the fire burn out gently by itself, making sure no coals can fall out or be blown out.
  • Never leave it unattended – Your chiminea should always be watched while it has a fire or hot coals in it. This is especially important if you have small children, pets, or live in a fire restricted area.

Best Cast Iron Chiminea Reviews

Sunnydaze Black Steel Wood-Burning Outdoor Chiminea Fire Pit

If you like the classic chiminea look, this black steel freestanding fireplace is ideal. It’s simple, traditional, and sturdy, made of high-quality steel and finished with a rust-and-heat-resistant paint.


It’s a good size for most outdoor spaces and looks great with any home design. The unit comes with a flue cap to protect against snow and rain, and it comes with a removable grate and fire poker.

Sunnydaze Black Steel Wood-Burning Outdoor Chiminea Fire Pit is simple, traditional, and sturdy, made of high-quality steel and finished with a rust-and-heat-resistant paint

Pros

  • Classic traditional design
  • Simple and sturdy
  • Made of high-quality steel
  • Rust-and heat-resistant finish
  • Good size for most outdoor spaces
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Some assembly required

Deckmate Corona 3 Ft. High Outdoor Steel Chimenea Fireplace

Smaller and more compact than the Sonora, this chiminea features the same antique embossed design and brushed gold finish.


The fireplace mesh screen gives an attractive 360-degree view of the flames, and the alloy steel construction keeps it light enough to move while remaining sturdy on its three legs.


It’s very affordably priced and it’s easy to assemble.

Deckmate Corona 3 Ft. High Outdoor Steel Chimenea Fireplace gives an attractive 360-degree view of the flames

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Alloy steel construction
  • 30lbs
  • 16.3 x 16.3 x 36 inches
  • 3 foot tall

Cons

  • Too small for many spaces
  • No flue cap included

Sunnydaze Black Steel Outdoor Wood-Burning Modern Backyard Chiminea

This chiminea is unlike any you have seen before! An item of modern art for your yard, it is as functional as it is attractive. Made of 2mm high-quality steel coated with heat-and-rust-resistant paint, it creates a centerpiece for any outdoor space.


The fire pit itself is quite low, so it may be an issue if you have small children or pets. It does come with a flue cap to keep out snow and rain, which is ideal if it’s located in the open.

Sunnydaze Black Steel Outdoor Wood-Burning Modern Backyard Chiminea comes with a flue cap to keep out snow and rain, which is ideal if it’s located in the open

Pros

  • Centerpiece for your outdoor space
  • 2mm high-quality steel coated
  • Heat-and-rust-resistant paint
  • Flue cap included
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Fire pit is quite low and open
  • Smoke can blow out of open sides
  • More expensive

Deckmate Sonora Outdoor Chimenea Fireplace

Cast iron with a soft, brushed gold finish, this antique-styled chiminea makes an attractive showpiece for your outdoor space.


It gives you a full, 360-degree view of the burning fire through a mesh screen, and has a large sliding door for easy access, as well as an ash-catcher for convenient cleaning.

Deckmate Sonora Outdoor Chimenea Fireplace gives you a full, 360-degree view of the burning fire

Pros

  • Fire tool and log grate included
  • Easy to clean
  • 360 views of the fire
  • 75lbs
  • 21 x 21 x 51.6 inches
  • Antique finish

Cons

  • Smoke can drift out of the meshed space

Sunnydaze 5-Foot Outdoor Fire Pit Chiminea

If you want a chiminea with a more classic, modern fireplace appeal, this is a great option. It’s made of durable, cold rolled steel with a heat-resistant finish for durability and a wood grate to improve air flow.


It’s lighter than many other models because the steel is thinner, making it easier to move and store if needed.

Sunnydaze 5-Foot Outdoor Fire Pit Chiminea is made of durable, cold rolled steel with a heat-resistant finish for durability and a wood grate to improve air flow

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Rust-resistant
  • Great for small outdoor spaces
  • Modern fireplace design
  • Sturdy
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Lighter in weight - protect from strong winds
  • Not solid cast iron

Oakland Living Elite Chimenea

Powder-coated steel with an antique bronze finish, this is a small, lightweight option for people who want something small, attractive, and effective.


It gives you 360-degree views of the flames, and comes with a stoking fork, rain cap, and log grate. This compact chiminea has an attractive embossed design and sits high off the ground to prevent scorching.

Oakland Living Elite Chimenea has an attractive embossed design and sits high off the ground to prevent scorching

Pros

  • Cast iron construction with bronze finish
  • Sits high off the ground
  • Small and lightweight at 14lbs
  • Powder coated for durability
  • Rust-resistant

Cons

  • Takes some assembly
  • Suited to small outdoor spaces

Sunnydaze Outdoor Wood Burning Open Access Chiminea

With its angled sides, this chiminea is a modern and sleek version for those that don’t enjoy the traditional or antique look. It’s made of heavy-duty steel finished with a black heat-and-rust-resistant paint.


It includes a rain cap and flue grill and has easy open access to feed and manage the fire.

Sunnydaze Outdoor Wood Burning Open Access Chiminea is a modern and sleek version for those that don’t enjoy the traditional or antique look

Pros

  • Modern, simple design
  • Good for cooking
  • Heavy-duty steel construction
  • Poker and log grate included
  • Rain cap
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Screen/grate can allow small coals to drop through into ash plate

Esschert Design Medium Terra Heater

With a simple Victorian look, this cast iron chiminea has an antique look that fits in easily with almost any home style. Designed in Holland, it looks simple and elegant whether it is in use or not, providing plenty of warmth on cooler evenings.


It has a tall flue and flue cap for clean, smokeless burning and is easy to clean. It’s compact but heavy to prevent tipping, with sturdy legs.

Esschert Design Medium Terra Heater has an antique look that fits in easily with almost any home style

Pros

  • Vintage look
  • Clean burning
  • Easy to clean
  • Heavy to prevent tipping
  • Crafted in Holland

Cons

  • Better suited to small outdoor spaces
  • Heavy at 84lbs

Sunnydaze Steel Outdoor Chiminea Fire Pit

With a distinctive narrow but sturdy design, this chiminea is attractive and modern with clean, simple lines. It features a great storage space for wood and kindling, has removable grates and ash tray, and a tall chimney for keeping smoke moving up and away. 


It’s very compact, making it ideal for small outdoor patios and spaces.

Sunnydaze Steel Outdoor Chiminea Fire Pit is very compact, making it ideal for small outdoor patios and spaces

Pros

  • Unique modern design
  • Convenient wood storage
  • Easy to clean
  • Compact
  • Cover included
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Better suited to small outdoor spaces

Sunnydaze 6-Foot Wood-Burning Chiminea Fire Pit

If you are looking for something rustic that will just improve as it wears, then we recommend this chiminea. Made of 3mm durable steel, it’s finished with a rust patina coating that protects it from heat and corrosion while still giving you that worn-in aesthetic.


It’s quite heavy, so we recommend you place it where you want it to stay for a long time, and it does come with a wood grate and 1 year warranty for peace of mind.

Sunnydaze 6-Foot Wood-Burning Chiminea Fire Pit is finished with a rust patina coating that protects it from heat and corrosion

Pros

  • 3mm durable steel construction
  • Authentic, rustic look
  • Good air circulation
  • Wood grate included
  • Good size for most outdoor spaces
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Heavy at 50lbs
  • No flue cap included

Cast Iron Chiminea Top Picks

Best Cast Iron Chiminea

Best Cast Iron Chiminea for 2021
Sunnydaze Black Steel Wood-Burning Outdoor Chiminea Fire Pit

The Sunnydaze Black Steel Wood-Burning Outdoor Chiminea Fire Pit is our pick as the best cast iron chiminea for 2021! With a classic Mexican feel and high-quality steel construction, this chiminea is traditional yet modern, fitting into any home with ease. 

It is a great size for most outdoor spaces, and the tall flue keeps smoke and soot away so you can enjoy the warmth!

Best Value Cast Iron Chiminea

Best Value Cast Iron Chiminea for 2021
Deckmate Corona 3 Ft. High Outdoor Steel Chimenea Fireplace

If you have a small patio and want a compact and affordable fireplace, the Deckmate Corona 3 Ft. High Outdoor Steel Chimenea Fireplace is perfect.

It looks great, is well-made, won’t break your budget, and delivers plenty of heat for cozy get-togethers on cool evenings. 

Premium Choice Cast Iron Chiminea

Premium Choice Cast Iron Chiminea for 2021
Sunnydaze Black Steel Outdoor Wood-Burning Modern Backyard Chiminea

If you are looking for an exceptional chiminea, we recommend the Sunnydaze Black Steel Outdoor Wood-Burning Modern Backyard Chiminea.

It’s bold and striking, whether it’s in use or not, and it supplies plenty of heat for most outdoor spaces. It combines the best features of a fire pit and chimney to provide a great feature to relax around during cooler weather.

Get Cozy Around the Best Cast Iron Chimineas in Town!

You and your family can enjoy the best of the fall and winter weather with a beautiful and functional chiminea. Cast iron chimineas are sturdy, heavy and heat up your space well.

Although they need a little extra care and can rust, the additional maintenance is more than made up by their elegance and effectiveness! We hope our article helped you find the best cast iron chiminea for your home.

About the Author Lane Perry

Lane shares her knowledge and creative ideas with our audience at Sumo Gardener as an exterior decorator. She has previously worked as an exterior decorator on home renovation projects across the west coast USA, adapting to different environments for both large and small homes. When it comes to transforming your outdoor entertainment space or coming up with creative ways to enjoy your garden, Lane is our expert.

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