As the sizes of homes are getting smaller and smaller lately, on a global scale for the sake of city life as opposed to life at the countryside, having a feature like a backyard or garden of considerable size is a true blessing. Why fail to use this blessing to its full potential and wonder what the point of having one is after all, when you can make it useful year-round?
In addition to counting on elements of comfort like the perfect furniture and cushions made for lounging day in and day out, the outdoor kitchen and dining table set for tasty meals alfresco, and the portable bar area to prepare and sip delicious drinks, you can enhance the space with a heater. But, not just any – a traditional one like a wood-burning cast iron chiminea considering it has plenty to offer in terms of aesthetics too.
Sometimes referred to with the term “fire pit”, almost synonymously, it’s much different from it because of the way it looks and the way it functions with the heating and the chimney. The chiminea, as a freestanding source of heat with a narrow chimney, is perfect for enjoying the fire heat relaxing in front of it, or even further utilising the heat power source for cooking. Although the older designs are those made from clay and terracotta, the change in material was made primarily for the benefit of the durability of the metal.
Are Cast Iron Chimineas Good?
This is a legit question to have what with all the options of chimineas on the market, differing in size as much as material, including metals like cast aluminium and stainless steel. The answer is yes from the start if we consider the strength and robustness of cast iron and its ability to withstand much hotter temperatures.
Thanks to this, you can easily heat up a larger area and keep the heat for much longer even after the fire is out. As such, the cast iron chiminea offers more flexibility if you want to use it to burn wood or coal straight away without wasting time or effort with the curing process. Whichever heat you put this baby through, you can bet it would stand up to it
Thanks to this, it’s also a much more long-lasting and versatile option which means it’s the perfect investment if you want to get something more flexible than delicate clay and the somewhat lighter and more affordable cast aluminium. One of the drawbacks according to some, however, is that it tends to rust if exposed to bad weather continuously. And, since it’s on the heavier side and requires more than a pair of hands and arms to relocate it, it may not be that easy to store it away once the heating season is over.
For that reason, it’s advisable to consider adding it in a location that has some cover, like under a roofing structure, to provide it with some shelter. Also, rust can be avoided with some care and maintenance with a heat-resistant paint. Furthermore, you can make a better choice for your chiminea and the environment altogether if you opt for low-moisture and eco-friendly hardwood logs.
Some Words of Advice
The fact they’re a heat source that can withstand a great deal temperature also means you should be more careful with how and where you place and use the cast iron chimineas if you want to maintain the safety at an all-time high. It’s important to ensure you don’t put them anywhere near any item or object made from a flammable material. Safety should be your priority!
To protect the floor, and prevent kids or pets from being too close to the heat, you should pay attention to the surface you add it on. A wooden surface, for example, is a no-go. To make the most of the addition, be sure to buy a metal stand but remember that would also require some maintenance to prevent the rust. Another great option that’s low in maintenance is a base surface made of cement or bricks.
To avoid damaging this surface, it’s advisable to add a bit of sand on the bottom of the chiminea. It’s also a move that’s helpful with reducing the amount of smoke that comes out of it. One additional tip is to let the fire burn out on its own, and avoid putting it out with water as it could also cause some damages.
To make the most of cooking and preparing food, look for a design with a grilling plate, and look for another heat source other than wood as it could ruin your food because it’s different from grilling on the BBQ. Thanks to its design and shape, it doesn’t require too much firewood to provide you with the wanted heat.