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Advantages of Cast Iron Chiminea

Updated on December 11, 2010

Chiminea are ideal for those who enjoy watching the sights and sounds of nature, either by themselves or when entertaining friends and loved ones. But why has the cast iron version developed into the chiminea of choice? In this article we will outline the advantages of cast iron.

Traditional cast iron chiminea

From clay to cast iron

The original chimenea utilised by the Mayan people of Central America were usually made of clay. However, clay chimeas can be affected by weather and (depending on climate and other variable) regularly, particularly as time, rain and other factors would lead to their wearing out and becoming unusable. Once cast iron chimeneas were developed, they soon proved to be highly durable and not prone to cracking, peeling and flaking.

Clay chimineas, however, can be affected by weather and (depending on climate and other variable) may have to be replaced regularly, particularly as time, rain and other factors would lead to their wearing out or becoming unusable. Once cast iron chimeneas came into existence, they proved to be highly durable and not prone to cracking, peeling and flaking. Some even had doors, making them even safer to use. Then there is the additional possibility of using them for bbq grilling.

Design and cooking

A high quality cast iron chimineas is designed not to allow smoke to get near your eyes, cause them to water or allow any other discomfort to arise from sitting or standing near this very special type of outdoor fireplace. Wood or quality fuel of choice burns cleanly in the right kind of chimineas. This is why it is important to buy the best. Of course, the fire is contained, much as it would be in any type of fireplace, providing maximum safety while also radiating heat outwards.

To grill in a cast iron chimenea, a grate is needed that fits inside. Most modern cast iron chiminea come with removable grills that are able to swivel in and out from the body. With that in place, it is simply a matter of cooking food above the heat source. Of course, just as with other fireplaces, lots of people like toasting marshmallows or something similar held over the flames on a stick or other holder. And in my opinion there is nothing like freshly grilled chicken that has been cooked over a chiminea fire.

Open bowl cast iron chiminea

High funnel allows smoke to escape without affecting those nearby
High funnel allows smoke to escape without affecting those nearby

Durability and Strength

Anyone investing in a high quality outdoor fireplace will naturally be interested in durability and strength. Even if someone accidentally bumps or jostles a chiminea when it is unlit, it is unlikely to be damaged. Being relatively heavy, they don't tip over easily nor are they susceptible to nicks or dents. They can indeed be used for years, adding beauty to outside decor while also being very practical, whether using them to stay warm or for cooking or both.

Chiminea Poll

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Comments

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    • profile image

      Wood Stoves 

      7 years ago

      Very informative article...I agree, be careful when moving!

    • profile image

      Chris 

      8 years ago

      Fascinating Stuff!

    • Tomono profile imageAUTHOR

      Tomono 

      8 years ago

      Hi Lee, I wouldn't advise moving one by yourself unless you want to visit your chiropractor. Get a friend to help or use a trolley cart. Better still ask the delivery people to put the chiminea where you want it when they bring it to your house. Hope this helps.

    • profile image

      Lee 

      8 years ago

      Do you think I can move it by myself?

    • profile image

      Rees 

      8 years ago

      I think mines going to have to be cast iron.

    • Tomono profile imageAUTHOR

      Tomono 

      8 years ago

      Glad you like my article!

    • profile image

      Katie 

      8 years ago

      Just read the other one about chiminea too. Thanks for posting.

    • LewisD profile image

      LewisD 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for the interesting article on chiminea.

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