Buying a chiminea is one of the best ways to go when it comes to upgrading your outdoor space. Besides providing warmth on cozy evenings, they can also serve for decorative purposes bringing accent to your garden or patio.
If you’re not new to fireplaces, then you probably know about the traditional clay chimineas. Nowadays, most manufacturers opt for modern materials that outperform earthenware. Cast aluminum chimneas happens to be one of the more popular options available, and the reason is not far-fetched.
Cast aluminum chimineas come with a blend of features that provide the best combination of performance, practicality, cost, and aesthetics. In other words, you get the best of what is enjoyed with other chiminea types at no additional cost.
Today, we review five of the best cast aluminum chimneas in the market to transform your patio or outdoor space into a vintage spot.
Top 5 Cast Aluminum Chimneas Review
Here’s a review of our favorite cast aluminum chiminea currently available on the counter.
- The Blue Rooster Cast Aluminum Prairie Chiminea
The Prairie-style cast aluminum chiminea by Blue Rooster will provide warmth and adorn your patio for many years to come. We made it top on the list because it’s simply the best overall cast aluminum chiminea you will find out there.
First, the unit belongs to the very small league of chimneas that can burn full-size logs, usually over 18 inches long. As a result, it can burn for up to two hours before going down.
Secondly, it has a wide opening, which enables you to get a full view of the fire. This is complemented by a hinged safety door that provides easy access so you can freely add wood logs and roast your marshmallows.
A cooking grate is also included, which you can place between the chimney and stove anytime you want to cook.
When it comes to the build quality, the chiminea boosts of a solid construction made of cast aluminum combined with stainless steel. It also features a high-temperature paint that helps maintain its pristine look for a long time.
Another we love about this unit is that it comes with carry handles. So despite its hefty weight (80 pounds), it is still easy to move around. The overall dimension is 22 x 22 x 52 inches.
Assembly is a cinch as long as you follow the instruction. Also included in the package is a rain lid, wood tool, spark arrestor, grilling insert, and mouth screen.
Overall, we are impressed with this cast aluminum chimnea. It is easily the best model out there.
- Dimension: 22 x 22 x 52 inches
- Weight: 80 Pounds
- Color: Charcoal
- Includes Mouth Screen, Grilling Insert, Carrying Handles
- Comes with Spark Arrestor
- Requires little maintenance (rust resistant)
- Super cute prairie style looks great on any patio space.
- Large wood box
- Efficient wood burning
- It gives off little or no smoke.
- Comes with a cooking grate
- Legs are a bit short.
2. Venetian Grill Wood Burning Chiminea
The Venetian Cast Aluminum Chiminea is a perfect choice if you want something with more style and artistic appeal. Instead of a rounded belly design, it features a rectangular firebox with a large mouth opening that provides up to a 180-degree view.
Like other Blue Roaster chimineas, this unit is made of high-quality cast aluminum and comes along with a spark arrestor and rain lid. It has a weight of 87 pounds, which sounds like a lot. However, it comes with a carry handle to make it easy to move around.
The unit also comes included with a cooking insert and can be used for baking and grilling. To use as a grill or baking stove, simply remove the neck. A fire grate is also added at the bottom for efficient burning of wood.
The unit also features a hinged safety door that provides easy access to the burn area. This really comes in handy when adding fuel or roasting marshmallows. The door can also serve as a spark arrester though the chiminea already comes along with its own spark arrester.
You can burn over 16 inches long wood logs, which seems impressive. We also like that this unit is easy to assemble. Touch-up paint is added for small installation nicks.
Overall, choose the Venetian Cast Aluminum Chiminea if you need something that will add flair to your outdoor space while providing heat and dancing flames. For its price, you will hardly find a better alternative for the price.
- Color: Charcoal
- Weight: 85 Pounds
- Dimension: 22 x 22 x 52 inches
- Includes Grilling Insert
- Includes Spark Arrestor
- Includes Removable Rain Lid
- Rust resistant
- Suitable for full-size fire logs
- Heavy-duty construction
- Multi-functional (can be used for smoking and grilling)
- Efficient drafting
- A bit pricey
- The Blue Rooster Dragonfly Cast Aluminum Wood Burning Chiminea
The DragonFly is a perfect choice for homeowners who want a cast aluminum chiminea that will stand out in any garden setting. Although a bit expensive, it’s one of the best quality models out there. So if you want a chiminea that will stand the test of time, and money is no object, then you will definitely enjoy this unit.
Great for smoking meat, the well-built chiminea is outfitted with an iron grate and a large firebox that burns full-size logs over 20 inches in length. It is also one of the few models that burn both wood and charcoal.
It comes with almost everything you need to start cozing and cooking right away. These include a wood tool, spark screen, grilling insert, mouth screen, and rain lid.
It is made of cast aluminum, which makes it rust-proof and portable. In addition, it’s very sturdy and doesn’t break compared to ceramic and clay chimineas.
With a chimney about 5 inches high, the unit burns fuel (wood or charcoal) efficiently and draws the little smoke up over the heads of those sitting around.
Like other Blue Roaster chimneas, it’s difficult to assemble. We expected it to come with a cover considering the price, but it’s no big deal. You can always get a Blue Roaster cover.
- Fuel Type: Wood/Charcoal
- Dimension: 23 x 23 x 52 inches
- Includes Mouth Screen
- Includes Rain Lid
- Includes Iron Grate
- Easy to assemble
- Very attractive design
- Comes with touchup paint
- Solid cast aluminum construction
- Comes with portable handles
- It doesn’t come with a cover.
- The Blue Rooster Prairie Chiminea Fireplace
Up next is another Prairie Style chiminea from Blue Roaster, perfect for homeowners who want a functional outdoor fireplace for keeping warm and enjoying late-night burgers. The unit has a large firebox that accepts full-size logs. This is complemented by a wide opening that provides a full view of the fire and easy access to the burn area.
The chiminea is made of solid cast aluminum, which is sturdy and yet light enough to carry around. It requires very little maintenance, and you don’t have to worry about rust.
What we like most about the unit is the drafting. The unique design ensures there’s very little or no smoke left after wood-burning, which makes it the perfect place to enjoy your favorite beverage.
It also leaves behind a very small amount of ash. The wood is incinerated, making clean up a lot easier. The unit also features a hinged door for safety and easy access to the burn area. This makes it super easy to add wood and also roast stuff like marshmallows.
There are also built-in handles that enable you to adjust the fire view. A deck protector is added, so you don’t have to worry about the chiminea leaving behind any crack or damage.
And wait, did we forget to mention how beautiful this looks. Besides providing a lot of heat, it easily blends into your patio arrangement as the perfect centerpiece.
Assembly is easy, and instructions are provided. Also included with the unit is a grilling insert, carrying handles, wood tools, screen, spark arrestor, and rain lid.
- Weight: 80 Pounds
- Color: Charcoal
- Spark Arrestor Included
- Grilling Insert Included
- Removable Rain Lid Included
- Efficient wood burning
- Produces little or no smoke
- Easy to clean
- Safe to use on decks
- Deeco CP DM6035J-AA Western Basket Weave Chiminea
This compact unit is the perfect choice for patios and balconies with limited space. Don’t be deceived by its small size; it does produce more than enough heat for toasting and keeping warm with family and folks.
In addition to its compact size, the unit has an antique bronze color that blends in with any patio arrangement adding beauty and accent.
Despite being very affordable, the chiminea has a pretty solid cast aluminum construction. Thus it won’t corrode or rust like a cast iron unit. It also holds up well in high heat and harsh weather conditions.
The bowl is supported by sturdy legs which feature a basketweave design. The same design can be seen on the flue.
With a weight of 39.9 pounds, this is obviously one of the lighter models out there. It also included handles on the side for better portability. Also provided with the unit is a rain cover for protection when not in use. Touchup paint is also added.
- 9 Pounds Weight
- Dimension: 5 x 17.5 x 43 inches
- Rain Cover Included
- Log Grate Included
- Built-in Grill
- Color: Antique Bronze
- It doesn’t rupture or pop from high heat
- Nice looking basket weave design
- Solid construction
- Easy to assemble
- Reasonable pricing
- Takes small pieces of wood (below 12 inches)
What are chimneas?
Chimneas are one of the oldest forms of fireplace that has been in use for over 400 years. Their origin can be traced to Mexico, where they were used for indoor heating and cooking. The old chimneys were made of clay, which makes sense considering the warm, dry climate in the region.
Compared to other fireplaces, chimneas are small, portable, and have a distinct look that due to their “lightbulb” shape.
Much of the noise about chimineas can be linked to their drafting design which draws in air through an opening and releases it via a chimney. This way, the smoke from wood-burning goes up through the elevated chimney and is directed away from those sitting around.
Also, due to this design, the chimineas can be used in the rain without their flame getting quenched by the rain.
The fire from the units typically burns for an hour or two.
Besides the traditional clay chiminea, there are other options available today, such as the cast iron, steel, and cast aluminum.
Why Choose Cast Aluminum Chimneas Over Other Models?
There are a good number of advantages cast aluminum chimneas offer over other options like clay and cast iron. Let’s briefly look at some of them.
Cast aluminum offers the advantage of being lighter than cast iron and clay but still sturdy enough for heavy use. Thus you shouldn’t have any problem moving your cast aluminum chiminea.
- Modern Design
Besides offering a lightweight design, cast aluminum chimneas also have an elegant look which appeals to most modern backyard settings.
Also, unlike clay, a mold is used in making cast aluminum. This provides more flexibility in styles and design as compared to traditional clay, which is often handmade.
- Cool to Touch
At high temperatures, cast aluminum chimneas are much cooler to touch compared to other metal versions. Thus there’s a lesser risk of having your hand burnt. This makes it safer for families, especially when you have kids or pets around.
- Great for High Temperatures
Cast aluminum chimineas can withstand very high temperatures without cracking like traditional clay. This makes them the ideal choice when you need a lot of heat, whether for cooking or keeping warm.
A cast aluminum chiminea will likely last longer than its clay counterpart and even cast iron.
And one reason is that cast aluminum is rust-resistant. Its ability to handle high heat is also another reason.
- Easy to Maintain
In addition, cast aluminum is easier to maintain. Since they are rust-resistant, you don’t have to repaint them all the time. Also, they don’t leave stains on your flooring, which makes cleaning easier.
Most units feature a bottom grate which helps to promote proper airflow leading to efficient fuel burning.
- Ability To Withstand High Heat
You should choose a cast aluminum chiminea over other options because it doesn’t “pop” or rapture when subjected to environmental stresses. A clay chiminea will like split after some time of continuous exposure to high heat and rain. But this is not the case with cast aluminum.
Here are some of the things you may want to consider when deciding which cast aluminum chiminea will be right for you.
- Size Of Fire Box
Another thing you should consider before purchasing a cast aluminum chiminea is the size of the firebox or burn area.
A chiminea with a small burn area will often require you to chop the wood into smaller chunks or chip sizes. You also have an option to order the chips or pieces from a nearby shop or store. Whichever route you choose to go, you will need to expend either money or time and energy.
This is why it’s essential to go for a unit that has a large burn area, especially if you need a lot of fire.
A chiminea with a burn area that can accommodate up to 18-inches long full-sized logs will produce a great deal of heat, which is great for keeping warm and cooking. However, this may not be necessary if all you want is to use the fireplace as a decorative element.
Whatever the case is, it’s still a good idea to keep an axe close for occasional chopping of oversized wood.
Also, in addition to a large firebox, the mouth of the burn area should be wide enough for easy access.
- Safety Features
Safety is paramount when dealing with anything that has to do with fire.
So make sure the chiminea is safe to use before putting out your money for it.
Some of the things you want to look out for include a screened door (maybe meshed), spark inhibitor caps, spark arrester, and so on.
The safety features may be different for each chiminea, but make sure it’s something to keep you and your loved ones out of harm’s way.
- Extra Accessories
In addition to a well-built chiminea, you may also need a few accessories to make life easier.
A good example is a log grate to ensure there’s proper airflow for even wood burning. It also makes ash collection easier by providing a bit of space. These grates are commonly attached to the bottom of some cast aluminum chimneas.
Some units may also include a backup grate. Though this is not required, it can come in handy when you need a quick replacement for the main grate.
Other cool accessories you may also find useful are the grilling rack or insert smoker attachments, covers, spark inhibitor and even stand.
If you plan to do any cooking, smoking, or grilling with the chiminea, you will need the rack or insert. Mesh covers may be provided to suppress the embers. A weatherproof cover also comes in handy for protecting the fireplace from moisture.
Of course, you don’t need all these things to use a chiminea. Sometimes, you may need to purchase them separately. The main idea is to know what to expect from each unit and decide if it will meet your needs.
Weight is another thing you should take seriously. If you are going to be moving the chiminea often, then it makes sense to purchase a unit that isn’t too heavy.
Sometimes more weight may translate to a sturdier unit, which is a good thing.
Overall, even if the unit is heavy, it should come with handles for easy movement. Of course, this might not matter if you intend to use the chiminea in one spot.
Some Maintenance & Safety Tips for Best Cast Aluminum Chimnea
While cast aluminum chimineas are known for having low maintenance, a little extra care will go a long way in prolonging their lifespan.
Below are some maintenance tips to get started:
- Use a Cover
Using a cover to protect your chiminea when not in use can make it last longer than expected. So make sure you get a cover if the unit you have doesn’t already come with one.
For people who live in places with harsh weather conditions, storing the chiminea indoor might be a better idea. A barn is a perfect storage location.
- Inspect the Spark Arrester Occasionally
You should inspect the spark arrester at least once annually; to make sure it doesn’t have any issues. Replace a faulty arrester to reduce the risk of a spray spark.
- Repaint Rusted Parts
Some chimineas may have parts that are not cast aluminum, such as bolts and other hardware.
Inspect the parts regularly for rust and repaint with good heat-resistant paint. Most people do this when they first assemble the chiminea.
- Avoid Lighter Fluids
Avoid using a quick-starter or lighter fluid as fuel. Stick to the proper material recommended for your chimnea. Most of the time, this will be hardwood. Hardwood is great because it burns longer and doesn’t get too hot.
- Use a Base that is Fireproof
It is best to use some fireproof material for the base of the unit to prevent accidental fire. Some good examples are concrete and brick.
Avoid lighting your chiminea on a grassy surface or wooden deck.
There you have it – our favorite cast aluminum chimneas for 2021.
The best chiminea for you is one that matches your needs and preference. So make sure you examine each product on the list before you make a final decision. Personally, we feel you can’t go wrong with any unit.
Let us know if you have any more questions. Till then, happy heating and grilling!