Chimineas were originally constructed of clay and existed thousands of years ago in Mexico and central America. They were used for both heating a dwelling and also as a cooking platform. Shaped like a pot-bellied stove with a tall chimney perched on top, this design radiates heat outwards, not only from the fire and the body of the vessel, but also radiates from the chimney as the smoke passes through it. It is a very efficient heating source because of these traits.
Although originally made of clay, most are now made out of modern metals giving them increased durability. However, for you traditionalists out there, clay chimineas are still available, and one makes this list.
Design and practicality are the basis for the best chimineas, but price and versatility will also be considered.
The Chiminea Outdoor Fireplace - Blue Rooster ALCH014-CH - Dragonfly Chiminea Outdoor Fireplace is made of cast aluminum that never rusts. It weighs only 80 pounds, it is semi-portable, it comes with a spark guard and a cooking grate. Read Full Review
The Chiminea Outdoor Fireplace - Blue Rooster ALCH014-CH - Dragonfly Chiminea Outdoor Fireplace is made of cast aluminum that weighs about 80 pounds, which makes it extremely durable and semi-portable. A dragonfly and fern design adorn this classic looking unit that comes with both a spark guard and a cooking grate. It has a rain lid and it will never rust. Although not inexpensive, the combination of versatility, light weight and functionality make this the best pick right here.
The Hampton Bay Cast Iron Patio Chimenea is made of cast iron with a wrap-around belly screen for even heating in all directions. It has airflow control and this is the least expensive chiminea on the list. Read Full Review
If you want the most bang for the buck in a chiminea, than the Hampton Bay Cast Iron Patio Chimenea is the one for you. This is the least expensive metal composition unit on the list, and even though it is made of cast iron, it only weighs a bit more than 80 pounds. It has airflow control and made with a wrap around belly screen for radiating heat in all directions. If it came with a cooking grate, this would be the best choice.
The Deeco Western Basket Weave Jr. Chimney is smaller than full size, its made of cast aluminum for portability, yet still features a cooking grate and a spark guard. Read Full Review
If you are looking for a smaller and more portable chiminea, than the Deeco Western Basket Weave Jr. Chimney is what you'll want. Made of cast aluminum, it weiighs only 47 pounds, so you can carry it virtually anywhere. Although about half the size of a regular chiminea, the basket weave design looks neat, and it comes with a spark guard and also a cooking grate. This is a good choice for limited spaces, like decks or patios, because it still throws off decent heat and doubles as a cooking stove.
The KD Clay Chimenea is made of genuine clay for a tradiational chiminea unlike any of the others on this list. It is the lowest priced chiminea here, but you'll need to use it with caution because of its innate fragile clay construction. Read Full Review
For you traditionalist out there the KD Clay Chimenea with the classic Lines design, is what you want. Because it is made of genuine clay, it is fragile so care must be taken when burning and moving it around. It's heavy, at about 70-plus pounds, but it comes with a metal stand and it is low in price. Although it has a 90 day return policy, be aware that it has no warranty from the factory. If you break it, you own it. But it is a lovely looking traditional chiminea that will go great with any decor.
The Esschert Design FF109 Small Terrace Heater is a 2/3rds cast iron chiminea that is suited for smaller areas. At 46 pounds it is portable, yet it will accept larger pieces of wod that would fit inside of a regular sized chiminea. Read Full Review
For portability in a cast iron chiminea, the Esschert Design FF109 Small Terrace Heater, weighing in at only 46 pounds may be right for you. It's a 2/3rds size unit with a removable rain lid and vent holes to provide more even burning. It features a mouth as large as a regular sized chiminea so that larger logs will fit inside. This is a good portable unit for smaller areas, that features cast iron durability for the long haul.