Chiminea – Outdoor Fireplace Fun

Tonight we get to roast marshmallows and make s’mores right on our very own patio. Last weekend we bought a chiminea which is also sometimes spelled chimenea). This bulb shaped freestanding fireplace is pronounced chim-ah-nee-ah, it’s from the Spanish word for chimney. These little fireplaces were originally used in homes for heating and cooking. They are made to utilize small pieces of wood. Today they are mainly used for patio decoration.

We lit a tiny fire today and enjoyed our lunch outside. It was a nice sunny day, but still a little chilly. It was nice to have a bit of a fire. Our chimenea was made from clay in Mexico. I love the handmade swirls in the clay. Because it’s the traditional clay and not metal, it will need a little special care. We are supposed to store it inside during the coldest months. And if it gets rained on, we need to let it dry for three days before we can use it. It did get rained on, which is why we didn’t try it out until today. The man we bought it from recommended a cover, which we’ll have to get. He also recommended putting lava rock in the bottom to protect the bottom from direct fire.

There’s something so cozy and comforting about a fire. We have an inside woodstove but I rarely use it. To build a fire involves opening dampers, coaxing it to draw smoke up the chimney, and gradually building up from kindling to firewood. With the chiminea though, all you do is make that tiny fire with twigs or kindling. We have so many trees that I know coming up with a few twigs won’t be a problem. A lot of people use pinion wood in their chimineas. The wood smells great. Once we run out of twigs I will buy some.

I am looking forward to extending the season of our patio just a little bit. I think it’s going to be great fun for us all.

Also See:

A Twist on S’mores and Traditions

An Outdoor Room for Family Fun

Guests and Fireplaces: A Warm Combination