If you're looking for authentic Mexican clay chimineas, you've come to the right place. We offer a huge selection of clay chimineas made by expert craftsmen in Mexico. Clay chimineas not only look better than cast iron or cast aluminum chimineas, but they are also much safer. Clay doesn't conduct heat nearly as much as metal does, so the clay essentially provides a layer of insulation from the hot flame. Consequently, when a clay chiminea is lit, the outside of the chiminea is only warm to the touch; it will not burn you.
Virtually all of the clay chimineas we offer include both a lid and an iron stand (i.e. base). They are packed and shipped with the utmost care, and we guarantee that your clay chiminea will arrive in perfect condition. Browse through our extensive collection of clay chimineas below.
There are several reasons many people prefer clay chimineas over cast iron chimineas...
Are there any downsides to clay chimineas, as compared to cast iron chimineas? Sure, there are pros and cons for most everything. Cast iron chimineas are substantially lighter than clay chimineas and are far easier to move or transport. Cast iron chimineas are also easier to care for and can use charcoal as fuel (in addition to wood). If these drawbacks of clay chimineas are particularly important to you, you may want to consider purchasing a cast iron chiminea instead.
This is one of the most common questions asked by owners of clay chimineas. You can burn most any type of firewood in a clay chiminea (but see below for important information about what NOT to burn). We'll list some of the most popular types of wood here.
Pinion Pine - Because pinion pine both smells great and wards off mosquitoes, it is probably the #1 choice of firewood for most chiminea owners.
Red Cedar - Like pinion pine, red cedar has a nice aroma and also repels mosquitoes, making it a popular choice as well. However, red cedar tends to "pop" as it burns, so you'll want to place a screen over the mouth of the chiminea and also have a spark arrestor in or on the neck of the chiminea if you plan to burn red cedar.
Apple - Apple wood isn't quite as abundant as those we've listed above, but it is a great wood for clay chimineas. Apple emits a very nice aroma as it is burned.
Alligator Juniper - This traditional firewood is great for clay chimineas and, like the woods listed above, emits a pleasant aroma as it burns.
Scrap Lumber - You can certainly chop up scrap 2x4s or 2x6s laying around and use them in your clay chiminea as well. As building lumber tends to burn fairly hot, we recommend using smaller pieces.
Mesquite - Mesquite wood is hands-down the #1 choice for those planning to use their clay chiminea for cooking meat. Chefs from all cultures and regions of the world swear by mesquite and refuse to use any other type of wood for smoking brisket. Just be aware that mesquite burns extremely hot, so you should only burn a few small pieces of it at a time.
Hickory - Hickory is another popular choice for clay chiminea owners, particularly those planning to use it for cooking and grilling. After all, who doesn't love the good old-fashioned taste of a hickory-smoked ham or hickory-smoked hamburger?
Other Fireplace Woods - You can use just about any type of fireplace wood in a clay chiminea as well.
What NOT to Burn in a Clay Chiminea - You should not burn pressure treated wood in a clay chiminea or in any other type of chiminea or fire pit. Pressure treated woods (which often have a greenish tint to it) emit dangerous toxic gases when burned. You should also avoid burning pellets (a type of manufactured fuel for wood stoves), as they tend to burn too hot and produce a lot of ash. We also discourage you from using charcoal, as it burns at high temperatures that could cause damage to a clay chiminea. Also, please note that you should never use lighter fluid or any other type of ignitor or flame-enhancing materials, as the clay tends to absorb such liquids. Finally, you should avoid burning wet or green wood. This isn't because wet/green wood is dangerous to either you or to clay chimineas, but simply because it creates a lot of smoke and will be annoying to both you and your neighbors.
Handling & Transport - Most clay chimineas are manufactured as two separate pieces: 1) the base (aka bowl) of the chiminea, and 2) the neck (aka smokestack). After each piece is crafted and allowed to dry for several days, the base and the neck are carefully fused together into a single, continuous piece. While this fusion is very strong and almost never presents a problem, it's nevertheless important to be aware of when you're moving or transporting a clay chiminea. You should never lift it by the neck, as doing so could cause the bond between the base and the neck to separate. Instead, we recommend hefting the chiminea by the mouth (i.e. the large opening on the side of the chiminea) with one hand and then using your other arm/hand to "cradle" and support the chiminea at the point where the base and neck meet.
If you ever need to transport your chiminea in a vehicle, you have a couple of good options, the first of which does not require that you have a truck, suburban or SUV. You can simply set the chiminea on one of the seats (where a person would sit) and then fasten the seat belt around the chiminea to secure it in place. Make sure to add a little padding where the seat belt contacts the neck of the chiminea. If you do own a truck or SUV, the other option is to secure the chiminea snugly in place in the bed of the truck or in the trunk area, ensuring that the chiminea won't shift during turns, bumps or acceleration or deceleration. Also make sure that other items nearby are secure and won't fall on or crash into the chiminea, particularly its neck.
Weatherproof Seal - Although not required for some models, it is a good idea to seal most clay chimineas. We recommend using either Future Floor Wax or Butchers Wax to weatherproof your clay chiminea. Simply squirt some of the wax on to the outside of the chiminea and then use a clean towel or rag to rub the wax all over the exterior of the chiminea. This seals the tiny pores and miniscule hairline cracks that aren't visible to the naked eye. You only need to do this once.
Chiminea Cover - When you're not using your clay chiminea, we highly recommend covering it with a weatherproof cover. This will protect it from the elements, particularly from rain and snow. While an old grill cover or storm cover gets the job done, you may want to consider getting an actual chiminea cover specially made for covering the shape of a chiminea.
Winter Storage - Particularly if you live in a region where the temperate drops below freezing during the winter time, we strongly recommend storing your clay chiminea indoors through the winter. The "1-2 punch" of freezing temperatures and moisture can weaken the clay and make it brittle, increasing the chances of it forming cracks.
If you are unable to store the chiminea in a heated room inside your house, make sure to put it in a garage or shed where it will at least be protected from moisture and the other elements. Also, make sure to place the chiminea on a pallet or a couple slats of wood, rather than directly on the ground or cement pad. This will allow the air to circulate underneath the chiminea.
During storage, remove the chiminea from its stand.
Placement of the Chiminea - There are two important things to keep in mind as you pick a location for your chiminea. The first is to make sure that you place the chiminea on a flat, level surface that is 100% solid and won't shift. Second, be sure that there isn't anything directly above or in close proximity to the chiminea that could catch fire or be damaged by the smoke escaping from the smokestack (this includes awnings tree branches, umbrellas, vines and basically anything else). Don't place your chiminea under a gazebo, pergola, enclosed porch or patio, or any other structure.
Insulation & Grate - Before using a clay chiminea, you first need to insulate it so that the fire isn't in direct contact with the clay base. Simply pour some sand (or lava stones or pea stone) into the bowl until the sand is 3-4 inches below the lower lip of the mouth (i.e. the opening on the side of the chiminea). You don't need a special type of sand; regular play sand that you'd put in a children's sandbox is perfectly adequate.
Once you've insulated the bowl of the chiminea with sand (or lava stones or pea stone), lay a couple of bricks on their sides. Place the bricks about six inches apart (maybe a little further for chimineas with a larger bowl). You should place the pieces of wood you burn on these bricks, which will act as the grate and keep the wood elevated.
Start with Small Fires - Your first 5-10 fires in a new clay chiminea should be relatively small. It's important to "season" the chiminea with smaller fires (built from kindling and small pieces of wood) before it's ready for larger fires. Let these small fires burn themselves out naturally, rather than putting them out with dirt or water. After 5-10 smaller fires, your chiminea will be ready for larger fires with larger pieces of wood. But even then, you don't want to let the flames get too big and come out of the top of neck of the chiminea.
Safety Information - Chimineas are intended for outdoor use only. Do NOT light your chiminea indoors. Never leave a chiminea fire unattended, and make sure to have a fire extinguisher handy. While the exterior of clay chimineas typically don't get overly hot, it is still recommended that you not touch the chiminea and that you keep children and pets away from it while a fire is burning (or was recently burning). Finally, you shouldn't extinguish the fire with water.
We're just a phone call or a click away. We'd love to help you! Feel free to call us at 208-241-8295 or start up a live chat. You'll also see that every product page has a Q&A section that allows you to ask product-specific questions and view answers to questions that other customers have asked.
Enjoy your new clay chiminea!