The Best Chimineas of 2024

Bring warmth, style, and comfort to your outdoor lounge space with a new chiminea that suits your decor, budget, and fuel preference.

Best Overall

The Best Chimineas Option: Bali Outdoors Chiminea

Bali Outdoors Chiminea

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Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Chimineas Option: Hampton Bay Lokia 20-Inch Cast Iron Chiminea

Hampton Bay Lokia 20-Inch Cast Iron Chiminea

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Upgrade Pick

The Best Chimineas Option: Freeport Park Amabel Steel Chiminea

Freeport Park Amabel Steel Chiminea

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Whether you’re looking for a portable heat source to extend your patio’s seasonal usage or a stylish focal point for social gatherings, a compact fuel-burning vessel known as a chiminea may just fill the bill. Although built-in outdoor fireplaces have their advantages, chimineas utilize ancient yet effective technology to project heat, plus they’re often conveniently portable. Thanks to a front-loading design and a long vertical chimney, fresh air is continually pulled into the hearth while the smoke exits through the chimney for a clean, cozy fire experience. A well-designed chiminea is safer than a traditional fire pit because it directs the flame upward, and it can also pull enough air in to eliminate the need for fire starters.

Yet with many chimineas to choose from at different price points, finding the right one can be a challenge. Low-quality versions tend to rust prematurely and begin to lose their aesthetic value after a few seasons, so use this guide to learn what to look for when shopping and read our descriptions of popular models in a variety of sizes, designs, and prices. You’re likely to find the best chiminea for your purposes among our final selections.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Bali Outdoors Chiminea
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Hampton Bay Lokia 20-Inch Cast Iron Chiminea
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Freeport Park Amabel Steel Chiminea
  4. BEST METAL: The Blue Rooster Company Prairie Fire Chiminea
  5. BEST MODERN: Kelly Clarkson Home Clayton 60-Inch Steel Chiminea
  6. BEST RUSTIC: Sand & Stable Tide 70-Inch Steel Chiminea
  7. BEST GAS: Cuisinart Chiminea Propane Fire Pit
  8. BEST FOR SMALL SPACES: Rediflame Chiminea Kit
  9. BEST FOR LARGE SPACES: Kay Home Deckmate Sonora Chiminea
The best chiminea option set up on a cement pad near large planters on a ranch
Photo: amazon.com

How We Chose the Best Chimineas

With so many similar chimineas to research, finding the best ones to include on this list wasn’t easy. We cast a wide net to find models to evaluate, taking into account everything from each product’s specification sheet to verified customer reviews. We investigated chimineas with a variety of designs, materials, price points, and fuel options like wood, fire logs, or gas to ensure that we found a top-quality chiminea for virtually every type of consumer.

Our Top Picks

Our product recommendations reflect in-depth research and careful consideration. The picks below are durable, good-looking, and provide a solid value for the money.

Best Overall

Bali Outdoors Chiminea

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The wood-burning Bali Outdoors chiminea strikes the perfect balance between a traditional fire pit and a chiminea by retaining the open nature of the former and the chimney design of the latter. The fully open mesh cage provides plenty of heat and has a neat geometric design for visual appeal, plus a sliding door that optimizes ease of use. The pit portion of the chiminea is wide and deep, which means no stress about splitting wood or trying to purchase unusually small logs.

The steel and cast-iron construction of the Bali Outdoors chiminea is impressively durable—but remains relatively easy to move at 40 pounds (though taking it indoors for storage may be a hassle). Shoppers may wish to purchase an additional cover for it to protect the metal from rust and weathering in cold, wet weather.

Product Specs

  • Fuel type: Wood
  • Material: Steel and cast iron
  • Weight: 40 pounds

Pros

  • An attractive model that delivers plenty of all-around heat for outdoor gatherings
  • Built-in ashtray for easy cleaning or can be used for small log storage
  • Convenient sliding door plus a round roof to funnel smoke harmlessly away

Cons

  • Rust and paint flaking can be a problem if not protected from poor weather

Get the Bali Outdoors chiminea at Amazon.

Best Bang For The Buck

Hampton Bay Lokia 20-Inch Cast Iron Chiminea

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The wood-burning Lokia chiminea from Hampton Bay offers excellent value for the money, especially considering its impressive durability. Indeed, it’s very much like our Best Overall pick, just a bit more diminutive. This robust steel and cast-iron model is powder coated for increased weather resistance, which may allow it to stay on the patio longer. Its compact dimensions suit smaller patios, and although the width of the pit area is on the modest side, the mesh cage isn’t overly thick, so it doesn’t cut into the interior space. Between the efficient use of space, protective powder coating, and affordable price, the Lokia chiminea is a well-designed, high-quality option for those on a budget.

Product Specs

  • Fuel type: Wood
  • Material: Steel and cast iron
  • Weight: 43.43 pounds

Pros

  • Robust and durable steel and cast-iron construction at an affordable price
  • The rustic powder-coated finish looks good and offers protection from rust
  • Open cage adds visual appeal and allows heat to spread as far as possible

Cons

  • Occasional manufacturing faults can make assembly difficult, and door hinges could be stronger

Get the Hampton Bay chiminea at Amazon or The Home Depot

Upgrade Pick

Freeport Park Amabel Steel Chiminea

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At 6 feet 3 inches tall, the Freeport Park Amabel steel chiminea is designed to make an impact in any space both in terms of its visual appeal and heat output. The 29-inch-wide fire bed will hold plenty of logs, minimizing the time you’ll need to spend keeping it going. The tall flue takes smoke well out of the way of those sitting or standing nearby.

The durable steel body is deliberately allowed to acquire a rust patina that gives it timeless appeal. The wide mouth provides a wide spread of heat, though there is no screen to prevent sparks. It can get very hot, so it is not recommended for use on wooden decks without a protective mat.

Product Specs

  • Fuel type: Wood
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 50 pounds

Pros

  • An impressive model with a tall flue that removes smoke and promotes efficient burning
  • Large fire bed minimizes the time owners need to spend adding logs
  • The heavy-duty steel body has a natural oxidized patina (winter cover recommended)

Cons

  • Requires 2-person assembly and should not be used on wooden decks without protection

Get the Freeport Park chiminea at Wayfair.

Best Metal

The Blue Rooster Company Prairie Fire Chiminea

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Anyone hunting for a high-end, durable chiminea to elevate backyard aesthetics for many seasons to come will want to check out this unique model. The Blue Rooster Company’s Prairie Fire chiminea is made of cast aluminum as opposed to standard aluminum or cast iron. It’s made in a mold, which yields a much stronger final product than other manufacturing methods, such as die casting or sand casting.

For added convenience and versatility, the Prairie Fire’s chimney can be removed to reveal a grate on the top exit that can be used for cooking. The drafting is so efficient on this chiminea that it’s almost smokeless, which makes for a highly pleasant experience overall.

Product Specs

  • Fuel type: Wood
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 48 pounds

Pros

  • Superbly made with a large port-hole door that looks great and directs heat well
  • The cast-aluminum body is virtually maintenance-free and will never rust
  • Remove the chimney and the cast-iron top grate can be used for grilling

Cons

  • It’s smaller than some buyers expected and carries a premium price tag

Get the Blue Rooster Company chiminea at Amazon or The Blue Rooster Company.

Best Modern

Kelly Clarkson Home Clayton 60-Inch Steel Chiminea

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Those in the market for a chiminea that has plenty of stylish presence yet is portable as well will want to consider this Kelly Clarkson Home model. Don’t be fooled by this steel wood-burning model’s impressive 60-inch size: It’s one of the lightest in our lineup, despite being one of the tallest and widest as well. At just over 30 pounds, it won’t require a team of people to move it around the patio.

The Kelly Clarkson Home chiminea has a streamlined, modern design, and its large opening is easy to feed with wood to maintain the fire. It does a good job of capturing and directing the smoke, and the fire opening is wide. The only caveat is that the opening is rather close to the bottom of the pit, and there isn’t a door or log screen to keep the contents of the fire from falling out.

Product Specs

  • Fuel type: Wood
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 30.6 pounds

Pros

  • Smooth lines deliver a stylish aesthetic particularly appropriate for modern yard designs
  • Included grate can be used for cooking, and tall stovepipe funnels smoke away
  • Large fire opening provides directional heat, and built-in ash release makes for easy cleaning

Cons

  • Given the price, a few buyers were surprised that assembly was required

Get the Kelly Clarkson Home chiminea at Wayfair.

Best Rustic

Sand u0026 Stable Tide 70-Inch Steel Chiminea

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The Sand & Stable Tide chiminea finds a balance between a traditional rustic look and a modern construction by combining a unique rustic finish with a circular and conical structure made of cold-rolled steel. Although the Sand & Stable chiminea is tall, the fire pit area is short and wide, which is ideal for safety. Not only is the fire pit deep, but the log screen is durable and boasts a sturdy latch, another safety measure. The downside of this design is that it keeps the fire fairly low to the ground where it’s less visible to those gathered around it; however, the fire can be purposefully built closer to where the chimney starts for visibility.

Product Specs

  • Fuel type: Wood
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 38 pounds

Pros

  • An imposing model with an oxidized finish for that natural rustic look
  • Extra-large fire pit zone allows for long burn time without constant attention
  • Heavy-duty screen door prevents sparks from flying out while leaving fire visible

Cons

  • The finish is not weather-resistant, so it should be covered when not in use

Get the Sand & Stable chiminea at Wayfair.

Best Gas

Cuisinart Chiminea Propane Fire Pit

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Starting a fire isn’t always easy, especially if the wood is wet or unseasoned; this Cuisinart chiminea is gas-powered, effectively eliminating that issue. In fact, this model, which relies on propane and lava rocks, is entirely smokeless. The design hides an unsightly propane tank, and as a bonus, the versatile chiminea can also be used to burn wood.

One useful feature that makes the Cuisinart an even more attractive purchase is that its unique flexible chimney lets you choose where the heat goes. It also comes with a cover that protects it from the elements.

Product Specs

  • Fuel type: Propane
  • Material: Steel frame and stainless steel base
  • Weight: 45.5 pounds

Pros

  • Stylish, modern design with the convenience and ease of use of gas power
  • Push-button starting and simple temperature control provide up to 40,000 British thermal units of heat
  • The propane tank is conveniently hidden from view behind the removable rear panel

Cons

  • It’s expensive, requires assembly, and some buyers found parts were missing on arrival

Get the Cuisinart chiminea at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Best Buy.

Best For Small Spaces

Rediflame Chiminea Kit

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Even compact chimineas are usually intended to spread heat over as large an area as possible, so using them in very small yards can create a fire hazard. At just 14 inches tall, the handmade clay chiminea from Rediflame is a solution that can work in confined areas, or even on balconies (with appropriate care).

As with larger chimineas, wood can be used to fuel the fire, but Rediflame also provides 100 percent natural Skeeterlogs that act as an insect repellent. They are infused with eight different oils; are nontoxic and biodegradable; and will burn for 6 hours or more.

The Rediflame chiminea isn’t a particularly strong heat source, but it is an attractive solution for small spaces, is very affordable, and includes both fire starters and Sketterlogs.

Product Specs

  • Fuel type: Wood or Skeeterlogs
  • Material: Clay
  • Weight: 10.85 pounds

Pros

  • Handmade clay body provides the benefits of real fire in even the smallest outdoor space
  • Uses wood or Rediflame’s 100 percent natural insect-repellent Skeeterlogs that can burn for 6 hours
  • Very affordable and includes a pack of 3 fire starters and 2 Skeeterlogs

Cons

  • A few have arrived damaged, and some feel it produces excessive smoke

Get the Rediflame chiminea at Amazon or Wayfair (appearance may vary).

Best For Large Spaces

Kay Home Deckmate Sonora Chiminea

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Chimineas come in two basic designs. Those that are partly enclosed are good at directing heat toward a particular area, while those with an open fire basket like the Kay Home Deckmate Sonora are better at heating large areas. Not only that, but they also provide a 360-degree view of the fire that helps people feel more welcome.

The Sonora chiminea combines steel and cast iron for durability with classic visual appeal. The 16-inch fire bed, accessed via a sliding door, provides plenty of room for logs. It can be opened and closed with the poker provided, so there’s no risk of burned hands. The convenient ash catcher makes cleanup much easier than needing to lift out a grate and reach inside.

Product Specs

  • Fuel type: Wood
  • Material: Steel and cast iron
  • Weight: 54.25 pounds

Pros

  • High-capacity bulbous body and open basket help maximize the spread of heat
  • Made with steel and cast iron for durability with a heat-resistant finish
  • Features a sliding door, fire poker, and ash catcher for easy cleanup

Cons

  • Application of finish can be inconsistent, leading to problems with rust

Get the Kay Home chiminea at Amazon or Target.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Chiminea

One of the best benefits of a chiminea over a traditional outdoor fireplace is its enhanced design and portability. Primary considerations include which style will suit the space and where you intend to keep it. Once you have a general idea of those factors, you will want to keep materials, size, and fuel type in mind as you make your decision.

Material

Chimineas come in a variety of materials, including terra cotta, clay, and tile for a natural vibe, as well as steel, cast iron, aluminum, and even hammered copper to suit everything from rustic to modern aesthetics. Those interested in a traditional look will want to consider clay, the material used to make the first chimineas, which originated in Mexico. Although far less sturdy than metal, clay—especially El Barro, terra cotta, or any other kiln-dried type—doesn’t show weathering as much as metal. However, metal versions have become much more popular, so folks may be hard-pressed to find a quality clay chiminea. (Our lineup of top models are all made of metal.)

Metal chimineas are very durable and come in a much greater variety of designs than their clay and tile counterparts. They are, however, prone to rust and weathering, especially in harsh outdoor conditions. Cast-iron models have a charming rustic look, but they’re among the heaviest options. If shoppers like the look of cast iron, they’ll want to be prepared to sacrifice portability because of the weight. Also, because metal conducts heat so well, most types of paint applied to the exterior are likely to bake and flake off.

Size and Shape

When choosing the size and shape of a chiminea, consider the decor and dimensions of the outdoor space where it will sit. The key is to get a model that will be in scale with the other furnishings and won’t overwhelm the square footage. A larger chiminea will generate more heat than a smaller model, but it’s likely to be heavy and less portable. Plus, a larger unit will often have a taller chimney, so buyers must ensure that it won’t come into close contact with flammable materials such as an awning or pergola. Smaller chimineas have the benefit of portability and are easier to clean, as they can simply be dumped out.

Fuel Type

Like their traditional predecessors, modern chimineas most commonly rely on wood as the fuel source. However, as chimineas become more popular, an increasing number of reputable companies, such as Cuisinart, are making gas-powered alternatives. Gas fireplaces in general are considered to be better for the environment than wood-burning models, regardless of whether propane or natural gas are used. In fact, some gas fireplaces burn up to 99 percent cleaner than traditional wooden ones. Gas fireplaces also have an instant start-up and don’t require any additional effort for materials, such as chopping and transporting wood.

On the downside, gas chimineas lack the ambience that classic wood-burning fires produce, not to mention the fact that they must be hooked up to a direct gas line or a bulky, unsightly tank. Either gas or wood may be used for cooking, but more even, predictable results will be achieved with a gas chiminea.

Additional Features

Keep an eye out for chimineas that include handy safety and convenience features, such as a wide stable base, a door, and fire pokers. Bases and doors protect property by preventing logs and embers from slipping out and falling directly onto something flammable or burning the floor of a deck. Those willing to spend a bit more money can find chimineas with built-in wood storage or 360-degree designs that radiate heat in all directions.

FAQs

The key to maximizing a chiminea’s functionality and design is understanding how to operate and maintain it safely. Those new to these portable outdoor heat vessels may still have a few questions, such as the common ones answered below.

Q. What type of outdoor flooring is needed for a chiminea?

Buyers don’t need special flooring to use a chiminea outside as long as they place it on flat ground. If they plan to put their chiminea on a wooden deck, they’ll want to place a flat stone or a few bricks directly under it so it doesn’t leave burn marks on the wood.

Q. How far should a chiminea be placed from the house?

Similar to a standard fire pit, it’s recommended to keep a chiminea at least 30 feet from the house or other structure. If you live in a somewhat arid location, we recommend placing the chiminea at least 50 feet away from your home.

Q. What is meant by a chiminea seasoning, and when should it be done?

Seasoning, also known as curing, is a process that prepares a clay chiminea to prevent it from cracking during use. Fortunately, most clay chimineas these days come preseasoned. If a clay chiminea is not preseasoned, follow these steps to prepare and protect it:

  1. Place sand or rocks on the bottom so the fire doesn’t come into direct contact with the clay.
  2. Start a very small fire in the center, let it go out, and let it cool completely.
  3. Start a second slightly larger fire, let it go out, and then let it completely cool.
  4. Repeat a third time, and by then the clay chiminea should be seasoned and ready to enjoy.

Q. What is the best type of chiminea?

In terms of type, there isn’t a best chiminea. The look, material, and design of a chiminea should fit your particular style and needs. Each has unique pros and cons, and the best one is one that leaves you satisfied.

Q. Which chiminea gives off the most heat?

Chimineas that are open on all sides will give off the most heat. However, chimineas with a single opening tend to project more intense heat to a smaller space. Generally, chimineas don’t provide as much heat as open fire pits because the chimney material not only directs but also absorbs some of the heat.

Q. Is a chiminea better than a fire pit?

Choosing between a fire pit and a chiminea comes down to personal preference. Fire pits tend to give off more light and radiate more heat, but they also don’t direct the smoke in any way, which can bring a burning sensation to the eyes during use and leave clothes smelling like smoke afterward. Those aren’t issues with a chiminea.

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Will Briskin devotes his writing work to all things related to woodworking, design, and furniture. He began woodworking at a young age, and he’s been testing new tools and design ideas ever since. Will’s tutorials and reviews have appeared in Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, SFGATE and elsewhere. Connect on LinkedIn.

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