The Best Cast Iron Chiminea in 2021

If you enjoy outdoor cooking, then you probably have heard of chimineas. A chiminea is an outdoor fireplace that is typically used for both heating and cooking. They first originated in Mexico centuries ago, so they have been around for quite some time. They come in many styles, giving you a lot of options to choose from. Plus, they are versatile when it comes to the types of food you can cook in one. Chimineas were traditionally made from clay, but now you see them made from cast iron because it’s much more durable.

In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about chimineas including the best ones on the market right now and how to use one. Even if you have never heard of them before, you’ll quickly learn so much about them and may even want to purchase one for your outdoor space.

We have our absolute favorite chiminea linked here, or you can keep reading to see which other models we recommend.

Table Of Contents

What Should I Look For When Buying a Cast Iron Chiminea?

Even though chimineas are usually quite small, they are capable of cooking your entire meal if you so choose. When you are ready to purchase a chiminea, there are a few key features that you should be looking for. To help you out, we have them listed below. Keep this in mind before you buy.

Material

Chimineas are made of all sorts of material including clay, copper, stainless steel, aluminum, and cast iron. They all have their pros and cons, but we are going to focus on cast iron chimineas. These are best for withstanding all sorts of weather conditions, and they have superior durability.

Legs or Stand?

Some chimineas are built with freestanding legs. Others will need a proper base before use. Be sure it is fire-safe because the bowl of the chiminea will become extremely hot during cooking.

Gas or Wood Burning Options

You have the option of purchasing a gas-burning chiminea or a wood-burning chiminea. This will come down to your preference and where you intend to use it. Some models can be used indoors, and they are always gas-burning because you can’t vent properly in your home with a wood-burning chiminea.

Size

Chimineas do not differ too much in size from brand to brand. However, there is a large and a small size typically. The amount of cooking space you decide to get will depend on the size you choose and how many people you are planning to cook for regularly.

Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Cast Iron Chiminea

As with any other product, looking at customer reviews is key. I did thorough research and lots of comparing to choose the best cast iron chimineas based on price and value. Since I have never owned a chiminea, I can’t speak from personal experience, but I do know my cooking style. If you have done any sort of grilling or outdoor cooking, that can help you figure out the best durable cast iron chiminea for you.

#1: The Blue Rooster Co. Dragonfly Cast Iron Chiminea (Best Value – All-Purpose)

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This model made by Blue Rooster is very highly rated and is a great mid-range cast iron chiminea. With its heavy-duty construction, it is a great permanent addition to wherever you decide to set it up. Keep reading to find out why this chiminea is our top pick.

It’s Great for Any Outdoor Space

From your own backyard to a campground or RV park, this can be set up almost anywhere. Since it is made of heavy cast iron, it isn’t something you will want to relocate very often. Since it can withstand most weather conditions, it can sit permanently wherever you choose.

It’s a Beautiful Piece of Equipment

With its intricate dragonfly design, it can become the centerpiece of your patio that guests will love to admire. So, even when not in use, it can be integrated into your outdoor furniture and become part of the setup. I personally love chimineas for this reason.

Here are some more notable features of the Blue Rooster Dragonfly Cast Iron Chiminea.

  • Removable rain lid
  • Traditional single opening design
  • Cast iron grilling insert included
  • Handles a full-size 18-20 inch firelog
  • Hinged mouth screen

At a premium price but less expensive than the luxury pick, this cast iron chiminea model made by Blue Rooster is a timeless piece of outdoor furniture. All you need is a fireplace log to get this up and running. It is great for cooking as well as a heat source on a cool night. With its lifetime warranty, this chiminea is a great alternative to a fire pit.

#2: The Blue Rooster Co. Cast Iron Casita Chiminea (Best Luxury)

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The Blue Rooster Co. has a lifetime warranty on all of their products, so you can expect the same with the Cast Iron Casita Chiminea. So, why is this on our list? For one, it is another beautiful chiminea fireplace, but it also is great for cooking for the whole family on a cool, summer night. Let’s go over the reasons why you might choose this cast iron chiminea.

It Is the Largest Cast Iron Chiminea Made by Blue Rooster

This extra-large version of the classical casita model is very popular. The dimensions are 48 x 22 x 18 inches (HxWxD). You can cook multiple 13″ pizzas at once, making it a great choice for a family. You can go outside and enjoy a nice fire while waiting for your dinner to cook over full-size fireplace logs, all on your backyard patio.

It Is a Great Size for an Outdoor Fireplace

After the sun goes down and the temperature drops but you aren’t ready to go inside, what is the best way to keep warm? Personally, I love sitting in front of a warm fire where the smell of the wood burning is so relaxing. This cast iron chiminea is perfect for that because of its large size. You can enjoy some family bonding time on your patio with a nice, roaring, yet very controlled fire. What could be better?

What are some other features of this cast iron chiminea?

  • Weighs 260 lbs.
  • 2 piece cast iron grate to support the fire
  • Removable rain lid
  • Steel support stand
  • 1 piece cast iron grate for grilling and baking

This is a very high-quality and heavy-duty cast iron chiminea. The price correlates to the value you are getting with its large size. It is nice that you are not limited to traditional barbecue with the chiminea. You can even bake pizzas. With its beautiful design, you are going to want this on your patio if you can afford the splurge.


#3: Deckmate Sonora Outdoor Chimenea (Best with a Sliding Door)

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This cast iron chiminea is slightly different compared to both of the Blue Rooster models, and it is also less expensive. Although it is much less expensive, the design isn’t as intriguing. However, if you just want a small and functional chiminea, this could be a great choice for you. Take a look below to see what we love about this chiminea.

You Have a Full 360 Degree View of the Fire

The biggest difference between this chiminea and the first two chimineas mentioned is the 360-degree view. With the others, the wire mesh screen is just on the front doors, but with this one, the whole middle section is made of mesh. You will be able to watch the chiminea fire from any angle, ensuring that all of your food is cooking to your liking.

It Has a Large Sliding Door

The idea of this sliding door, rather than the traditional opening doors, is to make adding fuel to the fire easier. It does just that. You can open the door to this cast iron chiminea just enough to add more wood if needed. The best part is that this is also helpful for cleaning, since you can reach into the grill and remove the ash catcher easily.

There are other features of this cast iron chiminea that are worth talking about.

  • Can burn real wood or artificial logs
  • Weighs 75 lbs.
  • Has a high-temperature paint finish
  • Removable chimney

If you feel like the extra viewing and the sliding door design are features that you would really love, then the Deckmate Sonora Chimenea could be your perfect match. It is very small compared to many of the other chimineas we mention, but if you aren’t looking for a large size, then this shouldn’t be a problem. Overall, this is a solid choice for an affordable cast iron chiminea.


#4: Bali Outdoors Outdoor Chiminea (Best Low Cost)

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Although this cast iron chiminea has a sliding door just like the Deckmate Sonora Chimenea, it is even simpler in the overall design. This is probably why this one costs less than the rest. However, it still has a solid and sturdy construction, making it our top low-cost choice for outdoor patio living. Keep reading to find out what this particular chiminea has to offer.

It Is Lightweight Compared to Most Chimineas

At only 53 lbs., this chiminea is not very heavy at all. Despite being made of heavy-duty cast iron, it would be fairly easy to move around your patio if you wanted to. The other chimineas we mention are much heavier and are meant to be set up in a permanent spot.

The Fire Cage Can Accommodate a Standard Size Log

Even though the fire cage is 22 inches in diameter and 20 inches high, the standard size for logs is just 16 inches. This gives you plenty of space for the wood to burn for just a fire or to cook a small meal. Plus, you have the option to use real or artificial logs.

Here are some more features of this cast iron chiminea.

  • Round roof and rain cap on the chimney
  • Sturdy cast iron legs
  • 360-degree view through the steel mesh
  • Grill tools included

The PVC rain cover will be an accessory that you will have to purchase separately, but other than that, this is one of the most easy-to-use models at a very low price. With proper care, it has the potential to last you for years to come, allowing you to continue to extend your living area outdoors. Just keep in mind that this chiminea is pretty small and may not be the best choice if you plan to do a large amount of cooking.


#5: Deeco Aztec Allure Cast Iron Pizza Oven Chiminea (Best Traditional Style)

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Chimineas were made centuries ago out of clay traditionally and were known for their beautiful designs. They were a wonderful outdoor functional centerpiece. This cast iron chiminea is reminiscent of that, being a great addition to your patio decor. Keep reading to see why this chiminea made it into our top 5.

The Sunburst Is Removable for Grilling

If you want to do some serious cooking, then sometimes that is easy with a more open setup. That’s possible with this chiminea. The top section, also known as the sunburst, in this case, can be taken off when the chiminea isn’t being used as a fireplace. This gives you plenty of access to grill up some ribs or a 14-inch pizza. The open flame closely resembles a firepit.

The Top Has a Fiberglass Lining

Fiberglass is often used for insulation, and it is included in the design of this chiminea. The oven section or sunburst has this lining to lock in heat for more even cooking. This is great if know you will be using it often as more than just a backyard fireplace.

What are some other features of this chiminea that make it worth looking into?

  • Decorative, screw-on, cast iron feet
  • Decorative removable rain lid
  • Removable ash drawer for an easy cleanup
  • Hinged spark guard screen door

This decorative outdoor piece is just great on its own to look at. The brushed bronze color is truly timeless. This chiminea is perfect for both cooking on a wood fire and sitting back and joying the warm heat from the fire. The bottom line is that this is a great choice as a centerpiece of your backyard living space that your guests will be envious of. That is why it rounds out our top picks.


Budget Options

Below you will find some even more inexpensive, but durable, cast iron chimineas. They cost even less than our low-cost top pick and are still pretty decent in quality. If you have a really tight budget but like the idea of having an outdoor fireplace, then one of these cast iron chimineas could be your perfect match.

#1 Better Homes and Gardens Cast Iron Chiminea

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This chiminea has a very simple design, but still works well for cooking and as a heat source. It is made of durable and sturdy cast iron, just like all of the other chimineas that are in the top 5. The Better Homes and Gardens model is very easy to use and is all around a solid product that gets the job done. Plus, it will set you back less than $100. Here are a few more features of this budget chiminea.

  • 2-year warranty
  • Poker included
  • Nylon cover included
  • 360 view of the fire with wire mesh
  • Large size for gatherings

#2 Giantex Wood Burning Chiminea

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You may only save a few dollars if you choose this over the low-cost option made by Bali Outdoors, but this is still a chiminea with the same sturdy cast iron construction. Giantex isn’t a very well-known brand and, according to our research, this is a fairly new model chiminea. Of course, this means there aren’t any reviews on it yet (as of this writing), but based on its design and features, it sounds like it is worth the price. Read on to find out more about this chiminea.

  • 360-degree view of the fire with wires mesh
  • Metal tray to catch ash and dust
  • Flue shape directs smoke upward
  • Weighs 22 lbs.
  • Poker and rain cap included

#3 Hampton Bay Lokia Cast Iron Chiminea

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This chiminea made by Hampton Bay is the second overall cheapest compared to all of the other chimineas. It’s another chiminea with 360-degree mesh all around the wood firepit, giving you full visibility. This particular model also has a powder coating to further help against harsh weather conditions. It is also made of sturdy cast iron, of course, so you know it is still made of pretty decent quality material. Below are some more features of this chiminea.

  • Fire poker included
  • 1-year manufacturer warranty
  • Weighs 43 lbs.

How Do I Use a Cast Iron Chiminea?

The main difference between a firepit and a chiminea is the chimney. Traditional firepits just use an open flame, while a chiminea has a chimney to help control the smoke. So, how do you use a chiminea? The first thing you should know is that it operates similar to a firepit, so as long as you know how to tend to a fire, it should be fairly easy for you.

There is a very important beginning step before you enjoy a warm fire by the garden from your chiminea. Since the bowl is made of cast iron, you need to treat it the same way you would treat a cast iron pan. This means that you need to season it before use to cure the paint. This is done by building 5 fires and allowing each one to completely burn out before the next one. Avoid using water to put the fire out, because letting it burn out on its own is an important part of the process. It’s good to go after the last fire is out.

Once you’re good to go you will need to add a layer of sand at the bottom. This will prevent smoke from billowing when the fire is lit. Then you can start using wood to build the fire. Once you have a strong ember going, it’s time to cook. Luckily, grilling on a chiminea is similar to cooking over an open fire. You will place the food right over the grill grates and wait. It’s that simple. Just be sure to monitor the heat.

Once you are finished using it, whether that be for food or just as a fireplace, let the wood burn out on its own and completely cool before you attempt to clean it. Otherwise, the metal will be very hot to the touch and can be dangerous.

Verdict: Your Best Cast Iron Chiminea 

Here is a quick summary of the best cast iron chimineas.

If you want the best value for your money, pick The Blue Rooster Co. Dragonfly Cast Iron Chiminea. It is the best choice overall for its price and design.

If you want the best luxury product, pick The Blue Rooster Co. Cast Iron Casita Chiminea. This is the most expensive, but it is both durable and beautiful.

For the best sliding door option, pick the Deckmate Sonora Outdoor Chimenea. Out of both chimineas with a sliding door, this one is the better choice for that specific feature.

If you want to keep the spend low, pick the Bali Outdoors Outdoor Chiminea. This is a great choice for a somewhat limited budget.

For the best traditional design, pick the Deeco Aztec Allure Cast Iron Pizza Oven Chiminea. If you are going based on looks, this chiminea takes the cake.

Here is the recap of the best budget chimineas.

The cheapest option for a chiminea is the Better Homes and Gardens Cast Iron Chiminea.

If you want to try a newer and inexpensive product, there’s the Giantex Wood Burning Chiminea.

For the simplest design compared to the price, another budget choice is Hampton Bay Lokia Cast Iron Chiminea.

Chimineas are made to liven up your backyard space. These models are perfect for every outdoor area including near the garden, on your deck or patio, or virtually anywhere else you could think of. They are generally heavy so be sure to choose a chiminea and area for it that you are fine with becoming permanent. The main thing you will keep in mind is personal preference when choosing the right one for you.

I hope you find your perfect match and use your new chiminea for years to come. They are truly a wonderful addition to any backyard.

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