When you’re buying a chiminea, you need to think about what accessories you’re going to need. Chimineas do require some protection from the weather, and there are a few absolute essentials which will make using and enjoying your chiminea not only safer, but a lot more fun, too.
1. Cover – this is an absolute necessity for any chiminea. Covers should be UV-proof (to help prevent fading), waterproof, and tear-proof. Cast iron chimineas will rust if left out in the rain, and even enamel-coated steel chimineas may be susceptible to rust if water gets into the joins and into the bowl. Clay chimineas should never be used when even slightly damp, otherwise they might crack, and a large crack can be catastrophic for your chiminea. The clay is slightly porous and will absorb a small amount of water, so you must be sure it is absolutely dry before you attempt to light a fire in it, which is why a waterproof cover is so essential.
If you have a clay chiminea, you should really buy a padded insulated cover before the winter – a clay chiminea may crack if left out in the frost, which will certainly shorten its operational lifespan.
2. Pumice Stones – these are an essential addition to your clay chiminea. If you wish, you could use sand or gravel. Pumice stones are recommended because the aerated structure of the pumice makes it a great insulator, but as long as you have something between the hot fuel and the bowl of the chiminea, you can use any good insulating material. Please note that cast iron and steel chimineas don’t require this layer of insulation.
3. Sturdy Fire Gloves – the area surrounding the chiminea will get extremely hot and if you happen to accidentally touch the sides of the chiminea, you could burn yourself quite badly, so a pair of sturdy fire gloves are a sensible accessory for your chiminea. A chiminea guard (similar to a fire grate) is also a great investment if you have children or pets.
4. Poker – ideal for redistributing hot fuel, a poker is an absolute necessity for any chiminea. You can also use it to stir up the embers to encourage a fiercer burn if the fire starts to die down.
5. Fuel – of course, you’ll need something to burn in your chiminea. Charcoal is good for cast iron or steel chimineas, particularly if you’re using your chiminea for cooking, as are wood-based fuels. You can use charcoal in some clay chimineas, particularly those intended for barbecues, such as the Cozumel range, but please check the instructions as charcoal burns too hot for most clay chimineas. Wood-based fuel, in the form of timber or heat logs, is fine for every clay chiminea, and you can also use Logmakers to make your own fuel from household and garden waste.