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Clay Chimineas FAQs

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Clay Chimineas FAQs

What are clay chimineas?

Clay Chimneas and Outdoor FirepitsThe early tribesmen of Mexico, Costa Rica and El Salvadore first used clay chimineas around a thousand years ago. They fashioned the pots from mud and clay, giving them a tall neck or chimney and a lid to keep the food from spoiling in the rain. Primarily used outside of the home, bread, meat and fish could all be cooked in the clay chiminea without the cooking smells or smoke affecting their living quarters but since they were also an effective method of producing heat, they were made light enough to be moved inside to warm the family’s accommodations if necessary.

As with all great concepts, the design of the clay chiminea has remained basically unchanged throughout the ages. Necks have been lengthened or shortened, bellies and mouths made wider or narrower and other materials have been used in their manufacture. But the idea remains the same. A small fire is created in the belly of the chiminea, the flame is protected from the elements so quickly takes hold and food is placed inside through a wide open, front facing mouth. Modern versions of the clay chiminea see them appearing sometimes with intricate design work carved into the neck or around the mouth. This is not necessary and is there purely as an embellishment but there have been some improvements that go beyond the aesthetic. For example, it is possible to remove the neck of some clay chimineas as they have been produced in two parts. This makes it easier to clean and also gives you the option of converting your clay chiminea into a fire bowl or barbecue.

Clay Chimneas - click here to browse our range of clay chimineas and clay firebowls

What other materials can a chiminea be made from?

Chimineas have been reproduced in other materials such as stainless steel and cast iron. They work well as they heat up quickly and retain the heat for longer but they tend to be heavier, a lot more expensive and do not look as authentic as clay chimineas.

What sizes do clay chimineas come in?

Our clay chimineas come in various sizes;

Our smallest clay chiminea, which comes with a supporting base, stands at 72cm in height and is 32cm wide. It weighs just 15 kg.

Next up is our small to medium clay chiminea, which stands at 83cm and is 35cm wide. This one is just slightly heavier at 18kg.

Our medium sized clay chiminea, which again comes with a supporting base, is 101cm high and 43cm wide. It weighs 24kg.

Our large clay chimineas stand at 101cm and is 44cm wide and weigh in at 28kg.

Our largest clay chiminea stands at 121cm and is 39cm wide. A little lighter at 25kg, it has a split body so you can remove the chimney, making it ideal for use as a barbecue.

Clay Chimneas - click here to browse our range of clay chimineas and clay firebowls

How much do clay chimineas cost?

Prices vary with size. The entry-level clay chiminea costs just £55 and this rises to £119.99 for the largest and the split body clay chimineas.

How much heat do clay chimineas give off?

When properly cured and fuelled correctly, a clay chiminea will give off a tremendous amount of heat. "Curing" is the term used to describe the process of introducing fire into a clay chiminea. This should be done slowly and carefully in the first instances to avoid cracking the glaze or the clay. Line the bottom of your clay chiminea with pumice stone then light a small paper fire. When this has burned out, allow the ashes to cool then light a second fire using paper and small pieces of wood or kindling. Allow this to burn out and cool and then repeat the process. This gradual introduction to flame will warm the body and neck of your clay chiminea, reduce the risk of cracking and prolong the life of your chiminea.

What fuel do clay chimineas use?

One of the beauties of using a clay chiminea is that there are so many fuel options. You can burn smokeless fuel, fire logs, instant lighting charcoal, solid fuel logs and seasoned firewood as well as garden waste and tree litter like fallen twigs and dry foliage.

How much do clay chimineas cost to use?

The cost to use a clay chiminea is almost negligible. You will need a small amount of paper and kindling wood to get your fire started and then some charcoal and/or wood to keep it topped up. If you are using garden waste, tree litter, cardboard and paper to fuel your fire, this will cost you nothing but the time it takes to collect it.

How environmentally friendly are clay chimineas?

Since much of the fuel used to fire a clay chiminea is recycled or smokeless, they can be considered extremely environmentally friendly.

Where do Big K deliver to?

We can deliver your chiminea to all parts of the UK. For orders of between £50 and £149.99 we make a charge of £10. If your order value exceeds £150 delivery is free to England and Wales. Deliveries to Scotland are subject to an additional charge please contact us for details.

How quickly can my clay chiminea be delivered?

If we have your clay chiminea in stock we can deliver it to you within 2-3 weeks. If you have ordered a non-stock item the lead-time will lengthen to 4-6 weeks.

Clay Chimneas - click here to browse our range of clay chimineas and clay firebowls