Chimenea and Fire Pit Buying Guide 2022


Chimenea and fire pit collage


Chimeneas and fire pits come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes which can sometimes make choosing the right one feel overwhelming. To help you find the perfect fire pit or chimenea for your outdoor space, we’ve put together this handy and straightforward guide.

Fortunately while there are many varieties, outdoor fires can be broadly divided into 4 categories, which definitely makes choosing one a lot easier!

As is often the case there are a range of aspects to consider, so we've listed them for each type below.

Cast Iron Chimeneas and Fire Pits

Cast iron chimeneas and fire pits are the most rugged available. You can really use them almost however you want and with any type of fuel.


Things you'll love

    • Highly durable construction
    • Can be used with any fuel type
    • Modern and contemporary looking
    • Carefree operation: they do not need to be cured
    • Can withstand unlimited fire sizes


Things to consider

    • Tend to be heavy so not very portable
    • A limited variety of designs
    • Will rust over time (although can be easily repainted)
    • Usually require some initial assembly

Steel Chimeneas and Fire Pits

Steel chimeneas and fire pits offer many of the advantages of the cast iron models but are also lighter for portability and are offered in a much wider variety of designs.


Things you'll love

    • More lightweight than cast iron so can be moved around easily
    • Steel fire pits are the most conductive so heat and cool more quickly than other types
    • Generally more cost effective than cast iron models
    • Can use any type of fuel
    • Many contemporary and unique designs are available


Things to consider

    • Steel like cast iron is prone to rust over time if left outside or heavily fired (can be repainted or coated with edible oil)
    • Not as durable as cast iron
    • Often requires some basic initial assembly

Traditional Clay Chimeneas and Fire Pits

Mexican chimeneas are the best functioning burners of all patio fires. Their structure and design, perfected over centuries in Central America make them the easiest chimeneas to light and the most efficient burners. No need for roaring fires, the clay becomes hot and radiates the heat.


Things you'll love

    • A wide variety of beautiful designs to choose from
    • Each chimenea is handmade and therefore unique
    • A real work of art for outdoor spaces
    • Only requires a small fire for excellent outdoor heating
    • Lowest maintenance (but requires careful use)
    • No assembly required
    • Arguably the original fire pits


Things to consider

    • Require curing and continued care when firing
    • Can be used with wood or charcoal only (not coal for example)
    • Quite fragile (susceptible to impact damage and thermal shock from incorrect use)


You can find out more about clay chimeneas in our FAQ.

Chimeneas made from Chimalin AFC

AFC chimeneas are a modern interpretation of the traditional chimenea. Combining many of a traditional chimenea's advantages and appeal with modern technology to offer the reliability and durability of modern fire pits too.


Things you'll love

    • Can be used with any type of fuel
    • A contemporary take on the traditional chimenea
    • Does not require curing
    • No assembly required
    • Care free operation
    • Lowest maintenance outdoor fire
    • Shares the heating ability and aesthetic appeal of traditional chimeneas


    Things to consider

      • Despite exceptional thermal resistance they are still somewhat fragile to impact damage
      • More expensive than traditional chimeneas
      • Less variety of design/ no artisan models


      In summary it's worth pointing out that whichever model you choose there is nothing quite like a real fire for warmth and a dazzling focal point in any outdoor space.

      You can also cook on all of them which is great both as a hobby and for entertaining family and friends!


      See our full range of fire pits and chimeneas here

      See our full range of chimeneas here

      See our Chimalin AFC models here 


      Need more help deciding?! We are always happy to help so please get in touch!



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