How to make a chiminea fire

Written by amy kingston
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How to make a chiminea fire
Start a roaring fire in your chiminea. (Image by Sean Loyless; Flickr.)

A chiminea is a free-standing fireplace used outdoors to provide warmth on a deck or patio during the cooler months of the year. Chimineas can be made out of copper, cast iron or clay. The chiminea has an opening in the bottom for building a fire, and a small chimney at the top to release the smoke up and away from the area. Learn to build a fire in a chiminea and enjoy being outdoors during chillier weather.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sand or pea gravel
  • 2 Bricks
  • Small pieces of wood
  • Match or lighter

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  1. 1

    Place the chiminea in an area free of combustible materials. Line the bottom of the bowl with 7.5 cm (3 inches) of sand or pea gravel. Place a brick on its side on the sand or pea gravel. Place a second brick on its side 15 cm (6 inches) away.

  2. 2

    Light one end of a stick of wood with a match or lighter and place the unlit end in the sand or pea gravel inside the bowl of the chiminea at an angle. Light one end of a second stick and insert it in the sand or gravel beside the first stick.

  3. 3

    Position two to three small pieces of wood around the lit sticks and wait for the wood to catch fire. Place a smaller piece of wood on top of the fire.

  4. 4

    Add small pieces of wood as needed to keep the fire going.

Tips and warnings

  • Place the lid included with the chiminea over the chimney between uses to keep water from running down the chimney and into the bowl.
  • Do not use accelerants such as petrol or lighter fluid to start a fire in a chiminea.
  • Do not touch the chiminea while it is lit or immediately after the fire has been extinguished. The chiminea retains extreme heat and can cause serious burns.

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