If you’re wondering which chiminea to buy, what chiminea is best, there are all sorts of factors to take into account. But rest assured every chiminea we sell, whether it’s steel or cast iron or clay, works beautifully to heat your outdoor space. This time around we’re taking a look at steel chimineas and the remarkable properties of the material they’re made from, featuring three of the best from our enormous collection.
All about steel – A marvellous, magical metal
Steel is the most important material in the world for engineering and construction, used in a vast range of circumstances for a huge collection of products and projects. It can be recycled time and time again without losing any of its strength or other properties. Production of the metal eats up a relatively small amount of energy. In fact producing one tonne of steel today involves less than half the energy it did in the mid-1900s.
The metal is an alloy of iron and carbon, containing less than 2% carbon plus 1% manganese and tiny quantities of silicon, phosphorus, sulphur and oxygen. There are over three and a half thousand different grades of steel, each with its own physical, chemical, and environmental properties, and three quarters of them have been developed over the last two decades.
Modern steel is very different from the original material. It’s a lot lighter, for a start, although just as strong. If you rebuilt the Eiffel Tower today, for example, it’d take just a third of the steel originally used. Today’s cars are made from stronger-than-ever steel too, weighing as much as 35% less than old-school vehicle-quality steel, and that means they use less fuel than ever.
How come steel rusts? And does it matter?
Rust is created by a simple chemical reaction that happens when the metal comes into contact with oxygen and water, transforming it back into its original form, namely iron oxide. Rust can be prevented by adding a coating, like the special heat resistant black stove paint for metal that we sell.
Having said that, plenty of our customers like the gorgeous rusty patina you enentually get, and are happy to let it do its thing. It would take an awful long time for one of our steel chimineas to rust away to nothing, and a bit of rust doesn’t affect the performance. It’s up to you. You can always simply rub your steel chiminea down with wire wool now and again to keep the rust under control.
Steel chiminea feature – Three of the best steel chimineas – The Madison
The Madison steel chiminea in black is tall, sleek and slim. It comes in with quirky good looks inspired by Steampunk style, wonderfully traditional-looking but also full of contemporary charm. It features lovely hooped carrying handles, luscious curvy legs and a generously broad mouth, great for a wonderfully hot fire.
You can buy special chiminea paint to touch up the finish if you ever need to, but it ages gracefully and a bit of rust doesn’t cause any harm. Because it has three legs it’s remarkably stable, even on a surface that’s wobbly, and it’s rugged enough for all-year-round outdoor fun. If you want a whopper we stock the extra large Houston, which is actually very similar in design.
The Lexi steel chiminea in small, with a bronze finish
Our small Lexi chiminea is just 70cm high, perfect for smaller gardens and patios and with a lovely bronze finish applied over the steel. It comes with attractive curly steel legs, three of them for excellent stability, and its own handy rain lid. Because it’s small, and weighs just 4 Kilos, it’s easy to move around – an important thing to consider when you’re buying a chiminea.
The Medium Cordoba chiminea – All-round heat plus classic good looks
The Cordoba is different. It’s kind of half chiminea, half brazier, with its 350 degree mesh that lets the warmth radiates all around. It comes with a chimney lid, charcoal grill and tong, a hint that this beauty also lets you BBQ like a pro. It takes two people no time at all to assemble, even if you’re usually baffled by instructions, and it stands rock solid on three curved legs.
Can’t decide which is best for you?
All our chimineas do an excellent job of keeping you warm outdoors. If you can’t decide between clay, steel and cast iron, or you have any other tricky decisions to make, we’re always happy to chat.