It’s cast iron chimenea time! Here’s why

The British weather has always been unpredictable. Now, thanks to climate change, it’s even harder to predict. A beautiful classic clay chimenea is a wonderful choice in every garden context but when you just want something super-simple to fire and forget, a cast iron chimenea makes an excellent choice. Here’s what you need to know.

Toledo Cast Iron Chiminea Small

Why buy a cast iron chimenea?

Steel and cast iron chimeneas are ready to use instantly, straight out of the box. While clay chimeneas need careful seasoning first, you can just dive right in with a metal version. The secret’s in the materials. Metal doesn’t suffer from heat shock, the kind of thermal shock you get when a big clay body heats up too fast and unevenly to cause cracking and flaking.

In spring and autumn, sometimes in summer itself, the weather can change from hour to hour and you’re never sure when it’ll start belting down. Fast results are what you need, and that’s what you get with a metal chim.


You only need a small fire inside any sort of chimenea, whatever it’s made of. The secret isn’t the flames themselves, it’s the way they heat up the body of the chimenea. The surface are of the bulbous body is enormous, acting just like an over-sized domestic radiator.

Sven steel chiminea fireplace with fire

In the case of a clay chim you’ll need to take a bit more care over the blaze than with a cast iron version, which will comfortably, safely take a much stronger, bigger blaze. It isn’t necessary to have a roaring fire inside but it does look extra-gorgeous, especially when the weather’s chilly and gloomy. The whole experience is more casual and carefree – throw fuel on, light it up, let the fire get big, it won’t crack or flake or break.

best selling chiminea

A metal chimenea tends to weigh more than clay but not too much, so it’s just as portable. Metal cools down a bit faster than clay as well as heating up a bit faster. And there’s no problem with frost. While a clay chimenea can crack in the cold as well as when it gets too hot too fast, a cast iron one won’t. And you don’t need an insulated chimenea cover for iron and steel versions, just a simple cover to keep the wet off and help deter rust.

Opera Open Bowl Cast Iron Chiminea Large

Simply because of the material they’re made from, metal chims can last for years longer. You can knock one over and, unlike a clay chim, it’ll probably be fine. It can go really rusty but it’ll still work perfectly. If you get bored of it you can transform it into a winter-proof planter. Or just use it as garden lighting with tea candles inside. Metal might rust but it doesn’t stain. If you want to keep it perfect, it’s easy enough to keep a metal chimenea clean, and you can repaint it with special heat proof stove paint.

Kaska Cast Iron and Steel Chiminea with fire in garden

Last but never least, there’s the look. Painted cast iron has a gorgeous, dark look about it, a steampunk-like feel reminding us of old stoves in cowboy movies and Victorian Christmas scenes. Some have a bronze finish. Some are plain, others have decoration cast into the body and chimney, perhaps grapes or leaves. The metal looks great even when it’s completely rusty, an antiqued appearance that suits many contemporary garden styles perfectly – think industrial and you get the picture.

Toledo Cast Iron Chiminea Extra Large Bronze

Take a look at our metal chimenea collection, see which design suits your lifestyle and garden setting best. It’ll see you right for years of outdoors fun with the people you love.