Why Mexican clay chimeneas are the best

Mexican chiminea

So you’re wondering which clay chimenea to choose. We have a great tip for you – make it a Mexican one. Here’s why Mexican clay chimeneas are by far the best buy.

Why are Mexican clay chimeneas so good?

A design perfected over centuries

There are cheap alternatives, but they probably won’t perform as well. The design of the genuine Mexican chimenea, the shape, the proportion of the body compared to the chimney, and the width of the mouth all make a big difference to the burn. These models have been perfected over centuries in Mexico, where they’ve been used to provide outdoor warmth and cooking facilities for hundreds of years. So they’re fiendishly efficient.

chiminea shop

The wide mouth delivers an awesome ‘draw’

Mexican clay chimeneas have an unusually wide mouth, so you get wonderful views of the flames. But it’s about more than great looks and drama. The large opening means you get an exceptional draw of air through the chimenea, encouraging a good, hot, pure burn that leaves barely any ash behind. They’re a real pleasure to use as well as very fuel-efficient and easy to clean.

Made by hand by skilled artisans

Our entire Mexican chimenea range is actually made in Mexico by highly skilled artisans, then exported by ship. It takes strength and experience to build such a big item from clay, and considerable skill to fire it in a kiln. It’s all too easy to leave air bubbles in the clay so it cracks or even explodes when it reaches the right temperature, a searing 1040 to 1170 degrees Centigrade.

The terracotta clay body of these chims is thick and strong, and that means they’re tough customers, built to last. Thinner chimenea walls, built using less clay, won’t be anywhere near as strong.

Built for cooking

Mexican people don’t just use these rugged outdoor fires for warmth and light. They’re also designed for BBQ cooking, and there are so many exciting ways to do it:

  • Skewers are ideal for fruit, meat fish and vegetable kebabs as well as marshmallows
  • Use a special chicken roaster to prepare whole roast fowl on your chimenea
  • A cooking iron is great fun – simply trap the food between the metal plates to cook it to perfection without it falling into the flames
  • A waffle iron is the way to make perfect waffles, fast
  • Stand a lidded cast iron cooking pot on top of the chimney part of the chimenea for succulent casseroles, hearty soups, and anything else you can rustle up in a cookpot
  • A removable grill lets you BBQ like a pro
  • A cast iron pizza spatula bakes delicious pizzas in no time
  • Make fabulous sweet or savoury popcorn with a popcorn popper
Atitlan Clay Chiminea with fire front view

Stunning designs

The people who make these fab patio fires are also wonderfully creative. Some of our Mexican chims come with exciting Celtic-inspired 3D designs, others feature Mexican suns, the tree of life, wolf faces, other animals, feathers and grapes. Some have cut-outs for the fire to flicker through, an amazing effect. We even have glazed ones in gorgeous colours, shiny and stylish, and they’re available in regular to XL sizes.

Easy to light

The strong draw you get makes clay Mexican chimeneas really easy to light, and they stay lit. The small amount of ash you get stays safely inside and so will any sparks.

Asteria Chimalin AFC Chiminea - Glazed Mottled Purple (Extra Large)

Simple maintenance

Looking after yours is an easy matter, just involving some basic care and attention. Line the fat belly first with some special pumice stones, a volcanic rock that protects the clay from heat stress and cracking. They stones will last and last so you won’t need to re-buy.

Always start with a small fire and gradually build it up. The clay acts like a giant radiator to throw heat out 360 degrees around it, which means the clay is the hero, not the fire itself. Because you never need a big fire, it’s efficient on fuel despite being such an effective patio heater.

We have an exciting collection of Mexican clay chimeneas for you. Which will you choose?

Ellipse Mexican Chiminea Mottled Grey