Fire Pit of Chiminea? It’s a tough one. You’re trying to choose between a chiminea and a fire pit, but which is the hottest? Well, that’s easy enough. A chimenea will usually get hotter than a fire pit of the same size. Why? Because the clever shape means the fire is contained, heating up the surrounding clay, steel or cast iron to create something that works exactly like an enormous radiator. The design sends the smoke safely up and away, something a firepit can’t do.
The heat from a fire pit escapes into the atmosphere pretty fast. As soon as the fuel stops burning things go cold. A chiminea, being an extremely efficient burner, eats up less fuel than a fire pit. Cast iron, clay and steel chimeneas all hold onto their heat better than a firepit, warm for long after the fire itself has burned low.
So why would you choose a fire pit over a chim?
A fire pit is designed to burn a much bigger fire, an open fire for you to admire and enjoy, and the bigger the fire the more people can keep warm around it. On the other hand the heat chucked out by a chim radiates into the surroundings incredibly efficiently. At the end of the day the heat they give off ends up roughly comparable, just expressed in different ways. For many people this means the choice is simply a matter of taste, of looks, and of style.
You’re allowed to have both, of course. There’s no law that says you have to pick one or the other!
Next, let’s take a deeper look at heat in a chiminea and firepit context.
Chimeneas, fire pits, and heat
Can your chiminea get too hot, or is there no such thing as too much? Yes, a chimenea can get too hot. It often happens because the fire inside is just too big. There’s no need for a large fire like you set in a firepit. A small fire is quite enough to heat the body of the chiminea and set it off radiating heat. If flames are poking out of the chimney your fire is way too big. Let it burn back a bit then add small amounts of fuel from then on, to make sure the fire stays small and neat.
Your chim can become far too hot for other reasons. Maybe you’ve over-fuelled it. When you leave the lid on it gets too hot – remember to take off the rain lid before you light her up. Using the wrong fuel for the chimenea can lead to overheating issues. You should never burn charcoal in a clay chim, for example. All these overheating problems can lead to heat shock, which can easily crack a clay chim.
Chiminea safety tips
Most chimineas don’t have a damper, so you can’t control how hot they get. It makes sense to always have a bucket of sand nearby to douse the flames with if things get out of control. You might also like to invest in one of our quality fire blankets. The same goes for a firepit. Fire safety is always important.
When to choose a firepit over a chiminea?
Sometimes a fire pit out-performs a chim. Maybe you have a large circular outdoor space crying out for focal point. Perhaps you like to hold big outdoor events with loads of people, or love a great big open blaze. A fire pit gives you gorgeous all-round views of the flames too, while the flames are safely hidden inside a chimenia. If your neighbours aren’t happy about smoke, a chiminea gives off less than a firepit.
fire pit or chiminea? At the end of the day, if your outdoor space is big enough, you can invest in both a firepit and a chiminea. Together they’ll heat the outdoors in different but equally enjoyable and efficient ways. And that means you can enjoy your own great outdoors all year round, 24/7, in comfort.