Last time we took a look at our sumptuous contemporary chimineas in all their sleek modern glory. This time we thought we’d explore the world of the cast iron chiminea, always a popular choice and as rugged as it gets.
What is cast iron?
Cast iron is defined as an iron-carbon alloy with a carbon content of more than 2%. It has a surprisingly low melting temperature, which makes it easy to work with as well as keeping the metal’s cost down. It’s hard and relatively brittle, can easily be cast in a mould, and resists oxidisation.
Only meteorites contain pure iron. It has to be made. Cast iron is still made from pig iron, which in turn is made by smelting iron ore in a furnace. Humans have been casting iron since around the 5th century BC, in the Jiangsu region of China. The Chinese used it to make weapons, building materials and tools. It wasn’t until the 15th century that cast iron was used to make cannon, a practice that soon spread to the British Isles.
After the iron is cast, it is left to go solid. If this isn’t done properly you get very brittle iron, which is why we insist on quality chimineas, not the cheapest of the cheap. Quick cooling produces fine grained cast iron and slow cooling creates a coarser grain.
Why choose a cast iron chiminea?
Cast iron chimeneas are a modern alternative to clay models. While clay chims usually burn just wood, cast iron versions can be used with coal or briquettes, which both burn at a higher temperature than wood and tend to burn for longer. The iron itself holds onto the heat and radiates it back into the surroundings, very like an Aga or Rayburn – the exact same principles apply.
You can buy cheap chimineas. But they don’t always last. We don’t do cheap and nasty. All our cast iron chimineas are made with a generously thick iron casting. They’re good and heavy, they’re finished with a premium heat resistant paint, and we stock some truly stunning designs.
Cast iron chims to die for!
We stock cast iron chimineas in a variety of sizes: depending on the model we sell small, medium, large, extra large or jumbo. We sell a wide choice of designs too: the Billie, Corona, Granada, Helios, Magna, Opera, Titan and Toledo. They’re a whole lot more flexible than an open fire, safer, and more fuel efficient. Some of them allow you to cook as well as have a fire, which adds an extra dimension to alfresco entertainment.
Here are three of our top sellers.
Three of our most popular models
The Corona combines chiminea practicality with the good looks of a firebowl, and the end result is simply gorgeous. We love the coppery-coloured finish on this cast iron beauty, and the unusual styling.
Unlike traditional chim designs this one comes with entirely open sides, a bit like a pretty bird cage on legs, which means it’s a dream for barbecuing. It comes with three genuine slate side tables that bolt easily onto the side, perfect for putting plates on and keeping food warm. A genuine dual purpose chiminea and BBQ, it comes with an easy-empty ash tray, an adjustable height BBQ, and a cool swivelling cast iron BBQ grill.
The Opera is another contemporary-looking cast iron beauty, whose 360 degree open mesh sides deliver all-round warmth and great views of the fire for everyone. It has a wonderfully sturdy circular stand and a short, stubby chimney, attractively solid. Like all our chimineas it’s remarkably simple to assemble. Thanks to the gorgeous bronze-coloured patina, it delivers a subtle metallic look. It also includes a handy matching rain lid for the chimney bit.
The Toledo is one of our most popular models of all, available in a wide variety of gorgeous finishes. Take the lovely large version in a verdigris finish featuring a design of big, beautiful flowers and lush vines. It’s a brilliant garden and patio heater designed to keep you nice and toasty for hours on end, and it also acts as a BBQ for delicious foods. There’s a cool swing-out BBQ grill which is easy to remove and clean, and the assembly is nice and easy, far from rocket science!
You can burn logs in it, or burn charcoal for cooking, and it comes complete with special hinged spark guards, a lid to keep the rain out, attractive curvy feet and legs, a good quality steel barbecue grill, a second grill with narrower spacing, and an air vent for regulating the fire finely.
How to choose?
All of our cast iron chimineas do a splendid job of keeping you warm outdoors. Some also let you BBQ. So once you’ve decided on small, medium or large, your choice is an aesthetic one. Pick the chim that pleases your eye the most, and you’ve kicked off a marvellous relationship that’ll provide fun and delight for years to come. If you need help deciding, let us know and we’ll do everything we can to support a great decision.