When it comes to backyard entertaining, we can bet that you picture two things: the first is a comfortable seating area, and the second is a firepit. Fire is integral to backyard entertaining. People have gathered round fires for warmth, conversation, cooking, and drying off, since humans discovered they could make fire themselves over 800 000 years ago. Nothing brings people together like fire. Fire is just energy, as two elements collide. Fire can do so many amazing things for us, like provide light, warmth, and cook our food. Outdoor fireplaces are very costly and time-consuming to install, and plain old firepits are usually outlawed, especially in city settings. Have no fear! There are options! We recommend investing in a chiminea for your backyard entertaining.
The chiminea was invented in Mexico in the 1600s, as a method of cooking food and providing warmth. They are pot-bellied in shape, with a smoke stack on top. A fire is built in the base of the bowl. The pot-bellied part is called the bowl. The bowl has an opening, into which you insert a grill or baking sheet. They are a great way to have a backyard fire without needing a permit. They are widely revered for their nostalgic and rustic look, but are also great for cooking. Chimineas have multiple uses: they can be used as garden décor, as a source of warmth and light, or for cooking. Not to mention they are much nicer looking than barbecues. Chimineas are warm and inviting. Their soft curves welcome you to sit around them. They have the advantage of providing warmth and acting as a fireplace as well as a cooking appliance. They are beautiful to watch. Barbecues tend to require propane and therefore pose more of a hazard, in our opinion. The flames of a barbecue can sometimes get out of control, but is carefully controlled within a chiminea. Chimineas are friendlier to the environment, as they do not require pollutants or electricity. Traditionally, these little ovens are made of clay, but modern times have brought us designs made of aluminum and cast iron.
Today we review a cast iron chiminea made by Oakland Living.
The Oakland Living chiminea is made of cast iron with an antique bronze finish, giving it a timeless, rustic look. Its exterior is also decorated with three-dimensional hummingbirds and floral design. It stands forty-five inches tall, or just under four feet. It comes with a hardened powder coat finish for years of wear and tear and enjoyment. An advantage that cast iron has over clay is that it is chip-, fade-, and crack-resistant. The hardware is composed of stainless steel and brass.
This firepit can hold two or three logs. We recommend using pure charcoal if you are going to cook with it, since pure charcoal does not release any weird chemicals. It weighs ninety-six pounds, the size of a small person. It is very durable and will not move. Be sure of its placement so you don’t torture yourself trying to move it around the yard a million times.
The hummingbird and leaf motif design adds organic movement for a bit of visual interest, mimicking the movement of smoke. Altogether the unit is very beautiful and will add a rustic feel to any outdoor setting. Its antique bronze finish looks especially great next to any black or grey patio furniture. For a full look, try some upcycled antique pieces for the backyard, like a woven star for the garden, or repainted planters.
The chiminea is very easy to cook with. You can buy chiminea-specific grills that can cook virtually anything from root vegetables to meats to pizzas. It will make for some quality family time, as everyone gathers round the fire to build their burgers or pizza and then watch with anticipation as the food cooks. Typically food is cooked in the belly or bowl of the chiminea, but some people like to make use of the smoke stack, too. You can use a smaller grill for this. Lay it across the opening and set your food on top: just make sure there is still room for smoke to escape. Cooking atop the smoke stack is ideal for when you desire foods that are literally smoked or have a smoked flavour. You can even set a small pot of soup up there (on a grill, of course), and reheat it this way. You can host entire parties around the chiminea, or family events. People love to gather to prepare and enjoy food together.
Chimineas require basic routine maintenance, but are quite easy to take care of! All you have to do is periodically shovel out the old ash and scrub the grill down. Removing ash will cut down on the amount of smoke produced by the chiminea. Since this is an iron chiminea, you can use charcoal for the firebase, as the metal will have no problem handling the high heat.