Mexican Chiminea - Clay Chimineas
Rely on a Mexican chiminea to heat your patio or deck space. Autumn, winter and spring evenings can be rather chilly in most areas. People want to enjoy time outdoors watching stars or chatting with loved ones, but cooler temperatures can put a damper on evening plans.
With an outdoor chiminea, your outdoor space is warmed by a cozy fire contained within a fired clay patio heater.
Before Using Your Mexican Chiminea
After purchasing a patio chiminea, you should season the clay to prevent cracking. Many manufacturers do this before packaging the outdoor patio heaters, but make sure of this before burning wood.
If you're unsure, place a layer of fish tank gravel or play sand into the bottom of the Mexican chiminea. Usually a two-inch deep layer is good. Next, place three or four pieces of kindling onto the sand or gravel and let them burn completely. Repeat this process six times and then allow the patio chiminea to cool. After this, you can begin making larger fires.
Building a Fire in a Mexican Chiminea
When you build your first large fire in a Mexican chiminea, there are things you should remember. First, never use lighter fluid. It will soak into the clay and cause irreparable damage.
Light your fire using newspaper and small pieces of kindling or fat wood. Once this is burning, add small logs that are no longer than the area of your outdoor fire pit. If your patio chiminea's burning area is 12 inches, stick to 10 inch logs.
Avoid using green wood because creosote will increase blackening the interior of your garden chiminea and causing the stove pipe area to clog up. You can tell if wood is green or not by looking at the cut surface. It should be brownish and have cracks running from the center. If you can buy kiln dried firewood, you'll find it burns best.
Never burn pressure treated wood. It releases chemicals into the air that pose health risks. The best woods for a Mexican chiminea are cedar, apple, hickory, maple and cherry. The smoke that these produce often helps to keep mosquitoes and other biting insects at bay.