Tag Archives: Fire Pits

Cooking in a chiminea?


Fun fire… campfires, bonfires, and that long gone but lovingly remembered autumn ritual of leaf burning by the curbside… can still be yours through the noble chiminea,  the popular outdoor potbelly fireplace.

Chimineas are not care-free devices.  They need a certain amount of ongoing maintenance to guarantee the longest life.  Hopefully, you will read this before you buy one so that you can make an informed purchase.

What is a chiminea?

Originating in Mexico in the 17th century, the original chimineas were used to bake bread.  As with the originals, modern chimineas are handmade from raw, wet clay,  giving each chiminea its own personality.  They are actually made from two pieces… the chimney or “stack” made separately from the wood chamber or “base”.  After a short period of air drying, they are joined together to make a seemingly seamless fireplace!

The formed chiminea is allowed to air dry for a few more days and then is baked in a 900+  degree kiln.  Allowing enough drying time as important since chimineas placed into the kiln while too wet will invariably crack.  After thorough cooling, the outside is painted to give a rustic-looking, almost antique appearance.  (Personally, I like the some of the new styles that are made of cast iron because they are resistant to chips, cracks and fading.)

What can be burned in a chiminea?

The chiminea is primarily a wood-burning stove.  Hard woods burn best and produce the least amount of sparks.  Some chiminea users who cook in their chimineas burn charcoal.    One safe way is to first burn some hard wood to form wood coals, which in turn are hot enough to light the charcoal.  You could also use self-lighting charcoal.

Chimineas are for outdoor use only!

Safe Backyard Campfires Increase Family Fun

Fire Ring

One of the most attractive parts of camping in the woods is enjoying a blazing campfire and all that it inspires…campfire songs, roasted marshmallows, and family togetherness.  Packing up the car with tents, food, sleeping bags, and all the other accoutrements of camping can be time consuming, though, and it’s not always worth it to do all that work for just a night or two of camping out in the woods.

If the campfire is what you love most about camping, then consider camping out in the backyard.  Set up the tents and sleeping bags behind your house, and create your own safe backyard campfire with a fire bowl, fire pit, or fire ring.  All of these choices do the job of containing a fire and make it easy to extinguish the fire once it’s time to pack it in for the night.  Most fire bowls, fire pits, and fire rings are portable, so you can still take them on a traditional camping trip in the woods or to a bonfire on the beach.  S’mores, anyone?

Time Stands Still With Outdoor Fireplace

Outdoor Fireplace

I want more time in my life to be still, quiet and spent with my family.  “Time” is so precious and unless I consistently review my priorities it can slip away just like that.  I can talk about priorities all day long but until I take action they are just words.

Certain environments create more of an opportunity for reflection and quiet conversation.  An easy one for me has been to purchase an outdoor fireplace.  They come in a variety of styles and sizes so finding the perfect one for our home was easy.

Sometimes after dinner as the sun sets we will gather around the fire and talk about our day.  My kids usually ask if we have all the makings for smores.  And if we don’t they are happy to roast marshmallows or just sit back and watch the fire.

What a challenge to make time with my family a priority and when I do the reward is always instantaneous.

Which One Do You Think Makes The Best Holiday Gift?

Wildlife Motif Fire Pit

Trying to find the perfect holiday gift for my favorite uncle???? He is an avid outdoor sportsman yet he also loves to entertain guests in his backyard even on the coldest winter weekends! My choices are between a Big Sky Wildlife Fire Pit or an Aspen Outdoor Fireplace.   Check these out and let me know what your vote is!