When the weather turns too cool for lounging in your outdoor spaces, it’s probably with reluctance that you retreat indoors for the long winter. Luckily, the season for enjoying those exterior living areas can be extended significantly with the use of an outdoor fireplace.
For the most part, the traditional outdoor fireplace looks similar to a fireplace you might see on the inside of a home. Many traditional outdoor fireplaces are rectangular in shape and feature a mesh metal door which swings open to allow easy access, and swings closed to keep sparks from flying out of the fire. Traditional outdoor fireplaces are not boring in design, though. Whether your preferred style is one of clean lines or of romantically ornate decor, there is an outdoor fireplace to match that preference. In addition, most outdoor fireplaces provide you with 360 degree warmth, which creates an inviting space large enough to entertain multiple guests on chilly evenings.
A more utilitarian style of traditional outdoor fireplace is available, too, which may suit your needs more effectively while at home or while on camping or other outdoor vacations. These fireplaces boast a round body and sturdy, often tubular metal legs. Some models of this kind of outdoor fireplace have two wheels which allow the units to be moved easily to different locations. This more utilitarian of fireplaces offers the essential features without the fussiness of decorative elements.
Safety Note: Be sure to choose an outdoor fireplace that can be used safely in your home’s exterior living area. For example, many outdoor fireplaces cannot be used on or near wood decks or other wooden structures. While some of the portable fireplaces can be taken into grassy areas and campgrounds, an ideal location for most outdoor fireplaces would be a stone, brick, dirt, or concrete surface.
Waiting for spring to arrive seems especially difficult at this late point in winter. The longing to spend well-deserved time relaxing and enjoying fresh spring air on the backyard patio or deck makes the wait even more unbearable. While you can’t make warmer weather come any faster, you can get outside sooner and begin to take advantage of the comforts of your outdoor spaces. One way to make this happen is with an outdoor fireplace.
Outdoor fireplaces allow homeowners to get outside when the weather is still quite cool. Many models offer 360 degree heat so that family members and friends can sit on any side of the fireplace and still feel the comfortable warmth. Outdoor fireplaces burn wood and pressed wood logs, adding that cozy feel of a campfire to patios and decks. When spring finally does arrive bringing warmer days, the outdoor fireplace comes in handy when cooler night time temperatures still threaten to force you back indoors.
Enjoying the fresh air and your outdoor living spaces is possible even now when the cold seems unlikely to break anytime soon. Outdoor fireplaces offer one easy solution to the problem of staying adequately warm outdoors, and they can dramatically reduce the cabin fever that intensifies as winter progresses.
If you enjoy spending fall evenings outside on your porch or patio like my family does, a fire bowl is perfect for you! Also known as fire pits, these outdoor heaters are the perfect addition to keep you toasty while adding a big punch of style. They give you the feel and warmth of a real wood fire crackling anytime and anywhere you choose. Fire pits are great for your backyard, the beach, or most any outdoor gathering. They are available in a variety of price ranges and styles. You can find fire bowls that depict wildlife themes, showcase stylized ornate metals, or feature your favorite college team’s logo. Some even double as a grill! They are attractive, portable, and easy to clean. You NEED one for your backyard!
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!
Many home owners are reluctant to retreat indoors when the weather begins to grow cold. Winters can seem extraordinarily long sometimes, so extending the time we can spend outside in the cooler months is a natural desire. A number of options exist for keeping warm on the back patio, but probably the most beautiful one is the chimenea outdoor fireplace.
Traditionally, chimenea outdoor fireplaces have been constructed of earthen materials like terra cotta and clay. Unfortunately, these materials can crack and crumble over time and with exposure to the elements. A beautiful alternative is a chimenea made from a sturdy metal, such as cast aluminum or cast iron. Metal chimeneas can withstand the elements, and they come in a wide variety of attractive shapes and sizes.