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Are you interested in adding a unique, new element to your yard? If so, consider getting a cast iron chiminea.
A chiminea is not only a source of heat, it has an attractive design that adds a dash of style to a home’s yard.
Discover some of the purposes of a cast iron chiminea and how to use one safely.
Uses for a cast iron chiminea
A cast iron chiminea can serve a few purposes. One purpose is to warm an outdoor area such as a patio or deck.
This type of chiminea releases heat that can warm a large area where people are eating, sitting, and chatting.
A second purpose of a cast iron chiminea is cooking.
Some are designed with an oven rack inside it where you can grill burgers, chicken and hot dogs as well as cook other items for an outdoor party or a regular meal for your family.
Of course, you can use your cast iron chiminea for both purposes if you choose.
One of the reasons why many people prefer to have a chiminea in their yard as opposed to a fire pit or gas grill, is a chiminea doesn’t take up much space.
The design of a cast iron chiminea is mostly vertical and not horizontal.
So, even if you have an intimate backyard or patio sitting area, a chiminea looks right at home in a space with smaller dimensions.
Another reason why cast iron chimineas are popular is they don’t create a lot of smoke.
Some fire pits and grills send up a lot of smoke which can be annoying to guests and harmful to the environment.
A chiminea creates very little smoke because it contains a small amount of logs/kindling.
The cast iron body of this chiminea is durable. So, you don’t have to worry about exposing it to various types of weather conditions.
The appearance of this chiminea is going to remain the same over the years due to its solid construction and sturdy material.
Many people appreciate their cast iron chiminea because it allows them to extend the time they spend outdoors with friends and family.
During the fall season, some families are less inclined to grill out or even sit outside to gather with friends due to the cold temperatures.
A chiminea provides heat during those fall and winter gatherings.
Plus, you can grill out even as the air grows cold, frost covers the grass and the trees lose their leaves.
What are the limitations of a cast iron chiminea?
Though there are a lot benefits of having a chiminea, there are a few limitations as well.
For instance, if you want to cook items inside it, the rack isn’t able to hold a large amount of burgers, chicken, etc.
So, it can take some time to cook for a large number of party guests using your cast iron chiminea.
Once you place your chiminea in a particular spot on your property, it’s very difficult to move. Its cast iron body is heavy.
So, take some time to determine where you’d like to put it before settling it into place.
Another limitation of a cast iron chiminea is it doesn’t burn very long without attention.
The log grate inside this chiminea has a small amount of space.
Consequently, there are a limited amount of logs and kindling that can be put into it.
If you want the fire in your cast iron chiminea to continue to burn, you have to put more logs in it when it begins to die down.
How to use a cast iron chiminea
The first step is to choose the location for your chiminea. It’s best to set up your chiminea on a level surface such as a patio or a base made of terracotta or perhaps slate tile.
Another thing to consider as you choose a place for your chiminea is the area above it.
It needs proper ventilation to work in a safe manner.
So, don’t put it in an area with bushes or where there are overhanging trees.
The second step in setting up your chiminea is to put four inches of sand into the bottom of it.
This prevents smoke from pouring out once it’s lit.
Next, roll up some pieces of newspaper and place them in the center of the log grate.
Then, take six or seven small pieces of kindling and place them atop the pile of crumpled newspapers.
Take the lid off the top of your chiminea to prompt airflow.
The third step is to light your chiminea. Get some long matches so you can light it safely. You can use a long-nosed lighter if you prefer.
Strike a match and light the sides of the newspaper beneath the kindling.
Once the newspaper is burning, close the wire door of your chiminea.
The fourth step comes in when the newspaper and kindling have started to burn briskly.
Open the door to place a few more pieces of kindling and a few small untreated logs on the fire to get it going a little stronger.
Untreated logs produce less smoke so you may want to check into getting a supply.
Close the door after the flames have sufficiently picked up speed.
Safety precautions to consider
When learning how to use a cast iron chiminea it’s essential to take these safety precautions into account.
For one, it’s wise to invest in a pair of heat resistant gloves to wear when working with your chiminea.
After lighting the kindling, the door of the chiminea becomes hot.
The gloves prevent you from being burned while opening and closing the door.
Furthermore, wearing heat resistant gloves provides your hands and lower arms with protection as you add kindling and wood to the fire.
Another safety precaution to take into account relates to the chiminea’s instructions.
The instructions convey how much kindling and wood the chiminea can handle.
If you follow the instructions, you won’t overload it with wood or kindling.
Overloading a chiminea with wood can sometimes result in a fire.
Clean the old ashes and debris out of your chiminea before every use.
Starting out with a chiminea that’s swept clean of ashes, decreases the chances a fire can occur.
Plus, your chiminea is able to work to its full efficiency when it’s not full of ashes and dust.
Avoid using your chiminea on days that are particularly dry. If a stray spark or ember escapes, it is more likely to create a fire if it reaches dry vegetation surrounding it.
Store your kindling and wood away from the chiminea. It’s best to keep all flammable items away from the area.
Keep a small fire extinguisher in the area. That way, if an issue does occur, you can take care of a fire before there’s a larger problem.
Lastly, a cast iron chiminea can be a unique alternative to a traditional grill or fire pit.
The warmth it exudes can add comfort and set a pleasant tone in your patio area.
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