How to Cook on a BBQ Chiminea Grill

How to Cook on a BBQ Chiminea Grill

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There is nothing quite as cosy as relaxing in the evening outside, with the crackling of a glowing chiminea to keep you warm. Not only will it keep you toasty, but you can also upgrade to a BBQ chiminea grill to do some tasty outdoor cooking.

Modern chiminea designs often come with a handy grill allowing you to cook a variety of food over the flames. You can choose from clay, steel, or cast iron chimineas to give you a wide variety of looks in your garden.

Cooking over the flames will add a tasty smokey flavour to your food to give you an authentic BBQ feel without the need for a separate BBQ.

How to Cook on a BBQ Chiminea Grill

The good news is that the design of a chiminea can help to reduce the amount of smoke created when grilling your food and it helps to keep the flames under control.

In fact, it will have the same feel as cooking over a campfire. It is a much more natural experience to cook over flames and although you can’t turn a knob to alter the heat, you can learn to use it very efficiently to BBQ your food.

What Fuel Should I use to BBQ on a Chiminea?

If using a clay chiminea you are limited to using wood as it will crack if you use coal. Cooking over wood can add some subtle flavours but charcoal adds more heat and can be used in a metal chiminea. Wood such as oak will take longer to cook your food but add that familiar smoky flavour.

You should avoid using any fuel that has been treated with chemicals as they may contaminate your food. BBQ charcoals and BBQ briquettes are the best choices for cooking with.

Choose wood that has been dried to avoid splitting. Wood that has a low moisture content will burn for longer and is more eco-friendly. You will see labelling on wood as dried and chemical-free that is suitable for cooking. Avoid any accelerants and avoid softwoods that give off a harmful resin.

You can also add hardwood chips, sold for adding flavour to smoked food, that can be soaked and added to your fuel.

Cast Iron chimineas reach a higher heat as they do not experience any cracking, but they are very hot to touch so take care when you are cooking.

You don’t want to create a fire that is too big as this will create a dangerously hot environment that is not ideal for a BBQ. Create a smaller fire and let it burn until it reaches its optimum heat.

If you want a full breakdown of the best fuel for a chiminea then check out our What to Burn in a Chiminea? article.

What Can you Cook on a Chiminea BBQ Grill?

Anything you can cook on a standard charcoal or gas barbecue can be cooked in a chiminea that has a grill. It may take a little longer if you are using wood.

Don’t forget to set your fuel alight about 20 minutes before you want to start cooking. This will mean it has reached its optimum heat to cook your food properly. You can wrap items like potatoes and vegetables in foil and place them below the grill pan directly on the coals or wood to roast. They will take longer than food that is grilled so get them going first.

Meats such as burgers, sausages, steaks and chicken can be placed on the grill pan and cooked in the same way as you would on a barbecue. Use tongs to turn them over so you don’t burn your arms on the chiminea.

The chimney part of the chiminea is a great place to cook more delicate items such as fish. Balance a grill pan on top of the chimney, making sure that the smoke can still escape.

You can also place pots of soup or stews here to warm through further away from the heat.

Just like any BBQ food, you will want to add some spices, rubs, or marinades to your food before cooking on a BBQ chiminea. These will make your food even more delicious but also help to tenderise the meat.

What to Look for When Buying a Chiminea with a BBQ Grill

If you have decided that you want to enjoy eating alfresco on an evening with the delicious smells of cooking food on a BBQ Chiminea you will need to buy a chiminea with a grill.

Below are some important things to consider when buying a chiminea BBQ grill. If you know that you want to get one you could always read on to see some of the best to buy!

Chiminea Design

You will want to choose a model that has the right kind of style for your garden. Clay, cast iron, or steel are the usual choices but the shapes vary from traditional to modern with different size chimneys and some straighter while others are more curved.

Chiminea Weight

Are you going to keep your chiminea in one place or will you want to move it around? Some models are heavier than others. Think about where you will place your chiminea so that you don’t need to move it too far and also invest in a decent chiminea cover.

Chiminea Stability

This is especially important when choosing a chiminea with a BBQ grill as you do not want to risk knocking it over when you are attending to your food.

Clay Chimineas with BBQ grill

Clay Chimineas with BBQ grill

These are the traditional-style chimineas based upon designs that have been around for centuries. They can require a fair amount of maintenance as they can crack easily and will need to be covered in the winter months or put away.

They can only be used with wood as charcoal gets too hot, but the authentic slow burn will give you a traditional feel to your BBQ chiminea.

One of the most common types of clay chiminea used for cooking and the best in our opinion is the 2 piece chimeneas from La Hacienda. This is because clay chimineas usually have smaller pot bellies and the hole is not large enough for cooking.

La Hacienda 2 Piece chimineas, are great because the chimney part can be removed to produce a large BBQ grill where you can cook and then you simply replace the chimney when not cooking.

Cast Iron Chimineas with BBQ Grill

Cast Iron Chimineas with BBQ Grill

Cast Iron is the material if you are looking for something sturdy and long-lasting. It will cost more but it requires very little maintenance and will give you the option to burn wood, charcoal or coal.

You can burn higher temperatures without any risk of cracking so you will cook your BBQ food quicker.

Although they do not need to be stored during the winter and can be used when damp you may want to cover them when not in use.

The main downside to cast iron chimineas is that they are very heavy and are not easy to move.

Our favourite cast iron chiminea with BBQ grill is the La Hacienda Cuba Chimenea.

Although it doesn’t come complete with a cooking grill, you can easily find them to fit. The opening is larger than some which makes cooking much easier.

Steel Chimineas with BBQ Grill

Steel Chimineas with BBQ Grill

Steel is a much cheaper option if you want to buy a budget chiminea with a grill. Since they are much lighter, they are easily moved around the garden.

They can be used with all the fuel types, so they offer versatility for a low cost and a great way to start out your journey with a BBQ chiminea.

The downside is that they will not last as long as the other chimineas and will deteriorate from the elements with rust so you must ensure that you keep it covered when not in use.

One of our favourite steel chimineas with BBQ grill is the Murcia XL chiminea from La Hacienda. Standing tall and looking fantastic, this steel chiminea has a large opening with a chrome grill inside that’s perfect for cooking all sorts of BBQ food.