Even though a chiminea may look like a simple device to use, before you ever purchase or install one, it’s important to know that they need some special treatment to help them maintain their original integrity and remain working safely for longer.
To avoid many of the pitfalls that new chiminea owners encounter, we’ve put together this simple guide on how to cure a chiminea. It will provide you with information about curing different types of chiminea’s, the essential steps, and materials you will need to successfully cure one yourself. If you correctly prepare and cure your chiminea, you can look forward to years of comfort ambiance, and warmth in your outdoor space.
How to cure a Chiminea – A step-by-step guide
If you follow these simple steps, it will ensure your chiminea curing process is successful and help maintain your device for long-term use
Ball up any paper, newspaper works perfectly well, and place one or two balls of the paper into the empty base of your chiminea. Light them and continue to add more paper balls one or two at a time until you’ve built what can be described as a small fire. We need to stress that the fire needs to be small, but it has to have visible flames. Once you’ve successfully built your small fire let it burn out and allow your chiminea to cool down. Clean up the ash and all remnants of the fire.
Add some clean sand to the base of your chiminea. This layer would remain inside your device for all subsequent uses.
Now you need to build another small fire, but this time you will add a small piece of kindling to the paper. This fire you will need to allow to burn a little larger than the first one. Once it’s starting to burn, stop adding fuel allow it to burn out, and wait for your device to cool down completely.
Repeat the last step, three or four times, each time building a slightly larger fire. By heating and cooling your chiminea, you’ll train it to tolerate much higher levels of heat for a prolonged period because this is what it will need to cope with if you intend on using it regularly.
What materials do you need to successfully cure a chiminea?
When learning how to cure a chiminea, you don’t really need a lot of materials. Thankfully most of them should be lying around your home and they will all work for whatever type of chiminea you have.
- A lighter or matches
- Newspaper or any paper
- Small pieces of kindling wood
- Clean sand
The amount of sand you will need will depend on the size of your chiminea, but you will need to line the base of the device with at least 3 inches of clean sand. Depending on the depth and shape of the bowl, always err on the side of caution and purchase enough. This end is essential for protecting your device and also acting as a base for your fire, allowing you to comfortably prepare and light it with no danger to your hands.
Do I need to cure every type of chiminea
Yes, any chiminea should be cured before you use it, and this is something that many new owners forget to their cost. Regardless of whether you purchase a cast iron, ceramic terracotta, or clay chiminea, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to know how to cure a chiminea successfully.
Here are some additional useful tips on how to deal with each type of chiminea.
Terracotta and clay chiminea
The original and still the most commonly used material is terracotta or clay. If you don’t treat them carefully during use or handling, they are highly likely to crack or break, rendering your device useless. Careful preparation will ensure that your device remains safe from the elevated level of heat that it will encounter hold this heat and release it slowly.
Ceramic chimineas are becoming a popular choice because they design the material to withstand a wider range of temperatures and will remain intact as long as you avoid using any accelerant to start it. Also, the ceramic conversions can be decorative in their design, making them a popular addition to many outdoor areas.
Cast iron chiminea’s
Cast iron chimineas are by far the most durable despite being more expensive than their ceramic clay or terracotta alternatives. They often come with the addition of a grilling tray and a door that makes them safer and more convenient to use. You can also get them in some intricate styles and designs, offering you the perfect balance between functionality and aesthetics.
While curing is important for every type of chiminea, it’s vitally important for cast iron chimineas as it ensures that the paint is on the iron surface is successfully bonded and helps prevent it rusting. The reason you cure both terracotta are ceramic chimineas is that it will strengthen the molecules in the clay and terracotta, making them bond together and reduce any possibility of breakage or cracking.
What might happen if you don’t cure your chiminea
As we mentioned previously the curing process is important as it prevents cracking and makes your device more durable. Accidents happen and do we hear the occasional horror story because of people who did not know how to cure a chiminea properly. However, most just become more brittle and crack more easily over time, meaning that the lifespan of your chiminea is drastically reduced. Worst-case scenario if you’ve just bought a brand new chiminea and you light a fire in it that’s too big, you could cause irreparable damage the first time you use it. By curing your device, you also make it more weatherproof so it can withstand some of them are harsher elements.
Chimineas are an excellent choice for anyone who’s looking for a more natural feeling outdoor heating device. By knowing how to cure a chiminea correctly, means they could last for years. We hope this informational guide proves useful and you and your family and friends can safely enjoy your chiminea for years to come. Don’t forget to check out our top 10 tips for chiminea care article.