It is that time of year again, the weather is warm but not boiling hot, yet it is not cold enough to light a fire indoors either BUT just because it is not cold enough to light a fire indoors, does not mean you cannot light a fire outdoors. As tempting as it may be to go back inside the house when it is cold outside is a natural reaction, but there is a way to enjoy your summer outside for a bit longer (and a bit more bearable!). How? By using a chiminea or a fire pit! Both are often used as a patio heater; its primary use is to provide heat, keeping you warm outside. A great benefit is, it can be a good source of light in your garden.
Lighting a chiminea or a fire pit is similar to lighting a wood-burner or a fireplace. Here are our tips on how to light a chiminea:
Please note: You should keep children and animals at a safe distance when lighting a fire and you should never leave them unsupervised in front of a burning chiminea or fire pit.
Where you want to put your chiminea is important, it is wise to choose a permanent position for your chiminea because once it has been used, it may crack when you move it. Cast iron chimineas are tremendously heavy so you want to avoid moving it each time you use it. Ensure the location of the chiminea gives enough heat to everyone who is gathered around it, but not too close as the fire from the chiminea may spit out of the top of the flue.
Top Tip: Make sure the chiminea is not placed too closely to anything that could easily melt or burn as the chiminea can get very hot and avoid anything flammable from the chiminea!
Advice: Ensure your chiminea is placed on a flat leveled stable base to avoid the chiminea from tipping over.
Pour Sand or Gravel
To keep the smoke blowing out from the top, pour about 4 inches of sand and gravel inside your chiminea.
Use Seasoned Logs
Lay a couple of dry, seasoned, split firewood inside the chiminea. Burning seasoned logs have many benefits but the two main reasons are: they burn better and get hotter. It is wise to look out for logs that has a 2-3 burn time, once you have the logs in place and before you lay the firewood inside, you may want to consider using a Firemizer if you want an even longer burn time.
Between the pieces of firewood, fill in the gaps with some scrunched-up newspapers.
Top Tip: You may wish to add a block of solid paraffin firelighter but only the type you would use to start an open fire or a charcoal barbecue. DO NOT use liquid fuel such as petrol or lighter fuel to start your fire, it is not safe to do so!
Add some dry kindling such as sticks or twigs on top of the newspaper.
Lighting the Kindling
Using a butane grill lighter or a long fireplace match, start to carefully light the newspaper and/or firelighter. Once the newspaper and kindling are lit, carefully add another handful of kindling into the chiminea. You will begin to notice the fire is burning with more intensity.
Advice: Take extra precaution when lighting the chiminea, make sure children and pets are kept at a safe distance.
Add More Logs
Almost immediately, the kindling will ignite the fire logs and you will soon begin to feel the chiminea generating heat. Once the kindling has gone, carefully add a few more fire logs into the chiminea. By this point, the fire should be burning fully inside the chiminea.
Finally, at this stage look out for glowing embers inside your chiminea. What you want to avoid is a roaring fire because that indicates your fire is sucking in cold air, meaning your fire will not burn as hot and you will need to use more logs to keep the fire going. What you want is the embers to reach a white hot stage so that it omits more radiant heat. To ensure your chiminea is burning consistently, prepare to top up with more fire logs to ensure the fire stays burning.
If you follow the instructions above accordingly, you will not only ensure you and your guests have a brilliant time enjoying the heat outdoors, but you have also learnt how to light a chiminea safely.
This is our advice on how to safely light a chiminea. If you wish to act upon any of the information given you should do so at your own risk. We will accept no liability or claims from the activities arising from the information set out in these web pages.
We would love to hear how you got on… please write your experiences below!
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