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Traditional Clay Mexican Chimeneas

Chimeneas, particularly traditional Mexican ones, have become a must-have garden accessories in the UK - their charm and versatility make them a great additional to any garden. Great for heating, entertaining, and BBQs! While we sell a vast range of chimineas, including modern steel chimineas, the Mexican clay models are the most traditional, and often thought of as the most attractive, with their bright and unique designs. Browse through our extensive range of traditional style Mexican clay chimineas.

We currently have 60 to choose from:

A brief history of the traditional Mexican Clay Chiminea

The first known Chimineas were far less exuberant than today’s colourful artistic pieces, and they performed essential functions for survival.

We are talking 400 to 500 years ago, during the 17th century, and although the structures were less robust and lacked a decorative finish, they are still considered to be innovative for that time period.

A great deal has changed between then and now, Mexican chimineas are no longer essential for survival but they can still serve the same functions and with the advancement in design and technology they have become an essential accessory for your garden or outdoor living space.

What can clay chimeneas be used for?

Every individual will have their own motivation behind buying a clay chimenea. Here are a few inspirational ideas based on why our customers have bought clay chimeneas:

  • Cooking – a select number of the clay chimeneas come with a Chrome BBQ Grill. There is something very satisfying about grilling food over a bare flame, not to mention the extra flavour it produces with meat and vegetables. Add a dash of Olive Oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper – licked by the flames – and you have a depth of flavour you just don’t get when cooking with a conventional oven.

    BBQ Grill aside, why not cook in the hot embers, wrap in foil, bury in the glowing coals and bake away. The possibilities are endless. If you’re looking to use a chimenea primarily for cooking purposes, we encourage you to check out our chimenea cooking sets, which come complete with cooking accessories.

  • Heat – us Brits may not be blessed with the weather of the Mediterranean but we certainly like to make the most of our outdoor spaces.

    A Clay Chimenea can provide a source of ambient heat that can extend the time spent in your outdoor space long into the night. In just 15 minutes you can have a blazing fire pumping out heat keeping you, your family and friends warm.

  • Burn aromatic woods – clay chimeneas are traditionally wood burning stoves.

    Burning wood over other fuels (e.g. coal) is not only better for your lungs and the environment, but they can also release incredible natural scents.

    Here are just a few aromatic wood options:

    • Apple – Fragrant scent, burns slow and is ideal for cooking too!
    • Cherry – Slow burnings beautifully fragrant wood.
    • Pine – Festive, and discourages mosquitoes.
    • Yew – Burns at high temperature and gives off a light perfume.
  • Decoration – with a range of sizes, colours and patterns, clay Chimenea are a popular decorative feature.

    Many people often use their chimenea to plant herb gardens or plant strawberries in it.

Caring for your Clay Chimenea (how to make your Mexican clay chimenea last)

Keep it covered

The easiest and best way to protect clay chimeneas is by keeping it covered, protecting it from weathering, including rain, snow, ice and the blazing sun. A good cover will keep your chimenea clean and looking like new.

Most people that buy our chimeneas [wisely] buy a cover for it. To make it easy, most of our clay chimeneas come recommended with suitable covers.

Curing / Firing your clay chimenea

To get the best from your clay chimenea you should “cure” it on first use. This can otherwise be known as “firing”

Curing a clay chim makes it more durable and able to withstand changes in temperature causes by usual heat and weather conditions. Over history this is a method that has been traditionally used to strengthen Clay Chimeneas reducing cracks and deformation.

Curing, or firing can be a lengthy process so give yourself an afternoon to get it done. The process can be broken down into 3 phases:

  • Phase 1: – fill the bottom of the Clay Chimenea with sand and ¾ to the top of the mouth. This protects the clay from the naked flame for the first few times you use it. This helps the clay material get used to staggered heat.
  • Phase 2: – use kindling and paper to light a fire directly in the middle of the sand in the base of the chimenea. This reduces contact from direct flame on the inner clay chamber. Leave this to go out naturally after 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Phase 3: – allow the Chimenea to cool.

    Once it’s cooled, empty the ash from the previous fire. Now repeat this process, but making the fire progressively larger. You can repeat this process 4 to 6 times depending on how much time you have.

This process will ensure that your Clay Chimenea is ready for full blown fires that pump out heat keeping you warm and toasty.

How are Mexican Clay Chimineas Made?

Still a thriving Mexican industry, clay chimenea manufacturing supports both local industry and community.

Small factories fire up kilns of varying size, some holding up to 100 Mexican chimeneas in one blast. The clay structures are kiln dried at temperatures as high as 1000c to dry the clay to an almost stone like consistency.

Clay used to make the chimeneas is never 100 percent raw clay; they will always contain water and other organic matter.

Kiln fires burn off any excess materials leaving 100 percent raw porous clay.

A second firing at a higher temperature is completed to add a waterproof glaze. This seals the clay reducing the chance of cracking.

The craftsmen and women who operate these kilns take great pride in their work, making each product by hand, creating individual and unique Mexican chimeneas for your garden or outdoor living space.