Home and Garden

How to Safely Light a Chimenea

When the weather is warm but not too hot or too cold to light fire in your living room, it is the best time to light a chimney out and enjoy the evening with your loved ones. An outdoor chimney acts as a patio heater, primarily used to keep us warm outdoors.

Outdoor chimenea can be lit by materials that are available in your garden and are not expensive. Outdoor chimeneas are a great way to enjoy your evening or night in a cozy and warm way. While keeping you and your family warm, it will also add a classy yellow hue of light to your garden which will be perfect to chill with and also to host great outdoor parties. Lighting a chimenea is similar to lighting a fireplace or a wood burner and the materials required are fairly the same. 

How to Safely Light a Chimenea


Find a location away from any objects that easily burn and away from plants in the garden. Select a permanent place for the chimenea as once the chimenea is lit, it may crack while moving it after use, also cast iron chimeneas are heavy to move often. Put the chimenea in a spot which ensures optimum heat for everyone gathered, also the spot should not be somewhere where everyone should go extremely close to the chimenea to be warm as there are chances of the chimenea spitting out the fire out of the top of the fuel. Make sure the surface where the chimenea is placed is flat. If it is placed on a sand floor. Level the sand evenly and then place the chimenea. 

Set up your chimenea on the selected location carefully. It can be done the right way by following the instructions provided by the chimenea manufacturer. 


Pour sand and gravel inside the bowl of your chimenea for about 4 inches to provide insulation. The sand and gravel will create a basin for the firewood and also protect your chiminea from the burning heat.  


Place some tinder on top of the sand and gravel. There are many options for tinder to put into your chimenea which include Shredded paper, Small twigs, Dry Leave, and Self-lighting charcoal. Light the tinder of your choice in the sand and gravel basin.

The Fuel:

You can use two types of fuel to your chimenea, the seasoned wood and the fuelwood. While the tinder is burning add crunched up pieces of seasoned wood to the chiminea.  Seasoned wood is better than fuelwood for two main reasons, they burn better and get hotter.  It is wise to look for seasoned wood which has 2 to 3 burn time. 

Between the seasoned wood pieces, place some crushed newspaper to fill in the gaps 

Never use liquid fuel to your chimenea as it is not highly dangerous and not safe. Also do not use a paraffin fire lighter to light your wood. Add dry kindling materials on top of the newspaper such as twigs or sticks.

Lighting the Chimenea:

A butane grill lighter or a long fireplace match can be used to light the kindling, carefully light the newspaper first and wait till it is well light, then add some more newspaper or twigs and you could very well see the fire starting to burn properly. 

Make sure that children and your pets are away at a safe distance from the chimenea while lighting it. 

Once the kindling burns up, carefully add a few pieces of seasoned wood into the chimenea. Make sure the kindling has completely burned up and the wood inside the chiminea is burning while adding more wood. 

The Fire:

Keep the fire low and a little bit more than that. Chimeneas are designed to provide warmth and burn long so it is better to keep the flames low. Home décor expert Gary Barnier wrote a post on best chimeneas you can check to find some quality chimeneas for your place. Look for glowing embers as it is pretty important that the fire is not a roaring one. If you see a roaring fire it means that your chimenea is sucking up the cold air, which means the fire will not provide you with the warmth you need and will keep needing more wood to keep the fire alive. The fire should reach a white-hot stage so that it omits ore radiant heat, 

To keep the fire burning prepare to top up with more fire logs to ensure the fire stays burning. 

If you have followed the above-mentioned instructions, you are very much likely to have made a great evening for your family and guests. By following the instructions above you have also learnt how to light chimenea all by yourself. Now play some pleasant music and go-ahead and enjoy the time with your friends and family. 

Do not forget to enjoy yourself with the warmth from the chimenea, as to enjoy is the vital aspect of putting up a chimenea. 

One thought on “How to Safely Light a Chimenea

  • Thanks for sharing with us, I was unaware of how to do this.


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