Chimineas - cast aluminum vs. cast iron

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rmcfall

Feeling the Heat
Nov 28, 2005
308
I hope this is the right forum for this topic. If not, sorry...

I've been looking at chimineas and have noticed that The Blue Rooster company has both cast iron and cast aluminum chimineas. At first glance the cast aluminum seems to be a better option because it won't rust. Does anyone know of any drawbacks that would be associated with the cast aluminum compared to the cast iron?
 

Metal

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2005
701
Cast aluminum is the way to go, they are lighter (easier to move) and won't rust through or leave rust stains on your deck/patio. If you can afford it, go with the cast aluminum. If, for some reason, you decide on a cast iron chiminea you will need to paint it every once in a while with high temp paint to keep the rust at bay, and you may need a weight belt when moving it.
 

rmcfall

Feeling the Heat
Nov 28, 2005
308
I didn't know if the heat affected the cast aluminum differently, or if the cast aluminum would get hotter on the outside?
 

webbie

Seasoned Moderator
Nov 17, 2005
12,176
Western Mass.
In theory the cast aluminum cannot take as much heat, but in reality the heat will tend to transfer from it so quickly that it will not build up to a range that will melt the unit....or at least it should not. Would not be a bad idea to line the bottom with some split firebricks or sand, etc.

Most of these are made of alloys of Aluminum that melts at about 1400 degree, but some folks I know who tested them were not able to get them over 850 - even trying hard (lab-type tests).

So I would go cast aluminum also.
 

rmcfall

Feeling the Heat
Nov 28, 2005
308
Thanks for the replies everyone. One more thing I was wondering is about drainage. I realize these should be covered when not in use, but I imagine there will be times when it will be uncovered to allow it to cool down, and then rain will arrive. In this case, I doubt it would take long for water to get inside. I haven't seen any with drainage holes in the bottom, but it seems like this would be an easy solution to prevent water from standing in the bottom. The chiminea could be filled with a layer of gravel and then sand to prevent any embers from getting through the bottom. Seems like an easy, yet obvious remedy to preventing water from standing in the bottom. So obvious it makes me think there must be something I am missing, otherwise these things would come with drainage holes already. What am I missing?
 

Beanscoot

Member
Dec 30, 2007
228
Vancouver Island, Canada
It would seem that a chiminea should have air holes in the bottom for good burning. I made one from an old propane tank and made an air vent on the bottom, it works fine. So I vote for drilling a few half inch air/drain holes in the bottom. And just find an old metal pot or pan or similar to cover the chimney when not in use.
I use mine for wiener roasting since backyard fires are outlawed in town here. I have an old Hibachi grill that I put on the top of the chimney for toasting buns. It's a nice way of making hot dogs when friends are over.

PS. The spell check doesn't like "chiminea", it suggests "calcimined".
 
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