I love my chiminea. It is a super super bit of kit and bridges the gap between a charcoal bbq and a fire pit. You can think of it as a small heater that gives you far more control, much like a wood burner indoors. The best bit about a chiminea though without question is the fact that you can get away with a little smoker straight off the bat as you have plenty of ventilation. This ventilation gives you the air to breathe and it won’t be long before your chiminea stops smoking using some of the tips I have lined up for you in this article. In fact, I am so confident that I these methods will work, feel free to email in and call me an idiot sandwich if I get it wrong for you 🙂 Conversely a quick email of thanks works too when you get your chiminea going with no smoke and little fuss following this article 🙂
The whole reason your chiminea is smoking boils down to the fact there isn’t much in the way of fire. A healthy fire does not smoke, it burns and provides a lovely warmth and ambience – the fact you’re reading this article almost guarantees that is the aim so we need to look at how to get the fire burning intensely and then subsequently keep that going. Here are my top tips for how to stop a chimney smoking:
How to light a chiminea for the first time and stop the smoke
If this is you’re first time lighting a chiminea and you are worried about smoking out the neighbours then the best thing to do is make sure you have everything in hand to make this first burn a success. You need:
- Nicely seasoned logs
- Firelighters or eco firelighters
- A newspaper and kindling wood
- Some mid sized wood – you could cut these down with an electric log splitter or petrol log splitter from your larger logs
- A bit of patience and confidence all tied together.
That above is literally the recipe to smoke free use of a chiminea.
Use firelighters or eco firelighters to stop a chiminea smoking
First you want to decide if you like chemicals or not. The upside to using firelighters is the fact that they burn intensely and thus minimise the smoke whilst your logs take hold. They are extremely easily to get going and practically guarantee a smoke free chiminea in no time at all. The downside is I don’t particularly like the chemical paraffin smell and therefore I choose to accept a little more smoke whilst I get a fire raging in order that I don’t have to put up with the nasty odour they give off. This is a bit of a trade off really and I prefer too use eco firelighters
Here’s me getting a fire raging and this is in combination with a charcoal bbq too so you can expect even less smoke as you’re going to be catching fire to logs which will take much more easily. You can see with good ventilation and plenty of room for the fire to breathe, a little bit of cardboard and newspaper with a lump of wood will have a fire raging in less than a few minutes – this is the real secret to stopping a chiminea from smoking – the ventilation factor.
So as you can see the eco firelighters go up well. Let’s be clear, I put them down but that’s only compared to the chemical variety which literally take instantly. That’s pretty much the whole benefit of a chemical vs eco battle dynamic going on here….
So if you’ve decided soon eco firelighters it’s time to lay in some newspaper in the bottom of your chiminea. Make sure that you scrunch the paper up loosely to give it as much ‘air’ and chance to breath as possible. If you fold the paper too tightly then the air cannot circulate. It is a two pronged attack in combination with the eco firelighters. If you don’t mind a little more smoke you could always lay your kindling directly on top of the newspaper without the need for eco firelighters which will save you a little hard earned money too.
Lay on your mid sized logs you split with a log splitter
With the kindling and newspaper taken nicely it is time to lay on those mid sized logs you split with your log splitter of choice. Notice I absolutely love log splitters and have the topic covered on every level, it doesn’t matter if you’re into manual log splitters, petrol log splitters, or even electric log splitters – the bottom line is they will save you a huge amount of effort in the long run – if you intend to use a chiminea or wood burner on a regular basis then they are a handy bit of kit that won’t break the bank (depending on wha you opt for).
Who doesn't love a little chiminea fire in the afternoon? pic.twitter.com/NIYX2T8B9q
— Jonathan Quayle Higgins III, VC (@GettingCooked) July 12, 2020
With the mid-sized logs now well taken you can safely drop in a few big logs. Give this a little chance to take – you’ll get a little smoke here buts that’s to be expected. The key after these bigger logs take and your fire is raging is to ensure that you keep topping up with a couple of logs every fifteen or twenty min utter. The time pretty much depends on how intensely your chiminea is burning.
Keep one eye on the chiminea from here on in and you’ll have a fire that just keeps on going without smoke. Remember – if my tips do not work on how to stop a chiminea from smoking then feel free to email in and call me some obscene names 😀