How to light a Chiminea, keep it burning cleanly & virtually smoke free

Date Posted: 27 June 2023 

How to light a Chiminea, keep it burning cleanly & virtually smoke free content pixel
Achieving a completely smoke-free fire may not always be possible, as some smoke is inevitable especially when you first light your chiminea.

However, here are some tips and a video on how you can minimise smoke and create a cleaner burn in your chiminea.

It is important to understand that smoke is a by-product of unburnt fuel from a fire that isn’t burning properly. There can be three main reasons for this.

Firstly the Design of the fireplace or chiminea secondly the operator and the way you set and run your fire and lastly the fuel you are using. The efficiency of a chiminea also depends on the design of the chiminea. Our Aussie Heatwave Chimineas are designed to burn efficiently and therefore create minimal smoke.

The design of any fireplace, Chiminea or pizza oven is very important. The ratio of chimney to fire box and even the size of the mouth is critical. Also If you have a Chiminea that is in several parts and has grates vents etc it will not burn efficiently and will smoke a lot.

Tips on how to best light a Chiminea

  • Always use proper dry, seasoned hardwood logs as your fuel. Wet or green wood naturally produces a lot of smoke as do paper and leaves.
  • Always use a fire starter. We recommend placing a fire lighter in the middle of your Chiminea and arranging smaller pieces of kindling around it.
  • Create Proper Airflow. Arrange your logs in a grid formation which allows for good airflow between them and inside the chiminea.
  • Firstly Place 2 logs approx wine bottle or forearm size directly on the bed of sand. Space them 5-10cm apart or just enough space to place 2-4 firelighters on the sand between the two logs .
  • Next place several pieces of kindling adjacent and parallel on top of these two logs leaving small gaps between the rods of kindling to allow airflow.
  • Next place 2 more wine bottle/forearm size logs adjacent and parallel on top of the layer of kindling again leaving a gap between the logs to allow airflow. You’ve now created an approx. grid formation which supports your firewood and allows the fire to breath.
  • You can either pre-set your fire & then simply put a match or lighter to the fire starter on the base of your grid to get the fire going or build the fire gradually. Once the fire is burning well add more pieces of wood but avoid adding too much wood at once, as it can smother the flames and create more smoke.
  • Keep an eye on the fire and make adjustments as needed. It’s all about getting the knack of lighting a fire & practice makes perfect.
  • Lastly, one final factor which can cause a smoky fire in your Aussie Heatwave Chiminea is if you haven’t used it for a while & or there’s been a lot of rain and the sand in the base is wet. This Can cause your fire to struggle to get hot which will create smoke. This is easily rectified it just takes a good hot fire burning for an hour or so to dry the sand out and the fire will be able to get up to temperature and burn efficiently and cleanly again.

How to light your Aussie Heatwave Chiminea and be virtually smoke free

This video will show how to set your fire, what size your start up wood should be and how your new Aussie Heatwave Chiminea will change colour before your eyes and start its journey to its final patina.


Check our our Chiminea range!