Why Do I need to put sand in my Chiminea?

Date Posted: 1 November 2023 

Why Do I need to put sand in my Chiminea? content pixel
Our Cast Iron Aussie Heatwave chimineas don’t require grates or vents; they simply have sand in the base. Grates and vents allow too much air to get in and around your fire in an outside environment creating spits and sparks, smoke and mess.

A simple sand base keeps your fire burning perfectly & cleanly even in gail force winds.

We recommend filling the base of your chiminea with approx 15 kg of white washed sand. The sand also serves to Insulate the base and stand, protecting any surface you place it on. It also makes your fire burn more efficiently & cleanly, with less smoke.

Temperature: Sand acts as a natural insulator and heat distributor. Filling the base of your Chiminea with sand increases the overall radiant heat generated by your chiminea & makes your fire burn hotter and more efficiently & cleanly.

Smoke Reduction: Sand also improves the efficiency of combustion and reduces any smoke. Smoke is the result of unburnt fuel from an inefficient fire that hasn’t been able to burn hot enough to combust the fuel properly.

Moisture Absorption: Sand absorbs any moisture such as rain which then naturally evaporates out with sunshine and airflow. If your sand is wet when you light the fire it can cause your fire to be smokey for 15-30 mins until the fire dries out your sand and the fire is then able to burn hotter and more efficiently. The key is to get your fire very really hot and have lots of flame inorder to dry the sand out quickly.

You can purchase a rain lid to help prevent rain going down the chimney. The rain lid is only used when you’re not using the chiminea. Another tip is don’t ever store or leave your BBQ/pizza oven attachment on top of your chiminea as it will increase the surface area and funnell rainwater into your chiminea.

Safety: Having sand in the bottom of the chiminea provides a protective, insulation barrier between the fire and the underlying surface, such as a wooden deck or patio making it safe to use on any surface including decking.

Easy to clean: No FUss. No Mess No Maintenance! Our chimineas require very little cleaning or maintenance. The sand adds to the overall radiant heat bank and burns the majority of the ash and residue completely away making it virtually self cleaning. If you burn good hardwood you’ll literally only need to scoop a layer of ash out once every couple of years if that. It’s quite miraculous!

Reconstituted logs, paper and leaves etc create more ash but you’ll still only need to clean a layer of ash off the top of the sand occasionally.

The base of sand remains in your chiminea for decades before you might decide to top it up or replace it.

What sand is best to use in a Chiminea?

The best type of sand to use is white washed sand, river or beach sand etc basically any sand you’d use in a child's play pit or paving sand.

What sand should I avoid using in a Chiminea?

Any type of sands that contain a high percentage of clay such as bricky’s sand which is generally yellow in colour as it has clay in it and the clay will solidify with moisture and heat.


We recommend adding a layer of approx 15cm (approx 10-15kg) of sand at the bottom of the Chiminea. You want the sand to be roughly level with the ring of your stand so that it sits a good 10cm below the mouth of the chiminea . You don’t want the sand to be level with the opening.

If the sand is wet it doesn’t matter. Any moisture will evaporate out naturally or will dry out when you light the fire. Wet sand isn't a problem, it will just cause your fire to be a bit smokey until the sand dries out which should take between 10-30 mins.

For your convenience all our Chimineas come with a bag of sand included. If at any stage you require more sand you can purchase a bag from us for $10 or it’s readily available at most hardware stores in 10-20kg bags. Alternatively if you're near a beach you can collect 2- 3 buckets of beach sand.

All of the above information relates to our Aussie Heatwave Chimineas only.

Browse our range of Chimineas.

Sand in Chiminea