by Mrs Edeson
A chiminea can be a great backyard focal point. They're fun to use, interesting to look at and they're available in many different shapes and sizes.
Recently, a visitor had this question regarding the lid that came with her chiminea.
Do you keep the lid on while the clay chiminea is burning? What is the purpose of the lid?
The lid on a chiminea serves two purposes. First, the lid seals off the neck (the area that resembles a chimney) preventing water and debris from falling into the bowl, which is the area where you build the fire.
Without a cover over the neck, water can pool inside the bowl causing potential cracks, rust or other damage depending on the material used to construct the chiminea.
Plus, a lid prevents sticks, leaves and other debris from falling into the bowl when it's not in use eliminating the need to clean out a bunch of debris from the bowl before lighting a fire.
Second, a chiminea lid makes your chiminea look nice! Although a cover offers the most protection, you bought a chiminea to look at and enjoy......not stare at a cover. During the summer months when weather conditions are not as harsh, many people like to just put a lid over the top and enjoy their chiminea as a decorative item.
Should you keep the lid on the chiminea when you light a fire inside of it?
No. You never want to cover the neck of a chiminea when a fire is lit inside the bowl. The neck is basically the chimney for the chiminea. As the hot gasses rise up and out of the neck, the large opening in the bowl (also called the mouth) draws in fresh air to feed the fire. A chiminea functions very similar to an indoor fireplace. The hot gasses rise up and out of the chimney as fresh air is pulled into the fire below.
Placing a lid on the chiminea during a fire will cause the fire to smoke, puff and could possibly overheat the chiminea causing damage.
Using a chiminea lid is an easy way to help protect your chiminea when it's not in use, plus it looks nice and adds decoration.
Just remember to take off the lid before you light a fire. The fire will burn better and it will reduce the possibly of damaging to your chiminea.
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