Different Types of Chiminea Fuel

There’s nothing like relaxing in the garden on a late summer night with the chiminea crackling away in the background. To make sure your chiminea lasts as long as possible and that you use it safely the right fuels must be used.

Wood is one of the most common sources of chiminea fuel however don’t assume that you can just throw any old type on the fire. Anything that is pressure-treated must be avoided as they usually contain chemicals to resist rotting and decay. These can give off dangerous, toxic fumes and badly affect yours and your guest’s health.

Ultimately the type of fuel that you burn will depend largely on the variety of chiminea that you have. Read the details below for more detailed information on types of fuel:


Wood is probably the most commonly used fuel when it comes to chimineas and firepits. It’s abundance is probably the main reason for this as you can find it almost anywhere. It would need to be seasoned (no this isn’t the process of adding spices!), which is the technical term for drying it out. The reason it’s dried is to reduce the amount of smoke given off while burning, let’s face it there’s always some unlucky sole who gets the smoke in their face no matter which side of the fire they sit!

Wood is the recommended choice for clay chimineas. Simply add about 5cm of sand to the bottom of the bowl to stop the base cracking and get to building a fire.


Charcoal is a brilliant fuel for burning in a cast-iron chiminea. It is advised not to use it in a clay chiminea simply because of the high temperatures it reaches while burning which may cause the clay to crack.

Charcoal is also great for cooking food in your chiminea as no flavour is added to the food from it like you get with burning wood.





Ethanol a colourless flammable liquid which can be very volatile. It’s produced by the fermentation of sugars and surprisingly can be used as a fuel in your chiminea. It is a flammable liquid so must be used with extreme care and lit with a long lighter like the type you’d use on a gas cooker or gas barbecue.

The biggest advantage of an ethanol burner is indoor use. Ethanol won’t give off smoke when it burns so there are no harmful fumes to breathe in.