Hot wood coals can cause the clay to crack. Protect the bottom of the chiminea by covering it with at least three inches of sand.Click to see full answer. In this regard, how do you stop a chiminea from cracking? To cure your chiminea, follow these steps: Fix the grate inside your chiminea. Light a modest fire inside using kindling. After the kindling burns for an hour, light a larger fire using logs or wood. Allow the roaring fire to burn for another hour. Let it cool down. Subsequently, question is, what do you put in the bottom of a chiminea? Once you have found a good, safe spot you will want to put some pea gravel, lava rock or sand in the bottom of the chiminea. You’ll want to fill the bowl so it’s about one to two inches below the opening. What this does is it keeps the coal off the clay and it also raises the top of the burning fire above the opening. Also know, how long do Chimineas last? Here is a good test: Put a piece of fired clay in a bucket of water and in a day or two you have mud. Enough said. Do your chimineas last? With proper use and maintenance our cast iron and cast aluminum chimineas will last for many years.What’s the point of a chiminea?The chimenea was once a daily life necessity that served a domestic purpose. The chimenea of the past was used indoors for heating and cooking, usually by an open window or in the center of the hut or home with an opening in the roof to allow smoke to escape.