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Outdoor heaters such as fire pits and chimineas have been used for cooking and domestic heating for generations, and we love them. Though their usage has shifted from the heart of the home to outdoor leisure, they’ve remained hugely popular.

These time-honoured methods of eating and heating owe much of their enduring popularity to their primitiveness; the link to the past is part of their charm. However, as is true of most ancient technologies, chimineas and fire pits have both been far surpassed in functionality, versatility and eco-friendliness by more recent inventions — despite their chic designs.

As such, if you’re the sort of person who’d be inclined to choose a road bike over a penny farthing, or a tumble dryer over a mangle, you might be interested to read on.

INTRODUCING THE BARBECUE HEATER
A warm, well-fed guest is a happy one — a perfect example in why we love to host. However, when was the last time you actually got to put your feet up during one of your garden parties? Guests can get cold easily, barbecues need constant attention, there’s always something that needs doing and attending to.

Pictured above is the HEAT 500 — one of four barbecue heaters from our HEAT Collection. During the design process for this range, our core goal was to help you provide a brilliant hosting experience, but one that you can also enjoy yourself. As such, HEAT allows you to cook your guests’ food in a myriad of different ways — from grilling to roasting — before being able to keep them cosy warm when the sun goes down. With a single stove, it radiates warmth in all directions, or channels it upward to a removable grill. This device is our new innovation; an RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden Product of the Year 2018 Finalist; designed to enhance your outdoor living experiences.

HAPPIER GUESTS AND A HEALTHIER PLANET
You might be asking: why combine the functions of a barbecue and a heater into a single unit? There are two reasons. On the one hand, it allows for a beautiful design fit for any statement garden, and practicality on the other.

Traditional outdoor heaters like fire pits and chimineas have that sole function: heating. They’re very good at it too, but using a barbecue heater means you’ll have just one fire to start — and a single, unshifting focal point for the day.

It means less time spent cajoling coals and uprooting guests, and more time relaxing and playing the host. This all adds up to better entertaining in our eyes.

There’s also a clear environmental benefit to consolidating luxury outdoor heating and cooking. Imagine the savings that could be made in manufacturing and fuel usage, were every garden party aficionado to opt for a barbecue heater.

Aesthetes too may see the benefits. Replacing a number of eating and heating devices with a HEAT creates that balance between the artfully manmade and the natural which marks out the very best gardens. You still get that primal connection with the flickering flames through the heater’s window, but with the quality assurance and design of a Chesneys product. That is something we are very proud of.

COMBINING HEATING AND EATING
Providing a high standard of both heating and eating functionality within a single device has typically been out of reach for those unwilling to shop at the luxury end of the market.

AGA, for example, have seen their high-end stoves adopted as both oven and heat sources thanks to the quality of their design, materials and manufacture. The very same qualifications are required for a barbecue heater. Without exceptional standards, the two functions cannot coexist.

The second half of the equation is making sure the features designed to accommodate either function don’t get in each other’s way. That’s why any good barbecue heater will come with a removable grill, temperature control, and closable, weatherproof lid — so it can instantly shift from channelling heat upwards to radiating it in all directions, as the situation demands. Both functions are supported equally aptly by the same air control lever and stove.

IT’S ABOUT MORE THAN JUST GETTING THE JOB DONE
Let’s face it: outdoor entertaining isn’t a simple matter of providing a perfunctory service for your guests. It’s about giving people a taste of the exotic and the exceptional within your home environment.

A barbecue heater is just that: a first-of-its-kind product that is at once in-step with tradition and an upgrade on legacy approaches to outdoor eating and heating. It’s something your friends and family may never have encountered before, yet also one of those rare products that actually declutters your garden through its addition. It’s not the latest fad, it’s a careful edit of two of the ingredients that have always made your garden parties special. For more information on HEAT, you can discover the range right here. Alternatively, to see one in action, visit your nearest Chesneys stockist.