Chimineas have been around for several years. At first they were mostly made from clay but recently metal or iron have become popular choices since the clay tends to crack over time or if a fire gets too hot.. The benefit of a chiminea is that the smoke is directed upward through the chimney instead of spreading out in all directions. They are relatively inexpensive, usually starting around $100. Try www outdoorfireplaces.com.
Another option is a real fireplace outside with a firebox, chimney, and flue. This is the most expensive and the most permanent option. You can choose wood burning or gas and have the fireplace built to complement the landscape or architecture of the house. The parts of the fireplace are usually stainless steel which are durable and stand up to the elements. Take a look at www.heatnglo-lifestyles.com.
In the summer when the nights a not quite cool enough for a fire, light candles and place them in a chimnea or outdoor fireplace to add ambiance to a backyard barbeque. Try this recipe for a refreshing drink on the patio:
1 (25.4-ounce) bottle Riesling wine
1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed and undiluted
1 (10-ounce) bottle club soda
Mix all ingredients, serve over ice, and garnish with lime slices.