This is a nice Chiminea, as long as you season it correctly it wont crack. The instructions say light 3 small fires over a period of time. Id say light more small fires gradually building their size to be on the safe side. I usually light 5 or 6. This is my third chiminea, none have cracked. The first was destroyed by my sons go kart, the 2nd by storm Doris, hopefuly this one will last. I didnt give 5 stars as the lid just rests on the top unlike my others which had a rim to slot into the top. I dont think the lid will last long just balancing as it does.