Here is a picture of my build so far…should I insulate around the chimney? I do have the duratech exhaust kit also. Wasn’t sure if I would like the look of the chimney insulated all the way up and the bricks showing just on the front, not sure I could insulate the chimney on the front of the oven?
Looking great so far! No, you shouldn’t insulate around the chimney. There would be no benefit to it, and as you say it would look a little “off” if you tried it.
Cut your insulation blanket so there’s a notch that allows for the chimney rise. This will allow you later to bring the stucco layer right up to the base of the chimney, but again not vertically on the chimney rise.
You can veneer the chimney itself later if that’s part of your finishing plans.
Hope this helps!