Build Your Own BBQ
Most people love barbecues. Being outside in the good weather, cooking over fire,
sharing the day with family and friends – what’s not to love?
And the good news is, it takes just a few hours to build yourself a great barbecue
that can be fired up year after year, giving you a focal point for your entertaining.
A visit to the DIY Store will provide you with the items you’re going to need. Put
aside a day (or two if you need to level a piece of your garden), and get to work.
When you’re stoking up the coals and the burgers are on the grill, the toil will all
What You’ll Need
Bricks, sand, cement
Barbecue grill set
Shovel and trowel
Plank of wood
Where to Site Your Barbecue
Find a flat area away from your house, outbuildings, trees, or other structures.
Barbecue smoke will drift in through open windows so try to position it so this won’t
be a problem. Don’t forget your neighbours – they may not appreciate your
barbecue smoke billowing over their fence so think about the wind and which
position would be best to try to minimise this.
Build on a Flat Surface
The easiest way to ensure a flat surface is to build BBQs on an already level patio or
back yard area. If you want to site it on grass, you’ll need to dig it out, fill it with
stones and then cover the hole with paving or cement. Use your spirit level to make
sure it is completely level. If it isn’t, use a layer of the cement to even it out.
What Size Barbecue?
The size of your BBQ will really depend on the size of the grill you choose. Once
you’ve bought your grill, lay it on the flat area you’re going to site the barbecue on.
Position a single layer of the bricks around the grill – making a U-shape around three
edges and leaving the front clear. Mark the outside and the inside of the bricks with
masking tape. This will be your guide when laying the bricks and mortar. Remove the
layer of bricks and put them back with the rest.
Mix the cement as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Spread the first level of
mortar on the ground using the masking tape as your guide. Place the bricks over
the mortar, leaving ½ inch between each brick for more mortar. Check the level
again and make sure that the corners are at right angles.
The Height of the Barbecue
Since you’re the one who’s likely to be doing the barbecuing, use your height to
gauge how high the barbecue should be. Plan for the grill/grate supports to be about
waist height - that’ll save you bending too much as you barbecue.
Layer the Bricks
Lay the bricks, starting at the corners. Stagger the second layer – you can do this by
cutting and using half bricks at the ends and full bricks in the centre. Once you’ve
done four or five layers of bricks – staggered each time - place a length of wood
across from one side to the other and use the spirit level to check they are still level.
Then use the spirit level to check that the sides are vertically straight. Any difference
in height should be leveled out using cement.
Continue layering the bricks and mortar until you’ve done six or seven rows or are
near your waist height. On the left-hand and right-hand sides of the wall as you face
the barbecue, turn the bricks sideways so that they make a support for the charcoal
tray, jutting out from the rest of the wall.
Measure the width of your grill again to make sure that it’s going to fit.
Do another three rows and turn the bricks sideways again – this time so that they
will support the grill tray.
Add two more layers of bricks and mortar and you’re done!
Go around the walls of the barbecue, taking off the rugged mortar edges. This can be
done as you go along using a short length of hosepipe and dragging it along each of
If you have the space, bricks and inclination, you could extend the brickwork out to
the left or right of your barbecue to create a tabletop, using a paving slab as the
Once you’ve built your barbeque, dust off any brick dust with a soft bristle brush or
paintbrush. Do this carefully and thoroughly to avoid brick dust getting into your
You’ll need to leave the BBQ for at least three days before using it as the mortar
needs this amount of time to set and dry.
Once you’ve waited three days, you’re ready to go, so phone your friends and family,
head to the supermarket and get ready to enjoy the great outdoors with your newly