How To Build a Brick BBQ

Step-by-Step Instructions

1 Solid base

A barbecue can become the centrepiece of a terrace in summer, but a well-designed structure will still be attractive when not in use - and in winter you could also use it for burning garden waste. A barbecue will sit directly on a level, well-constructed terrace, or on its own concrete foundation.

2 Build the walls

Make sure that the overall height of the barbecue unit is convenient for your height. Compare it with the height of your kitchen worktops. You could also add convenient storage space for cooking implements and charcoal. Check levels and the angles of corners as you construct the three-sided shape.

3 Finishing the stonework

Add flat coping stones on the top and check the levels once again with a spirit level. Take time and care over the finishing touches and details, as you would for any other structure.

4 Making grooves for the grill rack

Before the mortar has completely set, run a round-ended stick horizontally along the mortar join on each side to create a groove into which the grill can slide. Do the same at a slightly lower level to accommodate the charcoal tray.

Useful BBQ Tips

  • Before you build your barbecue, make sure that it is located where prevailing winds won't blow smoke towards your house, your neighbour's house, or the area where you would like your guests to sit.
  • So that everyone can be fed at the same time, a good-sized barbecue should have a cooking grill of no less than 1m x 500mm (3ft x 1 1/2 ft) in size. A smaller grill will mean some guests will be sitting waiting for their food while others are eating.
  • An electricity supply from your house to a sealable socket will allow you to install a portable spotlight or lamp for evening barbecues.
  • Make sure you construct a barbecue in an area where there is plenty of space: on chilly evenings, the warm glow of charcoal will draw a crowd.
  • When building the walls of your barbecue, don't forget to include some flat surfaces on which you can place plates and drinks.
  • Handling food on a barbecue is easier and safer if you use long-handled tongs. Short-handled utensils get hot very quickly. Make sure as well that you have a bucket of water close by to deal with any sudden flare-ups.
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