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Building a Brick Barbecue: A DIY Guide

Updated: 1 hour ago

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Have you ever dreamed of hosting backyard barbecues and impressing your friends and family with delicious grilled meals? Building a brick barbecue can be a rewarding DIY project that not only enhances your outdoor space but also provides a functional and aesthetically pleasing cooking area. In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of diy brick bbq, from choosing the location to adding the finishing touches. So roll up your sleeves, grab your tools, and let's get started on this exciting project!

Why Build a Brick BBQ?

A brick built barbecue offers several advantages over traditional portable grills. Firstly, it provides a permanent cooking area in your backyard, eliminating the need for setting up and storing a grill every time you want to barbecue. Secondly, brick barbecues offer superior heat retention, resulting in more consistent cooking temperatures and evenly grilled food. Additionally, they can be customized to suit your preferences and outdoor space, becoming a focal point for social gatherings and adding value to your property.

Necessary Materials and Tools

Before you begin, gather all the necessary materials and tools for the project. You will need bricks, cement, sand, metal grates, a shovel, a wheelbarrow, a spirit level, a trowel, a masonry saw, a tape measure, a chisel, safety goggles, and work gloves. Ensure that you have everything on hand to streamline the construction process and avoid unnecessary delays.

Choosing the Right Location

Selecting the right location for your brick barbecue is crucial. Consider factors such as convenience, safety, and aesthetics. Choose an area that is easily accessible from your kitchen and dining area to minimize the distance you have to carry food and supplies. Ensure there is sufficient space around the barbecue for seating and movement. Additionally, check local building codes and regulations to ensure compliance and avoid any potential issues.

Designing Your Brick Barbecue

Designing your brick barbecue involves determining its size, shape, and additional features. Consider the number of people you typically cook for and the amount of space available in your backyard. Common designs include L-shaped, U-shaped, or straight-line configurations. Decide whether you want to incorporate features such as storage compartments, side counters, or a sink. Sketch out your design, taking into account the dimensions and materials required.

Preparing the Foundation

To ensure a stable and level cooking surface, you need to prepare a solid foundation. Begin by clearing the area of any debris, vegetation, or obstacles. Mark the outline of the barbecue using stakes and string. Dig a trench that is approximately 8 inches deep, ensuring it follows the outline. Level the ground using a spirit level, and then fill the trench with a layer of gravel for drainage. Compact the gravel using a tamper to create a sturdy base.

Laying the Bricks

Start laying the bricks according to your chosen design. Mix the cement and sand in a wheelbarrow, following the manufacturer's instructions. Use a trowel to apply mortar to the foundation, placing the first row of bricks on top. Ensure each brick is level and aligned with the string. Continue building subsequent rows, applying mortar between each brick and checking for levelness. Use a masonry saw to cut bricks if necessary to fit the desired shape and design. As you build each row, periodically check for plumbness and adjust as needed. Take your time to ensure the bricks are securely bonded and aligned properly.

Creating the Cooking Surface

Once you've built the main structure of the brick barbecue, it's time to create the cooking surface. Measure and mark the area where you want the metal grates to be placed. Use a masonry saw to cut notches or openings in the brickwork to accommodate the grates. Apply mortar to the designated area and carefully lay the grates on top, pressing them firmly into place. Make sure they are level and stable, providing a sturdy surface for grilling.

Building the Chimney

A chimney is an essential component of a brick barbecue as it helps to draw out smoke and maintain good airflow. Determine the desired location for the chimney and incorporate it into your design. Construct the chimney by laying bricks vertically, leaving space for the smoke to escape. Apply mortar between each brick to ensure a solid and secure structure. As you build the chimney, periodically check for plumbness and stability.

Adding Additional Features

Depending on your preferences and needs, you may want to incorporate additional features into your brick barbecue. Some popular options include side counters for food preparation, storage compartments for utensils and supplies, and a sink for convenience. Plan and build these features accordingly, ensuring they blend seamlessly with the overall design of the barbecue.

Finishing Touches

Once the main construction is complete, take the time to add some finishing touches to your brick barbecue. Clean off any excess mortar or debris using a brush and water. Give the barbecue a final inspection, checking for any loose bricks or areas that need reinforcement. Apply a weatherproof sealant or paint to protect the bricks from the elements and enhance their appearance. Consider adding decorative elements such as tiles or stone accents to personalize your barbecue.

Maintenance and Care

To ensure the longevity of your brick barbecue, regular maintenance and care are necessary. Clean the grates and cooking surface after each use to prevent the buildup of grease and residue. Inspect the bricks periodically for any signs of damage or deterioration. Repair any cracks or loose bricks promptly to avoid further issues. During winter months or extended periods of non-use, consider covering the barbecue to protect it from harsh weather conditions.

Safety Considerations

When building and using a brick barbecue, it's important to prioritize safety. Always wear protective gear such as safety goggles and work gloves when handling tools or working with mortar. Follow proper safety guidelines for cutting bricks and using masonry tools. Be cautious of open flames and hot surfaces during the grilling process, keeping children and pets at a safe distance. Ensure proper ventilation to prevent the buildup of smoke and carbon monoxide.

Tips for a Successful Project DIY BBQ

Plan and design your brick barbecue carefully before starting the construction process.

Take accurate measurements and double-check your calculations to ensure a precise fit.

Invest in quality materials and tools to ensure the durability and longevity of your barbecue.

Seek assistance from a professional bricklayer if you are unsure about any aspect of the project.

Take breaks and pace yourself during construction to maintain focus and prevent fatigue.

Enjoy the process and take pride in your DIY project. Building a brick barbecue is a rewarding endeavor that will enhance your outdoor cooking experience.


Building a brick barbecue is an exciting and fulfilling DIY project that allows you to create a functional and visually appealing cooking area in your backyard. By following the step-by-step guide outlined above, you can confidently undertake this project and enjoy the benefits of grilling delicious meals in your own custom-built barbecue. Remember to prioritize safety, attention to detail, and regular maintenance to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your barbecue. With proper planning, the right materials, and a little bit of patience, you can create an outdoor bbq installation that will be the envy of your friends and neighbors.


What materials do I need to build a brick barbecue?

To build a brick barbecue, you will need fire bricks for the cooking area, regular bricks for the structure, mortar mix, a metal grill grate, a spirit level, a trowel, and possibly a cement mixer. Consider also getting accessories like a fireproof cooking plate and a cover to protect your barbecue from the elements.

How do I choose the right location for my brick barbecue?

Choose a location that is flat and stable to ensure safety and ease of construction. It should be away from fences, trees, and overhanging branches to reduce fire hazards. Also, consider wind direction and proximity to your dining area for convenience when cooking and serving.

What is the best foundation for a brick barbecue?

A solid concrete slab is the best foundation for a brick barbecue. You should dig a foundation pit about 6 inches deep and slightly larger than the planned barbecue area. Fill it with a layer of gravel for drainage, then pour concrete to create a sturdy, level base that will support the weight of the bricks.

How do I ensure the barbecue is durable and heat resistant?

Use fire bricks inside the barbecue where the fire will be directly in contact with the brickwork, as they are designed to withstand high temperatures. For the outer layers and other structural parts, regular bricks are sufficient. Make sure all bricks are laid neatly and bonded with high-quality mortar. Additionally, consider applying a sealant to protect the bricks from weathering.

Can I add features like a smoker or a side burner to my brick barbecue?

Yes, you can customize your brick barbecue to include additional features such as a smoker or a side burner. Plan these features in the design phase. For a smoker, you'll need to create an enclosed area where smoke can circulate and flavor the food. A side burner can be added by allocating space on the countertop and installing a commercial burner, ensuring it is compatible with outdoor use and properly ventilated.

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