How to Build a Brick BBQ Pit

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Brick BBQ pits come in many different sizes---the larger the pit, the more you can cook at one time. Consider personal entertaining needs when choosing size. Once a brick BBQ pit is built it cannot be moved---choose a convenient location away from screened patios or houses to avoid sparks from the pit reaching structures and causing fires.

Things You'll Need

  • Fire brick Bricks Grate Cement or brick mortar

Building the Base

  • Measure and mark the placement area for the brick BBQ. An additional 6 inches on all sides should be added for the walls. Dig a hole 4 inches deep.

  • Line the sides of the dug out area with 2 x 4-inch boards. Use a hammer to pound them in place, making them level with the top of the pit and from one end to the other.

  • Pour 3 inches of cement into the dug out hole. Level off the cement with a 2 x 4-inch board. Set a level on the board ensure that the cement pad is even all the way across in both directions. Allow the cement pad to dry according to the instructions on package.

Building the Brick BBQ Pit Walls

  • Mix cement or brick mortar in a bucket or wheelbarrow. Lay the brick starting at the front of the pit. Swipe a thin layer of the mortar on the cement pad and a thin layer (about 1/8 inch) on the bottom of the brick. Put the brick in place and tap it with your fist or a rubber hammer to set. For the subsequent bricks, swipe a thin layer of mortar on the side of the brick to adhere it to the first brick. Continue until the entire first row is complete.

  • Begin the second row, staggering the bricks. Half of the top brick should cover half of the first brick in the bottom row and the other half of the top brick should cover the first half of the second brick in the bottom row. Swipe the same amount of mortar on the top of the bottom row and the bottom and sides of the bricks on the second row. Continue until four rows are completed.

  • Build remaining rows the same way, but leave a large space for an opening in the front. Build rows until reaching the desired height of the cooking grate. Lay the cooking grate across the frame you just built. Measure from the edge of the cooking grate to the outside edge of the brick BBQ pit wall and subtract 1/2 inch.

  • Cut hot bricks or use presized fireplace tile for the next row. The cut bricks or tiles should be 1/2 inch higher than the thickness of the cooking grate. When finished, the cooking grate should slide in and out of the slot. Using brick mortar or cement, add the tiles or the sized hot bricks to form the next row. If you are using tiles and need to stack two rows to get the proper height, be sure to stagger the tiles as you staggered the bricks in Step 2.

  • Add three more rows of regular brick, staggering the rows as before. Remove the cooking grate from its slot. Allow the cement or brick mortar to set for at least 48 hours or as directed on the package.

Adding fire brick protection

  • Measure the inside of the brick BBQ pit. Fit the fire brick pieces inside the walls of the pit. Measure and cut the pieces to fit properly. Remember to leave the slot for the cooking grill open. You must measure for the floor of the brick BBQ pit as well, since this is where most of heat will be concentrated.

  • Use brick mortar or concrete to attach the fire brick to the inside of the BBQ pit. Swipe a thin layer of brick mortar on the inside walls of the pit and a thin layer on the back of the fire brick. Starting at the bottom and working your way up, attach the fire brick to the inside walls of the brick BBQ pit.

  • Allow the entire project to set for at least 48 hours. Paint or otherwise decorate the outside of the brick BBQ pit. Slide the cooking grill into place.

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