How to Build a Metal BBQ Pit

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There's nothing quite like the freedom of grilling or barbecuing outdoors. During the summer, it is the best way to make food during an outdoor get-together or picnic. High-tech grills can be prohibitively expensive, however. If you are short on cash but have an afternoon to spare for preparation, you can construct your own backyard metal BBQ pit and start cooking for your friends and family right away.

Things You'll Need

  • 50-pound bag of sand Trash can lid Charcoal Grill top Wood chips Bucket of water
  • Prepare the ground for your pit. Dig a hole in your backyard, at least 5 feet away from any obstruction on all sides. Make the hole at least 2 feet deep and 4 to 5 feet in diameter. Make sure that there is no grass left within 3 feet of the hole. Dump the 50 pounds of sand into the hole.

  • Install the metal pit. In the middle of the mound of sand, create a well. Make the well about 2 feet in diameter. Place the trash can lid into the well upside down; the lid's bowl-like interior will be used to hold the charcoal. This will be the metal pit for your barbecue.

  • Attach the grill top. Measure the diameter of your metal pit. At your local hardware store, look for a grill top that is at least 3 inches larger in diameter than the metal pit. Put it on top of your metal pit.

  • Prepare your wood chips. The night before you barbecue, soak half a bag of wood chips in a bucket of water. Soaking them overnight will ensure that they are wet enough to use for the grill the next day. But in a pinch, you can soak them for a shorter amount of time. Make sure they are in the water for at least two hours. Before you use them, drain them and gently pat off excess water.

  • Start your fire. Build a mound of briquettes in the middle of the metal pit and ignite them. Let the coals burn until they are glowing before adding the wood chips. Once the coals are ready, sprinkle the wood chips over the top of the glowing coals. Once they start smoking, replace the grill top. You are now ready to smoke and barbecue any meat you like.

Tips & Warnings

  • For indirect heat and longer smoke time, place the meat on the perimeter of the fire.
  • Have a bucket of water on hand whenever cooking with an open flame.

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