How to Build a Stone Barbeque Pit

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Using fire was the first way that our ancestors began to cook food, and even today barbecue is a very popular style of cooking. Building an outdoor barbecue can add a whole new dimension to your barbecue experience. If you choose to build an open barbecue pit instead of a standard barbecue, you'll have the added benefit of a fire pit that you can use to build bonfires for summer parties, or sitting around the fire on a crisp autumn night.

Things You'll Need

  • Trowel
  • Bricks
  • Hand tamps
  • Gravel
  • Metal braces
  • Grill top
  • Metal grill
  • Flagstone
  • Firebricks
  • Shovel
  • Mortar mix
  • Metal cylinder/can
  • Water
  • Decide where exactly you want to put your barbecue pit, and how big it will be. Ideally, it'll be close to the kitchen, but make sure that you keep it away from fences, shrubs or any flammable structures or materials.

  • Go to your local government and see if you need any permits to build your barbecue pit, and to find out about any special regulations that you need to follow.

  • Mark off the area of your barbecue pit. A good way to do this is to drive a pole into the middle of the area, and tie a string to it that is half the radius of the pit (for example, for a 6-foot-wide pit, the string should be 3 feet long).

  • Dig a trench 8 to 10 inches deep inside the marked-off area, clear out all the loose stones and soil, and level the trench out with the hand tamp.

  • Cover the bottom of the trench with gravel, and spread it out 2 to 3 inches deep.

  • Mix the dry mortar with water and pour it over the gravel, making sure that the mortar mix is about 2 inches deep around the edge of the pit. Smooth out the mortar while you spread it, then give it a day to dry.

  • Start laying the firebrick around the edge of the pit. Put fresh mortar around the edge of the pit, and lay the first row of bricks down horizontally, filling in the gaps with mortar. Follow that by standing the next row on end, again filling in the gaps with the mortar mix.

  • Begin laying the flagstone around the outside of the pit, filling in the gaps with mortar. As you add layers, stagger them, and wipe off any mortar that you get on the front of them. You can use a chipping hammer to shape the stone if you need to.

  • Build up the stone until you get about 4 to 6 inches above the brick. Insert the metal braces into the mortar of the top layer of stone (the grill will be placed on the braces).

  • Give the mortar a few days to set, then you're ready to barbecue.

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