How to Build a Charcoal BBQ Pit


Backyard barbeque pits are extremely popular. Everyone loves a BBQ. Roasting hot dogs, marshmallows and steaks over your own charcoal BBQ pit is the perfect way to spend the evening with family and neighbors. Luckily, it is easier than you might think to build your own BBQ pit. You can even do it in one weekend.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Tamper
  • Gravel
  • Sand
  • Interlocking bricks
  • Level
  • Masonry adhesive
  • Caulking gun
  • Find the right location in your backyard for your BBQ pit. Look for a spot away from overhead trees, electrical wires, wooden fences and bushes. Make sure it's approximately 50 feet from any building.

  • Find a level spot. Measure out a circle that is 4 to 6 feet in diameter, depending on how big you want your fire pit. Dig up 1 foot of dirt from the circle. Pour 6 inches of gravel and 4 inches of sand into the fire pit hole. Tamp down the sand and gravel with a hand tamper tool. Your fire pit is 2 inches deep so that you can line your bricks up in the center.

  • Buy bricks that are stackable, interlocking and shaped like a rounded triangle so when you lay them side-by-side they create a circle. Lay the first layer of bricks in the circle with their backs up against the 2-inch edge of dirt. Use a level to make sure they are completely level. Use a rubber mallet to tap down a brick or add more gravel under a brick that is too low, until all bricks are level in the circle.

  • Lay the next layer of bricks overlapping the joints of the bottom layer. Continue making your fire pit taller by adding more layers of brick, reaching a height of about 20 inches. Leave a few ½-inch gaps between 6 to 10 bricks for airflow into the pit.

  • For a sturdier pit, use masonry adhesive in between each layer of brick. Apply the masonry adhesive with a caulking gun.

  • Shovel in 4 inches more of gravel into your fire pit to stabilize the center of the ring. Wait 48 hours before having your first fire to allow the masonry cement to dry. Set stacks of charcoal in the pit. Purchase a round grill or grate to go over the top of the pit if you want; otherwise, use skewers to cook your food. Set chairs or benches around the pit.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep a bucket of water and shovel nearby in case the fire gets out of control. Check building codes in your area to make sure it is legal to have an outdoor fire pit.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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