How to Make Your Own Barbecue Pit

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An outdoor barbecue pit is a permanent backyard fixture that allows open-air cooking as well as a fireplace for an evening under the stars. Building a barbecue pit takes materials easily purchased at the hardware store and very few bricklaying skills. You can finish this pit in a day, and barbecue in the evening.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Shovel
  • 4 iron rods, 3 feet long
  • Mallet
  • Chicken wire
  • Wire
  • Pliers
  • Pea gravel
  • Sand
  • Bricks
  • Square retaining wall stone
  • Grill
  • Measure the length and width of your pit area. Use the mallet to hammer an iron rod in each of the four corners of the perimeter.

  • Use the shovel to dig down a foot. Fill 4 inches with pea gravel. This allows the pit to drain after a rain. Shovel 4 inches of sand on top of the gravel. Place a layer of bricks on top of the gravel. Top with more gravel to secure the base. Tamp the structure to settle it. Wrap folded chicken wire around the outside of the stakes and secure it with wire to each stake. This helps support the retaining stone.

  • Place a layer of retaining wall stone around the marked perimeter of the barbecue pit. Butt them against each other, but do not use adhesive or mortar to secure them. The weight of the stack will be sufficient, and the gap between the stones allows air to circulate through the pit.

  • Continue to stack a second layer of retaining wall stones around the pit. Offset the second layer slightly instead of stacking them directly on top of one another. Make a third or fourth layer to complete the pit. Use the mallet to tap the stakes even with the top of the stones.

  • Place charcoal and wood in the center of the pit and start your fire. Lay a grill across the top of the pit. When the wood and charcoal are burnt down, you are ready for your first barbecue.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always locate the fire pit away from flammable material, including overhanging trees or other vegetation. Keep combustible material well away from the pit area, and never leave a fire unattended.

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References

  • Photo Credit Embers remained image by Konovalov Pavel from Fotolia.com
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