Homemade BBQ Pits


Grilling over a fire pit is one of the oldest and most universal methods of cooking food. One reason that grilling over an open fire is so popular is because it's easy to cook almost any kind of food that way. And when the smoky aroma of grilling permeates the air as well as the food, it draws friends and family who love to gather around a campfire. Build a barbecue pit in your backyard and begin a cooking tradition that will provide you with hours of enjoyment and some really good food.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Shovel
  • 36-inch-diameter used tractor tire rim
  • Crushed granite
  • Rake
  • 38-inch-diameter metal grill grate
  • 38-inch-diameter metal mesh lid
  • Large stones
  • Kindling
  • Logs
  • Long-handled butane lighter
  • Use a tape measure to measure and mark a 4-foot-by-4-foot patch of ground. Clear any grass from the area by cutting and removing the sod with a shovel. Lay the tractor tire rim on its side in the center of the cleared patch of ground. Dump crushed granite on the cleared area around the edge of the tire rim to form a 1-inch-thick layer. Rake the granite so it appears level.

  • Place the wire mesh lid on the top lip of the tractor tire rim so the opening of the rim is completely covered by the mesh lid. Place the grill grate on top of the mesh lid.

  • Place the stones on top of the crushed granite layer, firming them tightly against the tractor tire rim. Distribute the stones all the way around the rim to help hold it in place.

  • Lift the grill grate and mesh lid to add logs and kindling in the hollow of the tire rim. Use a long-handled butane lighter to light the kindling under the logs 30 minutes before you're ready to place the food on the grill grate for cooking. Add more wood to the fire as necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • Four 5-gallon pails of crushed granite should be sufficient to layer 1 inch of granite in the cleared area around the tire rim.
  • Look for used tractor tire rims at flea markets, or visit a retired farmer who might have one to sell.
  • Look for wire mesh lids and metal grilling grates at home-supply and camping stores.
  • Used truck and car rims will work for a homemade grill -- they're just smaller than a tractor tire rim. Size the lid and grate so they are approximately 2 inches larger than the diameter of the rim you choose.
  • Use stones about the size of a soccer ball to form a ring around the tire rim.
  • Place a layer of weed barrier, cut to fit the cleared area, beneath the crushed granite to prevent weeds from growing up through the granite.
  • Choose an area in your yard away from buildings and trees with over-hanging limbs.
  • Do not touch the hot metal grate and lid with your fingers.Use a pair of long-handled tongs to slide the mesh lid and grill grate sideways when you are ready to add more wood to your fire. Be careful -- lifting up the lid and grate can cause your food to fall off the grate.
  • Never leave a fire of any kind unattended.

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  • Photo Credit Backyard barbecue bbq image by Nicky Jacobs from Fotolia.com
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