How to Build a BBQ Pit

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Hand tamp
Mortar mix
Cinder blocks
Metal cylinder/can
Metal grill
Grill top
Metal braces

A barbecue or BBQ pit is a practical and aesthetic addition for your backyard. It is useful for cooking and it adds a stylish dimension to the yard space. Building your own barbecue pit is easy and doesn't require any kind of sophisticated technical knowledge on your part.

Choosing BBQ Pit

Brick and metal BBQ pits are both popular. Metal pits are regarded as more durable but they aren't recommended if your yard is exposed to lots of sunshine and rainwater. The metal surface corrodes easily and will require too much maintenance over time. Metal BBQ pits are, however, the preferred choice for smoking thicker meats that need longer cooking. This is because metal can sustain high temperatures for extended periods of time.

Brick pits are the more conventional form for barbecue pits. These are easy to build, inexpensive to maintain, and blend in nicely with any yard. When it comes to building BBQ pits as a home project, brick pits are the most popular choice.

BBQ Pit Location

Your BBQ pit should be located close to your dining room or kitchen. If you place the pit at a distance from either of these rooms, it may result in long treks from the pit to the kitchen and back for supplies. The pit should also be away from fences and shrubs, particularly in areas where dry leaves may be located. If your yard is vulnerable to strong winds, the pit should be built near a brick or concrete wall to break the force of the wind.

Building the BBQ Pit

Step 1 - Dig a Hole

Dig a 3 x 5-foot trench in your yard with a shovel. The trench should be eight to 10 inches deep. Using the shovel, clear out all the loose soil and stones. Take a hand tamp and compact the soil at the bottom of the trench and make sure it is level.

Step 2 - Fill the Hole

Pour gravel (about two to three inches deep) on top of the trench. Then, mix some dry mortar and water, and spread this preparation on top of the gravel. The mixture should be two inches deep around the edges. Mortar tends to dry-off rather quickly, so immediately start leveling it with the trowel while it is still moist.

Step 3 - Lay the Base

Along the edges of the mortar, start placing the cinder blocks. Gaps between the cinder blocks can be filled with wet mortar, but keep removing any excess that has been squeezed out from the bricks as you arrange them.

Spread more wet mortar over these cinder blocks. Then, place the first layer of bricks over the mortar for the base of the pit.

Step 4 - Finish the Rest of the Pit

If you are building a metal pit, all you have to do now is install the metal cylinder/can over the layer of bricks. If you are building a brick pit, apply more mortar and build additional brick layers until you reach your desired height.

Step 5 - Fit Grill Over Pit

For a metal BBQ, fit the grill top onto the top of the metal furnace. A brick BBQ will require you to insert metal braces into the mortar layer of the top layer of bricks. The metal grill will be balanced on top of the metal braces.

Step 6 - Make a Wall Around the Barbecue

When the pit has been prepared, mark its perimeter. Use bricks and wet mortar to build a two-brick high wall around the perimeter.