How to Build a Solid Cinder Block BBQ

Lead Image
  • 8-12 hours
  • Beginner
  • 400-1,000
What You'll Need
Metal fireplace grate 25 by 28 by 18.5 inches
30 concrete corner cinder blocks 6 by 8 by 16 inches
Bag of concrete
14 concrete bull nose cinder blocks 6 by 8 by 16 inches
7 concrete cinder chimney blocks 17 by 21 inches
2 concrete cinder blocks 4 by 8 by 16 inches
Sand and gravel
2 by 4s

A cinder block barbecue is a relatively inexpensive way to create a good-sized barbecuing surface to cook meals and entertain. It can double up as a fireplace as well for relaxing evenings in the backyard. Follow these steps to create a fun place to cook and relax.

Step 1 - Location of the Concrete Cinder Block BBQ

Choose a spot with good drainage and accessibility including access to water for cooking and cleaning. Mark off the area: at least 70 by 33 inches, using stakes and string making sure the lines are straight and even. Don't forget to add a project for a chimney. The projection will be around 17 by 21 inches.

Step 2 - Build the Base

Dig a depth of 10 to 12 inches of dirt from the area you've just marked off. Build a frame that you'll use to build the base. Create a mix of 1/2 gravel and 1/2 sand in a wheelbarrow and shovel this mix into the bottom of the trench. Make sure the mixture is level and firm to create a solid sub base. Then mix the concrete and place a few inches of it in the trench. Make sure it's level. Then lay the rebar in the middle and finish pouring the concrete. Double-check to make sure it's level. Smooth the top and cover with wet burlap. Allow curing for 48 hours before continuing work. Do not remove the frame for eight days.

Step 3 - Lay the Chimney

Use the 7 chimney blocs to lay the chimney. Position the smoke inlet opening close the where you'll be installing the metal grate for maximum airflow.

Step 4 - Build the BBQ

Lay the first row of concrete cinder blocks on the foundation to build the sides of the fireplace. Keep building upon the rows making sure each row is level before working on the next one. Keep a width of no more than 19 inches for the fireplace grate. Be careful with the positioning. No mortar is necessary. If you choose not to use it, it's crucial to make sure the blocks are positioned tightly together. There is more give if you choose mortar since the mortar will fill in any cracks.

Step 5 - Install the Grate

Insert the grate. If it doesn't fit, you may need to stack concrete blocks inside the pit. The height of 3 blocks all around should work fine. Then lay the grate on top of them. Allow the unit to settle for 3 days, especially if you've used mortar, before doing any barbecuing. Do not burn trash in the unit because the concrete tends to hold smoke smells which can affect the flavor of foods.