Build Your Own BBQMost people love barbecues. Being outside in the good weather, cooking over fire,sharing the day with family and friends – what’s not to love?And the good news is, it takes just a few hours to build yourself a great barbecuethat can be fired up year after year, giving you a focal point for your entertaining.A visit to the DIY Store will provide you with the items you’re going to need. Putaside a day (or two if you need to level a piece of your garden), and get to work.When you’re stoking up the coals and the burgers are on the grill, the toil will allseem worthwhile!What You’ll NeedBricks, sand, cementBarbecue grill setSpirit levelShovel and trowelPlank of woodMasking TapeWhere to Site Your BarbecueFind a flat area away from your house, outbuildings, trees, or other structures.Barbecue smoke will drift in through open windows so try to position it so this won’tbe a problem. Don’t forget your neighbours – they may not appreciate yourbarbecue smoke billowing over their fence so think about the wind and whichposition would be best to try to minimise this.Build on a Flat SurfaceThe easiest way to ensure a flat surface is to build BBQs on an already level patio orback yard area. If you want to site it on grass, you’ll need to dig it out, fill it withstones and then cover the hole with paving or cement. Use your spirit level to makesure it is completely level. If it isn’t, use a layer of the cement to even it out.What Size Barbecue?The size of your BBQ will really depend on the size of the grill you choose. Onceyou’ve bought your grill, lay it on the flat area you’re going to site the barbecue on.Position a single layer of the bricks around the grill – making a U-shape around threeedges and leaving the front clear. Mark the outside and the inside of the bricks withmasking tape. This will be your guide when laying the bricks and mortar. Remove thelayer of bricks and put them back with the rest.
Getting StartedMix the cement as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Spread the first level ofmortar on the ground using the masking tape as your guide. Place the bricks overthe mortar, leaving ½ inch between each brick for more mortar. Check the levelagain and make sure that the corners are at right angles.The Height of the BarbecueSince you’re the one who’s likely to be doing the barbecuing, use your height togauge how high the barbecue should be. Plan for the grill/grate supports to be aboutwaist height - that’ll save you bending too much as you barbecue.Layer the BricksLay the bricks, starting at the corners. Stagger the second layer – you can do this bycutting and using half bricks at the ends and full bricks in the centre. Once you’vedone four or five layers of bricks – staggered each time - place a length of woodacross from one side to the other and use the spirit level to check they are still level.Then use the spirit level to check that the sides are vertically straight. Any differencein height should be leveled out using cement.Continue layering the bricks and mortar until you’ve done six or seven rows or arenear your waist height. On the left-hand and right-hand sides of the wall as you facethe barbecue, turn the bricks sideways so that they make a support for the charcoaltray, jutting out from the rest of the wall.Measure the width of your grill again to make sure that it’s going to fit.Do another three rows and turn the bricks sideways again – this time so that theywill support the grill tray.Add two more layers of bricks and mortar and you’re done!Finishing TouchesGo around the walls of the barbecue, taking off the rugged mortar edges. This can bedone as you go along using a short length of hosepipe and dragging it along each ofthe joints.If you have the space, bricks and inclination, you could extend the brickwork out tothe left or right of your barbecue to create a tabletop, using a paving slab as thework surface.Once you’ve built your barbeque, dust off any brick dust with a soft bristle brush orpaintbrush. Do this carefully and thoroughly to avoid brick dust getting into yourfood.
You’ll need to leave the BBQ for at least three days before using it as the mortarneeds this amount of time to set and dry.Once you’ve waited three days, you’re ready to go, so phone your friends and family,head to the supermarket and get ready to enjoy the great outdoors with your newlybuilt barbecue.Bon appetite!