We’re at the peak of summer, so no doubt that the Al Fresco dining and garden parties have been popping up in many neighbourhoods across Britain. If you’re one of those who enjoy being the chef of your own garden, why not consider building your very own barbecue pit?
BBQ pits are relatively simple to construct and can help you put your own twist to the standard BBQ. With help of Flogas, a leading gas bottle supplier, we’ve put together this step-by-step guide in how to construct a safe and efficient BBW pit for your garden.
Tools and Equipment that you’ll need
Here’s a list of everything you need to build your own barbecue pit:
Metal cylinder or can (if you’re building a metal pit)
Where should you build your barbecue pit?
You can choose from several styles of BBQ pits, to the build one that is right for you. Some may be more difficult than others to construct. Check out this handy guide from DIY Cozy Home to help you find the design for you and don’t forget to consider your budget — you don’t want a half-finished pit just because you realised during the project that you couldn’t afford all the materials.
Deciding where to build your barbecue pit is a very important part of the process. To make it convenient, you should aim to build it close to your kitchen or dining room, so that you only need to walk small distances with food and utensils once it’s time to grill. Logistically, you should aim for your pit to be at least 15 feet square (3 feet x 5 feet).
When you start your preparations, safety should always be prioritised. Avoid building it in a place where it’s likely that smoke is going to blow straight into either your home or one of your neighbor’s properties. It should be placed away from any overhanging trees, buildings and fences which are at risk of been damaged from the smoke or catching fire. If your home’s outdoor space is vulnerable to high winds, aim to build the pit close to a brick or concrete wall which will work to break the force of the wind.
If you want to build a gas barbecue pit, there are important safety rules and advice that you will need to educate yourself on. Refrain from ever enclosing your barbecue pit, such as by putting a tent or cabin around it. Be aware of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning once a gas-powered barbecue pit is constructed too. You should stop using a barbecue pit immediately if you begin suffering from a loss of breath, dizziness, headaches or nausea and seek advice from a specialist builder before operating the barbecue again.
Placing your foundations
Once you’re ready to construct your barbecue pit, the foundations come first! The barbecue itself is going to be a substantial weight and will require good foundations to support it.
Start by digging an 8-inch hole wherever you want your BBQ pit to be. Once you have the right size, clear any stones and use your hand tamper to compact the soil at the bottom of the trench. Next, pour a layer of gravel into the trench that is around two to three inches deep and level this off, again using your hand tamper. You will then want to mix your dry mortar with some water and spread a two-inch layer of the mixture on top of the gravel. Level this mixture out using a trowel, though do this quickly as mortar tends to dry-off at a rapid rate.
Building the base of your barbecue pit
After you’ve build the foundations, next comes the base. Start placing cinder blocks around the edges of the mortar. A small hole should remain to drain water and any gaps between the blocks can easily be filled using wet mortar. Just be sure to keep removing any excess mortar while remembering that mortar dries off quickly.
Using your spirit level and carpenter’s square, check the evenness and corners of your pit. After, spread more wet mortar on top of the cinder blocks and start placing bricks in a side-by-side format on top of them. By using a double layer of bricks, you will instantly strengthen the entire pit. Once again, don’t waste time removing any excess mortar to avoid problems once it’s been given time to dry.
This step may differ, depending on the style you’ve gone for. After, spread more wet mortar on top of the cinder blocks and start placing bricks in a side-by-side format on top of them. By using a double layer of bricks, you will instantly strengthen the entire pit. Once again, don’t waste time removing any excess mortar to avoid problems once it’s been given time to dry.
- If you’re building a brick barbecue pit, then follow the below procedure: Using more mortar, carry on building additional layers of bricks until you reach the optimum height.
- Put bricks in the corners first and work outwards.
- Keep using your spirit level and your carpenter’s square throughout this process.
- Reached the penultimate layer of bricks? Then stop and insert metal braces into the mortar so that they face inwards before applying the bricks.
- Allow to set overnight.
- Place the grill top onto the metal braces.
If you’ve decided on building a gas-powered pit then, attach the hoses for the gas supply and seek consultation off an expert to check that the gas transfer is operating properly. Remember, gas taps must be switched off before you change a gas cylinder and you must only carry out this task in an open-air environment.
Once you are happy with your creation and checked that it’s sturdy, celebrate your hard work and prepare yourself for a nice day and staying enjoying outdoor dining!