How To Build An Outdoor BBQ

We only recommend completing this project if you have masonry experience or are an advanced DIY'er.

An outdoor barbeque is perfect for cooking and entertaining guests around during summer. One of the most delightful sounds anyone can hear is the sizzle of food as the aromas spread across the garden. With the right equipment and tools, you can create a BBQ yourself for your garden by following our steps.

Part One - Prepare Footer

1. Get Your Materials

To build a BBQ, you will need:

  • Concrete mix
  • Mortar mix
  • Trowel
  • Hammer
  • Bricks
  • Portable saw
  • Mason’s (string line) or level
  • Chalk
  • Gravel mix
  • 4 inches (100mm) lengths of steel rebar
  • Metal grill surface

2. Dig Your Grill Area

Dig in your grill area using a spade. A hole of about 4 feet by 8 feet and 6 inches deep will be enough. You should pick a spot is away from the house anything else that could catch fire. If you want to create a chimney for your barbeque, make a round hole next to your grill area - this hole must be at least six inches larger than the diameter of the pipe you intent to use as the chimney, 

3. Create the Footer

Prepare your concrete mix according to the instructions. Pour the mix into the hole of your grill area. Fibre-reinforced concrete mix is perfect for pouring onto the bare dirt. The concrete will take 3 to 5 days to dry.

4. Outline Your Barbeque

Use your chalk to draw a rectangular outline on the concrete. Leave 2 inches on each side for safety. If you would prefer a smaller BBQ space, you can leave more space on the edges. 

  • Your grill interior needs to be a little bigger than the grill surface that you bought.
  • Use a level or mason's line to ensure lines are drawn straight.

5. Dry Fit

Lay two courses of bricks in the outline you drew, without mortar. Leave 0.5 inches between bricks where the mortar will be added. Ensure everything looks straight from what you’ve laid out. Concrete blocks can be used instead of bricks if you prefer. Standard blocks are taller than bricks, so you will probably lay fewer courses.

Part Two - Laying Courses

1. Prepare Mortar Mix

This needs to be prepared for laying bricks. The mix package will give you instructions on how to use it. Keep the mortar mix near your work area to make it easy to reach. If you’re using concrete blocks instead, a bonding cement is better.

2. Lay Bricks at the Corners

A line of mortar should be placed inside the outline of the footer, then put bricks down at all the corners. 0.5 inches of mortar needs to be placed between each brick. Build the courses four layers high. Build a course by smearing a layer of mortar (around the thickness of your finger) on top of bricks on the ground. Lay the bricks atop of the mortar so they overlap the old ones, creating an interlocking pattern. To get the right size bricks to fit here, you will need to use an angle grinder with a masonry disc. If you’re using concrete blocks, two or three courses should be built at this point.

3. Fill The Rows

You should work from corner to corner. Put mortar down on top of each course of bricks before you lay one down. Leave 0.5 inches of mortar between each brick. This should give you a rectangle of four courses high. Once completed, wait for the mortar to dry.

4. Spread Gravel

Next you should spread gravel inside of the bricks. Any gravel mix that’s available can be used. It doesn’t matter what type you use, as long as a thin layer is placed on the interior of the brick square.

5. Add Concrete on Top of the Gravel

A concrete mix needs to be prepared. Lay a 4 inch slab on top of the gravel you poured inside the brick rectangle. This is done so a barrier of insulation is created between the fire and ground.

Part Three - Adding Grill Surface

1. Build Bricks

With the barbeque base in place, keep building bricks on three sides. It must be built up higher to provide a space for the charcoal and grill and surface to rest. Continue laying bricks but only on three sides. This means you can access the charcoal and grill surface from the front.

2. Insert Rebar to support Charcoal Pan

Once you reach four courses above the base insert your 4-inch lengths of steel rebar into the mortar between a course of bricks and the next. This should extend a bit into the interior, open area of the grill. Your bricks must be level as you lay them to achieve this. If you decide to create a chimney for your BBQ, you could also drill holes in your pipe to fit the rebar. Use a percussion drill to achieve this.

3. Add Support for the surface of the grill

Lay two more courses of bricks before inserting more short pieces of rebar - you could also use bricks laid sideways. This will give your grill surface a nice sturdy support, just above the charcoal pan.

4. Finish off the Grill Walls

Add more courses to finish your grill walls to the height of your choosing. Put solid bricks on the top row to give your barbecue a finished look. If you’ve chosen to add to a chimney, build your bricks around the drain pipe. The bricks should line up properly around the curve of your pipe.

Use a masonry saw on fire resistant bricks to cut out bevels. Placing mortar on the bricks will fit them into place for your chimney to be ready.

For more tips on DIY in the home, check out our other blogs. Get all your garden and power tools from Ryobi online and in stores across the UK.