How to build a large BBQ grill

Written by carole ellis
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If you want a barbecue grill big enough to feed the kids, the relatives and all the neighbours, too, look no farther than your own backyard. You can build a grill big enough for the whole neighbourhood relatively easily and economically. This is a great way to make a large barbecue grill that looks good and cooks even better.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • 55-gallon drum, which can be got usually for free from any agricultural centre, feed store or automotive shop
  • (6) pieces of 36-inch-long angle iron; the hardware store where you get these will cut them to length for you
  • (4) pieces of 24-inch-long angle iron; see above for cutting instructions
  • (2) standard door hinges
  • Jigsaw with metal cutting blade
  • Emery paper for sanding metal
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil or marker
  • (8) ½-inch-by-4-inch carriage bolts, nuts and lock washers
  • (12) 1/4-inch-by-1-inch carriage bolts, nuts and lock washers
  • (16) 1/4-inch-by-½-inch carriage bolts, nuts and lock washers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Wooden handle with mounting hardware included
  • Drill with ¼-inch bit and ½-inch bit, both for drilling through metal
  • (2) pieces of barbecue mesh, available at your local department store or hardware store; one needs to be 12 inches wide by 36 inches long, and the other needs to be 24 inches wide by 36 inches long

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut out your door for the barbecue. The door should be located in the side. Usually it goes in the middle, but you can place it wherever you like. Take your 55-gallon drum and measure out a quarter round piece to be the door. Cut this piece out using your jigsaw.

  2. 2

    Sand edges smooth using your emery paper. You might want to wear gloves for this step to protect your fingers from snags and splinters.

  3. 3

    Assemble your frame. Take the two 36-inch pieces of angle iron and the two 24-inch pieces of angle iron and lay them out so the ends overlap. This will be the frame that your grill rests on. Drill holes through the ends of these pieces and join them together with 4¼-inch bolts, nuts and lock washers. Tighten everything using the adjustable wrench.

  4. 4

    Attach the legs. Take your other four 36-inch pieces of angle iron and attach them to the corners of the frame. Drill ¼-inch holes and screw in the bolts, nuts and lock washers. Tighten all nuts and bolts using the adjustable wrench. These are your BBQ's legs.

  5. 5

    Brace the legs and the frame. At 18 inches down, you want to attach the leg braces, which are the other two 24-inch pieces of angle iron. Once again, drill holes and attach the braces by screwing in the bolts, nuts and lock washers. Tighten the nuts and bolts with the adjustable wrench.

  6. 6

    Attach the grill to the frame. This will give you easier access to the entire unit for the rest of the project. Place the barrel on top of the frame, and in the centre of each frame piece drill a hole through the angle iron and into the grill. Attach the grill to the frame by using ¼-inch bolts, nuts and washers. It will now be sturdy and solid.

  7. 7

    Drill the draft holes. Using your ½-inch drill bit, drill a dozen holes in the bottom of the grill in a staggered zigzag pattern. These are your draft holes and are needed to keep the coals burning and hot.

  8. 8

    Install the charcoal or wood-holding shelf. Place your 12-inch-by-36-inch grate into the grill. This will be your charcoal or wood-holding shelf.

  9. 9

    Install the main grilling grate. At 8-inch intervals along the sides, and 2 inches deep, drill ½-inch holes and insert the 4-inch carriage bolts. Using lock washers and nuts, tighten with your adjustable wrench. These are what will hold up your main grilling grate.

  10. 10

    Install the hinged door. 12 inches from either side on the seam, drill four ¼-inch holes for each door hinge. Attach the hinges to both the door and the grill by using the 16 ¼-inch-by-½-inch carriage bolts using lock washers and nuts. Tighten with your adjustable wrench.

  11. 11

    Attach the wooden handle to the front and centre of your grill door using the enclosed hardware. You will probably have to nail or screw the hardware into the wood. Make sure the handle is wooden, since wood does not conduct heat very well.

Tips and warnings

  • You may leave the grill as is, but for maximum life, consider getting a heat-proof paint at your local automotive store. They come in many colours.
  • Observe safety regulations when using power tools of any sort. You may wish to wear gloves and safety goggles to protect your eyes.

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