How to build a brick barbecue grill

You don't need some giant, elaborate barbecue grill to create delicious barbecue. After all, if you've got good food and hot coals, what more do you need? Many barbecue aficionados swear that old-fashioned grilling over wood or charcoal is the best and most flavourful way to cook food. To truly embrace the concept of barbecue, buy a grill kit and build your own charcoal grill from bricks.

Pour a foundation for your barbecue. Pick a flat spot that's not too close to any structures and dig about 8 inches deep, keeping in mind that you will need somewhere to stand while cooking. Pour in the cement and let the foundation set according to the cement manufacturer's recommendations.

Measure the charcoal tray and grate that came with your grill kit, or note the measurements if provided. You want the inside dimension of your grill to be about 1 inch larger than the tray and grate. Draw the dimensions in chalk. The chalk outline will mark the footprint of the interior of your grill.

Set the first course, or row, of bricks in a bed of mortar. Use a trowel to apply a 1/2-inch layer of mortar on the bottom of each brick. Set the bricks firmly on the foundation. Use a level to check your work.

Lay a half brick to start the second course. Set the half brick in the corner where you're starting, so that the courses of brick will be offset for more stability. To cut bricks, set a chisel in the middle of a brick and tap the chisel with a hammer. Lay six to nine more courses of brick using this method. Use the level to check your work after each course.

Lay four bricks sideways in the next course of brick. The sideways bricks will hold the charcoal tray.

Set two or three additional courses of brick in the mortar. Turn four more bricks sideways to hold the grate. The grate should sit 6 to 10 inches above the charcoal tray.

Set two or three more courses of brick, creating a windscreen for your grill. Allow the mortar to set. Insert the charcoal tray and grill.


One good thing about those fancy, stainless steel grills is the storage. Consider adding a tabletop and shelves to the side of your grill. Build the base in the same way you constructed the grill. Use slate tile to function as shelves and a table. Add hooks on the side of the grill to hold cooking tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Mortar
  • Trowel
  • Level
  • Grill kit
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
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About the Author

Lisa East Hunter is a consultant and freelance writer in Phoenix. Her background in marketing and technology led her to explore all avenues of writing. She is currently dividing her time between freelance writing and her consulting business. Hunter has a Bachelor of Science in management information systems and marketing.