How to build an outdoor brick bbq

Updated April 17, 2017

Outdoor brick barbecues are perfect for cooking tasty foods, such as steaks, chicken and seafood, while adding ambience to the backyard. Brick barbecues are fairly simple to put together. Purchase bricks and the necessary tools at any hardware supply store. Once the barbecue is built and in place, the heating element used to cook the food will be the last thing added. The heating element can be either wood or charcoal.

Determine a location for where the barbecue should be built. Build the barbecue close to a tall structure to help reduce the amount of wind hitting the barbecue.

Measure out a 3 foot by 4 foot section using the measuring tape. Mark the area using spray paint of any colour.

Dig out the measured area one foot deep, using the shovel to remove any grass, gravel or dirt from the area. Insert each wooden plank so that it is pressing firmly against the side walls of the hole. Each 3-foot plank should be fit to the 3-foot length of the hole, and each 4-foot plank should be fit to the 4-foot length of the hole. Hammer the planks in using a rubber mallet if necessary. Insert all four planks in a manner that would create a square in the hole.

Pour cement mix into a wheelbarrow and add water. Churn the mix and water using the shovel, until a smooth consistency is created.

Pour the cement mix into the pit in between the wooden planks. Use the cement rake to create a smooth, even base. Allow the base to dry for 24 hours so that the cement will harden into concrete forming the base of the brick barbecue.

Make a batch of mortar using the mortar mix, water, wheelbarrow and shovel. This batch of mortar will be used to hold the bricks together.

Set a single layer of bricks around the perimeter of the concrete base forming a three-sided open square layer of bricks. Leave the front side of the barbecue without bricks so that the heating element can be placed inside the barbecue.

Place mortar on the trowel, which is a metal tool that is used to place mortar on the bricks. Lift each brick from the base and place mortar under the brick. Set the brick down. The mortar should be evenly spread across the entire brick.

Apply mortar on top of the first set of bricks. Set one brick at a time down on top of the first layer of bricks, starting at one end of the barbecue. Continue to place bricks on top of the second row, encasing each brick in mortar to create a solid structure. Wipe the mortar from the sides of the bricks every three rows with the trowel to prevent mortar from sliding down the side of the barbecue in a process called pointing. Repeat this process until the barbecue is about four feet high. A total of about 100 bricks will be used.

Allow the mortar to harden overnight, holding the bricks together in place. Place the cooking grate over the top of the brick barbecue. Keep the cooking grate separate from the grill so that it can be easily cleaned. The cooking grate can be of any metal type, such as stainless steel. Place the heating element, such as wood or charcoal, under the grill. Ignite the heating element on top of the concrete base.


After using cement or mortar mixes, clean all of the tools off with running water to prevent build-up and corrosion of the tools.


Wear protective clothing while building barbecues, such as gloves and eyeware.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Spray paint
  • Shovel
  • 2 wooden planks, 3 feet by 1 foot
  • 2 wooden planks, 4 feet by 1 foot
  • Rubber mallet
  • Cement mix
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Cement rake
  • Mortar mix
  • Trowel
  • Bricks
  • Heating element
  • Cooking grate
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About the Author

Vincent Labbate has been writing online articles since 2010. He contributes to websites such as eHow and Answerbag on topics including hobbies, automobiles and business. Labbate has a Bachelor of Science in marketing from St. John's University.