How to Build a Charcoal BBQ for a Restaurant

Written by john jackman
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How to Build a Charcoal BBQ for a Restaurant
A charcoal barbecue out front acts as a cooking tool and as a tout for your restaurant. (barbecue image by bright from

Building a charcoal barbecue for a restaurant is a great way to vary the dishes on the menu. By installing a barbecue behind the kitchen, chefs can easily grill steaks and kebabs on it while keeping an eye on the oven and cooking. Even better is to assemble the charcoal barbecue out the front of your restaurant, if it doesn't contravene local health and safety laws. That way, passersby will be lured into your restaurant by the smells. A charcoal barbecue out front acts as a cooking tool and as a tout for your restaurant.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 180 standard bricks (approx)
  • Premixed mortar (small bag)
  • Sand (large bag)
  • Water
  • Hand trowel
  • Large barbecue grill
  • Large charcoal holder
  • Charcoal

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  1. 1

    Decide where you want your barbecue to be positioned in the restaurant. Out front is best but not always practical, or legal, if your restaurant opens onto a sidewalk or shopping centre. Only build the barbecue inside the restaurant if you have large windows and plenty of ventilation near where you intend to position it. Putting it near the kitchen is practical from a chef's point-of-view.

  2. 2

    Mix the premixed cement mortar with the sand, 1 part cement to 3 parts sand. Add water gradually to the mix until you get mortar.

  3. 3

    Lay 10-12 bricks in a row to form the back of your barbecue. Create the two sides by laying shorter rows of 3-4 bricks, coming off the end bricks from your original row,

  4. 4

    Spread mortar on top of the first level of bricks and lay down a second level. Make sure that the bricks of the second level are staggered, so that each brick is placed over a break in the level beneath.

  5. 5

    Keep building up the barbecue until you have 6 levels. On the 7th level, put every second brick used for the sides at 90 degrees to the one before. These bricks will stick out into the middle of the barbecue and form a lip to rest the charcoal holder on. This will leave gaps in some places.

  6. 6

    Build the 8th level as normal and then repeat the instructions for the 7th level when building the 9th level. The inverted bricks in the 9th level will be what you rest the barbecue grill on. Build a final layer as normal.

  7. 7

    Buy a charcoal holder and grill for your barbecue. The design of this barbecue is longer than most home-built traditional barbecues as you will need more cooking space in a restaurant. It is imperative, therefore, that you buy an extra long charcoal holder and grill, approx three feet in length. These are available from most kitchenware specialists.

  8. 8

    Rest the charcoal holder and grill on the 7th and 9th level bricks, respectively. Fill the charcoal holder with lump wood charcoal and light using firelighters. When the charcoal turns white it is ready to start cooking.

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