How to build a BBQ grill

Updated July 20, 2017

A BBQ grill is in actuality quite different from an ordinary charcoal or gas grill because it uses indirect heat for cooking meats, rather than direct heat. A true BBQ is also considered a smoker. When it comes to a BBQ or smoker, a variety of materials can be used to build one, such as a water tank, 55-gallon steel drum, an old charcoal grill or even a metal dustbin. If you have never worked with metal or welded anything, the easiest BBQ construction is a dustbin BBQ or smoker, or the charcoal grill conversion.

Fill a bowl with cool water and immerse three to four handfuls of wood chips into the water. The wood chips can either be small chunks of hard wood such as oak or hickory, or flavoured wood chips such as mesquite or honey. Both can be found at online retailers or at your local home store.

Pour the charcoal into the grill body. You should only pour approximately 1/2 pound of charcoal into the grill. Keep the charcoal to one side. Saturate the charcoal with lighter fluid and wait five minutes. Light with a match and wait for the flame to die down until the coals are red hot.

Fill the small metal pan with water and place it next to the charcoal.

Place the wood chips or small chunks of hard wood on top of the coals. The damp wood will promote smoke within the grill for barbecuing. Insert the grill rack.

Place the food you plan to barbecue or smoke on top of the grill rack, directly over the water pan. Always keep the food far away from the hot coals when barbecuing or smoking, so it will be cooked using indirect heat. Cover with grill lid.

Insert the meat thermometer into of the vents on the grill lid and keep an eye on the temperature throughout the smoking process, making sure the temperature always stays under 135 degrees Celsius. If the temperature rises to exceed 135 degrees C, simply remove the lid to allow the excess heat to escape.

Things You'll Need

  • New or old charcoal grill (standard or kettle)
  • Grill rack
  • Grill lid
  • Charcoal
  • Lighter fluid
  • Wood chips
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Small metal pan
  • Meat thermometer
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About the Author

Teresa Starr has been a professional writer since 1998, with novels to her name and credits as a screenwriter. Her novels include "The Questions Within" and "A Forgotten Tomorrow" which are both distributed internationally by Ransom Publishing, U.K. Starr studied English and creative writing at Frederick Community College.