How to build a masonry barbeque pit

Written by phillip woolgar
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How to build a masonry barbeque pit
Masonry barbecues can be a highlight to any back garden. (Barbecue image by citylights from

A masonry barbecue can be the centrepiece to a memorable garden. Whether you put the barbecue in your garden or on your patio, the masonry will add a touch of rugged class. It's an ideal addition for a cook who enjoys the outdoors. Find a place with plenty of ventilation, and you can set up your very own kitchen beside your garden or swimming pool.

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Things you need

  • Masonry saw
  • Concrete
  • Sand
  • Trowel
  • Fire-resistant bricks
  • Steel-reinforced drain pipe -- 4.5 m (54 inches) long, 4.5 m (54 inches) wide, 7.5 cm (3 inches) thick, with a 30 by 30 cm (12 by 12 inch) opening at the end
  • Mortar
  • Steel reinforced drain pipe/steel rebar
  • Safety goggles (optional)
  • Heavy-duty gloves (optional)

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  1. 1

    Select a well-ventilated area. Choose a spot that is sheltered from wind, avoiding exposure to dust and dirt. The patio is usually ideal, but ensure it is free from flammables such as clothes lines, trees and the patio roof.

  2. 2

    Mark a clear area for the barbecue. Build a concrete foundation by digging a 15 cm (6 inch) deep hole. Most foundations are square or rectangle. Remember, you want plenty of room for your barbecue and the chimney, and a place to stand while you are cooking. Approximately 1.8 m (6 feet) squared is adequate.

  3. 3

    On the outer side or your trench, make a round hole that will fit the chimney. Make it approximately 15 cm (6 inches) bigger than the drain pipe. Drain pipes come in various sizes, usually around 15 cm (6 inches), so you want your circle to have a 30 cm (1 foot) circumference.

  4. 4

    Dig another hole inside the trench, immediately beside the round hole, for the barbecue pit. Make it round or square, and about 1.2 m (4 feet) wide by 90 cm (3 feet) long.

  5. 5

    Stand the drain pipe up into the hole that was dug for the chimney. The drain pipe will release the smoke.

  6. 6

    Mix the concrete in a wheelbarrow and pour in the foundation, securing the drain pipe. Ensure your barbecue pit is also covered 10 cm (4 inches) -- you don't want to make it level with the rest of the foundation. Let the cement dry for seven days.

  7. 7

    Cut your bricks with a masonry saw to fit snugly against the drainpipe. Line them up precisely around the curve of the pipe. Fix them into place with the mortar. This will complete the chimney.

  8. 8

    Lay the fire-pit bricks on top of your concrete foundation, covering the entire surface. Use the masonry saw to shape your bricks so they can be secured together, if you are making a round fire pit. Stack five rows of bricks around the barbecue. You can now place a grill on top of the bricks. The fire will be directly below the grill, with the chimney venting out the smoke, and plenty of room for you to move around.

  9. 9

    Measure the top of the drain pipe. Cut a piece of metal for the cover and weld a handle on. This is optional if you want to protect your chimney from getting clogged, and from moisture.

  10. 10

    Drill two 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) holes in either side of the pipe about 15 cm (6 inches) below the top, and insert a 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) rebar for curing meat on, though this is optional. The rebar will enter one side of the pipe and exit the other. This is ideal to rest your meat on before grilling.

Tips and warnings

  • You may need to consult your local council to learn about building regulations.
  • Saws should be handled with care. You may want to wear goggles and heavy-duty gloves.

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