DIY Outdoor Brick Grills

Written by will milner
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DIY Outdoor Brick Grills
A brick grill adds a great feature to the garden. (Seiya Kawamoto/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

If you take cooking outdoors seriously, a small, portable grill may not be for you. Instead you should think about building a grill from brick and mortar and at the same time creating a permanent feature for your garden. A brick grill provides a larger cooking area and better stability, which is crucial when you are catering for large numbers of people at social events.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Spade
  • Tape measure
  • Wooden planks
  • Saw
  • Gravel
  • Concrete mix
  • Hose
  • Fire pan
  • Grill
  • Cement
  • Lime
  • Sand
  • Flat trowel
  • Chisel
  • Mallet
  • 6 steel bars the length of the grill's width

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  1. 1

    Dig a four-foot by six-foot hole in some fairly flat ground. Make it four inches deep with vertical sides. Dig one end of the hole half an inch deeper, and smooth the floor of the pit so the gradient is even. Lay planks on their sides along the side of each wall, and press them tightly in place. Pour a thin layer of gravel in the bottom.

  2. 2

    Mix concrete according to instructions on the bag, and fill the pit. At the deep end of the pit lay another plank across the top edges of the four planks on the sides of the pit. Slide it along the tops of the planks from the deep to the shallow end to smooth out the concrete and achieve a slight slope. Allow 48 hours for the concrete to dry. Protect it from rain during the drying process.

  3. 3

    Spray the bricks you will use with water 24 hours after laying the cement base. Lay the fire pan on the base when the cement is dry. Outline the pan with a pencil. Lay a line of bricks around three sides of the grill outline, and draw around these with the open side of the grill pointed toward the downhill side of the base. Mix four parts cement, one part lime and nine parts sand, then add and mix water until you have a smooth paste just thick enough that a trowel can stand up in it.

  4. 4

    Spread half an inch of mortar in the outline of the bricks, and then lay bricks along it, spreading a half inch of mortar on the leading edge of each brick before placing the next one. Repeat this process, building up the layers of brick with a half inch of mortar between the layers and between each brick. Start at the corners and work inward. Stagger the bricks so that the vertical joints between them do not run in continuous lines through all the layers.

  5. 5

    Cut bricks in half using a large chisel and mallet, and use these to straighten the ragged edges of brickwork which you will get every other layer. Simply place the half bricks at the end of the line of bricks, and stick them with mortar as with the other bricks.

  6. 6

    As you finish every fifth layer run the tip of an old teaspoon at a slight angle along the mortar joints in the five layers of bricks you have just laid, pressing the mortar into the gaps. At the height you want to place the fire tray, spread cement onto the bricks as normal but lay three steel bars evenly spaced across the width of the grill, the ends resting on the bricks. These bars will support the fire tray. Lay another two layers of bricks over the bars. Lay another three steel bars which will support the grill. Lay one more layer of bricks over this.

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