How to build a brick fire & grill pit

Written by b.t. alo
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How to build a brick fire & grill pit
Fire pits can also be inset into the ground. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

A brick fire pit is a good idea for making an outdoor area more winter-friendly, safely containing fires to warm yourself by. To make the pit something that can be useful all year around, turn it into a fire and grill pit --- that way, you can have toasty fires in the cooler months and sizzling barbecues in the warmer months. Building a brick fire and grill pit does not require expert bricklaying skills, and if you use surface-bonding cement instead of brick mortar, it's even easier.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Cement blocks
  • Spade
  • Level
  • Surface-bonding cement
  • Trowel
  • Grill plate
  • Bricks
  • Firebricks

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  1. 1

    Dig a trench that is half the height of the cement blocks and 15 inches wider on all sides than the grill plate. Insert the cement blocks, packed tightly and level, into the trench.

  2. 2

    Mix the surface-bonding cement according to the manufacturer's instructions. Spread a 1/2-inch layer over the cement blocks, smoothing it over to form the base for the brick fire and grill pit. Leave to cure overnight. If you already have a concrete slab or paved patio area, you can build the fire pit directly on slab or pavement and don't need to create your own base.

  3. 3

    Place the grill plate centred on the base. Lay a single row of bricks around all sides of the grill plate to get the wall dimensions, and then remove the grill plate for the time being. Build up the walls of the pit with bricks, staggering the joints of the bricks for each row. Continue until your walls are approximately 2 feet high.

  4. 4

    Mix another batch of the surface-bonding cement and apply a 1/2-inch layer over the walls of the pit --- inside and out. Blend the cement of the pit into the cement of the base to around 5 inches from the walls. Leave the cement to cure for three days.

  5. 5

    Line the inside walls of the pit with firebricks. If you're using it as a fire pit only, line all the walls and build the fire in the bottom. If you're using the pit as a grill, line the walls until you are one brick's height from the top. Sit the grill plate on top of the ledge created by the firebrick lining after lighting coals in the bottom. If you want to use the fire pit and grill simultaneously, source a larger grill plate to sit over the top of the pit walls.

Tips and warnings

  • Never leave children unattended when a fire pit or grill is lit.
  • Check local ordinances before building a fire pit to see if it is legal for your area.

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