Pit barbecues are a favourite when cooking large pieces of meat or cooking for large groups. A full-sized barbecue pit is financially out of reach for many people, although a small one is more likely to be affordable. Alternatively, making your own barbecue pit out of less-expensive materials, such as breeze blocks, is an option.
Dig a square pit in the ground, 60 cm by 60 cm (2 feet by 2 feet) wide and about 15 cm (6 inches) deep, with the shovel. Try to keep the bottom of the pit level and the sides straight and square, though it is not necessary to be exact.
Arrange three breeze blocks end to end in a straight line along one edge of the pit. Make sure the holes in the blocks are touching the ground on one side. This will make sure too much air does not blow through the pit.
Place three more breeze blocks end to end on the opposite side of the pit parallel to the other blocks.
Lay two breeze blocks end to end at one end of the pit, touching the other two rows of blocks on each side. The blocks should now resemble three sides of a square, with the fourth side being an opening with no blocks.
Repeat the stacking steps to create a second layer of breeze blocks on top of the first layer. Again, be sure to keep the holes in the blocks pointing toward the ground to avoid large air holes in the walls of the barbecue pit.
Set the barbecue grate on top of the stack of breeze blocks. The barbecue pit is now completed and ready to go. Simply pile dried wood or charcoal in the bottom of the pit and start the fire. Allow the fire to smoulder out and the coals to begin turning white before cooking. Place the food on top of the barbecue grate to cook. Continue to add wood or charcoal as needed to keep the fire hot until cooking is completed.
To create a larger barbecue pit, try making the stack of breeze blocks longer, wider and higher. The same stacking pattern outlined above can be scaled up and used to create larger pits.
Do not build a barbecue pit close to buildings or other fire hazards, such as trees, furniture or chemicals. Be sure to build your barbecue pit close to a water source, such as a garden hose, to reduce fire hazard.
Things you need
- 20 cm by 20 cm by 40 cm (8 inches by 8 inches by 16 inches) breeze blocks (16)
- 60 cm by 60 cm (2 feet by 2 feet) barbecue grate