Traditionally, the kitchen is the place where friends and family gather to eat and spend quality time, but alfresco dining areas have become common as well. Home builders and homeowners are installing outdoor dining areas, often using brick to work with a barbecue grill to create a convenient space for cooking. Brick projects provide storage, counter space, privacy and places to hold lighting for your grilling space.
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Grill Base and Backsplash
Whether you have a gas grill or one that burns charcoal, you can drop either style into a custom-fitted brick base. Purchase a drop-in grill crafted for this purpose or fit a pedestal grill with stainless steel doors into a space cut out of a full brick cabinet. When the grill needs to be replaced, just slide or drop a new one in place. Build the wall behind the grill higher to cut off drafts, add privacy from the neighbours, and hang task lighting or hooks to hang utensils and dishcloths for clean up.
Storage and Other Appliances
When cooking outside, everyone needs nearby counter space to set out their grilling utensils, platters, sauces and condiments. Add bricked cabinets with concrete or tile tops for extra space. For even better use, add under the counter storage, a small refrigerator and a bar sink for your outdoor grilling needs. Leave an open space under the counter for storing charcoal or wood chips.
Bricks are a good building material for a fire pit. Locate your fire pit so that everyone will be able to sit around it on cool evenings. Use firebricks in a circular design of four to six rows high and mortared together. A cast iron grid that spans the fire pit provides the cooking surface, and charcoal or grilling woods provide the fuel.
Grill a butterfly-cut chicken under a brick on the grill. Cut open a fresh, whole chicken lengthwise and laid it flat on foil. Once you have marinated the chicken in olive oil and the herbs of your choice, lay it on a medium-hot barbecue grill and set two foil-wrapped bricks on top -- one on each side. After about 15 minutes, flip the chicken and continue cooking until the result is a crispy chicken that is cooked all the way through.
A brick hearth added to your patio or lawn sets a romantic mood, warms a chilly night and can be a great place to cook. Just like cooking over a campfire, you can roast marshmallows, hot dogs on a stick, and other meats in a grill basket with a long handle. Install a professional cooking spit for larger cuts of meat. Extend the hearth to add a place for wood storage a few feet away from the open hearth.
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