Brick barbecues can range from a simple, temporary grill to a large, intricate outdoor cooking unit. For barbecues larger than small, temporary grills, unless you are working from a pre-designed plan, it is important to sketch out the overall design and make a list of required parts. When making your barbecue, use your choice of recycled, second-hand, or new bricks.
Temporary Brick Barbecue
You can make a simple, brick barbecue from bricks and a metal grill. To make a temporary brick barbecue, lay bricks on the ground in a pattern slightly smaller than your grill. This layer will protect the ground from the heat of the fire and charcoal. Lay the bottom bricks flat. Make walls on three sides of the base by placing bricks on their sides. Leave one side open, usually one of the long sides on the front. Place bricks 3 or 4 courses high, depending on how close you want the grill to the fire. Build a fire with wood or charcoal and place the grill over the fire. The downside of this type of barbecue is that the grill height isn't adjustable. However, by placing the fire or charcoal to one side, you can move the meat closer to or farther from the heat.
Small Adjustable Barbecue
Small adjustable barbecues are generally larger than simple, temporary barbecues. They are permanently installed in a particular location, unlike temporary barbecues. Making a simple, adjustable barbecue requires bricks, cement, sand, and a barbecue tray and rack. Some racks and coal trays are adjustable in height through the use of metal bars with slots into which tabs on the grill fit. With others, they are fixed-height. With fixed-height sets, you can place coals to one side and adjust cooking temperature by moving the meat. To make a barbecue, lay the grill pan on the ground and mark the proper placement to allow the bricks to support the grill and tray. Mark the brick placement in the soil, if not building on a concrete slab, and mix concrete and sand as directed on the concrete bag. Pour concrete under the bricks, and build the barbecue using rows of bricks and mortar.
You can also build complex grills with side tables for food and utensils. The complexity of the barbecue is limited only by your imagination and budget. Some ornate barbecues include fireplaces and chimneys that allow for a fire to warm the area on cool days. A complex grill could start out as a small adjustable barbecue to which you add additional features. For example, add a brick wall either to the side or on two sides of the grill portion to create a support for a table to hold cooking tools and food. The table surface could be a stone slab or wood planks.