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How to build a brick barbecue for the Summer

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You have invested in a quality teak dining table for your garden because you want to enjoy the pleasures of outdoor eating.  You want the taste of food cooked over an open flame and the waft of sausages and steaks; it is the epitome of summer evenings.  You may be tempted to purchase a high-end barbeque, what can only be described as a cooker in your garden.  However, if you want to access your inner cave dweller, and save yourself a heap of cash, then set aside a day to build your brick barbeque.

Imagine the gentle warmth of a late summer evening, beer in hand, the wood and brick combining to give a classic and natural look to your outdoor eating space, smoke rising and some quality burgers.  Sold? Then, here are the easy steps to creating your brick barbeque.

The ingredients list

As with any DIY, preparation is the guarantee to success.  You need the right equipment if you are going to realise your brick barbeque ideas.

Head over to the store and pick up the following: –

  • Grill set for a barbeque
  • Bricks & brick setts
  • Sand
  • Cement
  • A spirit level
  • Shovel
  • Trowel
  • Paving slab
  • A length of hosepipe

You will also need to fashion a metal tie out of a length of coat hanger, just tie it in a long bow.  This will be laid between the back wall and any outward jutting walls to add strength to the structure.

Then, choose a day when you are free and start early.  You will be done before the evening sets in.

The easy steps to follow

Step 1: You need to map out how the barbeque will look like as a floor plan.  You can do this by moving the first layer of bricks into place, using the size of your cooking grill plate as a guide.  Do this without any fixing; you are just getting an idea of how to begin and a vision of how you will end.  Try hard to avoid half bricks, as this will reduce the time and the complexity of cutting the bricks to size.

Step 2: Mix your cement.  You need five parts sand to one part cement.  You should add enough water to the mix to create a stiff consistency. Then, make sure the ground is level before applying a layer of mortar.  If the ground is not level, you should add more mortar in places to compensate and so begin with a level first layer of bricks.

Step 3: Using your spirit level and the trowel, mark the outer edge of the barbeque in your cement layer.  This is the straight-line guide that will help you lay the first level of bricks.  If you get this first layer perfect, then a quality barbeque will follow.  You should be particularly careful at corners, using the spirit level to ensure you are laying the bricks at right angles.

Step 4:  Once the first layer of bricks is complete, insert your looped metal tie into the mortar.  You are aiming to join the inner wall to the long wall and so give strength to the structure once complete.

Step 5:  It is now time to add the second layer of bricks.  Start at the corners, making sure to stagger the bricks a half width at a time.  Lay some mortar, place your brick, tap the brick down and check it is level.  Repeat. When building up the corners, you should continually verify that you are laying the bricks vertically level as well as horizontally level.  When five levels are complete in each corner use a length of wood across the gap and a spirit level to check one more time that the two sides are even.

Step 6: Build your barbeque up to seven layers or courses, of bricks.  Then, on the left-hand side and inner wall, create a ledge for your charcoal tray by turning the bricks sideways.  After another three courses of normal bricklaying, you should repeat this.  This ledge will support your grill tray.

Professional Finishes

To add those professional finishes, you will need a cut length of hosepipe and buy some brick setts.  It would help if you dragged the length of hosepipe over every joint between bricks.  This will smooth over and neaten your mortar.  You can then add a final layer of brick sets to act like a “cobbled” surface over the top layer of bricks.

To create a work area, you can use your single paving slab and lay this on the other side of your barbeque.  This should be placed on the opposite side to where you have created the ledge for your charcoal tray and grill tray.

Anna Sharples

Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches - a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.

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