Grills are a great addition to any backyard. They allow you to cook food outdoors and create an environment that is great for entertaining. A lot of people think food tastes better when it is cooked on an outdoor grill. Grills also make it possible to make true barbecue, which is slow-cooked at a low temperature. Though it is possible to buy a grill from the store, you can also make your own grill. This gives the grill a unique look, enables you to create a custom grill, and gives your grill great style.
Building the Foundation
Start with the foundation of the grill. Safe grilling is an important part of cooking outside, so make sure the foundation is sturdy and strong. Dig about a six inches into the ground and level the soil. Pour cement into the hole. If you live in an area where the ground freezes during the winter, add rebar when pouring the cement. You will also want to pitch the cement slightly forward so rain and snow drain from the bricks.
The cement should take about 48 hours to dry and then you can lay the bricks. There are several varieties of bricks, so take time to make the choice that is right for your style. Some homeowners prefer the brick of the grill to match the house and patio areas, while others prefer to add an accent to the area. Even if you are following a plan for building, you can substitute the bricks of your choice for your grill.
Lay the Bricks
Start your bricklaying by mixing the mortar. Usually the recipe is three parts dry mix with one part masonry cement. Do not use beach sand because building sand lasts longer. Begin adding water until your mortar reaches the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Spread the mortar over the first layer of bricks, add the second layer, and clean up the edges. The mortar should be thick enough to squeeze out the edges when you lay the next row of bricks, but it should not be pouring down the side. As you build, stagger the bricks so the end of one brick lines up with the center of the brick beneath it. Staggering increases the strength of the grill.
To install the grilling surface, insert metal pins at the height of the grill tray. This will give the grill something to rest on when the mortar hardens. You will also need a tray for the charcoal briquettes. This needs to be a solid surface that is easy to remove and empty. If you want to install a drip tray or a double grilling tray, add pins at the appropriate height for each. The trays will be able to move in and out, but the pins will stay set in the brick.
Once the mortar is completely dry, you can begin grilling. Make sure you keep your grill clean and empty the charcoals after each use. You can use a rough-bristle hand broom to clean the bricks if soot builds up on the sides. This keeps your grill looking new and working safely.