Building a Brick Barbecue
Although it is not a complicated task, there are certain steps that need to be followed before you plan on building a brick barbecue. Proper planning is the key to it.
Depending on the frequency of use, choosing a location to build a barbecue is very important. The location chosen must be such that it is easily accessible for the members of the family. It would be wise to choose a corner in your backyard in accordance with the direction of the wind.
The last thing you'd want is the smoke to blow directly on your face or enter your home. Another important aspect is making sure there are no overhead electrical circuits or wires above the place you plan to build your brick barbecue.
Also make sure that you choose an area that has no trees or low branches very close to your barbecue. Remember, you need to barbecue your meat, not your home! The location should also be close enough to the kitchen so you don't have to make long trips every time you need something.
A strong base is essential to build a sturdy brick barbecue. You need to set up the bricks on a sturdy foundation of concrete, hence, it is essential that you use a wooden frame as a template to get the right dimensions of your brick barbecue.
Remember, the mortar needs to be made from one-fourth part hydrated lime, one part cement and three parts masonry sand. This consistency helps the bricks soak-in the moisture of the mortar which acts as a binding agent. Also remember to soak the bricks the previous night, as dry bricks will absorb all the moisture from the mortar leading to weak mortar.
Once the two courses are set up on a thin mortar coating, increase usage of mortar and continue building walls with bricks, keeping in mind that the concave or horizontal shape of walls should be adjacent to the cooking grills at a relatively comfortable height. Work the corners and gaps of walls by applying mortar which helps to fill up the wall cavities.
Be sure to scrape off the excess mortar that has gathered on the walls. To ensure symmetrical lines, use a thin pipe to compress the mortar joints horizontally and vertically. Check that the bricks are in line and even periodically using either a hand level.
Most barbecue pits are made as high as the cook or builder feels comfortable to use. Use a chisel or a broad blade along with a hammer to cut the bricks in case you choose to use a concave pattern to build your barbecue.
Give the mortar some time to dry and use a soft brush to clean the gravel. All you need to do is set up your grills, and your brick barbecue is ready to be used.