Brick BBQ revisted


We are back to this DIY project. Our old one had the top subsume when age damaged the mortar while we were gone. We had it spec'ed for repair and the cost wasnt terrible but we'd elected to take it out and pour a wider base.
While doing the taking out, we found the bottom 2 feet were rock solid and the subsuming was obvious. The sand pit inner core was filled with refuse (old bottles, plastic stuff, cans, etc. This degraded and caused a sink under it which is why it failed.
So now, we have dug out all the old '%@$^' that was used as core filler and replaced with things that will work (some of the old broken bricks, lots of sand and gravel). The bottom was proper slab poured and we added a 2 inch layer even though there were no evident cracks.
Today at the local Lowes:
Don spec'ed out the brick and mortar section for the BBQ but we delayed as we didnt like the fire-safe bottom bricks they had and want to check Home Depot before deciding.
Don wants to make it into a pit sort of thing with layered racks and a raisable pan for coals if just doing a few burgers. He's actually thinking of how to make it a sort of built in smoker with a top that can come off for other uses. Obviously the walls have to raise some and I'm thinking be 2 bricks thick to self support without the core and go up another ? 1.5 ft'?
To really do what he wants, means I might have to invest in some welding tools or rent some. Don BTW, was a MM in the Navy with AC/R and welding skills.
Any plans any of you can find for such a project, will be well recieved! I'm hunting internet sources.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There are few options regarding fire brick. Why though, did you go to Lowes and HD???? Why not go to a real masonry supply house for the brick? If it is available, they will have it or be able to get it for you that is their business, not selling drapery hooks.

Look here http://www.ibiblio.org/lineback/bbq/pits.htm
This is what I'd build http://www.ibiblio.org/lineback/bbq/beast.htm
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Edwin Pawlowski" wrote

Actually, didnt think about trying to locate a specialty brick place. We just wanted something a little off the standard 'everyone has that'.

I love it! The 'Beast' is close to what we are thinking of.
Got a giggle at the inventive filing cabinet smoker too but with kids and pets, that would be too hot for their safety. I got a great idea though from the insides of the hog pit. Now if I can get a fire safe brick thats like the garden ones he's got holding up the rebar, that would be great! I like your brick one too ;-)

Oh and look! We picked the same one!
The difference would be we'd use a metal top portion (well above young child or pet level reach).
Where your's has an exterior metal frame, Don was thinking to custom make an interior metal frame with many adjustable racks then a door. He's looking over old small stoves (non-repairables at the local Maytag place) just now. He had the idea to call and see if he can find one there and they had one. It's a small 18 inch trailer sized stove with a little glass (tempered obviously) window.
... bit of time as I typed. I'll leave the above but the plan just changed.
He's just called and for 20$ haulage, he says he can adapt the core of it nicely. The area where the 3 burners are (yes, has 3, 1 big in front and 2 small at back) can be edited to make a top grill. He wants to take out the dials and run thermometers up through and out there. Take out the big burner and make a metal grate below then put coals in a pan on the racks for the regular 'just a few burgers' need (be about habatchi sized). They are gutting the electronics and such parts we do not need just now.
Have to figure out how to keep it from rusting out though. It will fit inside the existing core area with room to spare on all sides. My idea is to build up the walls with 2 layers of bricks level to it's top, set it towards the back, then make a little metal 'hood'. Have the hood and other exterior work powder-coated at the local car repair place in a matching '50's blue' to the door.
I'll know in a few hours if this seems workable.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"cshenk" wrote

fter gutting, the unit walls were too flimsy but the door is salvagable. So, after cutting the front off we have the front piece with a door in it. This is planned to be set back and used for the front of a deep pit with racks inside. Conviently it had 2 already with the oven though we dont expect them to be super long lasting under outdoor grill conditions.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

An oven door on an outside barbecue? Cool. Be sure to take some photos as construction progresses.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Edwin Pawlowski" wrote

Bad news. Cool plan but it turned out there was more bad mortar along the back wall and 2 corners. It wasnt obvious but the whole unit was crumbling out. It was one thing to rebuild 'a bit higher' but now it's a complete rip out and restart. There's just no point to building on a bad base.
Don's saving what bricks he can and going to make a nice big base (main problem is the base such as it is was poured down inside it, with bricks just on the dirt it turns out). Sounds horrible but keep in mind is lasted well for some 15 years or so.
So, we had to shift. Don's going to finish ripping it all out the whole thing, properly regrade the ground, pour a proper foundation big enough for the larger propane or gas grills, and a second side area for a later brick unit like 'the beast' but in a shorter size.
We found a plan to use but it's in a book from the library.
Think of 'the beast' but only about 3ft tall with a flat top and the oven door in it with racks. Now, to the side add a smaller 'fire and chip' brickwork box that has a smoke and heat pipe to the bigger side, with a front door such as you see on fireplaces for the ash trap. The flat top portion of the taller part with the oven door will be built of metal, powder coated to match door. This wont make a true 'grill surface' but will be enough to serve as a 'warmer' area and it will be set down a bit below the brick level (with small drain gaps) so as to be reasonably child safe. We kinda figure the oven door alone will get that idea across (HOT! grin).
The downside is that project is going to take awhile, so cant build it this year. We will measure and pour the base this year, then have a small but suitable portable smoker/grill (charcohol type) for use while fixing the other, which will work until we finish.
Once built though, I think it will be a nice enhancement to the house and if a later person doesnt want nice store bought grill to match the brick smoker, they will have a base big enough to extend the brickwork onto to make one.
*sigh* Poured base this year though. Rats.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.