Food & Drink
How to build your own BBQ from scratch
For our next installment of JOE's BBQ King in association with Bulmers, we'll detail how to build your own brick BBQ from scratch. It's not as tough as it sounds... honestly.
Lets face it; BBQ grills can be expensive, unwieldy and unreliable. So why not create your own grill and wow your friends with your ingenuity and cooking skills? Don't worry, we'll let you take the credit.
All you'll need is cement, bricks, your spirit level, a coal grate and a trowel. Oh and a strong palm for all the high-fives you'll be receiving once your masterpiece is complete. Have a gawk at our five tips below and you should be well on your way:
1. First things first - how big do you want your brick BBQ to be? You'll want to pay close attention to the size of your grill first to ascertain how big you need to build the barbecue. The grill will be resting on a layer of bricks, so the measuring tape will be a vital tool at this point. Also, make sure to lay out your bricks dry beforehand to judge the correct brickwork.
2. Now that you know how big the BBQ will be, you'll need to build it on a flat surface. Use your spirit level to find a completely levelled off, hard surface and start mapping ou a layer of paving blocks, the caveat being that the cement should take 24 hours to dry.
If your guests are already hungry while watching you do this, it's best to order a takeaway and invite them around the day after. What were they thinking?!
3. Mix five parts sand to one part cement for the right consistency for the bed of bricks' mortar, and spread a layer of mortar on your flat surface. It's a good idea to mark out a straight guideline for the first course of bricks - if you don't start right it isn't going to end right.
It's possible that half bricks may be needed during this step, so slap on some protective gloves and grasp a chisel and club hammer to get busy.
4. Your next step is to build up the height of the barbeque, starting at the corners. Keep that spirit level handy to make sure everything is staying on course.
Gradually build up to seven layers of bricks - or the width of three bricks beneath whatever height you want your barbecue grill to stand at - before turning the bricks side-on for your charcoal tray ledge. Those three rows of bricks above that, add another side-on layer to support your grill.
5. If you're happy with the height of your barbeque area (you put the grill in already, right?), you'll need to cement a paving slab on top of the walls to complete your work.
Once you've fitted in the coat tray and wire grills, and you've allowed that 24 hours or so for everything to become rock solid, it's time to start the BBQ. Grab a Bulmers to celebrate all your hard work and luxuriate in a job well done and the new-found conviction that your manly manliness has reached a level that no-one else within a square mile of your house could even dream of aspiring to.