7 Tips on Building a Brick Charcoal Grill

Lead Image
What You'll Need

A brick charcoal grill will last for years. If you are contemplating building one in your own backyard, here are some tips that will help make the project go smoother.

1. Level Ground

Be sure that the area will be level before you start building your brick grill. Using a shovel to level out the dirt and then laying a concrete base will give you an area that will not shift much after it is built. Go down into the ground four to six inches. Once level, add cement and level again. If you do not lay down a foundation for your brick grill, it may become unsettled later from water, heat, and cold. This can cause your bricks to crack, making the whole grill unstable.

2. Fire-resistant Mortar

When choosing the mortar for your project, you will want to choose a fire-resistant mortar. This type of mortar is best because you will be dealing with high temperatures while you cook and you will not want to take any chances of fire getting out of control.

3. Use a Ceramic-coated Grill Insert

When choosing the grill to insert, opt for one that is ceramic coated, if your budget allows. They are more expensive, but they will not rust. If you do not purchase a ceramic-coated grill, you may have to replace the grill in a year or so after the weather rusts it and wears it down.

4. Check the Levels Often

As you are constructing the bricks into the form you want, use a level to be sure all sides are plumb. Having a side that is lower or higher than the others will cause your project to not only look odd, but it can cause damage later from the pressure or tilt. Check to be sure all sides are level as you add each additional row of brick.

5. Leave Space for Air

When you’re adding bricks to the area where the grill will be placed, add two to four inches under where the grill pan will be to allow air flow. This is very important for charcoal grills. The charcoal will not stay lit for long if it is unable to have air flowing around it.

6. Be Creative and Choose the Right Bricks

You can find bricks in an array of color choices, sizes, and designs, but the most important element to your bricks will be to purchase good quality ones. Some locations sell brick made especially for this type of project, so consult your local brick company for more information on what is available in your area.

7. After the Charcoal Grill is Finished

Although you will want to fire up your new grill as soon as it is built, you will actually need to wait for seven to 10 days for it to cure before using. The mortar will need time to harden. After your grill has cured, you will only need to clean it out regularly so you have a great barbecue every time.