Install a Grill Grate in Your Fire Pit Install a Grill Grate in Your Fire Pit
Installing a grill grate onto your current fire pit is a great way to expand the functionality of the pit. Instead of only being able to roast some S'mores, or hot dogs on sticks, you can easily grill a large number of food items with a grill grate. Grill grates can be bought as an entire kit, or in individual pieces. Buying one with a kit will simplify the installation.
Step 1: Measure Fire Pit Opening
In order to get the correct size of grill grate you will need to measure the depth and the with of the fire pit. Remember to add another 1/2 inch to the depth and another 1 inch to the width to make allowance for embedding the grill grate in the mortar. If you are using a kit, then simply take the measurements as they are.
Step 2: Install Grate Rail
After making your purchase of the grill grate kit you can then install the rail that comes with the kit. To do this you will want to measure up 12 inches and then to the closest mortar line. Place the rail against the mortar and mark the holes for the bolts. Do this for both sides and make sure the grill is level. Drill the holes with a mortar bit. Place some liquid cement on the lag bolt thread and drive into the mortar. Repeat until both rails are installed.
Step 3: Chisel Out Mortar
If you do not have a grill grate kit then you will need to embed the grill grate into the mortar on the side of the fire pit. If you want to be able to adjust the grill, you will need to chisel out the mortar on two different rows. Measure up approximately 10 inches on both sides. Adjust the height to the nearest mortar line. Use a chisel and dig out 1/2 inch along both sides of the fire pit and 1/2 inch on the rear. Do another row if you want to adjust the grill for different foods.
Step 4: Set Grill Grate in Place
If you had bought a grill grate kit, you can them simply place the grate on top of the railing. The railing will hold the grill in place with clips that are snapped into place. When you want to clean the grill, simply remove it. However, when building the grate on your own, you will need to clean out the mortar in the recesses that were chiseled out. Make sure they are smooth so that the grill grate will slide easily into position. Hold up the grill grate along the side edges and slide it towards the back. It should be held securely in place.
Step 5: Fix any Damage to Mortar
During the chiseling of the mortar in between the bricks there is a good possibility of damaging the mortar, or removing too much material. If that is the case, then remove the grate and repair the problem area with some liquid cement or extra mortar. Place the grate back in place and start the fire.