How to build a brick barbecue

Do it:

Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug

Takes just:

one day

At its best:

Jun, Jul, Aug

You can't beat the taste of barbecued meat cooked on an open fire. Forget rushing to the garden centre to buy an expensive barbecue - set aside one day and you can have your own stylish brick barbecue.

Once you've built your barbecue, why not turn to your hand to building a raised bed or a wooden planter?

You will need

  • Barbecue grill set
  • Bricks, brick setts, sand, cement
  • Spirit level, shovel, trowel
  • Paving slab
  • Length of hosepipe

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Lay out the first level of bricks for the barbecue using the cooking tray as a guide. Keep as many bricks whole as possible to reduce the need to cut the bricks.

Mix five parts sand to one part cement, adding enough water to get a stiff consistency. Check the level of the site before spreading the first layer of mortar, compensating for any changes by adding more mortar.

Use the spirit level to mark the outer edge of the barbecue in the cement. This provides a straight guideline for laying the first course of bricks. When the first layer of bricks is laid, check the level again, making sure that the corners are at right angles.

Insert a metal tie into the mortar to join the inner wall to the longer wall, giving the finished structure added strength.

Start laying the extra courses of bricks, starting at the corners. Stagger the vertical joints alternately to the width of a half brick.

Use a spirit level to check that each of the barbecue's corners are vertically straight. Check from all angles to ensure the finished structure is square.

When five courses are complete at each corner, use a length of wood and the spirit level to check that the two sides are even.

Build up walls to seven courses. On the left-hand and inner wall turn the bricks side-on to create a ledge for the charcoal tray. Create a flush edge by using a half brick at the outer edge. After another three courses add another course side-on to support the grill tray.

To give a more professional finish on the exterior of the barbecue, take a length of hosepipe and draw it along each of the joints. Create a neat edge by adding a final course of brick setts then, when this is finished, check all the levels again.

For a handy barbecue work surface, cement a large paving slab on top of the walls.

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To ensure the barbecue's grill is not too low or too high for you, work out the most practical and comfortable height before you start building.

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