Porch Deck and Patio

Porch, Deck + Patio

Outdoor Projects

DIY Brick Barbeque

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Barbeque beaty

BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 193 Projects

The barbecue design shown here is constructed with double walls—an inner wall, made of heat-resistant fire brick set on edge, surrounding the cooking area, and an outer wall, made of engineer brick. We chose this brick because its larger dimensions mean you’ll have fewer bricks to lay. You’ll need to adjust the design if you select another brick size. A four-inch air space between the walls helps insulate the cooking area. The walls are capped with thin pieces of cut stone. Refractory mortar is recommended for use in areas of direct fire contact. It is heat resistant and the joints will last a long time without cracking. Ask a local brick yard to recommend a refractory mortar for outdoor use The foundation combines a 12-inch-deep footing supporting a reinforced slab. This structure, known as a floating footing, is designed to shift as a unit when temperature changes cause the ground to shift. Ask a building inspector about local building code specifications.


  1. Barbeque tip

    Lay out a 4 × 5-ft. area. Dig a continuous trench 12" wide × 10" deep along the perimeter of the area, leaving a rectangular mound in the center. Remove 4" of soil from the top of the mound, and round over the edges. Set a 2 × 4 form around the site so that the top is 2" above the ground along the back and 11⁄2" above the ground along the front. This slope will help shed water. Reinforce the footing with five 52"-long pieces of rebar. Use a mason’s string and a line level to ensure that the forms are level from side to side. Set the rebar on the bolster 4" from the front and rear sides of the trench, centered from side to side. Space the remaining three bars evenly in between. Coat the forms with vegetable oil or release agent and pour the concrete.

  2. Barbeque 1
    After the footing has cured for one week, use a chalk line to mark the layout for the inner edge of the fire brick wall. Make a line 4" in from the front edge of the footing and a center line perpendicular to the first line. Make a 24 × 32" rectangle that starts at the 4" line and is centered on the center line.

  3. Barbeque 2

    Dry-lay the first course of fire brick around the outside of the rectangle, allowing for 1⁄8"-thick mortar joints. Note: Proper placement of the inner walls is necessary so they can support the grills. Start with a full brick at the 4" line to start the right and left walls. Complete the course with a cut brick in the middle of the short wall.

  4. Barbeque 3

    Dry-lay the outer wall, as shown here, using 4 × 31⁄5 × 8" nominal engineer brick. Gap the bricks for 3⁄8" mortar joints. The rear wall should come within 3⁄8" of the last fire brick in the left inner wall. Complete the left wall with a cut brick in the middle of the wall. Mark reference lines for this outer wall.

  5. Barbeque 4

    Make a story pole. On one side, mark 8 courses of fire brick, leaving a 3⁄8" gap for the bottom mortar joint and 1⁄8" gaps for the remaining joints. The top of the final course should be 36" from the bottom edge. Transfer the top line to the other side of the pole. Lay out 11 courses of engineer brick, spacing them evenly so that the final course is flush with the 36" line. Each horizontal mortar joint will be slightly less than 1⁄2" thick.

  6. Barbeque 5

    Lay a bed of mortar for a 3⁄8" joint along the reference lines for the inner wall, and then lay the first course of fire brick using 1⁄8" joints between the bricks.

  7. Barbeque 7

    Lay the first course of the outer wall, using Type N or Type S mortar. Use oiled 3⁄8” dowels to create weep holes behind the front bricks of the left and right walls. Alternate laying the inner and outer walls, checking your work with the story pole and a level after every course

  8. Barbeque 7

    Start the second course of the outer wall using a half-brick butted against each side of the inner wall, and then complete the course. Because there is a half-brick in the right outer wall, you need to use two three-quarter bricks in the second course to stagger the joints.

  9. Barbeque 8

    Place metal ties between the corners of the inner and outer walls at the second, third, fifth, and seventh courses. Use ties at the front junctions and along the rear walls. Mortar the joint where the left inner wall meets the rear outer wall.

  10. Barbeque 9

    Smooth the mortar joints with a jointing tool when the mortar has hardened enough to resist minimal finger pressure. Check the joints in both walls after every few courses. The different mortars may need smoothing at different times.

  11. Barbeque 10

    Add tee plates for grill supports above the fifth, sixth, and seventh courses. Use 4"-wide plates with flanges that are no more than 3⁄32" thick. Position the plates along the side fire brick walls, centered 3", 12", 18", and 27" from the rear fire brick wall.

  12. Barbeque 11

    When both walls are complete, install the capstones. Lay a bed of Type N or Type S mortar for a 3⁄8"-thick joint on top of the inner and outer walls. Lay the capstone flat across the walls, keeping one end flush with the inner face of the fire brick. Make sure the bricks are level and tool the joints when they are ready. After a week, seal the capstones and the joints between them with brick sealer and install the grills.

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