Introduction: Brick Barbecue

Picture of Brick Barbecue

Build your own brick barbecue! With few skills and tools this is something anyone can do!
This is the fourth brick barbeque I have built. They are fun to build and cook on.
This time I wanted a large firepit with a smoker on the right side.
I went in thinking this was the last one lol
The grilling side is about 45 inches long by 30 inches deep. The smoker is 30' deep, 28 wide 30 tall.

Step 1: Good Excuse to Build a New BBQ! (pouring the Concrete Walk)

Picture of Good Excuse to Build a New BBQ! (pouring the Concrete Walk)

Seeing how we wanted to pour some concrete for a new patio/walk, why not build a new BBQ from brick. Soooo we got to work and included some rebar where the BBQ would go.

Step 2: Concrete Walk Poured

Picture of Concrete Walk Poured

Even though I measured the location of the rebar time and time again, I still got a little nervous lol
Too late now!

Step 3: The Next Day After the Pour

Picture of The Next Day After the Pour

Showing again the locations of the rebar. I wanted to make sure I had reenforcement in certain areas.

Step 4: First Course

Picture of First Course

Using 4" partition block, I set the first course trying to keep things straight, plumb and level as I could.

Step 5: 2nd Course

Picture of 2nd Course

With the 2nd course almost finished and my son wanting to contribute to the project, we made up a form for the lentil. I constructed the lentil with two pieces of 1 1/2" angle that suported and cradled firebrick. We then made the plywood form and hung 1/2" rebar length wise and tied that into the vertical rebar. We then poured it using hydraulic cement until the cavities of the first and second course were filled and the form as well, making sure all the air bubbles were out.

Step 6: 3rd Course

Picture of 3rd Course

The lentel looked like it turned out fine, we ended up with a rock solid structure that included the first and second course of block.
Note: All rebar locations were filled with hydraulic cement every second course.

Step 7: 4th Course

Picture of 4th Course

4th course set for the most part, still trying to keep things straight level and plumb.

Step 8: Building the Smoker

Picture of Building the Smoker

The next 2 course have been set, completing the side for the smoker. Again, every 2 course of block laid, the cavities were poured using hydraulic cement at all the rebar locations. I will wait to install the second lentel until after I have set all the firebrick inside.

Step 9: Firebrick Set

Picture of Firebrick Set

I went to my local building supplier and purchased standerd size firebrick and used those for the floor of the firepit. Then I purchased 1 1/4" thick firebrick for the walls of the firepit. Here's a view showing the opening to the smoker. you can also see that I installed a solid 1/2" rod through the block as well. I then welded a solid steel plate to the rod to act as a damper for the opening to the smoker.
Note: I used 3 lbs of FireClay to an 80 lbs bag of premix mortar to set the firebrick. I dry mixed the fireclay and premixed in a mixing tub and then dumped it all in a clean plastic garbage can that had a good fitting lid.

Step 10: Lentil for the Opening Over the Firepit Door

Picture of Lentil for the Opening Over the Firepit Door

Same as the other lentel, using to pieces of 1 1/4" angle, firebrick sandwiched between them at the bottom with wire mesh and rebar hung in the form.

Step 11: Laying Up the First Red Brick

Picture of Laying Up the First Red Brick

Feeling really good this day I managed to lay up a good deal of the red brick I had purchased at my local building supplier.
The days have been rather hot and the old dude is showing his age lol
Not bad for an old fart at this stage of the game lol

Step 12: More Brick!

Picture of More Brick!

With some more brick, more angle to support the firepit opening and another rather hot day I manage to set a few more brick.

Step 13: Concrete Lid

Picture of Concrete Lid

I made a concrete lid 2" thick with an opening for the chimney. I used wire mesh and 1/2" rebar for the renforcement, then with the helps of my son and a friend of his, we installed the lid, mortaring it in place with a slight drain to the back.
Note: I made a wooden box 2 inches deep, tied the wire mesh and rebar together making sure it stayed supported in the center of the form. I then mixed up three 50 lbs bags of hydraulic cement and pour the form. After screeding the form I then covered it with plastic and let cure for 3 days before removing anything.

Step 14: Finshing Up the Top

Picture of Finshing Up the Top

Laying more brick getting the top finished

Step 15: Whats Concrete Without Some Steel? Hmm?

Picture of Whats Concrete Without Some Steel? Hmm?

Visiting my local metal supply paid off. They had everything I wanted and more lol
The grill and smoker door I cut to size after making the frames. The top pieces for the grill and the chimney hood were cut to size from the kind folks at my local metal supply. I found someone to bend the chimney hood through my metal suppy as well.

My friend next door had some nice 8" tile just the right color, why not use those to finish the top of the smoker with hmm? Makes a real nice surface to put a plate on :)
I bought my stainless steel spring handles and my weld-on hinges on-line.
Everything else came from the hardware store.

Step 16: Car Jacks and a Steel Drum?

Picture of Car Jacks and a Steel Drum?

They are cheap lol pleantiful and I get to do a little recycling lol
Two car scissor jacks and one clean used 55 gal drum.
Some flat thin metal welded to the top and bottom of the jacks for more stabilty. The drum cut to size with a sawsall for fire baskets.
I raise and lower my fire baskets as needed. Has been real usefull.

Step 17: Grilling Racks

Picture of Grilling Racks

3/4" square tubing and some expaned metal. 1/8" steel rod for small handles.
I made the top frame to include the hangers for my racks.
I wanted two levels and I wanted them to slide back and fourth as well.
I can have to differant fires going and also have the option at which level.
Knowing that I would want to cook most anything (even hotdogs without having to start a fire) I found a guy online that described how to construct a pipe burner in full detail.
Back to the metal supply I went for some 1 1/4" black pipe lol

Here's a link showing how to make a pipe burner.

Step 18: Smokin'

Picture of Smokin'

With a visit to a local use appliance joint, I picked up two racks for free! Little farther down the road to another used joint and got two more racks for 5 bucks lol
I welded them together to make one large rack each. I also had to weld up some small flat metal to make them fit my needs for width.
The springs for the handles on the back of smoker and grill doors are from the seat of a riding lawnmower (the riding lawn mower is now a racing mower of sorts lol no use for these springs any longer lol) I used these to keep the tension on the handle to make them operate properly. Some flat steel bent to act as a latch on the inside of the door frame keeps the doors closed rather nice.
Finished off with a nice large easy to read temp gauge.

Step 19: Damper Setup

Picture of Damper Setup

A photo and some crude drawings to help illustrate how I setup the intake damper.

The exhaust damper is nothing more the a flat piece of steel slid over the chimney to regulate heat flow.

Step 20: Sole's Pit Master Barbeque

Picture of Sole's Pit Master Barbeque

Among other names lol
I have kept my fires small so far. Only some light grilling and short test runs with the smoker.
Making sure it dries out slowly.

One cheap Gas Grill on its way out the door lol needs a gas bottle, first come takes it lol

Step 21: Sole's Pit Master Barbecue (Update)

Picture of Sole's Pit Master Barbecue (Update)

What a great summer of outdoor grilling it has been!
The smoker keeps a nice even temp once warmed up which does not take long!
I have smoked several pork shoulders and ribs, including beef ribs and a brisket and more yard bird then I can remember lol
The fire pit has been awesome as well!
Appetizers like bacon wrapped shrimp to grilled stuffed jalopenos, grilled fruit, veggies, corn, taters, you name it! All turns out great!
I have two nice turkeys to put in the smoker for Thanksgiving. The large one is 17 pounds and the other one is 12 pounds.
Looks like I will be up early!
Mmmmmmhmmmmm I can almost taste it now!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

PS  here's some  more photos!


BRH1 (author)2017-07-23

This is a cool project (almost done with my version that has a taller smoker and area to cook crab, shrimp, it the northwest version...if it turns out okay I will post some pics...:)). I am a general contractor and master carpenter (custom cabinets, millwork, finishes, etc.) I say that because while this is a great hat is off to is not an easy project. I have new found respect for masons and fabricators. This project is doable for a DIY person but put some thought into it before you begin...i sketched my version in CAD and got a pretty accurate material count before beginning. Regardless...if you have the time and space this truly is a cool deal.

BRH1 (author)2017-07-23

This project is very cool. I am almost done with my version of this cooker/smoker. I decided to make the smoker bigger (taller) and add an open fire area for cooking crab, shrimp and salmon...kind of the northwest version of this classic. I'm a contractor/master carpenter (30 years on some really cool custom homes and remodels) and I can tell you that this is a great project but it is a lot of work. I now have an entirely new level of respect for brick masons!

rclark29 (author)2017-04-19

Awesome job mate !

Bennynuckles (author)2016-07-30

I also had to build a plate and firebrick partition between the fire box and grill top. I was losing too much heat and built the partitiion level with the top of the flue. That did the trick

jgonser (author)Bennynuckles2017-03-04

Looks great! Finally starting mine when it warms up out. Do you have a picture of the plate/firebrick partition. I'm not sure where you added it. What about forming up the grill and pouring the walls instead of using blocks? Any downfalls?

AndrewW247 (author)Bennynuckles2016-08-09

Just what I have been looking for. Do you have a materials list and plans?

mpadgitt (author)2017-02-02

Great project! I would like to reprint this in Wood-Fired Magazine. Please contact me at

MrGreenFingers (author)2016-12-27

very nice!

Brickhandz (author)2012-02-25

I will say that this is a great idea that could have been improved on slightly.i am a professional mason/bricklayer. The block work could have been installed with rebar to the slab better. I see that the planning was done right to a degree. The rebar that was set in the concrete slab wasn't installed in the right position.
The brickwork was very poorly done. Maybe a certified mason should have been hired to do the work. I guess if it is a home project it wasn't necessary . I can see it would have given you a great deal of grief!(the small slices of brick to keep it level). I don't want the average diy'er to think they can do this with ease.
Cuddles to you for the project overall.

rouge2670 (author)Brickhandz2016-12-01

You must be an out of work brick mason to nock his work like that. I think he done a hell of a job on it. He is a professional shoe repairman not a brick mason not a carpenter not a rod buster or anything like that. He rebuilds and repairs regular and prosthetic shoe's. Lets see you repair a pair of worn out shoes or boot's. I'll bet you wouldn't even know where to start. GREAT JOB SOLELORD

solelord (author)Brickhandz2012-04-08

Yes I agree there could have been improvements.
I am a professional shoe repairman. Not a mason/bricklayer.
I am sure the entire job could have been done better. Better construction in all areas(rebar install,the very poor brickwork, the degree of planning).

The entire build was a pleasure, there was no grief at all.
The small slices of brick was to adjust the height, not to keep it level.

Bennynuckles made it! (author)2016-07-30

Here's the nearly finished product. I added a 2 foot tall 4" stack for more air draw and drilled a 4 inch hole on the left side of the firebox. It works better than I ever expected. Build the fire hot and fast and the smoker will sit at 215 degrees for about 2 hrs before needing more wood! I love it! Thx sole lord. Several of my friends want to build one and I sent them your link. You deserve lots of credit for my smoker/grill

solelord (author)2016-07-28

Thank you everyone for all your nice comments. I hope any and all projects of yours turn out like you dreamed. Stay inspired and keep sharing.

Update: I replaced the car jack with a scissor type motorcycle jack. I then went to the junk yard and found a electric window motor. Acquired a 12v motorcycle battery and solar battery tender from Harbor Freight. A two way switch. My fire basket is now operated from a switch.

I never thought posting this would have drawn the attention that it has. I just wanted to share this project was all.

Thank you very much everyone!

Muey (author)2015-11-21

how do you attach the top lid frame to the brick?

solelord (author)Muey2016-07-28

It's just sitting there with a bead of caulking around it

Mack Q (author)2015-12-15

MackQ , I want to thank you for your inspiration and ideas , I basically saw your design and modified and ingenewed quite a bit , but still your BBQ/smoker stared it all, this seemed to take on a design of it`s own , might have to slow down cause of cold weather, but again thanks

solelord (author)Mack Q2016-07-28

Thank you Mack!

JerryC50 (author)2016-04-20

I LOVE THIS!!! I've been itching to make a masonry smoker. This looks exactly like the effect i am looking to achieve. Congratulations on uour success. You've truely inspired me. Best regards, Stormy.

solelord (author)JerryC502016-07-28

Thank you Stormy!

ManPlans (author)2015-11-11

This is cool I'm going to build one myself

jerrygarcianess made it! (author)2015-09-09

Hi there, Just wanted to say thanks for the great instructable...I combined a few designs that I found out there but yours was my foundation!'s a few pics of my progress...

Diy1everything (author)2015-08-27

This seems dangerous. Any thoughts?

Diy1everything (author)2015-08-18

Really nice work! Did you take any special precautions installing the pipe burners? Are they propane or natural gas? I've seen wood fireplaces that have natural gas lines connected but they are removed if you want to burn wood. Nobody sells a product that burns gas and wood at the same time. I guess it has worked out for you since this thread is so old and you're still responding to posts haha.

shawnap (author)2015-06-26

very nice build! for you grates in the smoker, what did you use to bolt the rails into the brick? I heard that using steel isn't a good idea because it expands and contracts and can ruin the brick. Have you had any issues? I am almost done with my build and wanted to get your thoughts?

shawnap (author)2015-03-26

Nice pit! What is the grate size in the smoking chamber?

laticia.gragg (author)2015-03-24

Hoping I can convince my husband to make this for our pool deck! Great job!

ana.a.gamez.7 (author)2015-02-28

Excellent. made by a professional.thanks x publishing!

dougofkc (author)2015-01-05

Nice work, thanks for sharing!

davidellis7 (author)2014-11-02

Stone looks better but,I am A Stone Mason,I am about to build on to make smoked deer jerky.But I got to have A 160 Deg. heat for 6 hours going to try Electrical Burner

derrickclinard (author)2014-08-02

do you have a material list

GilbertS (author)2014-07-27

Awesome project. I am going to tackle this project! Thank you for the inspiration!

laradioken (author)2014-03-28

$1k seems a bit much; but it'll last forever and a day I gather.

laradioken (author)2014-03-28


ajensen27 (author)2014-03-15

This thing cost $1000? Like what you built but is that cost include the concrete patio/base?

wifc (author)2014-02-06


I've just built your smoker I can't wait to get started. how did you season yours.

how much wood cooks for five hours. Please help

wifc (author)2014-02-06

how much fuel did you use, to get smoker going

smartperson (author)2013-08-31

I really like this instructable! We're building a shed right now and I think next year I'd love to try out a masonry project like this.

A question here: when making the lintels you refer "1 1/2 inch angle." What does this mean? It's not really clear to me from the pictures how one would make a lintel such as this one. I see some clamps but I can't figure out what is underneath the plywood or how it is arranged.

angie-larry (author)2013-06-28

I was given fire brick. I want a smoker/grill. What do I need to finish?

jwright44 (author)2013-06-15

if you were to do it over, would you use a thicker steel barrel? This is awesome! I might just use like a pulley system with steel wire instead of the jacks.

srsnipes2007 (author)2013-06-06

That's really nice! do you have more pics of the inside?

Yard Sale Dale (author)2013-06-06

That's deluxe!

3366carlos (author)2013-03-05

damn! go longhorns

diamondpaul (author)2012-08-11

This is great ! Thanks for sharing I've been looking for a good design. Just one question. I don't have any suppliers near me . Do you know of a site that sells all the parts ?

rikerz (author)2012-07-10

Sweet job on the smoker/bbq! You have inspired me to start a smoker project. Is there anything in the firepit area that you would have done differently?

lonleyjew (author)2012-07-03

@Duval Vol: And...... Balls are "COJONES". Exactly what it takes a man to start and finish such a wonderful project under a 90 degree plus scorching sun. More power to you Solelord, great sharing!

Dubai Vol (author)2012-05-16

Lintel. Lentils are beans.

darr64 (author)2012-05-13

I think that it is awesome, I'm starting mine in a few weeks. can you tell me why you put bricks in the inside walls and floor? and can you be more specific as to how you build the lentil, I'm sorry but I have never done any mason work, but I am going to try

solelord (author)2012-04-08

I am happy to say that the smoker has two pork shoulders in it right now. I will grill up some quail and veggie kabobs later.

Happy Easter!

jbwargel (author)2011-08-01

So there is fire brick on the bottom of the lentels? How are the door frames mounted into the brick?

solelord (author)jbwargel2012-04-08

Yes there is fire brick on the bottoms of the lentils. The door frames are bolted in to the block

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