We wanted to build a pit BBQ that function as a social focal point and also BBQ and smoke meat and fish
We designed and built a form and then had concrete poured in place - this was also reinforced with rebar throughout.
We removed the form and then treated the cement for an exposed aggregate look. I also added a pipe sleeve in the wet cement for a swinging grate for holding meats above the direct fire put close enough to get the smoke. This is great for salmon over alder fires as an example.
I then had a separate grate fabricated to use as a traditional pit BBQ for all types of meats, etc. The grate can be adjusted up or down by placing bricks under each handle to the desired distance above the coals. It can also hold a small pig and after several hours of fire, the cement walls retain enough heat to keep the warmth radiating into the meats. A metal cover is used to maximize the smoke over anywhere from half to a third of the top.