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How To Build A BBQ Pit

Before you decide to build your BBQ pit, determine if it would be worth the time and effort. You must first understand what a BBQ pit is used for to do this.
What Is a BBQ Pit?
A BBQ pit is an outdoor cooking structure made of bricks or cement blocks. It can also be created by placing metal grates inside a hole dug into the ground. The materials are usually covered with dirt or sand to seal heat during cooking. Some pits may use charcoal as the heating element. Others may use propane-fueled burners that can be turned on using electronic push-button ignitions, which are often more convenient than lighter and matches.
How Do I Know if It Would Be Worth My Time and Effort?
A BBQ pit is used for cooking low-and-slow with the coals or gas heat. This makes it ideal for cooking large cuts of meat such as brisket, pork shoulder, beef ribs, etc. It can also be used to steam seafood. Depending on your local climate conditions, you may need to use a BBQ pit year-round because some climates are too cold in the winter for this type of cooking. If you can only use it part of the year, consider building a smaller DIY outdoor oven instead.
What Are the Materials Needed to Build a BBQ Pit?
There are several tips on how to build a BBQ pit you should consider. For instance, it is best to use cedar when building out of wood. It has natural anti-rotting properties that will keep your BBQ pit lasting many years if done properly. For steel, you will need sheet metal and angle iron for support beams. If using bricks, be sure they are made from clay to stand up well against heat and not crack or break apart. You can also choose other types of stones. However, only a firebrick should be used inside the smoke chamber because it does not burn away like a regular stone can.

The following are steps on how to build a BBQ pit.

Dig Out an Area for Bricks or Cinderblocks
The first step in building a BBQ pit is to dig out an area to place your bricks or cinderblocks. The stack should be square, and even to inspect it properly, you should measure both diagonals. They should be equal to each other if the structure is square. Then take a brick and lay it flat across any side. This becomes your reference point, so you can build off of it later on when stacking the blocks up again. Once the ground where you plan to put your brick structure is leveled off, it is time to stack them.
Lay Down Your Bricks in a Square or Rectangle
Starting at the bottom, you should lay down four bricks in a square or rectangle shape to act as your base. You can build up from here with whatever height you want. However, keep in mind that the higher you go, the longer it will take to heat up since there is more mass. While stacking on top of each other, aim for evenness and avoid leaving gaps between blocks. This can cause poor airflow and create a fire hazard.
Fill in Space Between Bricks With Gravel or Sand
Once you have reached about waist level, it is time to fill in space between bricks with gravel or sand. This acts as insulation against heat loss. It allows you to cook faster and use less fuel because once those coals start burning, they can reach upwards of 800 degrees Fahrenheit. It would be best if you now had a square or rectangle built with four posts sticking up and no gaps in between them. This is your firebox. You will want to poke holes in the bottom for airflow before placing charcoal or wood inside.
Make the Cooking Chamber for Meat
Now that your firebox is complete, you will need to make the cooking chamber where the meat goes so indirect heat may surround it from all angles. This step on how to build a BBQ pit entails putting the cooking chamber inside the firebox, resting on top of the posts that are sticking up. You will want to put a layer of bricks between both chambers so there are no gaps for air to escape through. After adding two layers of bricks, you can now attach an aluminum vent on top of your cooking chamber, which will act as an exhaust fan to ensure heat stays in and goes where it is supposed to.
Wire Up the Aluminum Vent Fan Charcoal Starter and Other Accessories
After cleaning all debris and washing off all residue with water, it is time to start wiring up your aluminum vent fan charcoal starter or other accessories. Ensure all pit parts are wired together properly with either a metal conduit or an extension cord. Whichever works best for your design. Everything should turn on at once when you flick the switch if done properly. If not, check the wiring diagrams again and ensure everything is connected properly.
Start a Fire in the Pit
Now that all components are wired together using safety/ tie wire, hook up some fireproof cover that can fit over the top of both chambers like bricks or stone. This insulates heat inside. Trapping it around your food helps speed up the cooking process. The final step of how to build a BBQ pit is starting a small fire inside your new BBQ pit. Please keep it going until you have a good bed of coals before turning off any gas flow and closing up both chambers with whatever cover you used before. This way, heat will stay trapped inside as coals burn off, leaving you with some great-tasting food.
You can build many different BBQ pits, each providing unique flavors to the meat. For example, some BBQ pits are made from bricks for faster heating, while others use wood. Some people prefer to use metal because it heats up quickly and evenly across the entire pit. You can even find some modern options that will allow you to control the heat at the push of a button.