A built in BBQ is a great addition to any garden and must for those entertaining family and friends. The DIY experts Gitte and Heléne Hansen show you how to make a fantastic BBQ from scratch.
By Gitte Hansen and Heléne Hansen Photo Heléne Hansen
1 Build a frame
When you have decided where you want the BBQ to go in your garden, measure out a rectangle 33 x 56 feet. Then dig 10 feet deep within the rectangle and fill it with gravel. Build a simple frame as shown in the picture measuring 20 x 43 feet inside and screw together. Place the frame on the gravel in the exact place where you want the BBQ to go. Push the frame slightly into the gravel using a long spirit level then fill the frame with 2 inches of road base gravel stamping on it to pack in.
2 The grid
Cut out a grid of reinforcement bars using a bolt cutter to make a net. The ends of the net should be bent down so they are inside the wooden frame.
3 Mix the concrete
Mix different batches of concrete using a large drilling-machine with a stirring device. Stir some gravel by hand into the concrete in order to make it last longer.
4 Even it out by using a board
Even out the mould when it’s filled with concrete to the edge by using a board. Sprinkle the concrete with water after 24 hours so that it doesn’t dry and crack.
5 Cut the blocks
Cut 10 of the 3,5 inch thick leca blocks to a length of 17 inches. Use an angle grinder with a diamond disc. Cut the thin leca block to 4 inches. Cut the reinforcement bar into four different parts of 50 inches each.
6 Pile without concrete
Pile all the blocks without concrete to make sure that they fit. Then put two reinforcement bars in between the fourth and fifth layer. Build the back wall with 6 inch thick leca blocks and the sides and middle part with 3,5 inch thick leca blocks. This is done so that the grill gets a suppler look. The small 4 inch piece should be placed in between the two upper 3,5 inch thick reinforcement bars. Disassemble all blocks and put them in the right order starting downwards and moving on up, including the reinforcement bars. Then you can start building with mortar.
Use a spirit level every now and then in order to get a straight wall.
7 The reinforcement bars
Fix the reinforcement bars for the lower shelf 3 inches from the back wall of the grill and 12 inches from each other. Use a baking plate as an ash pan.
8 Fixing paste
Build the grill with heatproof mortar. Polish the grill with fixing paste when the mortar has dried. Rub the paste with a damp brush when it’s been there for a while in order to even out all bumps. Of course you can also polish the grill using finishing mortar, but that might be a bit harder if you’re not used to it.
Avoid cracks and get an even surface by sprinkling the paste with water after 24
9 Shelves and covers
Build two covers for the grill out of ten planed pine boards (21 x 120 mm) and four crossbars (21 x 45 mm). The boards should be 25 inches long and the crossbars 16 inches long. Put the boards five and five and screw the crossbars 15 mm from the back, 85 mm from the edge and 50 mm from the inside.
Make the shelves out of wood with the same width and thickness (21 x 120 mm). There should be eight boards that are 20 inches long and four crossbars that are 10,5 inches long. Put the boards four and four and screw the crossbars 55 mm from the front and 55 mm from the sides.
10 The grill bars
Cut a grill bar into two pieces and cut off the upper and lower strips to create strips for plates and grilling bars. Bend the stumps to an angle of 90 degrees 1 inch in and put them into drilling holes of the same size as the stumps. The strips should be fixed 2 inches below the upper edge. An easier way of doing it is to cut it off into 2 inches small sticks from the thickest part of an oven shelf and drill them into the grill so that the bars can rest on top of them. At the bottom of the ash pan you then put a net out of steel wire with meshes that are 20 x 20 mm. You can fold down the meshes around the far sides for the net to lie a bit higher up. Create an air intake by drilling three holes into the front and the back.
Paint the covers and the shelves twice using black facade paint.
Make two handles for your”real” grilling bar out of an extra grilling bar. Just cut it off and fold it down as seen on the picture below.