There's nothing like a raucous barbecue on a hot summer evening, and the serious barbecue chef will cook all of his meals on his built-in brick barbecue. Brick barbecues offer much more cooking space than your conventional propane grill. Some people say that once you've gone brick, you'll never go back - the taste of fire-grilled meat is just too good to give up.
A brick barbecue is weather-resistant and very durable. You can build it with mortar or without, depending on whether or not you want a permanent structure in your yard. Mortar makes your brick barbecue strong, but you won't be able to take it with you if you move. If you don't use mortar, it's easy to pack up your grill, but the structure won't be as resilient. Once built, however, a brick barbecue will cost you less than a conventional grill and last much longer.
The best thing about brick barbecues is that you can build them yourself. All you need are these items from any hardware store:
If you're lucky, your hardware store may offer a construction plan for free. If not, you can always download .PDF files online that will explain the building method. The cost of building your own barbecue will depend on your use of mortar and the types of materials that you build with. Higher quality materials are going to cost you more, of course. Typically, you're looking at a price range of about $4000-$8000.
Another option to consider is a brick oven. Wood-fired brick ovens are the traditional way to cook pizzas, flatbreads and hearth breads. An outdoor brick oven can also be used for traditional roasting, producing roast chicken, turkey, beef or lamb without heating up the kitchen. While this may seem like a specialty item for outdoor cooking fanatics only, bear in mind that by placing a cast iron grill over the coals, a brick oven can double as a barbecue grill, covering all your cooking bases in one stunning outdoor feature.
Before you start to build your barbecue, though, you should consider a few factors. Make sure that you gauge the size you want by estimating how many people you cook for on a regular basis. Build your barbecue so that the smoke won't irritate you or your neighbors, and so that you have enough room on your patio to accommodate it. As well, your barbecue should be built away from any strong winds.
Be the talk of the town at your next cookout – after all, who else has a brick barbecue that you know?