How to Build a Brick BBQ Pit Without Mortar

Build a brick BBQ pit using fireproof bricks that fit together so they do not require mortar. A 3-foot-wide pit area gives you enough room to make a fire for cooking foods on a grate set about 2 feet above the ground. Use large bricks to quickly put together the BBQ pit, or a mixture of large and small layers for an eye-catching appearance.

Brick wall, full frame
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Use fire-proof brick to construct a BBQ pit.

Step 1

Remove any sod, rocks or weeds from the area in which you want the brick BBQ pit. Smooth the area with a shovel and rake to make it flat. Place a level in the center of the area to verify it is smooth before continuing.

Step 2

Lay the metal ring insert for the BBQ pit in the desired location and mark around the perimeter of the outer ring edge by piercing the ground with a shovel placed flush against the ring.

Step 3

Lay the bricks around the outside of the ring so they are pressed tightly against each other to form a ring in the desired pattern. Cut several of the blocks, if needed, to get the proper fit. Mark the outer edge placement around the entire perimeter of the bricks by piercing the soil with a shovel placed flush against the brick.

Step 4

Move the bricks and metal ring insert and remove 12 inches of soil between the ring and brick markings. Square off the bottom of the trench so the bricks will lay flat. Place the ring of bricks into the soil trench to make sure it is the correct width. Pound the top of the bricks using a rubber mallet to push them flat into the soil. Adjust the size of the trench, if needed.

Step 5

Remove soil from the middle of the BBQ pit so the center layer is about 6 inches above the brick layer. Pull the bricks out of the trench and add 2 inches of gravel to the bottom to help with drainage and stability. Firm the gravel by packing it with your foot.

Step 6

Fit the bricks back into the trench, on top of the gravel. Pound the top of the bricks with the rubber mallet.

Step 7

Add a second layer of bricks on top of the first, lining them up so the seams in the second layer do not line up with the first. Fit the bricks tightly together so you do not need mortar. Cut some of the bricks, if needed, to make them fit tightly together.

Step 8

Remove the second layer of bricks and set them next to the trench. Apply a zig-zag of masonry adhesive to the top of the first layer bricks, and then press the second layer bricks on top to hold them in place. Work quickly to prevent the adhesive from drying prematurely.

Step 9

Repeat these steps for each layer of bricks, until the BBQ pit is about 24 inches above the ground level.

Step 10

Set the metal insert inside the brick BBQ ring and pound the top edge with the rubber mallet to set it about 1 inch into the ground. Pour about 4 inches of gravel into the center of the metal ring and compact it with your foot. Fill any gaps between the metal ring and brick BBQ with gravel.

Step 11

Set a metal cooking grate on top of the brick ring to complete the BBQ cooking pit.