BBQ Pit Plans and Ideas

There a variety of BBQ Pit Plans and designs you can work from or ideas you can draw inspiration from. Many ideas are so simple you don't even need a plan.

This type of pit is ideal for big stuff - whole hog, or lamb - or a couple of turkeys.

So take another step with your love affair with barbecue, get beyond grilling pork chops on a Weber kettle, and build yourself a BBQ pit.

Number 1: 55 Gallon Oil Drum BBQ Pit "Plan"

oil drum bbq pit

Thanks to Heidi & Matt for the Lamb Mechoui image, via Flickr, CC licence

First off, here's a simple idea. Cut a 55 gallon oil drum in half lengthways, and you've got yourself a low-tech but perfectly usable BBQ pit. Personally I like the cook pots at one end over the coals.

The only equipment you need to do this is a grinder or a recipro saw - for example this - that you can buy for less than $100. Or borrow or hire one for even less.

Safety hint: If you don't know what was stored in the drum - before you take an angle grinder to it, swill it out with water and a detergent. Any remaining contents could be flammable, and potentially explosive in the confinement of the drum.

The only extra you need is a rotisserie kit like this one from Spitjack

Number 2: The 'Neolithic' BBQ Pit Plan

This is pretty much a hole in the ground lined with stones and does the same job as to the two half barrels pictured above.

Dig a hole a six inches deep and at least two feet by two feet square. Line it with stones and earth - this is mainly to keep the fire from spreading. See the image below, this can actually look quite good.

Here is a free tutorial for this basic pit BBQ that should last a few BBQ sessions before it needs rebuilding or you want to build something longer lasting.

Really it's a wilderness camping solution, but with the addition of a  grill attachment to put joints of meat etc on for direct grilling over a camp fire like this Cameron's Products Camping Pit Grill it works perfectly well anywhere.

Better still try a rotisserie like the one below made by Spitjack.

How to build a BBQ pit

Number 3: Simple Block Built BBQ Pit Plans

Next up is something temporary but solid built from heat proof bricks stacked in a logical way.

Another simple solution, albeit much more robust, is to build a pit BBQ using block-work but, to keep things simple by not using mortar in this case.

Simple BBQ pit construction

Again, it's temporary, but it will last an entire summer and well beyond without any serious maintenance. Check out the picture on the left.

Doesn't look that hard to construct does it?

Safety Hint: I have heard that certain types of rock can crack and shatter at high temperatures - something to do with having moisture trapped inside.

And here is a video clip of a guy building a DIY BBQ pit very similar to this picture, it's short but you get the gist of how he's doing it.

Number 4: Brick Built Pit BBQ Plans

bbq pit plans

Then there is the permanent brick structure built as a focal point in your garden - built to last decades maybe by a professional builder.

My own favorite, that I have seen gracing backyards time and again is the bricks and mortar type of construction.

Number 5: Building an Outdoor Kitchen

The best thing about this type of design is that it is scalable. With a little thinking and planning you can customize it quite easily to fit a charcoal grill, a gas grill or the type a parilla style grill used in Santa Maria style of BBQ seen and all over Latin America.

There are numerous books at contain some nice barbeque plans for varying levels of competence. The plans in them give dimensions, quantities of materials and order of work, etc.

So if you have some DIY know-how, or you aren't scared of trying, give it a go.

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