Woodworking Plans

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Updated on April 12, 2019

Here, as follows, are some general instructions and explanations of how I built my vertical brick BBQ smoker.

This BBQ runs off a gas heat source (a gas burner in the base). The burner heats a heavy cast iron pan as it heats the air and bricks. Wood chips are added to the pan to create smoke.

It wasn’t very hard to do, it cost me only about $200, and it works quite well as a medium-large-capacity BBQ (does 50-75 pounds of ribs very well in a batch). It also uses very little wood to create smoke, and so it is potentially more affordable to operate. It was fun to build, and it’s fun to use!

As a disclaimer—I am not a professional builder and I built this from my own design—basically, I winged it every step of the way. I have been an oven/BBQ experimenter for a while, and I have previously built a cob oven, a masonry oven, an offset BBQ smoker (55 gallon drum variety), and assorted grills for straight cooking.

For those considering building a brick pit, my idea in writing this is not to give you a foolproof set of plans that you’ll follow to the letter, but rather to explain what I did, why I did it, and how/why it works (or doesn’t). I will try to explain every step of the process, but if you have any questions about anything I did, please leave a comment below and I will answer it as well as I am able!

I am sorry that I have no pictures to illustrate the building process. I hope that the design is simple enough that you can get the feel for it from the finished item.

The BBQ Foundation

The Foundation

  • Pour a foundation. I dug about eight inches down, and about one square meter in area, and then poured on three or four inches of sand which I leveled.
  • I then mixed up some concrete (three parts sand to one part cement) and poured on about two inches. I laid a grid of medium rebar and then poured another two inches of concrete on top.
  • I let this dry a bit, covered it with some wet rags, and let it cure for a few days to gain strength.

I think my four-inch foundation gives me a very solid base for the area I live in, which does not freeze. If you live in a colder area, you may need more—I''div-gpt-ad-ArticleMobileInContent2''{"":"","":""}''div-gpt-ad-ArticleMobileInContent3''{"":"","":""}''div-gpt-ad-ArticleDesktopInContent1''{"":"","":""}''div-gpt-ad-ArticleMobileInContent4''{"":"","":""}''re going to be safe after building it—better to err on the side of caution and seek expert advice if you aren''ll be using. Talk to the people at your local specialty BBQ store for ideas.

This BBQ works well, it didn’t cost much to make, and it was made by someone with very little building know-how.

Is it the kind of BBQ the 1 last update 2020/05/28 you’d enjoy—and how does it work anyway!?!Is it the kind of BBQ you’d enjoy—and how does it work anyway!?!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not the 1 last update 2020/05/28 substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters. This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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    • Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for IslandBites 

      6 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Great idea! Very useful information. Vote up!

    • Southern smoker 

      7 years ago the 1 last update 2020/05/28

      wanting to build a bbq soon, it is interesting reading all your comments. if I had the stuff to build it I would be out there now and it is nine fifteen in the evening. My neighbours wouldn''m lazy. I went to Makro and bought a couple of Chinese Dim Sum steamers. Each one has two layers so you can build up to 4 levels of smoking. I take a small cast iron fry pan, line it with a foil cone which is filled with wood chips (soaked and unsoaked - fast start and long last) and drop one hexagonal the 1 last update 2020/05/28 long briquette (Foodland - 35 baht for a pack of 8), after lighting it on my outside gas stove, on to the chips. The smoke lasts about 4 hours and the single briquette actually goes for over 5 hours. Low and slow smoke, the trick is to put a cheap grate on the level just above the charcoal to lift up the section of the steamer as it lets in air to keep it burning but not enough so it burns fast. You also have a lot of layers that you can put various stuff on depending on how warm you want the smoke. I''m going to pass this hub to a friend who is thinking of building a BBQ or a mud oven of some sorts in his backyard. He plans to run it on wood and coal only, rather than gas. He may find this handy.wanting to build a bbq soon, it is interesting reading all your comments. if I had the stuff to build it I would be out there now and it is nine fifteen in the evening. My neighbours wouldn''m lazy. I went to Makro and bought a couple of Chinese Dim Sum steamers. Each one has two layers so you can build up to 4 levels of smoking. I take a small cast iron fry pan, line it with a foil cone which is filled with wood chips (soaked and unsoaked - fast start and long last) and drop one hexagonal long briquette (Foodland - 35 baht for a pack of 8), after lighting it on my outside gas stove, on to the chips. The smoke lasts about 4 hours and the single briquette actually goes for over 5 hours. Low and slow smoke, the trick is to put a cheap grate on the level just above the charcoal to lift up the section of the steamer as it lets in air to keep it burning but not enough so it burns fast. You also have a lot of layers that you can put various stuff on depending on how warm you want the smoke. I''m going to pass this hub to a friend who is thinking of building a BBQ or a mud oven of some sorts in his backyard. He plans to run it on wood and coal only, rather than gas. He may find this handy.

      the 1 last update 2020/05/28 PrincesswithapenPrincesswithapen

    • for 1 last update 28 May 2020 ausis ausis 

      8 years ago from Australia

      Cool hub thanks for sharing. When I get the chance am gonna try this. I do have another plan for a cold smoker though it is not as detailed as yours.

    • John 

      8 years ago

      John, What were the specs you had for the door? I am making something similar and getting doors is slowing me down.

    • AUTHOR

      John D Lee 

      8 years ago Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

      Thanks for all the comments -hope it''n this summer!

    • SleeplessnLaJolla 

      8 years ago from La Jolla, Ca

      Awesome! I sent to my dad! THanks!

    • Manny 

      8 years ago

      Thanks John for this informative idea of yours. I loved BBQ and this method of building is amazing. Keep it up.

    • Bunny Tee 

      8 years ago

      Great information and I was trying to a for 1 last update 2020/05/28 build a BBQ pit in my back yard and your article has helped.Great information and I was trying to a build a BBQ pit in my back yard and your article has helped.

    • car the 1 last update 2020/05/28 id car id 

      Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for 8 years ago

      Simplisity of the design makes a great result!!! Thank you for your post I was just lookin the information on how to build a smoker, there were lots of various designs, and yours seems to be the easiest. Luckily I have all the parts needed for the smoker in my garage, so I''div-gpt-ad-ArticleDesktopComment0''{"":"","":""}''div-gpt-ad-ArticleMobileComment0''{"":"","":""}''s a well written article, high-quality. Definetly worth the time spent for this one.

    • Granny''ve done here. I''s cooking?

  • Ken 

    9 years ago

    If you can''t do it!

  • Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Isaiah Michael 

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for 9 years ago from Wherever God leads us.

    It is kinda of amazing I for 1 last update 2020/05/28 ran across this as a few days ago I was trying to figure this very thing out.It is kinda of amazing I ran across this as a few days ago I was trying to figure this very thing out.

  • Isaiah Michael 

    9 years ago from Wherever God leads us.

    That is some plans I have been wanting.

  • BBQ Singapore 

    9 years ago

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for This is cool! BBQ is so much fun when with this!

  • Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Pamela Oglesby 

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for 9 years ago from for 1 last update 2020/05/28 Sunny Floridafrom Sunny Florida

    I am so impressed with that grill and your directions for building it. Your hub is very well-written and easy to understand. Thanks.

  • [email protected] 

    9 years ago

    It''s a great option for a lot of people. Making your own lets you customize a bit, and for some people (like me) it''d rather buy a portable grill as there are good offers online

  • SizzleGrove 

    9 years ago from the 1 last update 2020/05/28 http://sizzlegrove.blogspot.comfrom http://sizzlegrove.blogspot.com

    This is incredibly cool! If you''d love to post articles on home-built smokers. I''How To''t put in a thermometer, and instead use a cheap kitchen thermometer that is attached to a wire that runs to a little controller that tells me the temperature and has a timer. I just hang this through one of the racks and the wire is thin enough that the door can close over top of it. Pretty low-tech but it works.

    To add in a thermometer, I''s would taste!

  • Carolyn Jung 

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for 9 years ago

    Holy moly, I better not let my husband see this or he will start building one in our tiny backyard this weekend. Hah. He loves to grill and smoke, and build things. This post would be total temptation for him.

  • Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for rose56 

    10 years ago Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

    smoker sounds like a good idea, if could find someone to build it for me. Good hub.

  • the 1 last update 2020/05/28 jtrader jtrader 

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for 10 years ago

    The building process was fairly easy to follow.

  • licot 

    10 years ago for 1 last update 2020/05/28

    wow... what a BBQ smoker you have... home made BBQ set... thank q for all this idea. i would have to try it also by made one of it...

  • AUTHOR

    John D Lee 

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for 10 years ago

    Michael Shane, Springboard - you guys should take a crack at it. It''s a fun project to have on hand for weekend afternoons!

  • Springboard 

    10 years ago from Wisconsin

    I will definitely keep this close by and handy...just in case I get a wild hair. :) I imagine the food that comes out of this is fantastic.

  • Michael Shane 

    10 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

    awesome hub! I think I might do this....Thanks!

  • AUTHOR

    John D Lee 

    10 years for 1 last update 2020/05/28 ago10 years ago

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Hey Expatudon08,

    Business in CM is a little slow this month - too hot and hazy I think!

    My place is The Salsa Kitchen http://www.thesalsakitchen.com/ - come on by and say hello if you''t matter about the antistatic look John it does the job

    hows business in chiang mai maybe head over there later this month what''re wife will understand! Just kidding!

    Stir Fry Guy - I hope you get a chance to build yourself a BBQ!

  • ThomR 

    10 the 1 last update 2020/05/28 years ago10 years ago from Oregon

    Since I already have three BBQ grills, my wife would scream if I built something like this, but great idea. Best to you and your family!

  • Stir Fry Guy 

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for 10 years ago from Fiery Wok, New Jersey

    As soon as I buy my house, I''m going to try and make one

  • Ben for 1 last update 2020/05/28 Zoltak Ben Zoltak 

    10 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

    Thanks John I can visualize what you''t wait to take your example and make it one day! Right now I use the only version I can, and that''s tough to beat that delicious smokey taste! Thanks again.

  • for 1 last update 2020/05/28 AUTHORAUTHOR

    John D Lee 

    10 years ago

    Springboard - You couldn''s got a lot of soul! But it is a lot more labor intensive and unless you''t realize you could do that. I wonder what sort of variation you would make to use a wood-only smoker?

  • Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Springboard 

    10 years ago from Wisconsin

    Man, if I were just a tad bit handier and had a bit more time on my hands this would be a great project. Maybe I'll have to tuck this one away...love smoked food.

  • AUTHOR

    John D Lee 

    10 for 1 last update 2020/05/28 years ago 10 years ago

    You are welcome!

  • Truth From Truth 

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for 10 years ago from Michigan

    some great tips, thank you

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