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Last Updated on April 26, 2021
As the days get longer and warmer during the late spring and summer months, you’ll find yourself wishing you had a permanent, durable, and attractive-looking grill in your backyard. There’s nothing better than having friends over for a couple of cold beers and some juicy grilled burgers and pork ribs.
If you want a weather-resistant grill unit but aren’t prepared to spend lots of money on a pre-made, store-bought model, you can use concrete blocks and mesh metal to create your own backyard barbecue. These types of grills are cost-effective and exceptionally durable.
How Build a DIY Backyard Concrete Block Grill: 3 Simple Methods
Here are 3 straightforward methods for creating your own DIY concrete block grill for your patio or backyard space.
Basic Cinder Block Grill
This is a simple and effective design that should take you less than 10 minutes to make. If you already have a vertical smoker or stainless steel grill unit that is worse for wear, you can take the metal rack or grid out of this model and use this as the cooking surface for your cinder block grill.
All you need to do is use 6 standard-sized cinder blocks for the main structure of your grill: just stack them to create a 3-sided unit that’s 2 layers tall. If you want to prevent as much heat loss as possible, consider investing in a few half blocks so that you can join up the grill at the corners and build a 3-sided unit with no vertical holes.
Once you’ve constructed these bottom 2 layers, lay your cooking rack across the top of the second level before securing this grate in place with a set of flat cinder blocks. When you’re ready to cook up some patties or chicken breasts, use dry, seasoned wood and kindle to get a fire going underneath the grilling rack.
Square Wood-Fired Concrete Grill
To build this wood-fired unit, you’ll need 22 8”x 8”x16” cinder blocks, 4 half concrete blocks, a large sheet of metal mesh, a robust steel angle bar, and 7 flat cinder or concrete bricks.
Before you begin constructing the grill itself, you should level out the ground where you’re going to put the foundations so that your unit doesn’t lean or slant when you build it. The internal dimensions of this grill’s firebox should be around 32” x 32”, and you’ll need 7 of your 22 standard cinder blocks to construct the bottom level of the unit.
Ensure you fit a half block onto the front of each side of your second level. This allows you to stack the rest of the standard, full-length cinder block so that the joints are offset with the joints of those bricks on the bottom layer. This simple process creates a wall that’s far stronger and more durable than it would be otherwise.
Once you’ve built these 2 layers of blocks, you can add the mesh metal surface to the grill: put your angle bar or iron at the front of the unit, then place the 48”x40” metal mesh cooking surface onto the top layer of bricks. Add the third layer of compact cinder blocks: this will keep the mesh grid secure and stable in place.
You can choose to fit a narrower cooking surface onto the top of this third layer as an extra grill, where you can warm up buns or patties while you cook your meat and vegetables on the main barbecue square rack underneath. Just remember to secure this thinner mesh grid with a couple of dense concrete blocks if you want to incorporate it into your design.
When you’re ready to grill, set up a fire on the ground underneath the cooking surface and stoke the flames to create a constant, steady supply of woody, earthy smoke.
Hibachi-Style Open Grate Concrete Grill
This open grate concrete grill design has a compact and stylish aesthetic, with an attractive rectangular basin and gorgeous, decorative traditional accents on the side walls. As with every cinder block or red brick unit you build, make sure you’re constructing the model on a flat and firm, compressed surface.
It’s worth taking time to dig a shallow trench in the grass or mud where you’re planning to put the grill, then filling this channel with metal rebar and crushed stones. These stones act as effective forms of drainage, and you can pour a layer of concrete mix over the rocks. Let this wet concrete set, and you have a level concrete slab that acts as the perfect foundational layer for your cinderblock unit.
You can build a neat rectangular unit on top of this concrete slab: stack the cinder blocks and use mortar or wet concrete to fill the gaps between each brick. Use a hand or pointing trowel to smooth out the filler and lend the whole unit a tidy, professional-style look. This particular design encourages you to build a stylish sink into the unit: you can do this by constructing a mold or template out of wood and attaching it to the top of the grill.
Mix some wet concrete and pour the substance into the wooden frame. When this liquid dries and sets, it will create an impressive farmhouse-style sink. You should attach some steel rebars across the hole in the middle of the top section: these bars will provide crucial support for the fire bricks that you’ll use to line the walls of the sink. Once you’re satisfied with the unit’s structural integrity, use stucco or concrete to cover the cinder block construction and give the grill a contemporary-style look.
You can use this concrete block grill as a hibachi-style unit: just fill the heatproof sink with charcoal or wood and fit an open grate across the top of this basin. You can stoke the flames and cook yakitori, shish kebabs, or thin, lean steaks on this metal rack while your friends and family sit around and chat nearby.
Use These Methods as Inspiration for Building a DIY Concrete Block Grill Today
If you like the idea of having a permanent, weather-resistant grill in your backyard, you can easily build your own concrete one. These 3 methods are simple to follow and exceptionally cost-effective: you’ll create a structure that’s durable and stylish.