If you want to make the barbecue a more permanent feature in your garden, the ideal solution is to build your own. A well-built barbecue will provide you with hundreds of chargrilled meals, with the obvious advantage of not having to store it every winter.
Custom-built barbecues were made popular back in the 50s, before mass produced gas and charcoal grills took over the market. But lately people have become increasingly interested in building a barbecue of their own.
But before you race down to the DIY store, you need to work out what you want from your barbecue. You can build a simple grill or something more complex. Decide if you want something that’s little more then a fire pit or more of a fully functional gas grill. Part of this decision should be based on cost. For a very small price you can construct an attractive fire pit with a few metal poles to support a cooking grate.
The reality is that a simple charcoal or wood fired barbecue isn’t that complex. You need a place for the fire that is well ventilated and a cooking grate to put the food on. This kind of grill can be constructed from bricks with a little know how and some pre-made metal parts. The main safety factors to remember are the dangers of using sand cement as this contains lime and causes burns or irritation to the skin and eyes.
If you want to go with a gas grill set up, it is a good idea to buy a gas grill insert built for outdoor use. You can find these or order them from most DIY shops or a local stove shop. They will probably also come with some plans to help you put it all together. This requires a pretty simple structure to hold the grill in place.
Here are a couple of good rules to follow in planning your home-made barbecue:
Placement: Put your barbecue where it won’t put other structures in danger from fire, and where it can stay for many years to come.
Appearance: Follow the design of house and yard so that your barbecue won’t seem out of place and will fit into its surroundings.
Utility: You can make your barbecue more than a barbecue. A well-designed barbecue will do more than cook food. Plan on using your outdoor kitchen’s storage and table space all year round.
Weather: Build your barbecue to withstand the elements particular to your part of the world. You want your barbecue to last so a good enclosure is a must.
Maintenance: Design your barbecue to make it easy to clean and repair. You don’t want to find out that you need to cut through stone or bricks to replace a part.