Every plank helps! Save by building your own barbecue
This summer, a record number of people will build their own barbecue to save money, but experts say they should consider their favorite dishes before they start
This summer, a record number of people will build their own barbecue to save money, but experts say they should consider their favorite dishes before they start.
Mike Edwards, creator and owner of the DIY Doctor website, says: ‘Think backwards. Consider the food you are going to put on the grill so you can calculate the size required.’
He adds: ‘This year, it seems that more people than ever want to set up a permanent brick barbecue. It’s a surprisingly easy task and ideal for those who like to entertain family and friends. But make sure you choose a sunny part of the garden.
Something to think about: traditional charcoal or wood chips are preferred as fuel for an authentic barbecue instead of a gas stove.
Detailed construction plans are available on websites like DIY Doctor, but barbecue assemblers will also need basic tools like a spirit level and trowel.
Edwards says builders don’t need to bother with a fancy jointer to smooth the mortar between the bricks, but they can use a bit of a garden hose.
Before starting the project, it is necessary to lay a solid foundation, for example, laying a dozen old slabs.
Edwards believes the main requirement is a budget of around £100 for a hundred £1 bricks. Plus four bags of sand and a bag of cement, costing a total of £17, to mix as mortar.
There is a lot of guidance on how to lay bricks on the internet. Edwards says, “Don’t waste your money going to a DIY store, but use a builders dealer, a local outfit, or someone like Jewson or Travis Perkins, as they’re not only cheaper, but they’ll be happy to give you expert advice. “.
Farmer Simon Dyer thinks scrapping scrap for a barbecue is another profitable way.
The former winner of ITV’s BBQ Champ show enthusiastically says that anyone can enjoy the rewarding work of building their own barbecue.
Dyer, from Tickenham in Somerset, says: ‘Think about the food you want to eat, it doesn’t have to be just hotdogs and beef patties.
“I enjoy international dishes like Korean ‘fire beef’ bulgogi: thin slices of marinated pork or beef that have been grilled.”
He adds: “Instead of spending hundreds of pounds on fancy equipment that rusts away, try stumbling around for bits and pieces.”
Dyer often grills in an old stainless steel washing machine drum that he has converted into a fire basket. This is placed in an old metal oil barrel and becomes the so-called “ugly drum” used for cooking dishes.
Oil barrels and old washing machine drums can be bought for £20 on commercial websites such as eBay-owned Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace. Websites like YouTube show you how to make ugly drums.
An alternative for those looking to bake in the garden, perhaps preparing chicken dishes, is a tandoori oven.
You will need a £20 steel container, a handful of firebricks (which cost £2 each), a £20 terracotta pot, a £5 bag of gardeners vermiculite and £3 of sand, plus a grinder angle to cut. Websites like Loops Kitchen UK show you how to build such an oven.
As a general rule, traditional charcoal or wood chips are preferred as fuel for an authentic barbecue rather than a gas stove.
Many make the mistake of putting the meat over the flames, searing the outside of the meat while the inside remains raw, instead of letting the embers burn before cooking.