Thursday, June 19, 2014

How to Make Your Own Temporary Brick Grill

Whenever I post a video involving my grill – a common occurrence this time of year – I get a bunch of emails asking what kind of grill I’m using, and the reply is always the same. It’s a charcoal-version of the Weber “Q,” and you can’t buy one because they stopped making them. Sorry, but I think I have an idea.

With just a few dollars worth of bricks, and a cast iron grate, you can reproduce the same basic grill I’m using. Besides, yours is going to look a hell of a lot cooler, and you can tell your hipster friends it was made from “reclaimed bricks.” Just be sure to use plain clay bricks. You certainly don’t want anything that’s been treated with chemicals and/or will explode. If you get these at a home improvement store, be sure to ask the guy. In fact, ask that guy’s boss.

As far as the grate goes, if you want to splurge, order the porcelain-coated, cast iron versions that the major brands use. They all sell replacement grates, but just about anything will work, since you can change your brick layout to make it fit. If you want to save a few bucks, check the online auctions, as well as outdoorsy stores, and flea markets.

Besides working beautifully, it’s temporary state is perfect for people who only grill two or three times a summer. Just set it this up in some back corner of the yard, and break it down when the weather turns. I hope you give this fun DIY project a try soon. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Apparently you don't want the ash from charcoal briquettes in your garden. However, the ash from natural wood charcoal is desirable, so there you go.

11 comments:

TBG said...

We used to dig a pit and prop a grate up with logs. I don't see why you couldn't put the bricks in the pit. Also, an old BBQ grate would work fine too.

Pyrofish said...

That's one of the Myriad great things about cooking with charcoal, it's versatile. I have a friend who uses 2 cinder blocks and a cheap grate for his camping grill. Just build the coals in the middle and the cinder blocks have no problems. Don't have cinder blocks or bricks? Use green logs.

It's fun to have nice looking or fancy heat delivery device, but entirely unnecessary. When you travel to other countries you see all manner of inventive ways to hold hot coals. The troughs of Asia, used to cook satay. The simple boxes used in Mexico in combination with all kinds of crazy hammered cooking surfaces, and the caja china in the Caribbean, which is nothing more than charcoal on a metal plate that cook above and below.

Food Junkie said...

I was all set to weigh on the charcoal versus gas debate and claim there was no difference as charcoal has the volatiles cooked out during manufacture and produces almost no smoke. I figured the charcoal preference was another old chefs tale; like only flip your food once on the grill and searing seals in juices - you know complete nonsense.

The grilling smoke flavour comes mostly from food drippings on the grill and are pretty much the same for either fuel. However it turns out that in blind taste tests there is a taste difference, a very small taste difference in favour of charcoal and mostly for those things you cook longer on the grill. So point to Chef John (how could I doubt him)on the charcoal debate.

For me charcoal is just too much of a nuisance, so my BBQ is gas and my smoker is electric. For occasional BBQing this little brick guy looks great however. Thanks for the nice technique Chef John.

Darcy Thomas said...

Cool idea. I will definitely be trying this. I am going to call mine a bribachi. Thanks Chef John and as always.....keep up the great work :)

Toshiko Suisei said...

Very nice Chef John! For all the times even my little Weber Smoky Joe was too big for the heat I wanted (making me long for that inexpensive Hibachi I had ages ago) I will now set up one of your brick grills on the pavers where my fire pit bowl goes. Thanks muchly!

Mark Anderson said...

Those cast iron grates are terrific for grilling. There are a few folks out there who sell them online.

JES said...

Wow...Chef John, I loved your ideal. Definitely will try to make this next time. Thanks Chef.

T Gent said...

Chef John, I love you and I'm sorry to make this my first comment on your blog.
ITS means 'of it', IT'S means 'it is'.

Chef John said...

I know! It's called a typo. ;)

Mike Borrero said...

So where did you get your great from? I didn't see that in the comments or the blog post. Would like to do it exactly the same as you did. And also those are just regular red clay bricks right? Not firebrick correct?

Kim-Vi Tran said...

Chef John, do you think that this could work as a temporary fire pit for something like a bonfire?