How to build a barbecue for under $1

How To Build A Barbecue For Under $1

I went into my local garden centre recently to find that the whole place have been completely re-vamped and a massive area dedicated to barbecues and smokers. What did this tell me?……..Two things:-

1.Barbecue grills and outdoor smokers continue to become more popular recreational equipment.
2.There’s money to be made!

Let’s face it; the smartest “in your face” displays have got to be for the products that carry the biggest margins, right? Having spoken to the manager I think maybe it’s the accessories where a killing can be made but whatever the case, you can quite easily spend a serious amount of cash on a new barbecue grill and that will be completely wasted money if you buy the wrong thing.

Consider the situation twenty odd years ago before modern manufacturing techniques, globalization and low cost country sourcing, the situation was even worse for someone with no income and lots of leisure time (you guessed it, I was a student!). CD’s had just appeared on the music shelves (a big drain on cash compared to vinyl), I don’t think the word download was in our vocabulary and certainly the thought of getting free barbecue recipes off the internet could be nothing more than a dream.

I was doing what students do best – having one long party! But the opportunity to have a barbecue party was nil because we simply couldn’t afford to buy a barbecue, and to a confirmed outdoor cooking enthusiast. It was at this point that I decided to build my homemade brick barbecue out of 16 second hand bricks and two cake cooling trays.

Not only is this a great low cost introduction to charcoal barbecue grills it’s also a wonderfully portable system too. Simply lay 8 bricks on the ground in two rows of four to make a square. On two sides place 2 bricks (on their sides) and place another 2 bricks on top so that in cross section you’ve now got a U shape. Throw the charcoal on the brick base a span two cake cooling grids across the top and there you have it.

The cake cooling trays are really cheap in the supermarket and (as a true student has to) the bricks were acquired one night from a local housing development. So with the barbecue complete, how did I get hold of some good free BBQ recipes?
Well that’s where it all started to fall apart and a process of enthusiastic trial and error began. I’m pleased to say that those early formative years have paid off handsomely; all my friends still love my outdoor cooking and so much so that BBQ smoker was born to document mine and my friends’ tasty creations.

If you do give the low cost barbecue a try, notice how the bricks heat up and create an “all round” heat. Not only is it cheap, it’s actually very effective too! I now have a ceramic barbecue at home and yes, it did cost more than $1, and this takes the heat retention to the ultimate. If you get hooked on outdoor cooking after trying my low cost grill then maybe it’s time to start saving?

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