How to Make a Charcoal Grill & Where to Find Plans to Building One


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grillLearning how to make a charcoal grill and where to find plans for building a charcoal grill can not only save you the money of buying a grill brand new, but it can also be a fun way to earn bragging rights with family and friends that you really did make your very own grill by yourself! You can also add personal touches and customizations to make it have everything you truly need and want and make the outdoor kitchen of your dreams.

We have already covered building a grill out of a 55 gallon drum which is one of the most popular basic designs that many people decide to use. However, there’s quite a few creative grills out there and so we’ve decided to give a few pointers and ideas for different things you can use as well as what to consider when designing and planning your new charcoal grill.

When building your own grill, you’ll want to consider the following:

Materials: There are many different materials that can be used. The most popular choices for commercially available grills are metal and ceramic. You will want to assure two very important things: 1. It is flame resistant and can withstand high temperatures and 2. It is non-toxic. Obviously, you do not want a grill that will catch on fire or crack from high temperatures. You do not also want to grill in or on something that could potentially release toxins into your food, so use only appropriate materials. If you follow these two basic rules however, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what to use and what not to use.

Size: The size matters if you do a lot of frequent outdoor cooking for guests or have a large family or group to feed. A tiny surface for cooking could mean that you won’t be able to make very much at once. If you live by yourself, then this would only make sense since you would not want use more charcoal than you really need.

Portability: You will want to consider if you want to have a stationary cooking surface or if you want to be able to move it easily from one location to another. You could build a grill out of bricks and mortar, but then you would not be able to easily move or transport it. If you do all of your grilling from home, this could be an excellent option for making a decorative outdoor cooking room. But if you plan on taking your grill to tailgate parties at football games or camping or just like to move from the front yard to the backyard, it may be better to make something that is lightweight and portable. You can make a portable charcoal grill out of a metal bowl and a grate.

Special Features: There are a variety of features you may be looking for. Perhaps you would be able to like to adjust the height of the grate, or have plans for using it as a smoker and would benefit from having a chimney or other ventilation system in place. These are all other things to consider when deciding what to build.

Once you have considered all of these needs, you are ready to start planning how you will make your grill. People have made grills from everything from simple cinder blocks and a grate to a trash can to many other unusual items. If you’re looking for something a bit more sophisticated than creative, these plans for building a charcoal grill will help you get started in the right direction:

Quikrete Barbeque Plan: Quikrete is one of the leading concrete manufacturers, and this printable guide offers step by step instructions for building your own grill.

Wilbur D. Hog Pit: This is an interesting and seemingly well designed barbecue pit that features everything from materials list to pictures as it was constructed.

DIY Network: The DIY Network has step by step instructions for building an outdoor barbecue pit with pictures.

The Filing Cabinet: This one is just too unusual not to list – it is a grill made out of a filing cabinet! The bottom drawer is used for the charcoal and the top is used for cooking. I don’t know how well it works, but it certainly wins an award for creativity!

If you have any tips for how to make a charcoal grill and where to find plans for building a charcoal grill we would love to hear them in the comments section. You can also send us your own pictures and plans if you would like us to post them up to brag and share with others on our site! Send your BBQ and Grill Pics here.

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