Cooking pit

January 7th, 2010

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

This is the next step in the side yard project and I have a feeling we may get some crap for this. We are making a little fire pit! Don’t mind the weird black strip, it’s not staying. I checked out the city codes and technically this is a “cooking” pit. And yes, I do need an outdoor “cooking” pit – don’t mind the BBQ over there.

I did my research rounds around the interweb (cause I’m lazy and the library is only open like two days a week now) about DIY’ing a fire pit or cinder block cooking pit. We just started finalizing the plans for our little gravel patio and are currently at the laying it out and trouble shooting stage.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Cinder block is not a great fire pit choice. It can crack and degrade over time and some say even EXPLODE (well, under
extreme heat and moisture). Upside? It’s cheap, temporary, industrially modern and goes well with the architecture of the house. It’s also small enough to meet code.

I’m nothing if not a risk taker.

We dug down about 6 inches to inset the base and still need to dig a center hole and fill the bottom with gravel for drainage and air flow. Another three inches of gravel are going down around the exterior to level out the rest of the patio. The blocks still have to get mortared and leveled out as well as possibly have interior firebricks installed.

After it all cures completely in a couple weeks we could have a small quaint fire. For cooking of course.

Be Sociable, Share!


  1. Anonymous on 01/07/2010:

    i got a little scared when you said explode.

  2. Anonymous on 01/07/2010:

    Why would you be scared anonymous? You can have exploding brick cooking pits in your yard in Hemet, I know, I've been there!

  3. THE BRICK HOUSE on 01/07/2010:

    Well, they don't really explode so much as shoot off little bits of shrapnel. It's the same for concrete – but that is like in super extreme cases.

    Worst case scenario with a raging bonfire.

  4. modernemama on 01/07/2010:

    Enough shrapnel to take out a window… or an eye?

  5. THE BRICK HOUSE on 01/07/2010:

    No, just to hit and sting. But who knows, we don't plan on getting it hot enough for that to happen. Plus the fire bricks help.

    2010 the year of living dangerously.

  6. sarah on 01/08/2010:

    From what you've told us about Hemet, it seems hilariously appropriate that their library is only open two days a week.

  7. dawn on 02/24/2010:

    can you please post the complete DIY write up for how to build the “cooking pit” that includes the finishing steps (fire bricks, mortar, paint, etc.)? would be most appreciative. thanks!

  8. THE BRICK HOUSE on 02/24/2010:

    Dawn – search PATIO

    You can see what we’ve done so far. We made some mistakes and didn’t do it all right so I’m reticent to do a step by step. I will do a wrap up once it’s all done…

  9. John on 04/04/2010:

    I have been totally obsessed with your cooking pit from the first time I saw it. Can you give me some more information? What kind of mortar did you use to brick it all up? Are the holes in the cinder blocks empty? Did you paint the inside black and the outside white? Finally, how well does it work. I’m planning on doing something like this soon and any information you could give would be really appreciated. I see that you told Dawn to search Patio, but wasn’t able to see much in the way of specifics.



Comment It Up!