So I started this project a while ago for a big BBQ that I have each year. I always want to do something new and decided that this was the year of the hog. I originally began with an idea for a reverse flow concrete block smoker, but after realizing how much steel was going to cost me, I altered my plan a bit.
I really wanted to cook a hog the way I've seen it in a lot of other posts: in a big concrete block pit, but I also wanted ease of access to the fire and increased temperature stability. After continually changing this design over and over again, this is what I've come up with. I also had to adjust as I was trying to do this on the cheap. Most of the materials that you will see me use are recycled, dontated or found on the side of the road. If you plan ahead with these things and exploit some online resources, it's amazing what you can get for free.
I will be doing the hog on Memorial Day weekend, but after I get the last piece of steel I need for the firebox from a buddy of mine, I will post some pics with whole chickens as a trial run.
Found a decent spot and removed what little grass there was. Then leveled the ground as much as possible.
Leveled each block in all directions.....
...and between sides to ensure overall level of the entire structure.
On the firebox end, I cut a block in half using a masonry cutting disc (about $3) in the circular store. You can get these at any home improvement shop. Just make sure it's the right size for your saw. You may ask me why I just didn't add a block on the end turned sideways, but the dimensions needed to align with the plans that I had for the top. It'll make sense when you see it below.
Block turned sideways to allow the heat and smoke in.
I began the second level with the joints of the first in the midle of each block (typical block construction). I have seen some folks just stack on on top of the other, but it lends itself to some instability.
I also lines the bottom with some brick (mostly to keep the weeds down). I like it and think it gives the pit a nice finished feel to it.
....more to come. I am finishing this thing up today. I have a bunch of other pics from other components, but I want this post to make sense in case anyone wants to build one like this.