a) Do you want a permanent smoker on the ground? (permanent residence)
b) Its a great investment if you enjoy smoking!
c) Nobody needs, they want and is a hobby or purpose for Family or Friends.
d) Check building codes, does smoke disturb neighbors? (city)
e) Your last statement says, "I also would prefer to avoid laying cement in my yard if possible." how does this work with the brick idea?
f) I never set a brick in my life, I was self taught by pointed tips by masons, Mr. Walter.
g) I spent the winter months investigating my new talent to be, "brick" and I have succeeded.
h) This will take considerable amount of time depending on your build.
Do not be discouraged with a dream smoker, just cover all aspects to cover your butt then plug away.
Here is a couple of pics of mine. I did footings in the fall of 2014, Steel work in winter of '14-'15 and Bricked all in '16 June-August in spare time.