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youngbloodbbqenthusiast 04-16-2012 10:03 PM

Permanent Cinderblock Pit
Hello fellow Brethren the YoungBlood here looking for some of the sage advice I have seen offered to other Brethren seeking help: I am looking to construct a permanent pit for the Frat house and was wondering what software would be best for helping me draft a design for it?

What I currently have in my head is both complex and simple: I am thinking an 8'X4'x5.4' overall size with air holes in the base for both air and to clear ash away, a charcoal grate of expanded metal some 8" or 12" from the bottom, one expanded metal grate that will encompass the entire cooking area for whole hog cooking, and three smaller expanded metal grates for cooking of smaller meats.:twitch:

Any tips will be greatly welcome!

Brizz 04-16-2012 10:19 PM

95% of this pit was designed by another Brethren (the name escapes me right now) but this is my version. Hope this helps:

youngbloodbbqenthusiast 04-16-2012 11:05 PM

I have seen the same design as well and it is a great launching point for what i wish to accomplish. did you line the interior space with fire brick?

landarc 04-16-2012 11:23 PM

You don't need firebrick but it is a better idea. The CMU's do not take heat as well and the joints will fail sooner. I like Sketch-up as a rapid volume prototyping software.

Brizz 04-16-2012 11:24 PM

Firebrick or any flat masonry material would work. I also got the idea from another site to line the top interior firebricks et al with scalloped concrete edging.

Which you then lay your rebar and expanded steel grate on and it fits snug. Depending how long you want your pit to last, you can leave the "cinders" empty, fill with sand, or concrete.

frohe 04-17-2012 05:46 AM

Brizz had a great design. Istaed of fire bricks, you could pour the cinders full of sand. Now that's thermal mass.

Take a look at these.

youngbloodbbqenthusiast 04-17-2012 05:02 PM

Thanks for all the ideas brethren. Since the Frat house is paid off and fully owned there is no reason to move any time in the foreseeable future. So Having a permanent pit is the general idea. i was thinking pouring cement into the blocks once the frame is constructed. How much concrete should i expect to go through?

I love the look of the red brick grill/smokers some of these guys have built! is there a better heat retention with the red brick over cinder blocks or is it more just an aesthetic detail?

Pitmaster T 04-17-2012 06:12 PM

There is nothing permanent about a cinder block pit.

landarc 04-17-2012 06:38 PM

You line the pit to prevent the effects of thermal expansion and contraction from damaging the pit over time. This is true for any pit, but, particularly for pits made from modules (such as brick or CMU's). The expansion and contraction of unlike materials will force the joints to fail. The use of un-mortared fire bricks (or other such dense material) will absorb enough heat to prevent the failure fo the external (more permanent) pit walls.

If you build from true clay brick, there is a small benefit to the use of the denser red brick, plus, it major league looks better. But, the benefit has a significant cost in dollars spent, and there is no benefit to poorly built brick, it will fail quickly.

Calculate the number of CMU blocks you would use, then figure out the volume of the cells, if you are going to fill each cell, you can easily figure that volume. It will be more than you think. I leave you to the math. :tongue:

slackdogbbq 04-17-2012 06:44 PM

A nice addition to this design would be a fire pit on the side. I used a CB pit for many years, mine was not mortared but was very close to this size and I had a fire pit on the side with an open front.

One this size is so versitle, whole hogs to chicken thighs.

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