Cooking 'stove' in the yard

I watched a Rick Bayless episode a long time ago where he used regular bricks to assemble a round cooking pit where he put charcoal in the middle and a big paella dish on top. I have wanted to do something like that, but didn’t necessarily want to do something permanent, but wondered about practicality (wobbling bricks, safety issues?) and other unforeseen issues.

Has anyone done something like that in the yard? Any experience to share? Thanks!

Winter time when it turns into a swimming pool is a problem .

The one that Bayless did was actually not a full circle but like the letter ‘C’ with an opening for air flow.

The entire yard turns into a swimming pool in the winter anyway (if I don’t have the drainage on), with or without a pit.

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sorry- pit is the wrong word. So I am changing the title from ‘Cooking pit in the yard’ while I can. I am not really sure what to call it- maybe stove?

Parks and campgrounds commonly have grills placed over cinder blocks arranged in an open square configuration, 3-4 blocks high. There seems to be no safety issue. I imagine the important thing is to find a level, flat area to build it on.

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I have done bricks with grills, rocks with grills, even dug trenches for grills. I have a weber wok from the 80’s and I Have seen paella pans sized to fit weber kettles.

May I suggest a weber kettle type thing. Build your fire inside the weber, add cooking device and cook.

Save your back.

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I am certainly not married to the brick idea. Is there any benefit to using bricks, rocks, trenches? Are the bricks just stuff made for TV and not practical?

Bricks are heavy enough that they don’t move too far on their own. My grandpa had built a brick smoke oven in the back yard, no mortar or anything and it saw decades of use. Currently it is still standing but weeds and time have done a little damage. I live in the house now and don’t use it plus am lazy when it comes to yard work. But when I was growing up in the 1970’s and 80’s there was often chicken and sausage grilled and smoked in there on summer holidays and visits.

Just a note of caution on the bricks, non-refractory bricks have been known to explode when exposed to high temperatures. If you use bricks it might be a good idea to shield them in some way (like tinfoil) from direct heat.

Yeah I think a proper way to do that would be to use fire bricks. But then again the whole thing if done is supposed to be a temporary thing so the cost of fire bricks would not make sense.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold