18 DIY Backyard BBQ Ideas & Activities

burning coal

As we head into summer, it’s time to build that DIY BBQ idea to revitalize your backyard once again. Summer is an important time of year for everybody. It’s the time where family and friends come together, eat great BBQ food, embrace the sun rays and spend quality time with each other.

If you want to upgrade your backyard with a unique and innovative BBQ idea, then I’m here to help you. I understand the importance of presenting your guests with great BBQ food, settings, and a rememberable time.

Make your home the place people want to visit this summer by creating one of the DIY BBQ ideas below. I’ve also added bonuses to ensure your visitors are pleased throughout their stay.

1.The Plant Pot Smoker

If you have some spare terracotta pots lying around, then you’ll be able to make a plant pot smoker. It’s a super simple yet effective method to creating your own homemade pot smoker, and if you haven’t already got one, it’s more than worth having. Unlike when your BBQ food, a smoker delivers that rich smoky flavour and really impacts the meat’s overall tenderness.

To make this smoker, you’ll need a portable hob, mesh and solid pan, temperature gauge and lastly, the most important object, two terracotta pots.

2.Solid Wall Barbecue Grill

bbq ideas

Perhaps you want to upgrade your traditional BBQ into something that’ll really impress your guests. To do this, I recommend you create a sizeable solid wall barbecue. Typically, these are rather big and work great for households that expect a lot of visitors around the summertime. These BBQs are generally large in size and provide an ideal cooking space for the designated cook.

With this type of DIY barbecue, you’re able to really get creative with it. I’ve personally seen some outstanding designs that have multiple levels to them to offer maximum capacity. They look rather stylish, but the only downside is that if you’ve never laid a brick before, this may be a troublesome project to get right.

3. Steel Rocket Stove 

Want to generate heat fast and efficiently? Then a rocket stove can certainly provide that. This type of stove aims to use a minimum amount of wood yet offer the most heat.

At a BBQ, it’s nice to have a portion of pasta or some rice as a side dish. With a rocket stove, you’re able to boil water with ease. This style of Stove can produce immense heat and something every barbecue cooker can benefit from.

This DIY BBQ idea can effortlessly be crafted from scrap materials such as some coffee cans, small rocks and an iron trivet to hold your pan in place.

4. Solid Concrete Block BBQ

Suppose you like the idea of a solid wall barbecue but aren’t skilful enough to create a structure with standard engineering bricks. Then I suggest you rethink the option but instead use concrete blocks. These are a lot easier to manoeuvre and can provide you with a similar outcome to what you’d receive when creating a solid wall grill with ordinary bricks.

Creating this type of brick-like grill is super simple and doesn’t even require you to use any cement or bonding agent to hold the blocks together. You can shape them in a BBQ-like state and lay them on top of your grill to fit it into place.

5. Family Firepit Grill

bbq ideas

If you’re like me and are a family-oriented person, creating a family firepit grill may be in your interest. Here you’re able to incorporate the whole family into the cooking aspect of a BBQ while being close enough to chat and laugh together. This goes great with kids as they’re able to melt marshmallows while you sit around the camp-like fire.

However, apart from bringing joy to your social events, it’s one of the cheaper DIY BBQ ideas that is presented on this list. To create a round family-sized firepit grill, you simply need ten concrete tree rings in total. 4 being a smaller size of around 14″ and 6 being a larger diameter of 24″, a bag of stone and a portable grill. To create something that looks stunning and provides you with this much-needed family time is astonishingly cheap.

6. The Toolbox Grill

backyard bbq

Want to make your guests smile with the most ridiculous yet fun idea? You’re able to do just that by transforming an old metal toolbox into a fully working BBQ grill. It’s questionable, but trust me, they look the part and will certainly make your visitors chuckle at each other.

The best thing about this DIY barbecue grill is that they’re small and compact, so it’s easily portable. Its toolbox-like design means it’s easily carriable by using the existing handles that already come equipped with it. If you want to create this unique grill, make sure the toolbox is coated in heat resistant paint.

7. Concrete Kamado Smoker

If you love the combined flavours of both true smoke and charcoal, then you’re going to adore this next DIY smoker. A Kamado smoker uses convection-like cooking to generate mass amounts of heat and smoke that is produced by charcoal. This Makes your meat moist and easily fall off the bone,  something that all BBQ connoisseurs want to achieve.

In terms of creating a DIY smoker, this is a cost-effective way to do it. It requires minimal materials and also skills to construct it.


8.Yakitori Grill 

bbq in backyard

Love eating meat off skewers? Then a DIY yakitori grill will be right up your street. By creating one of these Japanese grills, you’re able to develop skewers that have a ton of flavour in a bulk quantity.

By using a few minor supplies and a thin metal sheeting, you’re able to build this Japanese inspired grill.

9. Sous Vide-like DIY Smoker

If you’re trying to keep it on the inexpensive side of things, then creating a sous vide-like DIY smoker from the video below can help. Even though this DIY option doesn’t provide you with a permanent solution. If you need a smoker fast, this may be your only option.

It requires minimal resources, and I’ll be surprised if you don’t have most of the equipment already inside your house.

10. Cabinet Smoker

Have a spare cabinet lying around? Make the most out of it by building a sturdy smoker. Although it sounds daft, it certainly works. The multiple layers of a cabinet allow the smoke to generate and attach itself thoroughly to your meat.

I understand it sounds crazy, but why not give it a go? If you already have a spare cabinet, it’s one of the cheaper methods to create a smoker that will last for years to come.

11. Outdoor Decked Kitchen

Creating a DIY barbeque, smoker or grill is rather interesting. But what about the environment that’s based around them? This is what really sparks fulfilment within your guest, and my favourite way of achieving this is through an outdoor wooden decked kitchen.

If you live in the correct environment, this type of outdoor BBQing facility can really wow your friends and family. Although a project like this will be rather costly and require that much-needed care and attention, once it’s completed, you’ll be happy that you invested the time and money into building such a remarkable area for barbequing.

12. Sheltered Kitchen Bar

Creating a kitchen bar outside with a full overhead shelter or a pergola-like structure is my favourite backyard barbequing facility. They look amazing and can be built relatively quick if you know what you’re doing.

Installing a pergola-like shelter over your kitchen bar provides it with that holiday feeling, similar to what you’d see in the Caribbean.

13. Outdoor Kitchenette

Already have a sheltered area in your backyard? Then it would be best if you created a stunning outdoor kitchenette. As you already have the sheltered area, you’ll only need to build the BBQing fundamentals, such as the cabinets, dining area, and of course, the BBQ.

Without going overboard, you’re able to create something that looks professional and is highly protected by an already built shelter from any risks that may occur from natural weather. Check this video for inspiration

14. BBQ Grilling Island

If you want to partake in a relatively small project, then constructing a standard grilling island will be the more likely DIY job you undergo. They’re relatively easy to build and can take less than a weekend to develop.

By creating a grilling island, you’re skipping the steps of creating a shelter, installing kitchen appliances, and possibly storage (although I recommend this), and the goal is to build a workable area around your existing BBQ.

All the DIY backyard BBQ ideas mentioned above can provide you with that much-needed convenience and beauty required to keep your guests happy. However, what about activities that get the party going? Below we discuss the most fun BBQ games that you’re able to play with people of all ages.

Fun DIY Backyard BBQ Games

Having an idea of games to play to bring joy to the BBQ is a must. It provides competitiveness and joyfulness to ensure all your visitors are having a good time. Here are my favourite backyard BBQ games:

15. Capture the Flag

You may or may not have heard of this game, but it’s relatively easy to understand, offers great fun to everyone and keeps you fit. Encourage your guest to explore your beautiful backyard by introducing this competitive game.

This game works best with large groups and can be organized in seconds. To play this game, all you need is two flags or something that represents something you’re able to capture, you can let your imagination go wild here. Once you have this setup, split your guests into two teams and provide them with a base location where they’ll place their flag.

The aim of the game is for each team to successfully capture the flag and bring it back to their base. If you want to play this game with contact, defend your base with careful force. Without hard physical contact, you can “it” people out, so they have to return to their base before proceeding with another attack.

16. Limbo

family games

A hilarious game that can be played with people of all ages. Here you’ll challenge your visitor’s flexibility with each other’s. Again, this works best with a large group as it can become highly competitive.

To play this game, all you need is some type of long pole-like object. This could be a pool noodle, jump rope or just generally a wooden or metal pole. Then a crowd of people are willing to test out their back flexibility. Either hold or place the pole-like object at a reasonable height and see who can lean back underneath it. As each person completes a certain height, increase the difficulty by lowering the pole. The last woman or man standing is the winner.

17. Tug-of-War

It is an absolute classic, but it can bring bundles of joy to people of all ages, and after all, we all want to know who is the strongest in our family and friends. If you’re with some highly competitive individuals, this game is perfect for bringing that competitive edge out.

Tug-of-war is a simple game and requires some rope and at least two people. The whole concept is to see which team or individuals is the strongest by pulling the rope. If the rope crosses the halfway line (this is typically the central point of where the players start), you or your team are classified as the winners.

18. Water Balloon Catch

BBQs usually takes place on a hot summer’s day, making water balloon catch a highly recommended activity. Both adults and kids would like to partake in this game as it comes with a level of risk. This risk is getting drenched in water.

Playing this risky game, ask your guest to spit into duos and pass them a water balloon. The whole aim of this game is whatever duo can throw the water balloon the furthest and catch it without the balloon bursting, is the winner.

The great thing about this game is that it can provide a great deal of fun to both children and adults.

To Conclude

We hope you enjoyed this list, and it’s either helped you decide or sparked your imagination on a DIY BBQ idea and activity that will bring bundles of joy to your visitors. Making rememberable moments doesn’t have to cost an arm or a leg and can be easily achieved if you think outside of the box. By providing these great ideas, I hope I’ve managed to create your BBQ date that little bit more exciting.

8 thoughts on “18 DIY Backyard BBQ Ideas & Activities”

  1. Thank you for this article. We love to barbeque, it’s fun to be outside with friends and family and prepare food. Splendid. We have a stone grill place and another flexible one at home where we spend many of our summer evenings. The Plant Pot Smoker is amazing. This is so cool, we are gonna make this right away. Thank you so much for all the great tips you gave us!

    • Yummy food will be sizzling away, Monique. So happy you also liked the plant pot smoker too, Yeah food shared outside with the environment is so much fun and brings inner peace. 

      Many Thanks


  2. I think the lid of our new toolbox grid can be safely propped open and we can control the airflow much better.  Since this grill is portable, we can position it with regard to directional wind and even rain! This can make a huge difference in how long it takes us to finish our bbq.

    • Certainly, Paolo. you can have a BBQ in all types of weather and most of all enjoy the fact you can go almost anywhere including your backyard. Thank You enormously for leaving some feedback and enjoy having fun at your next BBQ.

      Many Thanks


  3. Whoa, some of these ideas are insanely creative.  I love the rocket stove idea.  It seems so simple and it just makes sense, and I think it’d be great for smaller get-togethers to have everyone eating in no time.  What a cool trick.  When we buy our own house, I think a shelter/island combo would be pretty nice…  Regarding activities, I like how simple they are.  You basically don’t need to set up any equipment, and I could see my friends/family laughing at the ideas at first but once they started playing we’d have a great time.

    • So glad you got some cool tips here, Max. Yeah, I agree your friends would love it and come back for more no doubt. 

      Many Thanks 


  4. Such great ideas for barbecue season, it’s approaching and we want to come out of the ordinary, let’s try something different like the fire pit, kids love to roast marshmallows.

    I will love to build my own fire grill for outside, and of course having my mini bar built as well

    Great videos in youtube.

    Thank you for sharing this great article!

    • The crisp marshmallow burnt on outside but so yummy with friends, Ana65. Couldn’t agree more with a memorable experience when I was young roasting marshmallows with friends over a fire such a good topic fire pits definitely something I’ll investigate more. In regards to building a bar and fire, I wouldn’t turn back to go for it.  

      Many Thanks 



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