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Advice on making an attractive firepit

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    Advice on making an attractive firepit

    I'm building a new patio in the garden and plan to make a firepit as part of it. I want it to act as a firepit at night, and during the day I plan to put a slab of something over it (granite/marble?) to make it in to a coffee table (I will have an L-shaped sofa around it). This is all pretty straight forward, but I would also like to be able to cook a whole pig/lamb/goat on it. If I follow meatheads plans for a pitt BBQ then it will be too high to practically act as coffee table (roughly 100cm high). I was thinking about sinking it in to the ground (eg 50cm below the ground, and 50cm above to act as the coffee table) but this would then mean that any access at ground level (for airflow and putting fresh coals in) would be midway up the actual pitt rather than at the bottom. Will that matter? I will also need to look neat/attractive and so imagine I'll be making it out of brick, rather than blocks. Would I need to use firebricks on the interior? Has anyone made something like this themselves? Any advice (and especially pictures!) would be much appreciated. Thanks Mike

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ID:	90871 mikeeb, your plan for a half-sunk pit poses an interesting challenge. Having built an above-ground pit (essentially a 3'x3' brick cube, missing the top and front sides), I can attest that airflow is a tricky design feature to anticipate during construction, which required several additional post-pit fabrications and adjustments to try to control (note: used Jungers cast-iron door). I can only imagine that trying to maintain and refuel a fire "from above" will require even trickier post-construction interventions. If you commit to pit-style cooking -- ie, build and maintain a roaring fire for a couple of hours to heat the bricks/stones lining the bottom, then drop in your "sacrifice" then seal the pit shut (with a heat-resistant, insulating cover) -- I'm sure you find several cooking successes, but then cleaning the pit -- and keeping it neat and attractive (not to mention odor-neutral) -- to serve as a coffee table and center piece of socializing during its off hours might be the challenge. Unless you've already begun construction, in which case ignore every concern just raised and keep us posted on your progress, and remember: "Only Those Who See the Invisible Can Do the Impossible!"

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