Beat the heat by cooking your meals outdoors this summer instead of turning on the oven in your house. These 15 DIY projects include plans and ideas for building your own fire pit, pizza oven, grill, smoker or fully-appointed outdoor kitchen, whether you've got an expansive yard to work with or just a balcony.
$20 Outdoor Cob Oven Project
Build your own backyard oven using natural materials for just $20. Cob ovens bake up incredible bread, pizzas and much more, and it's really easy to learn how to make one. Homegrown and Healthy has an outline of the project, showing how they created theirs using bricks, beer bottles, mud and straw.
House-Shaped Stone Pizza Oven
This cute little stone pizza oven looks like a miniature house. An ideal complement to traditional residential architecture, it's mostly made of cement blocks. Instructions are at DIY Network.
Temporary Wood-Fired Pizza Oven Made of Reclaimed Materials
This oven might not last forever, but it would be a fun and quick project for a one-time party or event. The brick oven is made of cheap and easy-to-find materials and can be built on a wheeled platform to take on the go. Learn how at Instructables.
Build Your Own BBQ Barrel
A reclaimed 55-gallon food-grade barrel once used for honey forms the basis of this DIY BBQ Barrel, which gives grilled foods an extra smoky flavor.
Fire Pit & Terracotta Pot Pizza Oven
A group of friends wanted to hold an outdoor pizza party for 20 friends using the cheapest and most effective DIY pizza oven they could build. All you need is a firepit, a grill, a pizza stone, a large pot and a bit of chain. No mixing mortar, no expensive materials. Check it out at Hey Try This.
$10 DIY Upcycled Fire Pit
Don't own a fire pit? Try this clever hack, which makes use of a discarded washing machine drum. As long as you're handy with a few tools, like a sander, it's really easy and costs only about $10. More at House and Fig.
Build a Hot Box Solar Oven
Or, instead of using charcoal, gas or wood, you could simply use the heat of the sun to cook your food. Popular Mechanics has the instructions to build your own durable hot box solar oven.
DIY Pallet Smoke House
You can build a smoke house out of reclaimed pallets, corrugated tin, aluminum flashing and some heavy duty tin foil for a total of less than $100. Smoking meat preserves it for a long time, so it's a great investment for anyone who likes to stock food. Learn how at DIY Ready.
Stone Outdoor Kitchen by This Old House
Got a decent amount of backyard space? You could build an entire outdoor kitchen with a built-in grill, countertop, sink and storage space. This Old House explains how to build the attractive stacked-stone design.
Modern DIY Outdoor Kitchen
If your tastes run a little more on the modern and minimalist side, you can download free PDF plans to build this cute portable backyard kitchen featuring a gas range, bucket sink, chopping station and storage.
Homemade Brick Pizza Oven
Yet another idea for a backyard pizza oven uses a pallet as a base, along with builder's sand, cement and firebricks – plans at Instructables.
Build Your Own Round Firepit
Dry-stacked landscaping stones set on top of a sand and gravel foundation create a simple backyard fire pit. Try sourcing reclaimed materials to make this project cheaper and greener.
Outdoor Stacked Stone Fireplace at HGTV
If you're willing and able to go all out, there's nothing quite like an outdoor fireplace that rivals any found indoors. HGTV has instructions for building a stacked stone fireplace that will add incredible ambiance to any outdoor space.