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What are Lava Rocks and how to use them...

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prtrumpet

Hi! I have a Fiesta gas grill. I just want to know what are lava rocks, how they can help me, how to use them in my grill, etc.....

Post Wed Jan 07, 2004 10:03 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Lava rocks are to be spread across the bottom of your grill usually on a grate above your burner. They serve several purposes. First the hold and spread out your heat. Not as much as your burner obviously but the do help. Second the will catch drippings and help reduce flare ups and fires.
Personally I do not like lava rocks. They are dirty, they fall apart over time and as the accumulate dripping they get dirty smelly and need to be replaced too. Most people I know who use them replace they annually.
I would suggest other products such as flavorizer bars. These are angled metal bars that serve the same purpose but do it better and are easier to clean (if at all). There is another post here about them too. They are available after market from a variety of sources including Weber.
There are also artificial rocks and plates out there too although I have no experience with them.

If you have any other questioons feel free to ask, someone here will know the answer.

Welcome aboard!
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Post Wed Jan 07, 2004 11:18 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
I have a bunch of lava rocks in my yard if anyone would like them. Apparently they are popular for landscaping as well. The home owners before me used them to line some flowerbeds and I threw them down the back hill. :wink:

I don’t have a gas grill, but to follow up on prtrumpet’s question; what about ceramic briquettes? Do they have similar drawbacks?
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Post Thu Jan 08, 2004 2:32 am
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
I must agreed with Grand Scale - I do not like lava rocks they are just a huge pain in the rear. My first two grills had them and with all of the grilling that I did I replaced them about every 3 months. My current grill uses a stainless steal flavor screen which is similar to the flavor bars, but I like it much better

Post Thu Jan 08, 2004 3:37 pm
PaulP well done
well done

Posts: 681
Location: Beautiful St. Mary's County, Maryland
Bob-BQN wrote:
I don’t have a gas grill, but to follow up on prtrumpet’s question; what about ceramic briquettes? Do they have similar drawbacks?


I had a CharBroil that used ceramic briquettes, and they have the same problems with grease build-up causing flare-ups as lava rocks do. They can be cleaned by covering them with heavy-duty foil and turning on the burners for a while. I believe they last longer than lava rocks. These are what was used before the flaforizer bars were invented, so the rocks or briquettes are definitely old technology.

PaulP
PaulP
If you don't like the food, have more wine

Post Fri Jan 09, 2004 11:35 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Thanks PaulP, I see these in the stores and wonder if they are really worth it. I appreciate the info because if I purchase a gas grill I want to be an informed consumer (salesmen hate that). It sure seems like flavorizer bars are the only way to go. They're standard and all the best grills.

Bob
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Post Fri Jan 09, 2004 11:49 am
stripegrill medium
medium

Posts: 104
Location: St. Charles, IL
I have been following along here and am wondering if I should make the switch to flavorizer bars. I have a Sunbeam grillmaster and I currently use ceramic briquettes. Can I retro fit and put the bars in? Any ideas? Thanks for your help here in cold and snowy Chicago. Man, more snow is falling right now. What a bummer, I guess I'll just have to wait to get home and fire up the grill for some outside heat!

Post Sun Jan 11, 2004 9:55 pm
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
You should have no problem getting some sort of Flavorizer bar to work in your grill. Most stores that sell grill stuff with have some that are a universal fit. I know that Home Depot carries them since I bought them for my parents for Christmas and they have a Sunbeam

Post Mon Jan 12, 2004 9:31 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Like Dkirn I too have used the universal bars in a previous grill. They adjust for height and width. IThey work great. 'm sure that our new buddy Vinsect can provide some more details on these from the Home Depot section.
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Post Mon Jan 12, 2004 3:33 pm
stripegrill medium
medium

Posts: 104
Location: St. Charles, IL
GS and dkim thanks for the advice. After work today I have to get some filters for the humidifier so I might just "get lost" at Home Depot and stumble upon the grill toys!


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