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Gas bbq and lava rocks?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by emporer, May 3, 2009.

  1. emporer

    emporer Active Member

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    Bought our 1st gas bbq yesterday and going to give it a whirl today, have bought some lava rocks for that authentic feel, my question is how do I use them? where do they go? the bbq has 3 burners under v shaped plates and then I have the grate/grill thingy where the food goes on top.

    apologies for sounding dumb but I haven't got a clue where to put them and don't really want to poison anyone!
  2. Drd

    Drd Member

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    All the gas barbecues that I've owned which had lava rock placed it on a metal tray/grid above the burners and below the cooking plates.That said,my latest barbecue doesn't use any lava rock,just a metal plate ww in cross-section with various holes to allow fat drainage.Supposedly the fat flares just as well on this as on lava rock,and I have to say I cannot taste the difference


    Cue the charcoal brigade..................
  3. emporer

    emporer Active Member

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    sorted it now, it doesnt need lava rock as it has a fat drainage system which does the job, must say am very impressed with it
  4. robfosters

    robfosters Member

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    I understand that it might not need them, but to me, it's just not bbq'ing unless there's coals of some sort on the bbq.
  5. Desmo

    Desmo Well-Known Member

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    We've got the best of both worlds with our BBQ :)
    It uses normal BBQ coals but has a gas lighter system that starts them off. Leave it running for 5 minutes and then turn the gas off. The coals now burn on their own for the real BBQ effect.
  6. Mep

    Mep Active Member

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    That sounds good, do you have a link to said machine?
  7. IronGiant

    IronGiant Moderator

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    I'm glad you found out in time :D I tried using some on the same sort of BBQ, not something I wish to repeat :(

    Dave
  8. Desmo

    Desmo Well-Known Member

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    It's one of these Weber....but it's not cheap for a BBQ.

    BUT....it's worth it IMO. For me, the fun is in cooking outdoors, but I don't like the hassle of will it won't it light and I don't like gas, it's cheating :D

    This has a gas lighter that's on a prong that runs under the coals. Fire up the gas with the coals over the top in the basket and once they're alight you turn the gas off and move the coals to the centre. If you want to cook again it's easy to just chuck more coals in and re-light.

    In the pic below you can just make out the charcoal carriers (currently empty) top and bottom and the prong coming in from the right with a light blue/green flame at the end.

    [​IMG]
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: May 3, 2009
  9. loz

    loz Active Member

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    Better without lava rocks IMHO.

    They collect the fat which leads to flare ups.

    Much better to use a system like that on Weber gas bbqs (I have a Weber too) that is designed to let the fat drain off or burn up without collecting:smashin:

    (charcoal doesn't usually lead to flare ups as there is no naked flame to ignite the fat - well providing you wait till the flames have gone before you start cooking)
  10. emporer

    emporer Active Member

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    Quite impressed with this gas bbq today, was very sceptical as I love the smokey taste from a coal bbq, but this was superb, very easy and plenty of smoke! my burgers and chicken were superb and tasted great. Nice and clean compared to a drum full of ash afterwards!
  11. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato Member

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    Regularly use charcoal in our gas grill, just pop of the vapourising bars, put a charcoal tray in their place, gas on for 10-15mins and the charcoal is prefect for slow indirect cooking on the other half of the grill, nice thing is you can still use the burners to maintain the temperature.
  12. madgames

    madgames Member

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    Im just about to buy a weber summit 450 , anyone here used or own one.
    From what i can tell they will do eveything i want but have never owned a bbq that doesnt use lava rocks, to be honest im getting hacked off with my current bbq as the rocks catch light ALL the time , hence the reason im considering the summit
  13. Desmo

    Desmo Well-Known Member

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    That Summit is not a BBQ....it's an outdoor oven :eek: :D
  14. IronGiant

    IronGiant Moderator

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    Interesting idea, can you expand on what the charcoal tray is?

    Dave
  15. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato Member

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    Sure. Just a tray, the same (back to front) width as the flavourising bars, so that once the bars are removed the tray can be supported in the same way they were. I started out with a simple baking tray. The idea is you just need a layer of charcoal in the tray, and the burners when lit will turn the charcoal to a nice grey in 10-15mins, at which point you can turn them off. When i'm cooking this way i then put the meat on the non-charcoal side of the grill and let it cook low and slow for hours, just topping up the charcoal from time to time, and using the burners if needed to keep the temperature. Of course you can grill direct over the charcoal too, but that, in my experience, isn't that different to cooking over the gas/flavourising bars, so i tend to use the gas to "grill", and the charcoal to BBQ.

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