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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 04-16-2009, 09:31 AM   #1
Chavo27
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Default gas: ceramic or lava

I just got a gas grill given to me... I've been cooking on charcoal for years. I like the fact that propane is ready when you are. Sometimes I'm in a hurry and don't have time to wait on the charcoal to get ready.

My parents have always used propane. So growing up I loved to grill for them. They have always used lava rock, and pretty much everyone else I know that uses gas has lava rock.
I took all the lava out of the grill I just got.... I replaced it with ceramic blocks.. I've never cooked on these before nor I known anyone who uses them.. What's you guys thoughts about the ceramic block.. It said all I had to do was put one layer about 1/4" apart. Their suppose to be self cleaning so now build buildup like lava gets...
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Unread 04-16-2009, 09:35 AM   #2
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I got both, plus a cast iron defuser to even out the temps

My set up is:

Burner,
Steel difuser
ceramic briquettes here and there
lava rocks here and there.

Self cleaning, thats funny.

Mine are self cleaning too, meaning, after about 30 burgers, just leave the burners on and ignite the whole farking mess to clean it off.

And have a dog handy, to clean up the chit dripping on the patio.

And have the Dawn handy, for the stupid farking yellow dog that gets chit dripping on her head while licking the patio
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Unread 04-16-2009, 09:43 AM   #3
Chavo27
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I'm asking if you like one better than the other?
Have you ever tried them separately?
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Unread 04-16-2009, 10:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chavo27 View Post
I'm asking if you like one better than the other?
Have you ever tried them separately?
Oops, missed that intent.

I like the ceramic better than the lava rock.

I have used both seperately, without the diffuser.

Only reason I have both now is I had 1/4 bag of each after last full cleaning, and didnt want to buy more of one kind or the other.

Lava rocks get too much chit lodged in the nooks/cranny and takes longer to burn off/clean.

ceramics pretty much burn off each use.
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Unread 04-16-2009, 10:37 AM   #5
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I'll second the ceramic.
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Unread 04-16-2009, 10:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobBrisket View Post
I'll second the ceramic.
Ditto on the ceramic
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Unread 04-16-2009, 01:00 PM   #7
Chavo27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willkat98 View Post
Oops, missed that intent.

I like the ceramic better than the lava rock.

I have used both seperately, without the diffuser.

Only reason I have both now is I had 1/4 bag of each after last full cleaning, and didnt want to buy more of one kind or the other.

Lava rocks get too much chit lodged in the nooks/cranny and takes longer to burn off/clean.

ceramics pretty much burn off each use.
that's what I was trying to say when I said the ceramics were self cleaning
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Unread 04-16-2009, 01:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Ditto on the ceramic
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Unread 04-16-2009, 01:33 PM   #9
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Ceramic. Lave rocks are bad. Especially if they get a build up of liquid in them and they explode sending lava rock particles onto the under side of whatever you are cooking.
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Unread 04-16-2009, 01:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Ceramic. Lave rocks are bad. Especially if they get a build up of liquid in them and they explode sending lava rock particles onto the under side of whatever you are cooking.
We call those flavoring minerals.
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Unread 04-16-2009, 01:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
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We call those flavoring minerals.
I thought those were meat sprinkles!!
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Unread 04-16-2009, 02:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parrothead View Post
Ceramic. Lave rocks are bad. Especially if they get a build up of liquid in them and they explode sending lava rock particles onto the under side of whatever you are cooking.
I've never had this happen, it sounds a little dangerous..
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Unread 04-16-2009, 03:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parrothead View Post
Ceramic. Lave rocks are bad. Especially if they get a build up of liquid in them and they explode sending lava rock particles onto the under side of whatever you are cooking.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chavo27 View Post
I've never had this happen, it sounds a little dangerous..
Ya know, I've heard about exploding lava rocks over the years, but after thinking about it, and then Chavo's follow up, I tried to find the origin of the exploding lava rock fact/myth this afternoon. Couldnt find a thing
(Maybe Sled can find it)

And in thinking about it, I have used lava rocks quite often for 11 years, have had them completely loaded with gunk and chit, from fat to sauce to everything in between.

I've had them fully ignite until the chit burns off them.

Never have I had one explode.

I wonder if thats a myth, based on some sort of volcanic formation data.

Has anyone actually come across an "exploding" lava rock?

Now I know 11 years isn't long, but you would think with the way I rarely clean out the grill, and prefer the burn off method, I would have had at least 1 time, no?
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Unread 04-16-2009, 04:33 PM   #14
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Lava rocks, hands down. If the ceramics you are talking about are the type I think they are, they are very expensive to replace if cracked.
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Unread 04-16-2009, 05:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyChef View Post
Lava rocks, hands down. If the ceramics you are talking about are the type I think they are, they are very expensive to replace if cracked.
I just got a bag that was more than enough to fill up my grill for under $10?
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