Gas grills are becoming very popular among barbeque lovers due to their automatic features. These grills are easy to use, and can work without any rock or fuel. You don’t need to check your grill very often and enjoy the party with your friends and family.
However, gas grills struggle to produce the pronounced smoky flavor in the food due to uneven heat distribution. They fail to reach high temperatures and keep a steady low temperature. To solve this problem, you will need ceramic briquettes.
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Ceramic briquettes are excellent for perfect grilling, lowering fuel consumption, and making the food tastier. For getting the best result, you need to use them properly.
With my long-term experience on ceramic briquettes, in this article, I will discuss how to use ceramic briquettes for gas grills effectively, essential safety tips, how to maintain them, and more.
Without any further ado, let’s get started.
How To Use Ceramic Briquettes For Gas Grills Easily And Effectively
Using ceramic briquettes is straightforward and effortless. With just four simple steps, you can get your perfectly cooked food with ceramic briquettes. Let’s dive into it.
Things You Will Need
- Gas grill
- Ceramic briquettes
- Aluminum foil (optional)
- Lighter with long handle or matches
Clean The Grill: First of all, make sure the grill is clean. Remove the grill rack and clean any food residue or debris from the racks.
Lining With Aluminum Foil: After removing the racks, cover the firebox wall with aluminum foil. It is an optional step; however, aluminum foil acts as a heat sink. It will reflect the heat back to the grill and make sure your grill remains clean.
Arranging The Briquettes: Place the briquettes at the bottom of your grill. Most gas grills come with a briquette tray. You need to position the tray over the burner in the rack holder. Arrange the briquettes closely next to each other on the tray to get even heating.
Put Back The Grilling Rack: Finally, after placing the ceramic briquettes, reposition the grilling rack. Fire up the grill to heat the briquettes. When they show a hot reddish glow, you can get started with grilling.
Also Read: Best Small Propane Tanks For Grills (Top 5 Picks)
Tips & Safety Warnings While Using Ceramic Briquettes
When handling the ceramic briquettes in your gas grill, you need to make sure to follow some essential tips and warnings.
Following these tips will help you to use ceramic briquettes with ease and also ensure your safety.
- Always read the owner’s manual to learn about the necessary protection requirements for your grill’s firebox. Ensure there is proper ventilation.
- To get even heat distribution and smoky flavor, always place the briquettes between the burners and the cooking grates.
- Choose a briquette tray that will fit perfectly inside the grill. Go with a stainless steel tray as it provides optimum thermal efficiency and requires less maintenance.
- To make sure the briquettes are hot enough for cooking, use an infrared cooking thermometer.
- Grilling can be dangerous as they quickly flare up when grilling meat. To avoid any accidents, make sure to have a fire extinguisher and fire bucket before using gas grills. Never allow children unsupervised near the hot gas grill.
- Check for gas leaks before using the gas grill. If there are leaks, replace the part immediately or call a professional for help.
- For safety precaution, wear heat-tolerant gloves, an apron, and short-sleeved clothing when barbecuing.
- When you store your grill outdoors, use a high-quality, waterproof grill cover to protect from harsh weather conditions. Grillman, iCOVER, LiBa, etc., are some of the best gas grill cover-producing brands you can choose.
Also Read: How To Smoke On A Gas Grill Using Smoker Box & Pellet Tube
Surprising Facts Of Using Ceramic Briquettes In Gas Grill
Ceramic briquettes are highly effective in improving your gas grill’s performance. These are incredible inventions for many reasons.
Let’s find them out.
Heat Distribution: The main disadvantage of using gas grills is having hot spots and cold spots. It is especially challenging when you are cooking everything at the same time for a large crowd.
Ceramic briquettes help cook your food perfectly by distributing heat through the entire grill surface and preventing direct heat to the food.
Saves Fuel: Ceramics can absorb heat which enables them to radiate heat even after turning off the grill. For this quality, ceramic briquettes can retain heat for a long time.
Thus these briquettes are the best choice when it comes to cooking larger and tougher cuts of meats as you need to cook them low and slow. For this reason, they are excellent in reducing fuel consumption.
Prevents Flare-Ups: You will often face flame flare-up problems while using a gas grill. If you are wondering about keeping the gas grill from flaring up, ceramic briquettes are the answer for you. The tray that comes with these briquettes prevents the food from dripping from catching on fire.
Easy to Operate: Using Ceramic briquettes is effortless. You can easily place them on the grills. Replacing the installed briquettes is simple too. You can easily clean off the debris with just a brush. We will cover the cleaning process in detail in the latter part of this article.
Environmentally Friendly: If you love grilling but are also concerned about the environment, go with ceramic briquettes. They save a lot on fuel and energy consumption by staying hot for a longer time. They also last longer compared to heat shields or lava rocks.
Tastier Food: The Ceramic briquettes give the foods a smoky taste and a variety of flavors. These briquettes’ advanced production enables different flavors, including apple, cherry, peach, hickory, oak wood chips, etc. These pleasing flavors make your food tastier.
Also Read: How To Use A Searing Burner On A Gas Grill – Most Effective Way
Clean Your Ceramic Briquettes After Use
Regular cleaning after every use ensures even heating, better taste, and flavor of the food.
Rodents and insect infestation may occur if you leave the briquette dirty for a long time. Cooking on a dirty briquette may cause food contamination too.
You can leave them for self-cleaning, but sometimes you need to do it manually for proper cleaning. Cleaning ensures enhanced longevity and performance of your briquettes.
Here are the steps you should follow for cleaning your ceramic briquettes.
- After cooking, leave the grill for some time to cool down. Use a paper towel to remove any food particles.
- Turn over the briquettes so that the greasy part would face downwards. Turn on the heat and close the grill lid for 15-20 minutes to get rid of the food residues.
- If any residues remain, use a wire brush to remove them.
- If your gas grill has a smoker box in it, you can use warm, soapy water to clean the inner surface. You can use a sponge or bristle brush to clean it.
When To Replace Your Ceramic Briquettes
Ceramic briquettes are sturdy and long-lasting. Quality briquettes can last for about 4-5 years if proper care is taken. Look out for the following signs for replacing the briquettes.
- Briquettes start to break down and lose effectiveness
- When you can’t get rid of the residue grease even after cleaning.
- A foul smell comes from the briquettes due to food juice accumulation on them.
Replace the briquettes immediately when you notice these signs; otherwise, it may lead to flare-up incidents, burning your food, ruining the taste, and your grilling experience.
What Can You Cook with Ceramic Briquettes
You can cook various foods with ceramic briquettes, including frozen chicken, steak, shrimp, pizza, lasagna, etc. From meats to fruits and veggies such as peach, strawberries, pineapple, cauliflower, eggplants- you can grill anything. You can even grill certain types of cheese with ease using ceramic briquettes.
Ceramic Briquettes vs. Lava Rocks
Ceramic briquettes and lava rocks are different from each other in several ways. Lava rocks last for only about a year, whereas ceramic briquettes may last for five years.
Unlike lava rocks, ceramic briquettes provide even heat distribution to the whole grill, which is essential for superior quality cooking. Ceramic briquettes are a more reliable and sustainable alternative to lava rocks. Many manufacturers are now switching from the lava grate system to the ceramic briquettes.
This is because they soon encountered problems regarding food hygiene and health risks from using lava rocks. Lava rocks would bring flavor to the food by vaporizing the drippings and forming smoke.
However, from the drippings, grease accumulated very fast, which harbored harmful bacteria due to lack of regular cleaning.
Cooking on these contaminated greases and oils posed a significant risk of food poisoning. The excess smoke from the resultant grease and oil would char your foods.
Since charred foods are a potential source of cancer, eating these foods is highly harmful to your health.
Ceramic briquettes do not absorb grease; they retain more heat and are a cleaner option than lava rocks. They use less fuel and come in a wide variety of sizes and styles.
Ceramic briquettes are the apparent winner when they are compared with lava rocks.
Do ceramic briquettes help to control the cooking temperature in a gas grill?
Ceramic briquettes quickly absorb a significant portion of the heat and enable better distribution of heat into the food.
They reduce the cold and hot spots by providing consistent heat. They also hold heat longer, allowing perfectly cooked meat and vegetables.
Are ceramic briquettes toxic?
Ceramic briquettes are totally safe to use. Harmful chemicals may be found in charcoal which are bad for the health. Ceramic briquettes add a great smoky flavor to your food and work as the best replacement for charcoal grilling.
Make sure to buy from trusted brands as they use food-grade materials to make these briquettes.
Ceramic briquettes are more expensive compared to the other briquettes. Still, their ability to last longer, energy-sufficient characteristics, ease to use, and many other benefits make them worth every penny. We hope that our article on how to use ceramic briquettes for gas grills answered all your questions. With all the necessary information regarding ceramic briquettes we provided, you can now take your grilling journey to another level using these briquettes. As long as you are maintaining and installing them properly, you can enjoy amazingly cooked dishes using the same briquettes.