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Remember When Gas Grills Had Lava Rocks?

AC ManAC Man Posts: 7,317 Admiral
1968 to 1981 we had a inground permanent gas grill on the pool deck in the weather. Was like new all those years. In 1981 I got married and our gas grill had lava rocks and lasted 15 years till we moved. You never saw what burners were under the lava rocks and it never failed. Today it is cheap exposed metal that lasts 3 years and the grease is dripping on bare metal. Gross.

Anyone still making lava rock has grills?

Replies

  • mplspugmplspug Posts: 16,014 AG
    We had one growing up, but I don't recall using it.  However I had this discussion and not too long ago lava rocks were used in propane grills to and I wondered why they stopped.
    Just dropping grenades in OT
  • wahoowacker01wahoowacker01 Posts: 1,470 Officer
    Remember them well. Heat dispersion did well, however I remember some pretty good flame ups when drippings hit those rocks. However, in full disclosure a cold beer or 3 could have been part of the problem.  
  • conchydongconchydong Posts: 14,457 AG
    I had a lava lamp next to the grill filled with lava rocks. 

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • RareRare Posts: 248 Deckhand
    edited June 2018 #5
    Why not convert your gas grill to the old ways? Doesnt seem hard to do...I recall the Ducan with the ceramic briquettes we had.
  • AC ManAC Man Posts: 7,317 Admiral
    It made perfect sense. Yes you did have some flame ups, but a little water took care of that. The burners below seemed to last forever. You never saw them. Best of all a perfect radiant heat.
  • sailfish2sailfish2 Posts: 4,321 Captain
    Get grill grates, they work even better.
    Hoping for better luck next time...... and got it.

    WINNING!
  • wahoowacker01wahoowacker01 Posts: 1,470 Officer
    Only conversion I have made is from beer to a nice crown and water while grilling I’m satisfied with my choice
  • AC ManAC Man Posts: 7,317 Admiral
    sailfish2 said:
    Get grill grates, they work even better.
    What does the grates have to do with the sorry burners offered today?
  • 4WARD4WARD Posts: 2,987 Captain
    edited June 2018 #10
    I bet this one still works
    "I hate graveyards and old pawn shops
    For they always bring me tears
    I can't forgive the way they rob me
    Of my childhood souvenirs"... John Prine
  • ParkerboyParkerboy Posts: 7,045 Admiral
    The short easy answer is charcoal and wood. Cooks much better and with a better taste. I presently own 5 charcoal and/or wood grills and smokers snd find the are ready in the same time to cook as gas. I have friends who use gas grills and the have to light them and let them warm up which takes the same time to get charcoal lit.
    Deo Vindice
  • mplspugmplspug Posts: 16,014 AG
    You put the lava rocks or ceramic briquettes on the grate.

    Ever notice the flare guards cause flare ups?
    Just dropping grenades in OT
  • Mackeral SnatcherMackeral Snatcher Posts: 13,719 AG
    I had a lava lamp next to the grill filled with lava rocks. 


    Had a lava lamp
    was cool to burn one and watch it.
    THERE SHOULD BE NO COMMERCIAL FISHING ALLOWED FOR ANY SPECIES THAT IS CONSIDERED OVERFISHED.
  • ferris1248ferris1248 Posts: 25,895 Moderator
    Lava rocks were cool. dispersed the heat evenly.

    "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole of the law. The rest is commentary."

    Rabbi Hillel (c20 BCE)

  • AC ManAC Man Posts: 7,317 Admiral
    Lava rocks were cool. dispersed the heat evenly.
    Exactly! Not sure why it went away.
  • mindyabinessmindyabiness Posts: 8,020 Admiral
    edited June 2018 #16
    Weber grills were re-engineered so the rocks were not necessary. The rocks were replaced with the stainless steel angle pieces that bank the heat and release it evenly across the underside of the grill.
    You could still put lava rocks in your grill.
    Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon... No matter how good you are, the bird is going to crap on the board and strut around like it won anyway.
    I AM NOT A RACIST
  • YnotjaxYnotjax Posts: 824 Officer
    I have to agree charcoal is the best, however in the interest of time gas is fast.  When I had a Ducane grill and it had a lifetime warranty my bricks started to crumble went to ace and got this story they were bought out by Weber they had no substitute I picked up a bag if lava rock at the grill isle, the old man working there told me not to buy them,  go to the garden center and get them there huge bag much less.  Told me just put it on high for 45 min.  Those lava rocks worked great until the grates rushed out years later.  Love the even heat new grill is not as good.  

    You our green egg lovers don’t give me crap about cooking on gas.  
  • treemanjohntreemanjohn Posts: 7,998 Admiral
    Taco Bell used lava rocks in their landscape. That was a great source when you needed a few replacements
    We’re like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing, and that ends
  • AC ManAC Man Posts: 7,317 Admiral
    I agree charcoal is great and Webber has gas grills that are good too. I have a high end and life time pellet smoker/grill. Dam thing must weigh a thousand pounds. Still, not worth it when you want to throw on some burgers.
  • lakemanlakeman Posts: 821 Officer
    Quick and easy GAS, for more flavor, various types of charcoal burning appliances.  I have a acorn junior for a Kamado  cooker and it is reasonable fast, to light, but still more of a pain for every day grilling than gas

  • mplspugmplspug Posts: 16,014 AG
    edited June 2018 #21
    Charcoal has more flavor mostly because of a higher heat and....

    ...flare ups.  The charcoal itself doesn't add flavor.  

    Which makes me wonder why a gas grill cannot manufacturer something similar.  The lava rocks bring it closer, but the magic is charcoal has even heat when spread out.  All the heat from gas is localized and lost quickly as a flame.  Also gas grills have regulations for safety meaning the BTUs and ventilation has to meet standards.  I sometimes use foil to cover the ventilation on my current grill.
    Just dropping grenades in OT
  • frankfrank Posts: 13,292 AG
    Charcoal: Lump vs Briquettes

    discuss
  • mplspugmplspug Posts: 16,014 AG
    Lump all the way!  Even if briquettes were slightly better, I'd choose lump for the aesthetics.  
    Just dropping grenades in OT
  • cadmancadman Posts: 43,702 AG
    I just converted back to charcoal this year after using gas for quite a few years. i will never go back to gas.

    speaking of that, anyone near Gainesville needs some propane tanks cheap? Or a gas grill? I think I have three tanks that are full. 

    Former Mini Mart Magnate

    I am just here for my amusement. 

  • frankfrank Posts: 13,292 AG
    mplspug said:
    Lump all the way!  Even if briquettes were slightly better, I'd choose lump for the aesthetics.  
    Lump is good for burgers, hot dogs, steaks, or seafood; things that cook quickly
    for grilling poultry or big pieces of red meat the briquettes are better for holding the right temps and lasting longer
  • ResinheadResinhead Posts: 10,987 AG
    Got tired of both gas and charcoal and bought the big Traeger. Love it. No flare up and have cooked ribs, chickens, brisket, burgers, steaks, sausage, etc... all to perfection.


  • mplspugmplspug Posts: 16,014 AG
    edited June 2018 #27
    frank said:
    mplspug said:
    Lump all the way!  Even if briquettes were slightly better, I'd choose lump for the aesthetics.  
    Lump is good for burgers, hot dogs, steaks, or seafood; things that cook quickly
    for grilling poultry or big pieces of red meat the briquettes are better for holding the right temps and lasting longer
    Excellent point.  

    I do beer can chicken on my gas grill.  I don't think I could do it on charcoal, that's a lot of vigilant watching.

    When we move I am dumping the gas grill as it is on it's last leg and probably will go back to a Weber charcoal grill to start.

    At the new place I might try a DIY gas grill permanent mounted in brick.
    Just dropping grenades in OT
  • frankfrank Posts: 13,292 AG
    Resinhead said:
    Got tired of both gas and charcoal and bought the big Traeger. Love it. No flare up and have cooked ribs, chickens, brisket, burgers, steaks, sausage, etc... all to perfection.


    What does that use for fuel if not charcoal or gas? Wood?
    Great looking set up
  • ResinheadResinhead Posts: 10,987 AG
    edited June 2018 #29
    Wood pellets. They come in hickory, oak, apple, etc. About $16 for a 40lb bag.
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