A Beginner’s Guide to Grilling with Ceramic Briquettes

Today, gas grills are becoming increasingly popular due to their convenience, ease of use and maintenance, and eco-friendliness. The problem, though, with the gas-powered grills is that the flavors of the meat and other foods prepared on these grills often lack the smokiness of the foods grilled on traditional charcoal and wood grills. Another problem with gas grills and smokers is the fact that they are not as reliable when it comes to maintaining a consistent temperature for the grilling and smoking.

Thankfully, there are ceramic briquettes that can resolve these issues with gas grills. They can help produce higher and even heat and temperature, help reduce propane consumption and help give the typical BBQ charcoal grilled taste to the meat and other foods.

Why should you use ceramic briquettes for your gas grill?

Since gas grills became so popular, manufacturers and users have been looking for ways to improve their performance and results.

They are a better option than the lava rocks, vaporizer bars, and other alternatives used for gas grills because ceramic briquettes are efficient in achieving high and even temperatures, thus reducing the risk of the food being scorched or harshly seared. They are also fuel-saving, do not corrode, and are easy to clean.

The ceramic briquettes help distribute the heat evenly on the grill, eliminating hot and cold spots. They can help give the meat and veggies that smoky and chary smell of delicious BBQ.

They also come in trays that help prevent flare-ups resulting from grease and foods dripping on the flames.

These special briquettes are excellent for providing a fantastic sear on the meat, as they can provide and maintain high and consistent temperatures of 1800 to 3000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ceramic briquettes can help reduce fuel consumption and save power and money, especially for low and slow grilling and smoking.

These briquettes are durable and can be reused for years without the need for replacements.

They are easy to install and replace when necessary and are also easy to clean after use.

Related article: Best gas grills under $500 in 2021

Adding the ceramic briquettes to a gas or BBQ grill

ceramic-briquettes-to-a-gas-or-BBQ-grill
Photo credit: chowhound.com

What you will need:

  • Suitable ceramic briquettes for your grill – make sure you check the specifications to ensure that they will fit and work for your specific grill
  • A gas or BBQ grill
  • A briquette tray that will fit the briquettes and the grill
  • Long-handled lighter or matches
  • Tinfoil and gravel (these are optional)
  •  A thermometer

How to add the briquettes to the gas grill or your BBQ grill

  • Clean the grill to remove any grease and residues
  • Check the user manual for instructions for safety for the firebox of your grill
  • Check whether there is sufficient ventilation in the area
  • Use heavy aluminum foil to line the firebox of the grill to help keep it clean and to reflect back the heat (optional)
  • Add a layer of gravel (optional)
  • If you will be using a ceramic briquette tray – arrange the briquettes in it
  • If you are using a tray, fix it on the rack on top of the burner
  • If you are not using a tray, then position the briquettes on the charcoal tray evenly – neither too close nor too far away from the grill
  • Light up the grill and wait for the ceramic briquettes to heat up until they are red hot
  • Use a thermometer to check the heat
  • If the heat is right, place the grill above the hot briquettes and proceed to grill the foods of your choice
  • Keep in mind that the temperatures can be scorching when using ceramic briquettes, so follow all of the safety guideline, gas bottle safety rules, and wear protective gloves and equipment
  • After you are done, remember to wait for the grill and briquettes to cool down and clean them by first wiping any grease or food with a paper towel, and then turn the tray and briquettes over with the grease facing down
  • Crank up the heat and let the “self-cleaning” briquettes heat up for 15 to 20 minutes
  • After that, turn the heat off, let the briquettes cool down, and the food residues should be gone. If there is some left, use a wire brush to scrub it off.

When is it time to replace the ceramic briquettes?

While there are long-lasting and corrosion-resistant, ceramic briquettes do have a certain lifespan and will need to be replaced after time.

If your briquettes look dirty and like they need to be replaced, it is advisable that you try cleaning them first by placing them with the greasy side down and letting them sit on high heat for about 30 minutes.

If this cleaning doesn’t help, or if your briquettes have started falling apart or crumbling, or if your grilled food is tasting weird, then it is maybe time to get some new ones.

Some tips for prolonging the longevity of your ceramic briquettes:

  • Make sure you clean them after every cooking session or at least turn them around with the oily sides downward
  • Soaking them in vinegar can help clean any stubborn residues from the briquettes
  • Thaw the meat before placing it on the grill to prevent the buildup of bacteria

Precautions you should take

Always follow the local fire safety rules, and make sure that you are aware of the gas bottle safety guidelines as well. Keep a fire extinguisher and fire bucket near the grill during use.

Keep the grill away from any flammable liquids and items, and keep young kids and pets safely away from it.

To protect yourself, you should wear gloves and use grill tongs with long and safe handles.

Be careful when consuming alcohol and using the grill. If possible, assign a designated griller who will not be drinking until the food has been prepared.

Final words

Ceramic briquettes for gas grills are an excellent investment to make in the long run. They are durable and easy to use, and clean. With them, the temperature of your grill will be higher and will be evenly distributed.

Ceramic briquettes will ensure that your food is deliciously grilled or smoked, without hot or cold spots, and it will help save fuel and money, especially when cooking low and slow.

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