A Beginner’s Guide to Grilling with Ceramic Briquettes
You’ve got your grill out, you’ve got your friends coming over and a fridge full of delicious steak or veggies. Now you’re wondering how to use that grill to its maximum potential. Straight gas cooking? Stick some charcoal in there? Have you thought about ceramic briquettes? Ceramic briquettes are used in gas grills to reduce fuel consumption and to produce a lasting, even heat for effective grilling. They make your food taste excellent too! Briquettes are a good investment for anyone who likes to grill and is concerned about the environment, as well as achieving that charcoal grilled taste you’re looking for. This guide will show you how to use grill ceramic briquettes so you can grill to your heart’s content.
Why Use Ceramic Briquettes on Your Grill?
Some people say that using ceramic briquettes improves the taste of meat, that may be true but what is for certain is that the even heat of the briquettes stops harsh searing of your meat. Gas grills have very hot parts and cooler parts, whereas a grill with ceramic briquettes spreads the heat so food will cook how you want it to. You’ll get super juicy steak or burgers that have cooked the way you need them to. Rare, medium, well done? Dare I say blue? Don’t take the risk of half a blue steak and half well done. Get your grill roaring, stick on the briquettes and enjoy the hot juices falling onto the grill, turning into flavorsome smoke. My stomach is already rumbling!
There are many types and shapes of grill ceramic briquettes, consider your options and what you want to cook before you buy. Most have the standard charcoal lump shape, which looks and works very well, but also consider pyramids and easy-to-clean shapes. Lava rocks are a very popular choice to install, they look great too. You’ll need a lot to build up the grill and keep a good temperature, so don’t skimp on the briquettes!
You can turn the gas off and your grill will keep on grilling for some time yet, that’s the joy of ceramics. Efficient deliciousness.
Some briquettes are now made from woods that, once heated to the correct temperature, will give off fragrant smoke that will flavor your food. Amongst the types available are hickory, cherry, pecan, mesquite, apple, and oak. Each will give a distinct taste when cooked with and add variety to anything you want to grill.
How to Add Ceramic Briquettes to a Gas Grill or BBQ Grill
What You’ll Need:
- Ceramic briquettes for gas grill – make sure they’re suitable for your grill (read the manual!)
- Gas/BBQ grill
- Matches – any long-handled lighter or cooks matches will do the trick, don’t burn your fingers!
- Tin Foil (optional) – Good thick tough stuff if you can get it
- Gravel (optional) – This will act as an extra heat sink, meaning you can keep up on a marathon grill sesh!
Adding Ceramic Briquettes to Your Gas Grill or BBQ Grill:
- Clean your grill, get rid of residue as it will cause bad tastes
- Carefully check the manual to see what type of protection is needed for the grill’s firebox
- Ensure proper ventilation and air supply, install if necessary
- Line the firebox walls with heavy aluminum foil (optional) – it will keep your grill clean as well as reflecting heat back into the cooking area.
- Use gravel for additional lining (optional) – an effective heat sink as well as looking nice
- Arrange the briquettes evenly over the flame outlets in a mound, too close to your skillet or grill and it’ll cook too fast, too low and the opposite will happen
- Light the grill and heat briquettes until they’re red hot and giving off a steady heat
- Check the temperature with an infrared thermometer to see if it’s up to heat
- Place grill over briquettes
- Grill whatever you like to your heart’s content!
When to Replace Ceramic Briquettes
It’s pretty clear when your grill ceramic briquettes need replacing – they will start to crumble and fall apart. But before chucking them out, check to see if they just need a good clean. They’re “self-cleaning,” so put them on a low heat on the grill, put the cover down and leave for a quarter of an hour. When they’ve cooled down they should be clean of the sooty residue that builds up from the juices falling through the grill. If not, it’s probably time to get some new ceramic briquettes for your gas grill. Old briquettes can give an unusual taste, so you should be able to tell when they’re in need of replacement.
Soaking briquettes in vinegar can be an effective method of cleaning your briquettes.
Turn the briquettes after every cooking session so they clean themselves when you next fire up the grill. The briquettes should be glowing before you start cooking. Thaw all meat thoroughly before putting on the grill to prevent bacterial build up and potential food poisoning.
Grills are dangerous, make sure any children are supervised and that a fire bucket and fire extinguisher are to hand. Grilling meat can catch and flare up so keep a safe distance and use long tongs on your grill. Install your grill according to the instructions. Have a designated griller, who will at least hold off on the alcohol consumption until everybody’s fed. Make sure she/he’s read the manual too!
Grill ceramic briquettes look the business and they grill like nothing else. Get that charcoal grill flavor on your gas grill while saving money and the environment. Sounds good to me! Just imagine the juices, the smoke, the sizzle and pop of steak or veg slowly grilling to perfection over the red, comforting glow of your grill. I know what I’m asking for next festive season!
Shop around, try different ones out and bookmark this guide! Feel free to explore the rest of our site for more helpful tips and guides.