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Readers Respond: How have you modified your gas grill?

Responses: 18


Have you converted your gas grill to use lava rock, ceramic briquettes or some other heat medium? There are people who say that without something to hold heat and burn off the drippings, that a gas grill can't produce flavorful food. Since gas grills are not made with lava rocks these days, many people have taken to modifying their grills to get this feature back. How have you modified your gas grill?

hotrock bbq

I have developed a two piece tray that goes under the food grates and on top of the grease deflector bars. It will allow you to cook anything you imagine and make you barbecue the most versatile cooking appliance you will ever own. The tray is filled with lava rock which holds the heat through out the cooking process. It can be seen on you tube/hotrock bbq.
—Guest Glen Hammond

Modified my BBQ to lava rock

Purchased a Blue Ember BBQ a few years ago with the ridiculous heat deflector design. Finally got so tired of this system as it took too long to cook the food with little or no heat control. I purchased two adjustable grills and supported them a few inches off the burners and flame with 5/16" bolts drilled through the bottom casing/frame, works great and use much less gas as the lava rock or brickets retain the heat as it should. Never did understand why the BBQ manufacturers changed to the deflector system was put in place by most of the manufacturers, cannot finds a reason on line, go figure.
—Guest Gwynn

ceramic is in

Bought a new Q for 250. Immediately took out the flame tents and put in ceramic pyramids . Performs likea Q twice its price. Even heat all across. Perfect searing. Heat recovery time after opening lid is super fast. Also seem to get higher temps overall. Great mod. Easy and doesnt ruin warrantee.
—Guest Dexter

Good old grill

I'm proudly still using my 40 year old Arkla gas grill, and I wouldn't trade it for one of the new ones for anything. Here in STL if you can find someone throwing out a older gas grill, especially if it's a cast aluminum body . . . GRAB IT. For around $200 you can have it sandblasted, painted and but new guts in it and viola, you have a grill thats worth over $800 on todays market. Or spend a lot more and buy a BroilMaster which is cast aluminum and will last a lifetime. Again, then you have a old time flavorful grill and thats what you want.
—Guest Jim

High Heat for the Winter Months

Adding a layer of lava rocks lets me grill at over 500 degrees on 20 degree days....finally I can use my grill year round.
—Guest P2

modified gas grill

My experience with fiber cement board is that it is loaded with asbestos. If you're not dead yet, you will be soon. Try replacing the fiber board with expanded steel.
—Guest Bob

flame to food bad taste

We just got a gas grill. Propane flame to the food really made the food taste bad. This article tells me what I need to do. Deflector tents are getting removed. Lava rocks going in. Heat up the rocks then turn off the flame then cook. Cant believe anyone would put a steak over a direct flame like that. The fumes go right onto the food. Yuk
—Guest Russ


Made a two burner out of a Q220. The center burner serves to slow roast or add to the outer normal burner. Bought a replacement controller for a Q300/320 (with knobs) and made a bracket of 1/8" x 2" alum. bar. Center burner cut from old 220 burner and brazed where needed. Center burner needed smaller orifice (.025") to work (made myself with 5/16 brass hex stock - 1/4-32 thread) This grill (Weber Q220) is perfect sized - did not want a larger grill so modified to suit - works super great!
—Guest BillyBob

Lava Rocks on Gas Grill

Although Great Mountain stated no lava rocks are needed in their gas grills, I use them. I really need to place a wire grill under the rocks, but haven't yet. Great Mountain has brass burners that has a small ledge above the burner holes. I just place rocks on top of and around the burners. Works well!
—Guest sailor4you

Converted gas grill

Sure have converted. Used to have lava rock on a flame tamer. That kept rusting out & needed regular replacement. Eventually had to replace the whole BBQ & bought one with ceramic briquettes in a frame. The ceramic burns the drippings completely away & I think, gives more flavour in doing so. Better than lava rock. Rock tends to retain the burnt drippings.
—Guest Barry Oliver

BBQ with ceramic briquettes

I bought a bbq that came with ceramic briquettes - the Broilmaster P3. It was hard to find, as almost all bbq's now come with the metal bars. Makes all the difference - although it takes much longer to heat up - it also keeps the heat in. Most restaurants use ceramic briquettes of some sort on their grills. It's the only way to go for flavor and to get a bit of char. The metal bars have eliminated flare ups, but also any flavor, and you can't char anything on them.


Added an upper level grill to my weber gas grill. Also, I use a smoker box to get a wonderful smoke flavor.
—Guest KentLPhilli

Converted Gas Grill

I recently converted my Jen-Aire gas grill to ceramic briquettes to provide more direct heat and flavor. Bought expandable grill grates, remove the heat deflectors and place the briquetts on the new grate. I only did 2 burners to start, but I'm going to do the entire 5 burners. It has given a better flavor to the food I grill, especially putting a crust on a steak. Got the parts at Home Depot
—Guest Mike Hedulnd

Grill Modification

I developed a way to smoke food using my gas grill and am able to impart a delectable flavor to all foods. I can get up to an hour of good smoking if I need it. I can cook with the gas and have smoke too.
—Guest C Varga

gas grill mods

I wasen,t getting the heat higher than 350 degrees, so I sheet metalled the back side to prevent the heat from escaping. I now get it up to an easy 425 degrees. I also got tired of buying propane when natural gas is so cheap and availlable, so I bought a natural gas bar b q . You don,t even notice the difference on your gas bill, and we bar b q all year long even through the winters
—Guest william Balacko

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