Grilling question

CigarStone

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I have a natural gas grill which means using it is cheap and always available.

I have always used lava rocks for heat dispersion and I am wondering about using fire brick instead? I know you are not supposed to get fire brick wet because they will crack/break, but I also know that a lot of different types of smokers use them.

If I put a layer of 1.25" fire brick right above the flame it will disperse the heat and once hot, it will maintain even heat............but will they crack from all the juice dripping on them?
 

smellysell

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Seems like anything between the flame and the cooking surface would be counter productive? I want my grill to get as hot as possible personally.
 

Scap

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Don't know that I'd waste the energy to heat something that has such low thermal conductivity.
 

CigarStone

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Seems like anything between the flame and the cooking surface would be counter productive? I want my grill to get as hot as possible personally.

That was one of my concerns as well, but then I thought about the fact that I have been cooking for years with a heavy layer of lava rock between the flame and the meat? I will try it with burgers tonight, if I can sear a burger I will press on. :cool:

@CigarStone I love how curious you are and how you ask questions. I've learned so much in the last few months because of you. Keep it up.

Glad to be of assistance.:cool: I am analytical by nature and an engineer by education, some have even called me anal. But they're assholes!:)


Don't know that I'd waste the energy to heat something that has such low thermal conductivity.

I agree if I were cooking with propane, but since natural gas is dirt is dirt cheap and limitless, I figure it's worth a try. I have to light my grill and let it burn for 15 full minutes to get up to temp to cook a steak anyway because natural gas burns much less hot than propane.
 

Scap

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I agree if I were cooking with propane, but since natural gas is dirt is dirt cheap and limitless, I figure it's worth a try. I have to light my grill and let it burn for 15 full minutes to get up to temp to cook a steak anyway because natural gas burns much less hot than propane.

When you boil a pot of water, do you put a sheet of insulation between the fire and pot?
Because that's what a fire brick will accomplish.
 
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Seems like anything between the flame and the cooking surface would be counter productive? I want my grill to get as hot as possible personally.
Do you think the lava rock is there to more evenly distribute the heat? So like there aren’t hot spots that would cause flare-ups or uneven cooking? Those are the only reasons I could think off.
 

CigarStone

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When you boil a pot of water, do you put a sheet of insulation between the fire and pot?
Because that's what a fire brick will accomplish.

Totally different concept. You would never cook a burger, steak, or any meat on the burner of your stovetop. Boiling water is purely as hot as you can as fast as you can. Either way, I will find out tonight when I cook burgers over the firebrick, if I can't char them then the experiment is over.

Do you think the lava rock is there to more evenly distribute the heat? So like there aren’t hot spots that would cause flare-ups or uneven cooking? Those are the only reasons I could think off.

I'm sure that's what their purpose is and that's why I am going to try to firebrick because it will do the same thing once I get them hot enough. I hope! :)
 
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Totally different concept. You would never cook a burger, steak, or any meat on the burner of your stovetop. Boiling water is purely as hot as you can as fast as you can. Either way, I will find out tonight when I cook burgers over the firebrick, if I can't char them then the experiment is over.



I'm sure that's what their purpose is and that's why I am going to try to firebrick because it will do the same thing once I get them hot enough. I hope! :)
In the name of science!
 

Scap

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Totally different concept. You would never cook a burger, steak, or any meat on the burner of your stovetop. Boiling water is purely as hot as you can as fast as you can. Either way, I will find out tonight when I cook burgers over the firebrick, if I can't char them then the experiment is over.

I'm sure that's what their purpose is and that's why I am going to try to firebrick because it will do the same thing once I get them hot enough. I hope! :)

You must be thinking of something else, because "fire bricks" are insulators.
 

CigarStone

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You must be thinking of something else, because "fire bricks" are insulators.
Fire bricks are used to line pizza ovens, smokers, custom built grills, all kinds of things where high, consistant heat is wanted. Pizza stones are made from fire brick. They create incredible thermal mass.
 

CigarStone

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Well, the experiment continues!

The burgers turned out perfect! The fire brick capture and give off so much heat, you could bake something 15 minutes after the grill is shut off :)

The next question will be if I can cook a steak Pittsburgh style?
 

smellysell

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Well, the experiment continues!

The burgers turned out perfect! The fire brick capture and give off so much heat, you could bake something 15 minutes after the grill is shut off :)

The next question will be if I can cook a steak Pittsburgh style?
No pics?
 

CigarStone

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After the first flip.....then I forgot to take more.:)

1617146177351.png
 

Jared Nomack

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I have a cast iron "griddle" that I put on my grill and cook steaks, burgers, venison, fish, anything. It sears very nicely. I think there are "noted chefs" who swear by the technique. In bad weather I can also put it on the gas stove top inside. Not quite as good because you don't get the smokey flavoring from lowering the grill lid, but still pretty good. Never tried fire bricks but it's a cool (hot?) idea.
 

CigarStone

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I have a cast iron "griddle" that I put on my grill and cook steaks, burgers, venison, fish, anything. It sears very nicely. I think there are "noted chefs" who swear by the technique. In bad weather I can also put it on the gas stove top inside. Not quite as good because you don't get the smokey flavoring from lowering the grill lid, but still pretty good. Never tried fire bricks but it's a cool (hot?) idea.
I love cooking on cast iron! What d you do to clean it after cooking on the grill? That is typically the thing that deters me from using cast iron.
 

Jared Nomack

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I love cooking on cast iron! What d you do to clean it after cooking on the grill? That is typically the thing that deters me from using cast iron.

It's a pain in the ass to clean, especially if you use the grooved side. But I basically clean it the same way I clean all my cast iron. Rinse with warm water and wipe down as much as possible with a paper towel; rinse with warm water again and put a couple of tablespoons of ordinary salt on it; take another paper towel and "scrub" with the salt, reapply as necessary (this should get most of the crud off); rinse again; put it on the stovetop or in the oven on 300 or so, for longer than you would think necessary (maybe 5-10 mins), to get all the water out of the pores; let it cool to touch, then wipe with vegetable oil, very lightly; put away. When I'm feeling industrious, I'll wipe with oil then put it in the oven on 300 for 3-4 hours to add to the seasoning, then let it cool in the oven until morning.

It's a lot of work. But I find it worth it. Nothing compares to cooking with cast iron. I just made a pasta sauce last night for the family, in an old Lodge 15 I got from Goodwill years ago. It's just a pleasure to work with.
 

CigarStone

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It's a pain in the ass to clean, especially if you use the grooved side. But I basically clean it the same way I clean all my cast iron. Rinse with warm water and wipe down as much as possible with a paper towel; rinse with warm water again and put a couple of tablespoons of ordinary salt on it; take another paper towel and "scrub" with the salt, reapply as necessary (this should get most of the crud off); rinse again; put it on the stovetop or in the oven on 300 or so, for longer than you would think necessary (maybe 5-10 mins), to get all the water out of the pores; let it cool to touch, then wipe with vegetable oil, very lightly; put away. When I'm feeling industrious, I'll wipe with oil then put it in the oven on 300 for 3-4 hours to add to the seasoning, then let it cool in the oven until morning.

It's a lot of work. But I find it worth it. Nothing compares to cooking with cast iron. I just made a pasta sauce last night for the family, in an old Lodge 15 I got from Goodwill years ago. It's just a pleasure to work with.
I found a guy called The Cast Iron Ranger on youtube. He is a bit of a goof but I have found a number of cool tricks from him. He will tell you how to use 11 charcoal briquets (not 10 and not 12) with your dutch oven to make an awesome desert. He is a hoot!

He is where I learned to soak venison in cream or milk to tenderize it and remove gamey flavor.
 

Breedy

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Nov 14, 2007
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Couple things.

Weber One Touch gold, or current equivalent, is more than enough grill for a family of four. Grills, smokes, sears, etc...

Harbor freight heat gun to light coals for smoking in snake method

I use an 8x16 double side griddle from Aldis' to make smash burgers. I really only use the flat top side and let the grease stay on where it is until I need to grill again. Usually a quick rinse and its good to go back into my outside storage box.

I've done Sou vide steaks amd then seared then on cast iron on the grill... Works nicely
 
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