Archive for the ‘Barbecue Tips’ Category

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 @ 11:07 AM
Lee Phillips

Often looks are put before performance, a real shame and one of the biggest areas to look at is the cook-box, some barbecues just don’t have what it takes, and in the case of the cook-box, size really does matter. To save cost, cook-boxes are often very shallow and thin, or have large openings in the bottom of the casting, obviously designed to use as little steel as possible. However there are serious performance problems created by a thin, shallow or open cook-box that far outweigh the benefit of lower cost.

Shallow Cookbox

  • With a shallow cook-box the burner is located too close to the cooking grids to allow the heat to dissipate properly. This causes uneven heat distribution.
  • With a shallow cook-boxes the vaporizer is positioned too close to the cooking grids. Should you encounter a flare up, it will scorch and burn your food.
  • With a shallow cookbox, there is not enough room in the oven to rotisserie or roast a large chicken, turkey, or prime rib.

Thin Cook-box

  • With a thin cookbox the heat is not distributed evenly within the oven offering poor results when rotisserie cooking or roasting using the indirect or convection method.
  • A thin cook-box that is exposed to very high operating temperatures for extended periods of time is subject to warping and distortion.
Broil King Large Cookbox

Broil King Large Cook-box

Broil King are one of the best barbecue manufacturers for using design that is practical to the product, the heavy appearance isn’t only skin deep, it goes through to the core, robust and reliable barbecues built in Canada. Broil King® cook-boxes are extra deep, made from either die cast aluminum, porcelain coated steel or high grade stainless steel, and are designed to provide superior heat distribution and retention, cooking versatility and long lasting durability, this combined with Broilking’s heavy duty cast iron or stainless steel grills make sure that your barbecue wont just cook, it will create the perfect food whatever the meal.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012 @ 08:07 AM
Lee Phillips

Most typical problems when your barbecue miss-behaves is after long periods of storage, we have talked through burner cleaning etc, however below are some common issues and resolutions when your BBQ presents a problem.

Problem: Barbecue Not Getting Hot Enough

Solutions: Patio gas bottles can shut the valve down in the reg or at the bottle if the flow is turned on to quickly, to resolve:

  1. Turn the cylinder regulator off then turn all the burner knobs off, remove the regulator from the tank, then reconnect.
  2. Always turn the cylinder valve on slowly for the first 1/4 turn, turning it on too fast can cause the initial burst of flow to push the leak detection valve to shut down the supply, restricting gas flow.
  3. Always follow the advice provided by the gas supplier and barbecue manufacturer.

Problem: Burners will not light

Solutions:

  1. Check that the gas tank is not empty
  2. Ensure that the burner is sitting flat and level in the barbecue and the venturi tubes are properly seated within the valve (refer to barbecue instructions)
  3. Ensure that you have cleaned the barbecue burners
  4. Ensure ignitor is working
  5. Ensure the cylinder valve is turned on and the regulator assembly is fully tightened to the cylinder valve.

Problem: Flame Burns Out

Solutions:

  1. Ensure barbecue is sufficiently preheated
  2. Ensure venturi tubes are properly seated over the orifice(s) on the valve
  3. Ensure venturi tubes are clear

Problem: Black smoke on food or yellow flame

Solutions: Venturi tubes partially blocked causing incorrect gas-air mixture and therefore improper burn.

  1. Check and clean venturi tubes
  2. Check air shutters on venturi tubes for correct setting (many are now pre-set at the factory and are not adjustable, check with instructions first)
  3. Check condition of burner port holes.

Problem: Flashback (flame burning at venturi tubes, valve, console or control knobs)

Solutions: Immediately shut off the gas supply at the gas tank or supply, let the barbecue cool and then remove the burners and check for any blockage in the ports or venturi tubes.

Problem: Regulator is humming

Solutions: This is not a defect or hazard. The noise is internal and caused by cold propane passing through a restricted space, this usually occurs with a full tank in hot weather cools and the level of propane in the cylinder goes down, always double check for leaks.

Problem: Burner lights with match, but not with ignitor

Solutions:

  1. Ensure push button is not broken or wet
  2. Check to see if the wire is broken or frayed
  3. Check to see if the electrode on the ceramic part is broken, blocked or not central.
  4. Ensure batteries do not need replacing.
  5. Check for any obstruction in venturi tubes.

Problem: Too much heat

Solutions: Too much heat can be caused by excessive grease build-up, damaged or miss-seated burners or a faulty regulator. On older barbecues using rocks, there may be too many or they could be too close to each other.

Problem: Excessive flare-ups

Solutions: Excessive flare-ups can be caused by a large build up of grease, clogged grease drain or too much fatty food on the grill at any one time, drain all excess marinades off food before grilling, when cooking high fat content foods, where possible reverse grills too allow fat to drain away from the burners, or if your grills are not reversible, use a foil tray under the grill to catch the fats.

Problem: Incomplete burner flame

Solutions:

  1. Check and see if the venturi tubes are obstructed, blocked or not seated properly.
  2. Check that the burner is obstructed or leaking.

Thursday, June 28, 2012 @ 07:06 AM
Lee Phillips

Stainless steel is frequently used in barbecues due to its quality, durability and aesthetics, however it is not a maintenance free product all materials will stain including Stainless steel, common discolouration is from smoke, food deposits, using the wrong cleaners and grease. Regular cleaning with a mild detergent solution and a soft cloth is one of the best ways to maintain the appearance and keep the BBQ clean, always ensure you use a soft cloth and nothing abrasive.

Stainless Steel Cooking Grills:

Stainless steel grills can exceed the discolouration temperature of 450°C, this does not affect the grills cooking performance, purely the appearance. Stainless steel cooking grills require attention because foods contain salt especially in rubs and marinades, the salt residue left behind leaves a rust-like colouration, this can be reduced by washing and seasoning the grills regularly with oil. The best oil for cooking grills (cast iron or Stainless steel) is Grape Seed oil, the high burn temperature means that the oil will protect the grills throughout the cooking process, olive oil has a very low burn temperature and will not offer any protection  to the grills, it also has a taste that can pass onto food whereas Grape Seed oil has a neutral flavour. Avoid peanut oil, just encase any guests have allergies.

Discoloured Stainless Steel BBQ Lids:

Discolouration from grease on Stainless steel lids is a common barbecue problem, many professional barbecues will have double lined lids, this does protect against discolouration, however does not eliminate it. When cooking barbecue smoke filled with grease particles leaves a deposit on surrounding areas, discolouration is noticeable most close to the bottom of the lid. When grease is deposited on a hot surface it will bake on and become visible as a golden brown sheen.

When fat and grease has become baked on it will not be easily removed by standard cleaners, it can resemble rust and is often confused with discolouration of the actual Stainless steel, this is not the case, the best method to remove the residue is to pre-soak the affected area in a warm or hot ammonia solution, this will soften the baked on grease, wash with the solution, then with detergent and rinse thoroughly with water, remember to wipe dry to avoid watermarks caused by lime deposits in the water.

Cleaning the Shelves and Frames of the BBQ:

In most cases cleaning with a mild household detergent or BBQ cleaner will restore the Stainless steel finish to an as new look, if an area close to the cooking lid has been affected by heat then follow the above instructions for baked on grease. Again applying some Grape Seed oil to the areas most affected by grease after cleaning will protect from future attacks and also aid cleaning next time.

Things to Avoid When Cleaning:

  1. Never use bleach or cleaners containing bleach.
  2. Never use metal or steel wool to scour Stainless steel. The residue left behind by the metal or steel wool will show as rust.
  3. On cosmetic areas such as lids, doors, shelves etc, never use harsh abrasives, they will scratch the surface. Instead use mild solutions and soak areas to clean and use a soft cloth. Scrapers and harsh brushes should only be used on grills.
  4. If you need to use mild abrasives always go with the grain of the Stainless steel.
  5. Never use acid on Stainless steel.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 @ 08:06 AM
Lee Phillips

We have talked a lot about smoking on the barbecue, it is a great way to add extra flavour to food, and a chart is available on our Wood Flavouring Guide to give you some idea of what woods provide what flavour and on what foods they can be used on.

Wood Chips:

Produce great smoke and are available in many varieties. For gas barbecues, always use a smoker box or foil pouch, you need to starve the wood or oxygen so it smolders instead of burns. For charcoal barbecues and smokers, put the wood chips directly on the hot coals, the chips can be soaked this will provide a longer burn time and give off a more pungent smoke flavour, however it does need more attention as soaking makes the chips harder to light.

There are no rules when it comes to wood chips and barbecuing, only your imagination. Wood chips can be mixed wet and dry. Most smoke penetration takes place in the first hour of cooking, so it’s important to get the food on as soon as the chips start to smoke. If you want an extra kick of smoke, apply a few more chips 10 minutes before your food is ready.

Wood Chunks:

Primarily used in charcoal barbecues or smokers, chunks are typically too large for smoker boxes in gas barbecues. Large chunks burn longer and are great for long cooks. Unlike wood chips, soaking wood chunks does not increase smoke quality or burn time. Wood chunks are so large that they don’t allow for enough water to penetrate to make the process effective or worthwhile.

Pellets:

These small and much neglected smoke products provide a big taste. Available in a range of flavours, pellets add a whole new dimension to grilling. Pellets are made from 100% wood, they don’t contain any bark nor retain any water or moisture. Average cooking sessions require only 4 ½ tablespoons, meaning fewer pellets are needed when compared to other smoking methods. Pellets also offer the ultimate in convenience, storage is easy and more intense smoke is created with less product, you would need between 5 and 10 times the weight in wood to achieve the same intensity of flavour. Never soak pellets, but always ensure they are used in a smoker box or foil pouch.

Planks:

Preparation is key to perfecting the benefits of plank grilling. Hardwood planks need extra time to absorb moisture and must be submerged while soaking. Barbecue temperatures is determined by the thickness of the plank and type/thickness of the food being cooked. Thicker planks take longer to crackle and smoke, seasoning the plank with sea salt, pepper or herbs further enhance the flavour and give grillers and opportunity to create their own style or secret recipe.

For best results, resist the temptation to peek, always wait for the plank to exhaust all of the savoury smoke. The plank should not catch fire, but always keep a water spray bottle on hand to douse any flames. Never flip planks or leave the barbecue unattended.

Wraps:

These are similar to planks but come as a thinner slice of wood rather like a veneer. After wraps are soaked they become pliable and are easily wrapped around a bundle of food to be smoked. Wraps create individual portions and are available in Cedar, Maple and Alder.

This is an easy way to add smoke flavour to your meal, while using seasoning to infuse recipes with creativity and flavour. Use caution when using wraps, because they are so thin, they can catch easily, so never leave the barbecue unattended and keep a spray bottle of water to hand to douse any flames. Never re-use wood wraps for food safety reasons.

Thursday, June 21, 2012 @ 01:06 PM
Lee Phillips

Wood Type

What it offers

B

R

Pk

H

P

G

S

C

Alder

Fragrant and delicate, sweet, musky smoke

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almond

Hickory imparts a nutty and sweet flavour

 

 

Apple

Is the sweetest and strongest of fruitwoods

 

Apricot

A little milder and sweeter than Hickory

 

 

 

 

Ash

Fast burning, with a light smoke flavour

 

 

 

 

Beech

Similar to Oak, mild and goes with most meat

 

 

Birch

Similar to Maple but not as hard, burns faster

 

 

Black Walnut

Intense smoke, slightly bitter like walnuts

 

 

 

 

 

Cherry

Slightly sweet and fruity, good for dark meats

 

 

Chestnut

Slightly sweet with a nutty smoke flavour

 

 

 

 

Crabapple

Rich and fruity, similar to apple with greater smoke

 

 

Grape Vines

Tart and milder than Hickory, Aromatic like all fruitwood

 

 

 

 

 

Guava

Floral fruity smoke similar to Apple, good all-rounder

 

Hickory

Adds full rich sweet strong bacon flavour

 

Jack Daniels

Strong, sweet smoke with aromatic tang

 

 

 

Lemon

Tangy, medium citrus smoke with fruitiness

 

 

 

 

Lilac

Very light smoke flavour, with a hint of floral

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lime

Medium smoke flavour with a hint of fruitiness

 

 

 

 

 

Maple

Mildly smokey imparting a sweet light taste ideal for poultry

 

 

Mesquite

A strong wood leaving an aromatic smokey flavour

 

Mulbury

Mild smoke with a sweet, tangy blackberry flavour

 

 

 

Nectarine

Milder and sweeter than Hickory, similar to Apricot

 

 

 

 

Oak

Ideal for all meats, good for slow smoking

 

 

Olive

Smokey flavour similar to Mequite but lighter

 

 

 

 

 

Orange

Tangy, citrus smoke with medium flavour

 

 

 

Peach

Slightly sweet, compliments fish and perfect for salmon

 

 

 

 

Pear

Great with Poultry, slightly sweet with woodsy flavour

 

 

 

 

Pecan

Similar to Hickory but sweeter and milder, with nutty taste

 

Persimmon

Medium smoke, perfect for ribs & brisket

 

 

 

 

Pimento

Also known as Allspice, used with Jerk Chicken & Pork

 

 

 

 

Sassafras

Musky sweet smoke with a root beer after taste

 

 

 

 

Whisky barrels

Usually made from Oak, great for meats and cheese

 

Key:

B = Beef
R = Ribs
Pk = Pork
H = Ham
P = Poultry
G = Game
S = Seafood
C = Cheese

Never use coniferous or evergreen wood. The tars and resins present in the wood are harmful and distasteful for smoking or barbecuing.

Cedar Not for burning!, only use for planking, soak cedar planks overnight in water, season salmon (or any other fish) and place on the cedar plank on the barbecue and cook on an indirect heat.

Thursday, June 21, 2012 @ 08:06 AM
Lee Phillips

Cast iron is the number 1 choice for professionals and is used in commercial kitchens, however cast iron does need careful care to maintain, here we give you some helpful information on how best to look after your grills. The heavy mass of cast iron absorbs and retains heat to provide unsurpassed searing performance to lock in the natural juices of food on the grill. Most cast iron grills are coated with a porcelain finish to assist in cleaning and help prevent rust. Some chipping may occur if mishandled and over time this coating will inevitably wear through, this will not in any way affect the performance of the grill. As the porcelain wears away, the grills will become more susceptible to rust, should you see rust on your grill simply remove it with a scrub pad or grill brush and coat the area with cooking oil. Never clean cast iron grills in the dishwasher or leave to air dry.

Before the very first use

This rule applies to any cast iron cooking product and so includes extras like cooking and frying pans, griddle plates etc. Wash the cast iron with soap and water to remove any residue from the manufacturing process, rinse and dry thoroughly. Next, coat lightly with unsalted lard/butter or grape seed oil, the place in the barbecue and set on a low heat for about and hour. Let the cast iron cool to room temperature, then repeat the coating and return to the same low heat for another hour, remember to coat the entire grill, edges, corners and underside. Over time your grills will become “seasoned”, occasionally repeating this process and always keeping the grills oiled will make clean-up easier and prolong the life of your cooking grates, as well as creating a non-stick coating that improves over time. Never use a spray on oil or non-stick coating, the burn temperature is too low and so will not last on the cooking surface.

To Cook

Some grills may be used in the high position, low or sloped position (depending on the barbecue itself)

High Position: Further away from the burner, therefore uses less direct heat. This is position is ideal for chicken, fish and vegetables. The wider twin grooves on the grills allow for more contact and better support to delicate fish and vegetables, the channels will also capture juices to continually baste your food as it cooks.

Low Position: Closer to the heat, therefore uses more direct heat. This position is ideal for steaks and general grilling. The pointed side will give your steaks the same classic grill marks found in famous steakhouses.

Sloped: This position is ideal for excessively greasy, fatty foods such as chicken wings, some sausages and burgers, the slope allows excess grease to drain down the side of the casting, reducing flare-ups (this is only available on some models, the manufacturer Broil King offer this on their larger barbecues).

Cleaning and Tips

When your finished cooking, do not clean your grills, turn your barbecue off, the left over grease and fat will add protection. The next time you cook, you have to pre-heat your barbecue and it is at this time that you brush your grills with a good quality grill brush, when the grills are hot they will clean easily, once the old residue is off you can apply a fresh coating of oil to keep food from sticking. Occasionally, or after heavy use of cooking marinades etc, the grills will require a thorough clean, always hand dry thoroughly after cleaning with soapy water and re-apply oil immediately.

On the grill: If you have and oil mister or spray pump, lightly coat the grills before and after cooking, you can also use a rag or paper towel to coat the grills. Many people neglect to oil the grills, however you don’t often fry an egg without using oil or butter, the same rule should always apply to cast iron cooking grills, below is a demo on oiling provided by OMC (Broil King):

Rotate the grill: The most common area for rust to form is the two outside edges. by frequently rotating the grills the overall surface is used evenly and will reduce the occurrence of this problem.

Brushes: Brass brushes are relatively soft and will not harm the porcelain coating, many grill brushes are now using stainless steel bristles, although a harder metal, the bristle form makes it safe for use on porcelain coated grills, try to avoid hard steel scrapers or other abrasives that could scratch or chip the porcelain.

Oils: The best grilling oil is Grape Seed oil. It has the highest burn temperature and neutral flavour that is perfect for grilling. Alternatives include Canola or Vegetable oil, NEVER us Olive Oil as the burn temperature is far too low. You can also use Peanut Oil, it has a high burn temperature, but does have a strong flavour so will not go with all your cooking, and with a lot of people having peanut allergies it is safer to avoid it all together.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 08:06 AM
Lee Phillips

Love ’em or hate them, Spiders can be a big problem for your barbecue, here we talk how and why…

We all know the smell of natural and bottled gas, very unpleasant like a bowl of rotten eggs, added as a safety precaution it makes detecting leaks easy and acts as warning instantly recognisable to all, however this bad smell for us actually attracts insects. They will nest in and around the venturi tubes, their nests or webs can then cause a full or partial blockage of the venturi tube causing the gas to flow back out of the venturi tube and ignite around the valve area. The fire may appear to be at the valve, venturi tubes or control knobs. This Flashback or Control Panel fire can cause serious damage and injury.

Side View of barbecue burners and common nesting areas for spiders and insects.

Side View of barbecue burners and common nesting areas for spiders and insects.

Prevention:

Most good manufacturers now install spider guards, these are a small screen on the air intake in an effort to reduce the problem, however it does not eliminate the issue. Spiders can still clog the smallest of holes, they don’t care how new you barbecue is, or how you spent two hours cleaning it the day before, all they know is that they nested there before, or that they like the look of it now!

Regularily clean your venturi tubes and take a careful look should you see the following symptoms:

  1. You get a strong smell of gas
  2. You notice that one or both sides of the burner have a yellow flame, ideally a burner flame should be blue.
  3. As burners get older, with a little rust and dirt, flame colour will change, the key is to take notice of dramatic changes that happen quickly since the last use.
  4. You struggle to get your barbecue up to temperature.
  5. Your BBQ heats up unevenly.
  6. You hear popping noises from the burners.

To properly and effectively clean your burners, follow these simple steps.

  1. Turn off the gas at the bottle, or source.
  2. Remove the burner to expose the venturi tubes. Different manufacturers will use different methods to hold the burners in place so familiarize yourself with the operators booklet before hand. Normally there will be one, two or four screws or clips holding the burner from the underside. Some will use a clip or spring that holds the venturi tube over the valve.
  3. Visually inspect the venturi tube openings for signs of webs, no matter how small, insert a flexible venturi brush on inch at a time, remove and inspect the head, re-insert and repeat until you have cleaned the entire length of the tube. By taking your time you will be more successful in removing any webs, simply pushing the brush all the way in at once could result in cramming any webs at the end, rather than removing them.
  4. Finally double check the tubes are completely clean.
  5. Replace the burner in the barbecue, ensuring the veturi tubes are seated correctly and that the burner is resting flat and level.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 07:06 AM
Lee Phillips

We all love a good barbecue, but some feel that grilling over gas loses some of flavour associated with charcoal and smoke. We have detailed the new methods now used by most gas barbecue manufacturers, with new flavor bars used in place of rocks the same great taste can be achieved, however with the continued quest for perfection, you can now go even further and cook with planks or smoke with wood chips, garden chefs can taste the smoky flavour of wood and cook with the convenience of gas.  Tender, smoky ribs, roasts and seafood can be achieved with ease.

Smoking with wood chips:

When you smoke a cut of meat, give it plenty of time and smoke so it can absorb the flavour.  Start by soaking the wood chips in water for at least half an hour and then drain them.  Use a stainless steel or cast iron smoker box placed under the cooking grids so the chips will smolder and smoke.  There are several different varieties of wood chips available; here are some tips on what variety goes best with different meats:

Hickory is used most traditionally in the southern barbecue belt, and gives a strong hearty flavour to meats.  Try hickory with beef or pork.

Mesquite is a great choice for beef, lamb, or even turkey.

Fruit Wood (such as apple or cherry) is great for lamb, poultry and fish.

Whatever type of wood chips you choose you’re sure to get unparalleled taste that you would struggle to replicate when cooking indoors.

Planking is a great way to impress your guests:

Cooking meat or seafood on a wooden plank is sure to get great results and wow your dinner guests!  The process is just as simple as smoking.  Just soak the plank in water, juice, or beer for an hour and pat it dry.  Place the seasoned meat on the plank and then onto a medium-low temperature grill.  Cook it to its desired doneness, and serve.  It’s that simple. You can buy a range of planks from cedar, maple and alder plus many more.

Cedar is ideal for salmon but don’t be afraid to try other meats on it.

Pork goes great on a maple plank and lamb is ideal for alder.

Experiment with these ideas and you will soon discover that smoking can be good for you…your food that is!

Thursday, May 17, 2012 @ 10:05 AM
Lee Phillips

All those barbecue lovers know or have at least heard of the Outback name, but why does it remain one of the most important brands in the barbecue industry?

Outback have always produced barbecues for the home enthusiast, an entry level bbq with solid features and design that will see you cooking happily for a good few years, it is a brand that has become known for affordability for the first-time barbecue. The Outback name carries huge importance for how popular the Outback barbecue brand has become, you only need to look at other brands and the names behind them to see just what impact it has.

Outback, when you say the word it gives you an image of the outback, when you then add the term barbecue, for me strikes the right cord for an enjoyable outdoor cooking experience, and this I believe is why the brand remains so popular today.

Outback barbecues take innovation and design seriously, with new models come new designs and cooking methods, recently Outback introduced the flavour bar method which replaces the old style ceramic briquettes, a true piece of design genius. The flavour bars provide the ultimate taste experience and are the easiest system to keep clean to date.

Wood was once sourced from hardwood forests and although sourced carefully and responsibly, Outback soon realised that customers had concerns over hardwood trolleys and parts, quick to react Outback changed to a responsibly sourced softer wood, that is treated for long life, and superb aesthetics. Many models had complete re-builds and alloy frames took the place of what was once hardwood.

In 2011 we saw the next generation of Outback barbecues, full enclosed carts with doors, gave for the modern barbecue look and convenience of having an enclosed area for people to keep tools and trays conveniently with the barbecue, an example of this new style can be seen with the Meteor. Technology has been used to the full extent with the introduction of sear burners as seen on the new Comet Barbecue for the perfectly cooked and marked steak, coupled with the flavour bars the new cooking medium has kept the brand in front of the competition, now and for years to come.

Whilst using the latest technology available, Outback have also stood close to their roots, with some models only having the odd facelift or cart change, the reason is simple, Outback spend both finance and resource on creating a barbecue that functions to meet the customers’ expectations, and lives up to the name. After creating a barbecue that works and is well received in the market, Outback will only continue to enhance the model, this I think is a key point behind the companies continued success, the customer knows the model, trusts it and so continues with it year after year.

Outback barbecues offer an affordable barbecue for the family, built for the entry level market making cooking for the family over the Summer months both enjoyable and hassle free.

Monday, May 14, 2012 @ 07:05 AM
Lee Phillips

With all the gas barbecues available on the market today, choice can be made very difficult, so to narrow down your search for the perfect barbecue, her we give you some facts behind the different types of heat media that most barbecues have.

The best flavour associated with barbecued food comes from the fats and juices dripping onto a hot surface, this causes the drippings to vaporize, rise and permeate the food, this system is more natural on a charcoal barbecue, however with gas a little more help from innovation comes into play. With the juices from the meats permeating the food above it creates that wonderful flavour that we all recognise and love about barbecued food, gas cooking now easily mimics the taste associated with charcoal.

Charcoal: this does a fantastic job of vapourising the juices of food cooked on a charcoal grill, so much so that many people will swear that the flavour comes from the charcoal itself, this is unfortunately a complete myth, charcoal is tasteless and odourless, making it impossible to alter or add taste or flavour to food, in fact charcoal is used in air and water filters and purifiers; it is commonly used to absorb odours in household refrigerators.

Lava Rocks: these were first used in gas barbecues, however are seldom used today, the results are unsatisfactory, the lava rocks promote flare-ups adding to the risk of injury and cremated food, due to there non-uniform size and shape they do not offer an even heat distribution and being porous they will carry flavours forward from one barbecue to the next.

Ceramic Briquettes: the briquettes are an improvement to lava rocks, they resist flare-ups and will provide an even distribution of heat due to the uniform size and shape, they will not carry flavours forward and can be cleaned by rotating them.

Flavourizer Bars: This is the common term used to describe a shaped metal section that sits over the burners, now predominantly used in new barbecues, these are the most advanced heat media used in today’s gas barbecues. The shape allows the juices and fats to vaporize over a wider range of temperatures than ceramic briquettes. To achieve the great flavour associated with charcoal cooking, it is important to properly vaporize the juices and fats generated during the grilling process. The heat medium should perform five basic important functions.

  1. Generate great flavour by allowing the barbecue to operate at the best possible temperature for the food being prepared.
  2. Minimize flare-ups to prevent food from burning.
  3. Allow heat to flow evenly to promote even cooking over the entire grilling surface.
  4. Provide full protection to the burner from salts and acidic drippings from the meats and marinades.
  5. Provide ease of cleaning. This is done by heating the bars to a high temperature until a white ash forms, replacing the black carbon that can absorb drippings and cause flare-ups.