Grilling with propane over lava


My friend says that when one uses a propane grill, the idea is to get the lava rocks so hot that they grill the food, and if there isn't enough lava, I don't know why or in what way, but the result isn't as good.
Is this so? When cooking a steak or hambrugers, what about it the result is not as good?
I have enough lava that I can only see the gas flame in a few small places, but I think he thinks I need more. And he's offered to give me some because he has left-overs -- he's a very nice guy. But I would like to understand and know whether to buy some since he lives a couple hours away, might not find his supply, etc.
Thanks
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mm writes:

The heat is too concentrated and spotty. Some food gets burned while other food is undercooked. The idea is that the lava rocks spread the heat out across the grilling surface, and makes it even. This doesn't work too well on gas grills; never has and never will.
A bed of charcoal is much better at this. I tried charcoal again after decades of propane, and the difference is amazing.
The benefit to propane is the convenience. The cooking is inferior.
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On Sat, 16 Dec 2006 00:11:22 -0600, Richard J Kinch

OK. I'll definitely accept his lava, when he gets back in the spring, although really, this hasn't been a problem for me. He used my grill once after he bought some ground beef here. So he does have an ideal of what it's like. But I've replaced the burner since then and the flame is a lot hotter. (Thhe original burner had rusted into two separate layers. I glued it together with PC-70, and it worked pretty well despite the fire only a couple millimeters away, but eventually broke into top and bottom plates. PC-70 is great, although I saw yesterday that the Home Depot nearest me only has it in the smallest size, a 2-ended tube. Better the 4 oz cans, and there is also a bigger size than that for people who use it all the time. It doesn't get old, because I've gone 5 or 10 years from purchase and it's as good as new, if you don't let any A get on B or vice versa.)

I agree with you on that. I have a 3 segment hibachi gradually rusting away and I liked it, but got tired of fiddling with the charcoal, and waiting till it got hot, and a friend gave me a gas grill.

Maybe I'll do that too. One has to suffer to fully appreciate what is good. I am not at all worried about burning fat. It's one of the best parts, that I don't have most of the time now. I should buy cheaper cuts, or ground beef with more fat.

For the first time in 15 years, the ignitor is igniting!! No more matches. Talk about convenience. Life is good.
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from buffalo ny: but subject to your own grill's directions, in out 2 burner propane tank gas grill, i used to preheat the lava rocks 10 minutes on high with the top closed. the fat from your steak drips as it cooks over the pre-heated lava rocks and smokes, adding flavor to your steak. it is just like a hamburger does over a simpler charcoal briquet fire that's preheated to white coals. this info is from the 1980's when this was everyday outdoor cooking in the summertime. there are modern metal devices which may be a part of your newer grill which may accomplish that. incredible recipes and advice at: http://www.barbecuen.com/ask.htm safe cooking info at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/IsItDoneYet_Brochure.pdf
mm wrote:

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wrote:

I've been heating them for about 5 minutes, but I'll try 10. It will make the grill hotter and sear the meat better, I guess.

Since I still live in the '60's and don't use AC except maybe two weeks a year, the grill really does keep the house from getting hot from cooking.

My grill is newer to me, but not so new. My friend found it along the road when she took her nightly walk. It had a sign marked "FREE". So I went and got it. It did need a new burner, but it has an igniter (which was broken on my first one, the one a friend gave me) and it has a burner like on a gas kitchen stove, which I haven't used yet.
But the first one had a rotisserie, and even though I only used it once or twice, it was wonderful. I bought a second motor at a rummage sale for a dollar, but I haven't yet figured out how to attach either motor to this grill. I was probably depressed before. Now that that is gone, I'm sure I'll have ideas in the spring. It's amazing how I think better and quicker than I did.

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