Lava rock or Flame tamer?

Note: No usage of lava rock is required on Outback models which include the Flame Tamer.

Texas/Rio flame tamerHow the flame tamer works:

  1. The burner heats up the flame tamer underneath the grill, which in turn heats the food on the grill.
  2. The natural food juices produced during cooking fall onto the hot flame tamer below and vaporise.
  3. The subsequent rising smoke bastes the food, as it travels upwards, imparting that unique barbecued flavour.
Lava rock in basket

Lava rock

How lava rock works:

  1. Lava rock simulates the effect of charcoal, but instead of lava rock producing the heat, the burner heats up the lava rock, which in turn heats the food on the grill.
  2. The natural food juices produced during cooking fall on to the hot lava rock and vaporise.
  3. The subsequent rising smoke bastes the food, as it travels upwards, imparting that unique smoky barbecued flavour.
  4. Like charcoal, lava rock can be easily repositioned, such as to control hot spots.

Note: More even cooking of food will be achieved by using the BBQ with the hood down. This should only be done with the burners on low.

Flame tamer advantages:

  1. Unlike lava rock, the flame tamer reduces the amount of grease and juices falling on to the burner below.Ā  This helps prevent clogging and significantly reduces corrosion, thus extending the life of the burners.
  2. Flame tamers provide provide better heat distribution, controlled cooking and react quicker to the heat controls.
  3. Excess grease drips off instead of being soaked up, reducing flare-ups and the chance of a more serious fat fire.
  4. Flame tamers can be easily lifted out for cleaning or to access the burner below.

Lava rock advantages:

  1. Lava rock is porous, which retains the drippings better than a flame tamer and thus produces more smoke.
  2. Lava rock can be spread across the complete cooking surface, which in turn catches most of the food juice drippings. Flame tamers may have large gaps between them, which leads to juice drippings from food falling directly into the drip tray in the affected regions.
  3. Replacement lava rock is widely available at most barbecue accessory stockists and hardware stores. Replacement flamers must be ordered specifically to match the barbecue.