If your gas grill doesn't heat up like it used to, or you just want a change, lava rocks are a great addition.The lava rocks store the heat better than the gas and distribute it more evenly on the grill.The only thing you have to do is remove the burner guard and install a new one.If you want to see how much they improve your grilling, lay them out evenly.
Step 1: The grill grate needs to be taken out.
Before you add lava rocks, it's important to clean the grill.Take the main grate to the grill.You need it out of the way to add the rocks.If you don't clean the grate often, now is a good time to do so.The grate should be on the side of the grill.
Step 2: The heat tent needs to be removed from the burner.
A metal shield protects the burners from grease drippings.There may be more than one heat tent on your grill.If there are more than one, remove them all.The heat tent will not be put back into the grill for the lava rocks.If you want to put it back on again, store it somewhere that you can remember.
Step 3: The grill chamber has to be cleaned.
The grill is more empty than usual, so give it a good scrub.You can use hot, soapy water or a degreaser.The bottom of the grill should be wiped clean.
Step 4: Buy lava rocks.
You can go to your local home improvement store, garden store or big-box store.There are lava rocks in the garden section.Get rocks that are at least a couple square inches.They should be large enough to sit on a grate.Stores can sell lava rocks by pound or package.Make sure you have enough to make a single layer across the entire grill.
Step 5: A new grate should be placed over the burner.
You can either buy a tray made for lava rocks or a generic grate similar to the one already in your grill.It needs to be small enough to fit into the lower part of the grill, but large to reach all sides.A cookie cooling rack is perfect for this purpose.
Step 6: There is a tightly packed layer.
Line the grate with lava rocks.Place the rocks close together so they are touching, but don't pack them so tightly that they overlap or are piled higher than one layer.Pick out the shapes and sizes of the rocks.Before you grill the rocks, rinse them off with water.Dust won't hurt anything, but they may not heat up as well if they're dirty.
Step 7: The grill grate needs to be put back into the grill.
The cooking grate should be put back into its position after the lava rocks are installed.The grilling grate should be high enough to leave room between it and the lava rocks.Double check that you put the grate back in correctly if you have never taken it out before.
Step 8: The lava rocks should be turned over periodically.
Grease drips onto the lava rocks as you cook.Grease will soak in over time since they are porous.If you use the grill a lot, you should flip the lava rocks every month or two.You should flip the grill every two weeks if you use it daily.You don't need to flip them until six months after you install them, if you use the grill once a month.
Step 9: The lava rocks need to be cleaned after six months.
If your rocks become dirty, you don't want to replace them.Take them out of the grill and put them in hot water with dish soap for an hour.Allow them to soak in the cold water for another hour.Adding dish soap is important because grease won't be dissolved in water.The grease won't be completely removed from the rocks.
Step 10: It's a good idea to replace your lava rocks every two years.
The lava rocks are meant to be temporary.On occasion, they will need to be changed.Depending on how often you cook on the grill, use your best judgement.You should replace the rocks yearly if you use it every week.Leave the rocks in for two years if you only use it a half dozen times a year.