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BBQ with Lava Rocks – Easy and Healthy!

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So, you love to Barbecue but would like to ensure it’s still a part of your healthy lifestyle? Barbecuing on lava hot rocks is the way to do that. Not only is it a healthier option but the flavors are hard to beat.

What are lava rocks?


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Lava rocks are sourced from volcanic rocks which are formed from molten during a volcanic eruption. These rocks retain heat for at least an hour and so are ideal for grilling. They can be found in many supermarkets and most gardening centers. ( They have been used by gardeners for many years as they are an excellent source of minerals )

Lava rocks are porous with small holes throughout the rocks. This allows the heat to distribute evenly to areas that a gas flame may not normally reach.

Where and how to use

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Lava rocks work best as a distributor of heat. Charcoal or wood fires naturally hold their heat. Lava rocks are therefore primarily used in gas grills. Gas grills only have heat when the fuel is lit and running. The lava rocks help to maintain the heat in the grill even when the gas has been turned off.

Lava rocks are excellent for use in a modern fire pit. They retain their heat and do not explode or crack under high heat.

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Converting a gas grill to use lava rocks

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  • You will require a special grate below the cooking surface and above the flames.
  • It is possible to adapt the heat plates in the gas grill to hold the rocks.
  • Remove the heat tents from over the gas jets.
  • A 1-inch space between the burners and the rocks is optimal.
  • Three to four inches is recommended between the top of lava rocks and your cooking grill.
  • It important that there is space for air to circulate between the rocks, the cooking grill, and the gas jets.
  • Pack the rocks in a single layer over your bottom grate. They should cover the entire grate and be packed close together but not overlapping., Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

Advantages of using lava rocks

Healthy:– Doesn’t require the use of oils or fats. The fat that occurs naturally in meat disperses and has space to drain away into the porous rocks. It is a healthier and lighter way of eating. Lava rocks, because of their high heat holding capacity, reduce the amount of time food is exposed to smoke – reducing the exposure to carcinogens.

Efficient: -Lava rocks retain their heat for up to an hour. It is possible to close the gas jets on your grill and allow the meat to cook on the heat retained by the coals. Not only is this cost-effective but is a bonus for the environment.

Brilliant for cooking steak:– Because of the even distribution of heat from the porous rocks any steak that is grilled cooks consistently. No more charred on the outside but red blood on the inside!

Gentle Flavours:– Barbecuing with lava rocks doesn’t allow for overpowering wood smoke flavors. In particular, when grilling vegetables the natural sweetness is developed.

Recycle in the garden: -When it’s time to replace your grills rocks, they can be incorporated into a garden allowing the minerals to seep into the soil.

Cleaning and maintaining the rocks

As the lava rocks are normally used in gas grills they can become dirty and coated in grease drippings. They cannot be washed with water and a brush similar to ceramic briquettes but need to be “burned” clean.

  1. Turn the rocks over so that the greasy side is on the underside.
  2. Place aluminum foil over the grill grate to help trap the heat in and allow for more efficient cleaning.
  3. Turn the grill onto a high setting and burn for thirty minutes. There will be smoke as the grease burns off.
  4. Allow the grill to cool. If need be repeat the burning process. However, note that the maximum time of thirty minutes per session should not be increased as it can result in the grate warping.
  5. Cool the grill and remove the foil.
  6. Note:- If before you start the cleaning process you can see that the rocks are breaking up into bits then its time to completely change the rocks.

Barbecuing with lava rocks is not only healthy but they are very easy to use!

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