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Ceramic briquettes

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I know that ceramic briquettes are designed for use in gas grills but has anyone here used them for heat retention/stabilization in a smoker? If so, what was your experience with them?
post #2 of 7

I haven't used them, but your question poses an interesting variable in thermal mass that I had not previously considered. Are you referring to using them in place of sand or gravel in the water pan of a vertical smoker? They would act pretty much the same as gravel, except that they may possibly absorb and release heat more slowly due to the larger size which would create a lower density of thermal mass for the same volume. If cost is an issue, gravel is far less expensive, but regardless of cost, you would want to line the pan with foil after placing you choice of thermal mass to keep it clean...then change-out the foil as needed due to accumulation of drippings...that's what I do.




post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Yes, I was considering using them for more thermal mass like sand, gravel, or water is used. I also have been looking at a ceramic plate like what is used in the egg shaped cookers.
post #4 of 7
Actually I am using a bag of them in my smoker. I have a BRINKMAN trail master horizontal offset.
I was talking to a guy in Home Depot last year and he said that he was using 3 rows the length of his CC about an inch apart.
I grabbed bag. I tried different combos with them since the way he said he arranged them didn't work for me!
I have messed with them by moving them around in different configurations so as to attempt to distribute the heat evenly!
After adding tuning plate moving tuning plates and even removing and adding some in conjunction with the ceramic briquettes.
I even used the briquettes between the tuning plates for hot spots in an attempt to even out the heat and it was helpful but not the answer completely!
I ended up with a configuration on my tuning plates and was getting much less heat at the stack end of my CC. I took the briquettes and put them in a tight not closed position just under my stack on the lower grate.
Not sure why but for now and over the last 3 or 4 smokes, I have temps within 2 to 7 degrees difference from the SFB end to the stack end!
I suppose it deflecting the heat back under them before the heat leaves with the smoke out of the stack!
For right now they are there and I don't want to move them since I am having success controlling the heat at this time.
I do think that they could serve to control your temps. I also bought a second bag with the intent to try just the briquettes, but haven't even opened them yet and wont until summer.
They are cheap enough that your not out much trying them for yourself, if they don't work, gift them to friend or neighbor with a gas grill.
I have also seen ceramic tiles, 4x4 x 1/4" I think, and the had like 100 little holes in them all the same size. They came 8 tiles to a box.
I think I figured it would take at least 3 boxes just to see a possible difference but they were like 12 or 15.00 per box of 8. They did look like they had promise but I was still holding out for a cheaper solution and I think I found it with the briquettes and some trial and error along with my tuning plates!
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Good to know. I also found this..


It's 17" in diameter and so are my grates. I am running a Brinkmann Vertical Trailmaster LE. My only concern is that it might restrict the upward flow of air too much and do more harm than good.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Pulled the trigger on the stone posted above. Hoping to be able to cook with it next week.

Had hoped for 1" thick but 3/4" will have to do.

Perfect fit.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Finally getting my first smoke in with my new stone in place. It looks like it's doing exactly what I'd hoped for. I can actually open my CC to check, add, or remove food and my CC temps recover very quickly. Also using wood for the first time which was an adventure at first but after a little help from a couple folks on here even that is working like a charm.
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