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Bricks to raise charcoal in kettle

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    Bricks to raise charcoal in kettle

    I'm ready to try using bricks in my 22" weber kettle to achieve the high heat sear in the rear on steaks. Disappointed that I didn't have any laying around I picked up a few at Home Depot.

    I'm curious though -- are any bricks okay to cook with? Or do some contain dyes or other materials that you wouldn't want in your food? The ones I bought are called "Rumble Stones" and I think are marketed for landscape primarily. I have no idea what they're made of but would guess a concrete based mixture.

    Thanks

    #2
    Those are made for being outside and around fire, so there shouldn't be any chemicals that can cause problems. Though it isn't common, it is possible for a cold, wet brick to explode when taken to high heat quickly. This isn't a grenade explosion, more like a larger version of pouring water over ice and it cracks.

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      #3
      They will do but next time you're around a hardware store you may want to pick up some fire bricks.

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        #4
        I get the el cheapo red bricks at Ace.

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          #5
          Thanks guys -- good info. Yeah if they would've had a plain ole brick I would've bought them. I'll make a trip to a real hardware store soon but go ahead and grill with these in the meantime.

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            #6
            go to your closest masonry supply store and pick up some fire brick, either full brick or some that are used for lining a wood stove and the correct mortar if you need it.

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              #7
              Better yet, get a SnS when David Parrish puts them on the market.

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                #8
                A couple of other options:

                Use lump or Kingsford Competition charcoal. Both burn hotter than traditional Kingsford and when I use them they develop a really good sear very quickly.

                Instead of moving the fire higher perhaps bring the grate lower and closer to the fire. You could probably pick up a grate for an 18.5" kettle pretty cheap. You have to be a little careful because it will just be resting on the sides of your dome and won't be on pegs. It should be fine though. I did this once with my hover grill and it worked out fine.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by DWCowles View Post
                  Better yet, get a SnS when David Parrish puts them on the market.
                  This is also a great option. It's designed to stack the coals up really close to the grate. And then you have the added bonus of using your kettle as a legitimate smoker with this little gem of a device. It's a win-win IMO.

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                    #10
                    I have cheapo bricks in my Old Smokey... works pretty good, but there is a plate on top of them to hold the charcoal

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                      #11
                      Oh use your chimney starter turned upside down......

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                        #12
                        I have a "beater" 22" Weber kettle I use for searing. I keep the three fire bricks in it so I am not constantly moving them around. It helps I have 4 kettles.

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                          #13
                          Thanks everyone -- all great options. DWCowles I am definitely watching for the SnS to hit the market. I had been interested in the Smokenator but had a few reservations and never bought one, but those seem to be addressed with the SnS from what I've been reading.

                          Anyone know a projected date these will be available (outside of the kickstarter program)? And has the price been decided? Seems like I read around $70 but depended upon the cost to produce, of course.

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                          #14
                          I was in the same boat when trying to raise my grate. I scoured all the hardware stores here in Montreal, Canada and couldn't find any fire bricks. Any salesperson I spoke too stared back at me like a deer in headlights with the soft sound of crickets in the background. Canada's really the "3rd world of the new world" when it comes to BBQ supplies unless you find a rare specialty store that will massively over charge you. Whoops. Sorry for the rant. Remedied the problem by buying a Vortex. It's like hanging a steak behind a jet engine. A 2" ribeye gets a gorgeous sear in about 60 seconds and it has a couple of other configurations which are neat. Besides. I just like saying VORTEX! Lol. The Slow 'n Sear looks like a pretty nifty solution as well.

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                            #15
                            I used a cinder block placed vertically in the cooking chamber, to raise the basket o coals in my PBC for a high temp sear on a prime rib, it worked awesome.

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