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Radiant Charbroiler vs. Lava Rock Charbroiler

Radiant Charbroiler vs. Lava Rock Charbroiler

Whether you are popping out those brilliantly tasting burgers or delicious steaks with those tantalizingly gorgeous sear marks, there are chances that you are using the good old charbroiling technique in some way.

If you are looking to buy a new one or want to add some new recipes to your current menu, you might have found that there is an overwhelming range of choices available on the market. Making the right choice can quickly become overwhelming if you don’t know what type of charbroiler you need.

The most common types of charbroilers are radiant charbroilers and lava rock charbroilers. These two types are easily found on the market, and they are the most commonly used ones as well. In this post, we are going to make a comparison of a radiant charbroiler vs. a lava rock charbroiler to gauge a fit for your charbroil craving.

Let’s find out the right option!

Difference between radiant and lava rock charbroilers

Among the biggest differences that you can find between these charbroilers is the heat source. The most common question is which one to prefer and for what reasons.

Radiant charbroilers

This charbroiler has burners positioned right under the angled metal piece that is called a radiant. This radiant guides the heat up the food through the grates. Due to the angled construction, the grease and drippings are properly channeled away right into the drip pan.

These models of charbroilers will get some flares, but they are very controllable. These charbroilers are very easy to clean as well.

Lava rock charbroiler

Lave charbroilers have a ceramic lava rock bed right over the burners. This bed heats up and radiates heat up towards the food and grates. The lava rocks are porous; therefore, they can easily catch and hold the drippings from your food.

Radiant Charbroiler vs. Lava Rock Charbroiler

This method can be very useful in creating those delicious smells as well as more tasteful smoke. Hence, you get the added level of flare-ups and smokes that can enhance and be useful in cooking display options.

Some chefs even refer to this charbroiler because they believe that these units can produce more flavorful food.

Food taste

When it comes to food taste, lava rock charbroilers clearly have the edge over radiant charbroilers. Due to that bed of lava rocks, your food is going to taste like heaven.

Lava rocks are porous in nature. These pores are able to catch the fat drippings from your food. It will ultimately result in flare-ups and smoke that is embedded with tastes.

Many chefs across the globe prefer to use these lava rock charbroilers because the food from these units tastes scrumptious.

Health effects

Radiant Charbroiler vs. Lava Rock Charbroiler

From the health perspective, radiant charbroilers are much better than the lava rock charbroilers. The porous nature of the lava rocks is the reason behind those tasteful foods.

As the fat drippings from the food go into the rocks, this can create harmful enzymes. Therefore, it is recommended to change the rocks regularly depending upon how frequently you use your charbroiler.

If you are charbroiling something very grease like hamburgers or you use charbroiling for these types of food a lot, then you need to replace these rocks frequently.

Additionally, you will have to replace your rocks if they get too dirty. These hassles are not part of a radiant charbroiler, so in terms of health effects, radiant charbroiler is far better than lava rock charbroilers.


As we have just mentioned that maintenance and care are a lot more of a necessity when we talk about lava rock charbroiler. You have to replace these rocks frequently to reduce their unhealthy effects. And of course, you have to maintain those grates too.

There is nothing that you need to replace in a radiant charbroiler apart from the grates. So this is another win for the radiant charbroilers because they need less maintenance and care.

Energy efficiency

Lava rock charbroilers are better than radiant charbroilers in terms of energy efficiency because they can consume less energy once you get the rocks burning.

The difference in cost is not that much, but considering the fact that you have to replace the old lava rocks with new once frequently – it does add to the overall cost.

Radiant Charbroiler vs. Lava Rock Charbroiler

Temperature control

Temperature control is a lot more convenient in the case of radiant charbroilers because the food is directly under the influence of the heat source.

Whereas, in the case of a lava rock charbroiler, the bed of lava rocks is directly interfering with the heat source, and this can directly impact your ability to control the temperature of your food.

Final thoughts

Both these types of charbroilers don’t have any natural advantage over one another if we compare that end results. They both have their own attributes. However, you might have your preferences and reservations when it comes to the tastes of foods that they both produce.

It all boils down to what are your preferences and liking when it comes to charbroiling. Lava rock charbroiling interacts with your senses in more than one ways but it does need more maintenance and care. Radiant units are more health-friendly only if you don’t replace the lava rocks; otherwise, the health effects are very similar between both the units.

Temperature control is better in radiant charbroilers because there is no hindrance between your food and the heating source. Therefore, it is up to you which cooking equipment you choose for your barbecue nights.

Have you made your decision yet? So, what is it going to be? Is it the simplicity and ease of maintenance of a radiant charbroiler that you are going for, or is it the sensory gala of a lava rock charbroiler that impresses you the most?

Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!

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