Briquette Trays known as Flame Tamers have been around for many years. They are one of the preferred ways to collect concentrated heat and radiate it in the Infrared range to the food on the cooking grates. It also keeps the flames from actually touching the food, making for more efficient and uniform heat distribution. Depending on the cooking style and frequency of cooking, these trays will last from 2-5 years or more. The briquettes will outlast the tray and they come either as one unit or as individual briquettes set on the trays.
The briquettes do not need to be clean to perform properly, but you do want to try and keep large hunks of grease on them. Actually, the grease and some items on the briquettes add to the flavor of the cooking experience. Maintenance is simple, as you can flip the single unit trays over and turn the grill on medium temp and close the lid for an hour or so, and do the same for the individual ceramic briquettes but you flip each one of them over and close the lid in the same manner.