Hi, my name is Rachelle, and my husband and I have been gifted a Brinkman Gourmet Smoker. We live in Hurricane Utah, and as you can imagine, by the name "Hurricane" it can get windy! We have been smoking Turkey and such on an old gas grill that we found on Freecycle, it was sad! I got the idea to take the guts out of it and make a Charcoal grill out of it. From there I figured out how to rig it to smoke Turkeys in! Anyway, our friend got a new Smoker for Fathers day and gifted us his Brinkman! I am so excited!! What we want to know is....Can we go to a Landscape Supply to get some Lava Rock for the bottom of the Fire bowl where the electrical burner is? Is it actually needed? Could we use coarse sand? Have been to several stores around here trying to find Lava Rock for Grills and I have not been able to find any! This is our first "Real" smoker, and would love to use it, but right now, not sure if there is something else we could use in place of the Lava Rocks. If nothing else, I guess we could order some from Amazon, just didn't want to wait for them to ship! Also any recommendations as to things we can do to make it better, please feel free to advise! Thanks!!!!