History of Hot Stones
Way back, fire was domesticated. But it would still be a while before stoneware and metal pots were created. So how did people go about cooking their food? Well, they had to find something that could be heated to a high temperature and was readily available. Rocks it was. At the time, rocks were the best material available for people to cook on. A broad, flat rock provided the best surface. Now, this is a very primitive method. But it’s experiencing a revival. Some enthusiasts believe that the best way to cook a steak is by a hot rock. They claim that the steak tastes better through this method than could be achieved with other, more up-to-date and conventional cooking methods.
Where did they come up with the idea of bringing back hot rock cooking? Well, probably Japan or Korea. In these countries, hot rock cooking is still a very popular means of preparing food. In Korea, rice and vegetables are often served up in a hot rock bowl. The region also has several ishi-yaki restaurants which serve their customers their food raw, with a hot rock so that they can cook it themselves.
How To Use
Most of us will never have used a hot stone. Many will have only come across them while eating out in a nice restaurant. Or have perhaps seen them on a cookery show on the television. It’s not surprising then that most of us wouldn’t know how to cook on hot stones. Here’s a quick guide:
Heat the stone up until it’s very hot. Too hot to touch. It should ideally be about 250 degrees Celsius before use in cooking.
If you’re heating your stone on a BBQ, ensure it is about two inches above the embers. Leave on the heat for at least an hour before cooking.
If you’re heating the stone in your home, you can heat the stone on your hob. Use a high heat and leave for about half an hour.
The next step is to simply place your food on the stone. You can add oil first if you like, but this isn’t necessary.
Food For Thought
Cooking with hot stones isn’t commonly practiced here. So you might be struggling for ideas concerning what to cook on them. Here are a few to get your imagination going.
This is what is most commonly cooked on hot rocks in Western society. This method of cooking steak is ideal. You can check the temperature of the steak as it cooks and will be able to see when it’s how you like it cooked. There’s a thin line between rare, medium and well. Never mind the integers in between that many people opt for. You can track the progress of your food as you go. Remember to source your steak from organic, free range farms.
Hot Stones are a great way to serve up fajitas in an alternative way. Grill your chicken, tofu or halloumi on them. They will also cook peppers, onions, and any other vegetables efficiently. Serve this up to your guests with soft, flour tortillas on the side and bowls of salsa, sour cream, and guacamole in the middle of the table. The stones will be sizzling; the smells will drift through the air, and your guests will be drooling.