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Hot stone cooking

Of course I bought this hot stone contraption at a garage sale, like maybe 5 years ago. And I tried it once but wasn't impressed - as it turns out because you have to preheat the stone in the oven before using (duh). Anyway, I'm thinking of giving it a shot at a friend's fonduefest party next week. Anyone have experience with this kind of thing - suggestions, recipes, warnings? Everyone else will be bringing a regular fondue, so I want to do something different.

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  1. Anyone? Not a single person has ever used one of these contraptions? Well THAT explains why they're always at garage sales...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Nyleve

      I've used it at a restaurant. More gimmicky than anything. I'd wonder how long it would stay hot enough for a large party. I've had it served with raw beef and a bowl of shoyu or other dipping sauces.

      1. re: ESNY

        I've used it at a restaurant too, it got cool very quick and I was worried with chicken it may not be such a good idea!

        Some pics. http://www.flickr.com/photos/adventur...

    2. I am sorry, I am not familiar with this. Is it like a raclette?

        1. It's this:

          It's a marble or whatever flat stone that you put in the oven to preheat for a while, then place it in its holder over fondue burners and people cook stuff on it. It's a silly thing - yes, of course it's a silly thing - but isn't there some place for it? Wouldn't it be good at a fonduefest? Don't you think? Or should I just make my tried and true 3-Cheese Champagne Fondue from Epicurous which is downright delicious.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Nyleve

            Never heard of this gizmo. You could keep it in your oven as a baking stone, perhaps, or use it instead of a chafing dish and sterno if you are entertaining with hot buffet items.

            1. re: Nyleve

              I know this as a raclette. It's a Swiss tradition to have raclette for New Year's celebration. I have an electric one. You boil some small skin-on potatoes and wrap them in a cloth in a basket. You grill peppers and sometimes onions on the stone. You have different sliced thin dried meats--salami, prociutto, ect. on a plate with pickles, cornichon and pickled onions. Then you melt swiss raclette cheese in the little handled dishes underneath until it's bubbly and mix the melted cheese with everything on your plate and eat it. Once a year!

            2. I believe this style of cooking is called "Ishiyaki" in japanese. I would imagine anything you're planning on cooking in the fondue pot could be cooked on the hot stone. Sliced meat, vegetables, etc. Maybe bring a couple of dipping sauces for the meat/vegetables afterwards? I'm thinking preparations similar to chinese hot-pot.

              One thing, not sure if you need to grease the stone before cooking? A squeeze bottle of oil may be in order.

              5 Replies
              1. re: soypower

                Also tried this once in a restaurant in Cyprus. Absolutely useless way to cook, if you ask me: It's hot to even sit over it (especially in Cyprus is August!). Food stuck to the stone. Hard to get it cooked just right, since it cools off quickly. No nice crust on the meat like you would get if cooked it properly. In other words: A cooking device that works as well as the Easy-bake Oven.

                1. re: zamorski

                  Argh. So it wasn't just me. Oh well - back to regular fondue. Thanks for the input.

                  1. re: zamorski

                    how about conitnuing of heating by moveable burner right after putting it out of hot oven???
                    in my area, people roast meats such as pork belly or other kinds of ligtly smoked or grilled meats on a hot stone on move-able burner instead of using pan.
                    but i dont know whether it is a hype or a just another way of eating.
                    and one more, i am thinking that it might be not a healthy way of eating but the hot stones tend to be greasded with pork belly fat in here, then they roast it.

                    1. re: hae young

                      Weirdly enough I have two of these units. One is a large, two-burner arrangement with the heated stone held in a wire frame over two fondue-type burners. The other is a small single burner one. I plan to use the double for the event. It does stay hot-ish when placed over the burner. I can't personally see any real taste advantage to this type of cooking - it's a gimmick, for sure. But kind of intriguing so I'm going to give it a shot. As for greasing, yes you do have to grease the stone. I used vegetable oil. Pork belly fat can't be any worse than solid vegetable shortening, in my oinion.

                  2. re: soypower

                    Yes you need to pre-grease the stone. And no it doesn't exactly "grill" the meat - but it's ok. I think it might be one of those "romantic evening" things. I may give it to my son after this escapade.

                  3. Ok so I did a test run tonight. Just me and the "sizzle stone" and a small steak (sliced), a few mushrooms and half an onion. Marinated everything a little, then preheated the stone at 450 for about 30 minutes. Lit the burner underneath the stone and started cooking. Re-reading the instruction book (which I didn't realize I had) I should have waited 10 minutes before cooking. Oh well. It's kinda stupid really - but I think I might just bring it to Fonduefest next week. I'll do some thinly sliced beef, some shrimp, chicken breast, a few veggies. Marinate everything in, I don't know, maybe teriyaki-ish. And that's that. As much as I love cheese fondue, after you've eaten 5 different ones, you just want an onion. Will report back, maybe, and let everyone know how it went.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Nyleve

                      Do report back. Will be curious.

                    2. We've been using one of these for a number of years and they work great. First thing is to make sure the stone is heated enough (400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes - DO NOT put into hot oven..stone must get hot as the oven temp rises).

                      The pieces of meat (and veggies) should be bite-sized like a fondue. Herbed butter is used for cooking. A stone will last up to 15 to 20 minutes depending on the number of people using it. Our unit comes with alcohol burners allowing us to extend the cooking time. For large parties you should try to get a second stone.

                      This thyp of cooking is ideal for exotic meats such as ostrich, rattle snake, alligator, and other wide meat such as buffalo, deer, moose and elk.

                      It's good for fish but make sure nobody has an allergy to lobster shrimp etc.

                      Veggies we cook include mushrooms, onions, zucchini, and bell peppers.

                      The essential accompaniment to this cooking is to have a good variety of dipping sauces.

                      It's a great social way to dine with four people (any more you really need another unit)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: TopBBQguy

                        I've tried my stone numerous times. I had hoped it would prevent soggy crusts, but that's another post. I've found it basically useless. I need to throw it away with the new year.

                        Sure sounded like a good idea

                        1. re: dutchdot

                          It's not for pizza - this is sort of like a home version of Benihana. I'm going to try mine out again sometime soon. Forgot all about the damn thing, actually. Thanks TopBBQguy.

                      2. Yes, it is a novelty thing, but fun. My understanding is that the idea originated long ago in outlying Japanese villages. A community pit of red hot coals was maintained 24/7 and the villagers could use it for any purpose. One purpose was each family heating their stone. They would remove it at meal time, take it home and cook their meal on it.
                        My first experience with Ishiyaki was at the high-end Seryna restaurant in the Roppongi area of Tokyo. In 1975 about 4 ounces of Kobe beef and an Ishiyaki service was 150 US. A couple of years ago they were still serving it in Roppongi and at their New York City restaurant. No more.
                        I decided several years ago to give it a try in the house. The Seryna stones were served up in a finely crafted wooden box. I bought mahogany salad bowls at Walmart for $3. I got some round river rocks at a local landscaper. I think I got a half dozen or so for about $5. I had to give $20 for a bag of small black stones to insulate the cooking rocks from the bowls. We heat the stones to the max of our oven which is about 550. I don't know how long they should stay, but we leave them in for 3 hours total--including heatup time. I plan to drill a hole in one and measure the temp against time. I take the stone out with insulated gloves and put it in the bowl. The stone cools quickly so it should not be removed until the meat course is served. We use a prime or choice tenderloin and cut it into 1/2" by 3/4" by 4 " strips.3 people can cook on each rock. I will try to attach a photo. If it doesn't work and you are interested, write me at lingjopjo@sbcglobal.net.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: jokerjop

                          I should have prefaced the above with Ishiyaki because this is not the raclette type of stone cooking that started this thread. I had another type of stone cooking in Caracas. They cooked the steak to "rare", then brought it out with a heated marble square about 6X6X2. The idea was that you could finish the steak to any degree wanted. I found that the restaurant chefs could always do better.

                          1. re: jokerjop

                            Re Seryna restaurant above, I overlooked it or they restarted serving Ishiyaki.See their menu and a photo at http://www.seryna.co.jp/en/restaurant...