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Jun 23, 2010 12:34 PM

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.

    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.