Cooking stones are used in several methods of cooking. They can impart flavor and add crispiness. Restaurants use salt stones for a flashy presentation and to allow their guests to cook their meat to the desired doneness. Pizza stones are a common application in the home and can be used to reheat or cook pizza.
Salt stones are seen more often in restaurants than in the home. These stones comprise of a block of salt, often Himalayan salt, and are heated in the oven before being taken to the table. The food placed on the stone cooks and takes on some of the salt. Salt stones are also frozen for sashimi and carpaccio. The combination of the cold and the salt cures the food.
Pizza stones are made of unglazed terra cotta or stoneware ceramic. These cooking stones are left in the oven, heated up, and the pizza is placed directly on it. Baking pizza on the stone gives you a crispier crust as well as an even temperature so that the food cooks evenly.
Marble cooking stones are similar to salt stones, but they are unseasoned. This allows you to directly control the amount of salt content in your food. Marble cooking stones are heated up on the oven, and they are used as a type of indoor grill. Cooking on a marble stone does not give off smoke. This allows you to use it in places where grills are not allowed, such as apartment buildings.
Baking stones provide even temperatures for breads, pastries, cookies, and any other type of food that you would normally bake on a cookie sheet. This has a direct effect on the crust of the bread. The baked goods will also cook through evenly. This type of stone is left in the oven at all times, but it can take longer to cool down the oven after use.
Food Cooked on Stones
Salt and marble stones are mainly used to cook meat and fish. Vegetables can also hold up well to the high heat. Baking and pizza stones can be used in every application for which you would use a baking sheet. Over time, the stones will become seasoned by the food that you are making on it, infusing a subtle flavor into all meals that use it.
- Photo Credit beef steak image by green308 from Fotolia.com
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