In hot stone cooking systems, the slab of heated rock is suspended on a metal stand. You then cook your food -- usually meat -- on the smooth rock. Unlike other tabletop grills, hot stones do not give off a lot of smoke. This makes them a good choice for indoor use.
Preparing the Hot Stone
Before heating the stone, wipe off the surface with a damp cloth or sponge. Dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth. Hot stones are porous, so you should never use soap on them. Slide the stone onto the center rack in a cool oven, then turn on the oven. Don't put the stone in a hot oven or it will crack. Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, and leave the stone in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
Setting Up the Table
While the stone is heating, set up the table for your meal. Place the stand in the center of a level, sturdy table. Most hot stone cooking systems come with alcohol burners that maintain the stone's cooking temperature. Place the full burners in the holders in the bottom of the stand. Don't light them until right before the stone is ready to come out of the oven. Remove the stone from the oven using a pair of thick, heatproof oven mitts. The stone will be extremely hot, so take care. Transfer the hot stone directly to the stand. Make sure the stone is level and cradled securely in the stand.
Cooking On the Stone
The heated stone will remain at cooking temperature for about 45 minutes. Using the burners will add about 30 minutes to that time. This should be more than enough time to cook the food. Sprinkle salt onto the hot stone before cooking. The salt will season the food and prevent it from sticking. Lay the food directly on the stone and flip it frequently to prevent burning. For best results, slice meats into thin strips. Vegetables and fruit can be slightly thicker, if you want more crunch. The items should only take a few minutes to cook. Remove the food from the hot stone when it reaches the desired doneness. The meat and vegetables can be marinated beforehand, if you wish.
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