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How to Buy the Best Hot Cooking Stone: Definitive Guide 2020

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A steak stone allows you to enjoy one of the best ways to cook a good piece of meat.

Stone grilled meat is a fun way to cook that can invite family members, loved ones, and friends to the table and share first quality meat with all of them, allowing everyone to cook the meat to the desired point.

By cooking meat to the stone we are maintaining the purity of flavors, enjoying all the aromas that it gives off, and especially cooking each piece to the exact desired point.

If you intend to buy a steak stone to cook or just want to know more what it is about and how to get the most out of it, below you will find all the information you need and the answers to any questions you may have.

Buying a Hot Stone to Cook: the keys to choose well

When buying a cooking stone we must first consider a number of factors that can help us make a correct decision:

  • For how many people will the stone be? Which is the ideal size?
  • Should I choose a 2 cm thick or 3 cm thick stone?
  • How to heat the grilling stone?
  • What type of stone can I use to use to grill meat? Of what material?
  • Must the cooking stone have burners or can I use it without burners?

Next we will answer these questions to help you.

For how many people will the stone be? Which is the ideal size for a grilling stone?

There are stones of different sizes and depending on the number of people who will eat, we will have to choose one size or another.

  • For 1 or 2 people: 19×19, 20×20, 21×21, 25×20, 30×20, 26×26, 26cm and 29cm, round
  • For 3, 4 people: 25×20, 26×26, 30×20, 30×25, 37×19, 37×23, 40×25, 26cm y 29cm, round.
  • For 5 or more people: 37×19, 37×23, 40×25 y bigger sizes, 29cm, round.

Should I choose a 2 cm thick or 3 cm thick stone?

For stones of a rather small size (16×12, 19×19, 20×20, 25×20, …), it’s best to choose 3 cm thick stones (it doesn’t matter whether you use burners or not).

You can consider medium size stones, those that measure of 27×27, 30×25, 37×19, … With this medium size, either 2 cm and 3 cm in thickness would be good options (it doesn’t matter if we are going to use burners or not). Above these measurements, for larger sizes you should choose 2cm thick (37×23, 40×25, …).

In those cases in which you will not use burners while cooking, you can preferably use 3 cm thick stones to maintain the temperature for longer.

Keep in mind that large 3 cm thick stones will cost more to heat them.

How do I heat the stone? Do I use Oven, Direct Fire, Alcohol Burner, Gas or Electric Burners?

Heat the stone in the oven. The best choice.

The best way to heat the stones will be always in the oven. Why is the oven the best way to heat them? Because the stone is going to be heated homogeneously along its entire surface and all its faces.

Simply preheat the oven to a maximum temperature of 240ºC or more and put the stone there for about 30-45 min.

Heat the stone on direct fire

If the stone is to be heated in a direct fire (either in a stove, a fireplace, a barbecue), you need to ensure that the flame or embers reaches the whole stone, because otherwise the stone will not have enough heat in its edges and corners.

Simply put the stone on the fire for about 5-15min, depending on the size of the stone and the potency of the flame.

Heat the stone with alcohol burners.

We must clarify that the main function of alcohol burners is to maintain the temperature of the stone and NOT to heat the stone from 0.

Ideally, when it comes to alcohol burners, you must preheat the stone in the oven or direct flame and then use the burners to maintain the temperature for longer.

Heat the stone with gas burners.

If you are using gas burners, it won’t be necessary to preheat the stone, though if you preheat it, the better. But if the flame generated by the gas burner is small and the stone is large, we definitely recommend preheating the stone beforehand.

 Heat the stone with an electrical resistance – Electric grilling stones

This type of stones just need to be plugged into the electric outlet and you need to wait a few minutes. though from my own experience and from what others have told me, electrical resistances do not get to get very high temperatures.

What type of stone can I use to use to grill meat?: Marble, granite, soapstone, slate, lava stone,…?

There are many types of cooking stones in the market of different materials:

  • Marble
  • Granite
  • Himalayan salt
  • Slate
  • Fire clay
  • Molten iron
  • lava stone

After having carried out different tests with each one of the materials, we can definitely say that EXCEPT the lava stone, molten iron and some refractory ceramic models, all the other materials get cracked or broken easily.

Must the cooking stone have burners or can I use it without burners?

If you buy a stone that comes with its base or handles, but without burners, keep in mind that once preheated and later put on the table, you will have a limited time to cook. A lava stone without burners has about 20 minutes of optimal temperature to be able to cook, other types of stones (marble, granite, soapstone, slate, …) can have less time. In restaurants, when a stone cools off and the diners have not finished eating, the waiters usually change it and put another hot stone they have prepared, so the customers can continue eating.

The advantage of buying a cooking stone without burners, is that you avoid some risk of any possible fire outbreak on the table. The disadvantage would be the time limitation of 20 minutes (lava stone) when getting an optimum temperature for cooking, though if you have a spare stone, this should not be a problem.

However, if you buy a cooking stone with burners (alcohol or gas), we can guarantee you that the stone will always be hot to cook, because the burners will help you maintain the temperature.

In short, if you buy a stone with burners, you will be able to choose at any time whether to put the burners on the table or not. However, if you buy a stone without burners you will always have the limitation of not having burners.

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