View Full Version : Cooking on stones
My apologies if this has been asked before but i can't find anything in the old postings.
It occured to me that if you built a fire and placed stones right in the middle, then the stones would get red-hot in the flames. Then you could place your bacon or steak on top of the stone and cook it. This would mean you could leave your frying-pan at home and therefore save weight in your pack. The problem would be that some stones do not behave well in heat and can, quite literally, explode. So are there some rocks or stones that i should definately avoid? Any advice would be welcome.
any round stones are not good.
some sandstone crumbles in the fire otherwise it ok
Avoid anything flinty as they can shatter or anything that has been in water for any length of time.
You can take your (suitably insulated) hot stones into your tent at night for some initial warmth.
... if you built a fire and placed stones right in the middle, then the stones would get red-hot in the flames. Then you could place your bacon or steak on top of the stone and cook it...
You don't want the stones to be red hot, it's far too hot for cooking (and for safety -- if you spill water on a red hot stone there's a good chance that it will shatter, whatever it is). Stones around the side of the fire will get plenty hot enough for cooking. People regularly do bacon etc. on lumps of concrete at Spitewinter, although I must admit I'm not one of them. It seems a shame to waste all that lovely fat when it can soak into my fried bread and be eaten, that's why I prefer my non-stick frying pan. :)
I've used stones on the edge of the fire pit to cook bannock, but never "fried" anything on them.
I have heated stones in a fire and then placed them with some meat in a small pit, the meat was baked to perfection. However, depending on what you are cooking, if you are not using a covered pot much of the meal will drain away, which is never good. :)
In the Alps there are even restaurants that give you an oven heated rock, set on top a spirit stove (think Trangia burner), and let you cook your own meat, which comes in bite sized pieces.
There are also a wide range of sauces provided so it is a case of forking the raw meat onto the rock, watch it sizzle to your prefered degree of cookedness then fork it off again, dip in sauce and pop it into your mouth. As you savour that bit you put the next to cook etc etc until you run out of meat!
I used to do this with my Venture Scouts and aquired a nice lump of granite from a Monumental Mason to use on the fire/burner.
A great way of cooking!
It works reasonably well, but bear in mind you'll be getting crud from the fire (even if you 'clean' the stone before placing it in) in your food more than with a pot or pan as there are no sides. Also, it can be a PITA to get the stone sitting level, especially if you forget to set it level until the fire is going! But when you get it right, or find a particularly good stone, it's awesome. Last time I had bacon and eggs (first egg rolled off but got it right after that one hehheh).
Some good tips here. Thanks. All the cooking gear i really need to carry is a steel cup to boil water for a brew...uhh...unless someone knows how to boil water using hot stones....... :)
...uhh...unless someone knows how to boil water using hot stones....... :) hot stones and a plastic bag ;)
as kids we used to cook bread dough on a stone in the fire when the flames had died down so it didnt get flamed and smoked when we were camping
I have been wondering myself about what stones to use. I found this link, you may have seen it already but i hope it helps.
I've use hot rocks before to make a hangi and often used them to boil water. I have found though that some rocks would break from being plunged into the cold water leaving you with a few crunchy bits at the bottom. Basalt is very good to use so I am told.
I use hot stones to cook meat, no problem at all, I usually to this in the local sierra, which has plent of flat and thin enough rocks