Cooking with hot stones dates back to early times, before the conveniences of modern grills and stoves were invented. In the earliest days of sustaining fire, rocks were used to transfer heat and safely prepare food to eat. Cooking with heated rocks is still beloved and celebrated in many cultures around the world, including Asian Fusion.
Spice up your dinner nights with a hot rocks grill and family-style gathering. Family and friends of any diet can gather around the hot slab to prepare, cook and enjoy a stone-fired meal together.
Let’s look at a few pieces of advice for making this season’s stone cooking sensational.
Top 4 Hot Stone Cookers Tips
- Try out different cooking stone styles
While you’re probably most used to see hot rock slab at Asian fusion restaurants, hot rock cooking is something you can try out on your own at home. You can stretch the DIY hot rock surface in a variety of directions. Some favorites include digging into the earth and heating actual stones or using a sheet of heated rock slab. Check out our stone grill recommendations at the end of our post for ideas.
- Include ingredients for a variety of diets
Eating out can be a challenge for groups with a variety of diet-restricted eaters. Stone grilling is one of the best ways to host an inclusive night, because you can include ingredients that appease everybody’s preferences. Get creative with protein-forward vegetables for vegan and vegetarian diets and consider a separate rock slab for your meat and fish.
- Make the preparation part of your event
Whether you’re hosting a clambake or rock-slab-style night, include your guests in getting everything ready to eat. This might include creating the rock grill itself or simply being around to help cut the meat and vegetables that everybody plans to cook. Rock-grilling nights are perfect opportunities for ‘potluck’ style gatherings, where everybody brings an ingredient for the group to cook and share.
- Get the right rocks
The rocks you collect to create your cooking surface are important. When selecting, keep an eye out for stones that are egg-sized. This size allows for an easy transfer of heat once the fire is going and hosts enough power to cook your items.
If you’re really going for a hands-on activity night, collect materials and ingredients for each of your guests to make their own personal hot rock grill. Dig out petite holes that need only a few rocks each for a cooking surface. Everyone can make a hole, fire and stone-grill. Then you have a couple of options: each guest can cook the raw ingredients to their liking and eat when ready; or, each guest can be assigned to cook a particular ingredient for everybody to eat buffet-style. Keep this idea in mind for a full-day event, and try it out after you’ve hosted a traditional rock grilling evening. This way, you’ll have all the tips and tricks prepared for stoking and using each miniature fire pit.
Hot stone grills we love
You can choose from a variety of rock grills when you’re ready to host your friends and families. Check out the options below and select the option that makes the most sense for your time, home and guests.
– Stones in the ground
You might know this stone grill option as a clambake, but it’s a cooking method that dates back to native times in many cultures. It is arguably the most fun way (and hands-on) to prepare a stone-fire meal. To make the ground pit, you’ll need to collect dry driftwood and egg-sized rocks. Then you’ll dig a 2-3 foot hole, line it with rocks first and wood second. Build your fire in the wood and once the wood is cooked, sweep away leftover ash. You’re ready to cook now, but you can add a top layer of seaweed for more ash protection (just be careful the flavor doesn’t clash with your ingredients).
– Lava rock slab
Lava rock slab is portable, small and simple. You can heat the slab right on your grill, and then use it to cook your ingredients of choice. This stone grill option is the most convenient, affordable and accessible. It’s also easy to clean and use in the comfort of your home.
– Hot rock oven
A hot rock oven comes fully equipped and easy to use. You can find these hot ovens marketed for cooking pizza, but they’ll work for your Asian fusion cooking, too. Hot rock overs are made of stainless steel and granite to deliver your food an authentic, rock-fired taste.
Comment your hot stone grilling recipe favorites
If you have experience cooking for a group using hot stone, let us know in the comments! Culinary traditions are ever-evolving, and we love to share both authentic and new ways to indulge in these group-style favorites. Recipes, suggestions and ambiance details are all welcome!
If you haven’t tried our French-and-Japanese-influenced Asian fusion, we invite you to come by Zhen Wei Feng, soon. Dine with friends or family to experience traditional family-style meals. Eaters of every diet can find something delectable to share and enjoy. We look forward to seeing you soon.