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This year I spent Father’s day at my in-laws since my parents were out of town. My mother-in-law decided this would be the perfect occasion to show me her marble stone slab she uses for hot stone cooking. Needless to say, I was very excited to try it out!

Hot stone cooking in an age-old European custom, which makes cooking fun and interactive for all your guests. Each person is able to cook whatever they wish and eat at their own pace. As an added bonus, the host only needs to prepare platters of raw ingredients such as beef, poultry, fish, lamb and vegetables, which means they don’t have to spend all day cooking in the kitchen. The hot stone is also very simple to use: just preheat it in the oven for 30-45 minutes and place on the stand above the burners, which run on a special clear burning alcohol.

For our Father’s day dinner, my mother-in-law served a variety of raw meats to choose from; beef, chicken, pork, both sweet and spicy sausages, bacon, and venison. In addition to all that meat, there were a variety of vegetables such as peppers, onions, and mushrooms, making the combination of food possibilities nearly endless!

Since the Father’s day dinner party consisted of eight people, and the stone slab is really only big enough for four, my in-laws used a large griddle on their end of the table. The griddle is shown in the right-hand photo above and it makes a pretty good stone slab replacement, except it’s not as unique. Having both the slab and the griddle made it easier to cook food as each person got a decent sized area to cook his or her food, which means less confusion over who’s food is who and fighting over space. As far as performance goes, the griddle gets the job done just as well as the slab. It is nice to know that you can purchase a large griddle if you can’t get your hands on a slab.

While researching hot stones for this post, I came across a variety of stone slabs that can be used in different ways, for example; lava rocks and soapstone slabs can be used directly in a barbeque, marble can be used in the oven to cook a pizza or mix ice cream, and granite can be heated directly in the oven.