The best way to vary your grilled food is with spices, whether a dry rub before grilling, or a spice mix sprinkled after grilling – it is easy, and you can turn your grilled chicken into a smorgasbord!
We have been importing Himalayan mineral salts for several years – loving the tangy mineral taste it adds to food.
Now we have a trio of spice mixtures.
The best is: No preservatives – only natural herbs and salt – truly basic spice mixes – hand mixed in small batches in Vermont, each has an individual taste direction.
Vermont Maple Salt – Pure Vermont maple sugar, natural evaporated cane sugar, and mineral rich Himalayan salt crystals make this combination of sweet and savory essential in your kitchen! Use it grilling on your Salt Stone and taste the caramelized maple and the tangy salt. Unbelievable!
Catamount Country Grill Salt – The rich taste of Vermont–filled with savory herbs. Shake on meats, fish or greens, before or after grilling.
Maple Spicy Garlic Salt – This spiced salt has it all – sweet, garlic, spice – popcorn, steaks, fish – they all benefit from this mixture!
Super easy Delicious first steak on the Grillstone!
First make sure that your Grillstone is heated up – turn on your grill, add the stone and shut the top for about 10 minutes, season the grillstone by covering it with your favorite oil (spread with a spatula or a silicone brush). Continue heating until a drop of water sizzles on it.
Now the fun part – have your steak at room temperature (a 2” filet would be a treat – but you can use another thick tender cut), mix 1 tbsp soft butter with a pinch of salt (Himalayan or Sea salt is best), put a dollop (1 tsp.) of the butter on the hot Grillstone. Immediately put your steak on the butter. Leave it in place until the steak doesn’t stick to the stone (5 Minutes minimum).
Put another dollop of butter on a different empty spot on the Grillstone – take the steak, turn over and place the steak on the ungrilled side on the new dollop of butter.
Leave the steak in place until your desired doneness (5 minutes for rare).
This is a simple, pure, delicious steak –
You can use your Saltstone, don’t season the stone with oil, just heat – and don’t add salt to your butter.
Quails are more unusual in Vermont than Spain, where they are a traditional grill treat – but there are more people raising these healthy & tasty birds now. Ask at your local Co-op – they may know someone who is raising them in addition to chicken & other poultry.
When you get them, they will be cleaned – so just cut them along the breastbone with poultry shears and spread them apart – they will look like little frogs! Don’t let them intimidate you, chop some garlic, rosemary, add a good olive oil, and fresh squeezed lemon juice.
Marinate the quails in this mixture for a bit – if not possible, just make sure they are coated with the oil. Using the Grillstone for these birds is perfect, the indirect heat will not burn them, and the marinade will grill itself into the bird, not drip onto the fire. You will taste the difference! Watch the following video -
Locally sourced (caught by our good friend in Beaver Pond) Pike is wonderful tasty, firm, freshwater fish. After the first meal of poached Pike with fresh vegetables, we pick the rest of this delicious meat off the bones and make fish burgers on the Grillstone. The burgers are grilled on natural stone in a healthy non-direct flame heat. Here’s the recipe!
Ingredients: 2 – 4 cups flaked cooked fish – we used Pike, but it could be salmon, trout, etc. (recipe that follows is based on 2 cups fish)
2 eggs, 1 cup chopped onions, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1/2 cup chopped capers (optional but super!), 1/2 cup chopped colorful peppers (optional), 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, paprika & lemon juice to your taste. You can put 2 tablespoons mayonaise in for extra moist cakes.
Beat the eggs a bit, and put everything in a big mixing bowl and mix lightly. Put on your heated, oiled Grillstone and let them sizzle for about 6 minutes each side until browned.
Enjoy this light, summer burger!
Rack of pork ribs cut into sections that can be wrapped in Aluminum Foil
Onions, Green Peppers, Beer, BBQ Sauce
These are the best ribs I have ever eaten, we are sad that Kurt is back in Germany – but I am sure he is working up recipes for his next trip to Vermont!
How to: Get your grill hot and brown
Kurt brings special American style/German Beer inspired Grillstone recipes with him from Munich.
the ribs on both sides without the Grillstone (about 15 minutes total).
Put the Grillstone on top of the grates of your grill and turn the heat to low and lower the cover. Now take large squares of Aluminum Foil and put slices onions and peppers on them, put one section of rib in each square, pour some beer and BBQ sauce over the ribs; then seal the Aluminum Foil loosely around the mixture.
This packet then gets put on the Grillstone and steams for about ¾ hour – don’t turn or anything.
When they are done, the meat falls off the bones and the sauce is delicious – but I love the vegetables at the bottom soaked into the sauce and beer. Enjoy!
Try this recipe for your next party – it is a real treat! Get a flank steak from your butcher; if possible, ask him to butterfly it – if that’s not possible, halve it yourself with a sharp knife – be really careful.
I then put the pieces between plastic wrap and pound with a meat hammer (or wooden mallet) – the thinner, the better.
Remove from the plastic and lay on a flat surface, spread the steak surface with mustard, sprinkle with chopped onions, and cover with strips of bacon.
Roll the flank steaks into cylinders, cut with a sharp knife into 1” thickness, and stick them on a wooden skewer like a lollypop. You can put as many as can fit, but if you have a lot of people, it will go further if you put one or two per stick.
When you have preheated your Grillstone on your grill, or in your oven, brush it with your oil of choice (use a silicone brush).
Grill until good and brown on both sides (in the oven, put the top grill on to brown them) – the bacon and filling keeps the flank steak moist and flavorful.
Ready to go - Flank Steak Pinwheels from the Grillstone.
Perfect crust, juicy pork, and the fat is grilled off.
German Roast Pork Belly with Cracklings, German Potato Salad, and German Cole Slaw
Our friends, Kurt and Marta are visiting from Germany; we grill, talk, drink beer, and spend a lot of time outside – they want to share some authentic Bavarian recipes that are easy to replicate. The recipe works with any pork belly, but best with the skin on, which is hard to find. If you can find one, we have a great way to roast it on the Grillstone; if you can’t, pick a fresh pork roast, or pork belly, and give this recipe a try anyway!
We found our roast in a Chinese grocery store in Boston, the butcher was absolutely amazing, he had all fresh cuts of meat and fowl that you could want – so, if you are in a larger city, give that a try.
Pork Belly Recipe
Begin with this Rub: make a mix of salt, pepper, smoked paprika, oregano or marjoram, and caraway seeds.
If you have a pork belly with skin, cut the skin into a checkerboard pattern.
Rub the spice mixture into all sides of the roast (especially the top with the skin), wrap it in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight.
When you are ready to grill, heat the Grillstone with the cover down on your grill to about 450 degrees (really hot!), brush the stones with a vegetable oil (not olive), remove the plastic wrap and sear the roast skin side down for about 10 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
Turn onto each of the sides for about 10 minutes each at the same temperature, then turn it bottom side down (rib side), turn the grill on low (it will go down to about 300 degrees), and roast with the cover down for about 1 ½ hours.
When the time is up, turn the grill off and you can let the roast rest for a bit (up to ½ hour).
This produces the same delicious roast you’ll find at the Octoberfest, amaze your friends with a roast pork belly from your grill!
Would you like the recipe for German Potato Salad or German Cole Slaw?
Grilling and stones have a history that goes back to Native American Indians, and likely it was and important way of cooking back to prehistoric times. The Native Americans used an open fire, the stones were heated in the coals, and dropped in pots of water, bringing the pot and its contents to a boil.
Although it isn’t documented, I am sure that flat stones were also placed in the coals, or over the coals, and used for grilling of strips of meats and wild vegetables. Natural sedimentary stone such as slate, or large flat river rocks would have been perfect tools.
Grilling on Stone Today:
We have the benefit of manipulating natural stone with stone saws – blocks of solid stone are quarried and sliced like bread into the perfect thickness. Not every stone can withstand the heat of an open fire – it is important to find a stone geologically formed tens of thousands of years ago under intense heat and pressure – so that it can withstand that heat today. Igneous stone is the best choice; among those are granite, basalt, and andesite porphyry. In addition, the stone should be homogenous, and with few inclusions, so that it stays whole as long as possible. Testing many natural stones, we have found Basalt to be the most durable and best suited for grilling.
Grilling on Basalt:
Basalt is a dark, heavy volcanic rock that makes up most of the world’s oceanic crust. Formed as volcanic magma, tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide and water vapor formed in the molten rock as it approached the surface.
The spaces formed by the bubbles in the stone make it perfect for grilling, distributing and intensifying the heat evenly, and capturing fats from the grill surface so that your meat doesn’t sit in fats.
How to grill on flat surface stone?
1. Start your gas grill, charcoal grill or open fire.
2. Unless you are working with a campfire, you don’t have to wait until the fire is really hot, just make sure it is burning well. Lay your Grillstones on top of your grate (for gas or charcoal), with an open fire, wait until you have some glowing coals, then pull them out of the fire into a low pile and lay your Grillstone direct on the coals.
3. Now you have to wait until the Grillstone gets really HOT.
But in the meantime:
If your Grillstone is new, begin pouring a bit of your preferred oil onto the Grillstones (grape seed is great because it withstands high heat without smoking); spread this with a spatula or silicone brush.
If your Grillstone is older, scrape any residue off the stone into the fire, and oil the surface again as above. You can scrape and oil lightly a few times if you like, you will see that moisture will come out of the stone as it heats, and you may want to scrape this away with the residue.
4. When the Grillstone is hot so that drops of water or sauce sizzle, it is ready for your meat or vegetables. Place them on the Stone and let them sizzle in one place for about 5 minutes (you can cover if you wish). When they are evenly browned, they will be easy to flip with a spatula.
5. At this point you can add other vegetables to grill in with your meat if doing a stir fry, or on the side. You can also turn your flame off, if using a gas grill.
6. A few minutes before finishing, pour any marinade or sauce on the Grillstone, this adds flavor to the grill item, and flavor to the marinade or sauce.
7. Remove your grill items, scrape the sauce over them, and cover the grill (this will help burn off any remaining food or sauce on the Stone).
Now you have perfect meat, fish, chicken, or vegetables, and a perfect sauce. Enjoy!
Care and Cleanup:
Do not wash or soap the Grillstone, burning the residue is enough to remove residual flavors and sterilize the Stone. So just scrape and oil after and before each use!
We recommend not putting really cold liquids direct on a hot Stone; let them reach room temperature if possible. Also, if you live in a freezing climate, we recommend that once you start using your Stones, you store them in a temperate place such as your garage.
IF your stone cracks or breaks (this WILL happen eventually), you can decide to push it together and continue using it because it does NOT affect the use of the Stone!
The Last Word:
Healthy Grilling? Grilling is a wonderful, communal, ancient way to cook, eat and socialize – what makes it unhealthy are the fats dripping off the meats and into the fire and combusting – this produces carcinogens. Grilling on a flat surface stone eliminates this effect, as the surface catches the fats – the food doesn’t sit in the fat as on a griddle, but it doesn’t drip through as with a grate.
If you still want grill marks on your food – leave a space open on your grill, and grill the food quickly over the grate when it is done.
The following websites are interested, and were helpful in the above article: