I recently had an opportunity to try out the new Primal Stone which is a new take on an old concept. When we think about what our ancient ancestors had to cook on, it all makes sense. The Primal Stone is a flat piece of soapstone which is capable of retaining both heat and cold. It arrived beautifully wrapped with an instruction card attached. When heated, it can be used to cook on in an oven or as I desired, on a grill. If chilled, you can place the stone in the refrigerator or freezer, depending on how cold you would like the stone to be, and then put food you wish to remain cool, on the stone to serve. You can use it also to serve food on in both warm and cold applications as the Primal Stone is both beautiful in appearance but also very functional.
Prior to it's initial use, the Primal Stone should be lightly coated on all surfaces with coconut oil or grape seed oil per the manufacturer's recommendations. The oil should be allowed to sit on the stone for one hour prior to it's first use. For the first use only, they also recommend slowly acclimating the stone to 400-500F over 10-15 minutes. I personally chose to do this twice in my oven prior to using it on my grill. I wanted to make sure the surface was well seasoned so it would ideally function and release any food that I cooked on it. Though the stone can handle temperatures in excess of 1000F, most food can be adequately cooked or seared around 400 degrees.
For my first two cooks on the Primal Stone, I chose to grill some shishito peppers, and to separately grill some shrimp. I had my large Big Green Egg sitting running at about 450 degrees, with direct heat from lump charcoal, underneath the stone. I lightly coated the stone with oil prior to it heating up. I was delighted when I placed the peppers on the Primal Stone and it sizzled. That was exactly what I wanted to hear. Within minutes my peppers were blistering on one side and ready to be flipped. They cooked really quick and I was able to pull them off. I loved the stone for this application because my intent was not to blister the peppers so I would then peel the skin off, but rather just cook them nicely so I could eat them as is. I couldn't wait to try the shrimp on there. I tossed the peeled shrimp in a bit of olive oil and cajun seasonings and put them on the stone. There is was, that fantastic sizzle again. I'll tell you one thing I loved about this. Not only did it sear the shrimp, but I got somewhat of a nice crust on the shrimp as well which imparted wonderful flavor on the finished product. Since the shrimp are searing in their natural fluid, and it can't escape through a grill grate, it stays with the shrimp and makes them even that much better.
I will be honest here. When I thought about trying the Primal Stone out, I wondered if it would be just another novelty for my grill that I wouldn't use much. However, after using it, and seeing how it performs, I will definitely be using it regularly. I'm actually excited to try out a whole variety of foods, such as searing a steak or cooking pizza on it. Since I don't have to worry about it reaching high temperatures, I believe it will perform quite nicely.
In summary, I highly recommend the Primal Stone. Cost is currently under $70 in US dollars and there are two sizes available. Please note that on their website, www.theprimalstone.com, you must change the price to either USD or Canadian. If you live in Canada, there is currently free shipping.