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Rock Burgers

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
my friends and I (a couple of other chef's that I've worked with in other restaurants where we just hit it off) go camping once or twice a year at ricketts glenn in central pa (beautiful place). Well the first year we went we were not prepared at all, we were with a ten pound tube of ground beef, buns and more condiments you can think of, but no cooking utensils. The good thing though, is we found these rocks you could throw in the fire that were fairly skinny and had a nice smooth surface, and heated up quick!

So we throw our hand crafted beef patties on the rock and see what happens. it took about 30 minutes to get a 6oz patty to medium but aw man, was it worth it. it most juicy, succulent burger I have ever let my taste buds try.

Funny thing is though, these rocks sometime explode. As I was walking back to our site after a hike I heard a loud crack and boom. I ran back to the site where I figured my friends were settin off fireworks, and there my one friend is, covered in raw beef in the fetal position on the ground, the rock exploded! I have no idea what kind of rock those are as I am not a geologist, but I do know that the rock burger is the best **** thing you can put in your mouth.
post #2 of 14
While your technique is as old as man, the rocks you chose sound dangerous. They sound like river rock which are often water saturated. These can explode when heated in a fire.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
as what you are saying is true, have you tried it? All I'm really trying to say is that it is absolutely delicious and should be tried by everyone that finds themselves in the woods. It is not river rock, as it isnt smooth as if water has been running over it for centuries, it has a red hint to it and is fairly light. Either way you could probably use any rock, these just heat up quick
post #4 of 14
Yes, I've cooked on rocks. I'm saying you need to know more than you indicate to do so safely. Even the practice of stone lined fire rings is dangerous if you pick the wrong rocks.
post #5 of 14
Sounds, from your description, like some form of sedementary rock. These are, essentially, layers, and moisture easily collects between the layers. If there are trapped pockets of moisture heating them turns the rock into a pressure vessel that eventually explodes.

That aside, instead of heating the rocks you might try building your fire on the surface instead. As that part of the rock heats you move the fire along, heating more rock as you cook on the previously heated section.

This is an old Native American technique, and has a couple of advantages. First off it's safer, because you are unlikely to superhead entrapped moisture. Second, it heats faster and more evenly, because on the surface is affected. And, third, you can cook faster. Cooking on the heated rock surface is the equilvalent of cooking in a preheated skillet
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #6 of 14
was in Hickory Run state park (PA) camping this weekend! ever see the "boulder field" there? pretty neat.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have seen it! There are also a bunch of places like that that aren't state parks, there's one spot near ephrata pennsylvania where I live called the potato patch. its a bunch of pretruding boulders that come out of the side of the mountain that you climb up and jump across. it's pretty neat.

thanks all for your suggestions also, I will try that as we are due to go camping again next month
post #8 of 14
In one of her Roughing It Easy books, Dian Thomas cooks a chicken with a hot rock. I don't have the copy handy but the technique was along these lines.

Pick a rock that will fill the cavity of a whole 3 lb-ish chicken. She had some other advice on rock picking as well similar to above discussion.

Clean it well and heat it up in the fire, a grill or an oven.

While it's heating, you prep the chicken, season it and so on. Her recipe used barbecue sauce.

You also prepared a lot of newspaper and a clean hygenic paper, though it might have been foil. My notes on this aren't handy to check.

Then you put the hot rock in the chicken's cavity. Wrap the bird in the clean paper, then continue wrapping in many layers of newspaper. This is to create an insulated cooking environment for the chicken and absorb the juices. Then you tuck the cooking chicken in your day pack and go hike for about 2 hours at which point the chicken is done and lunch is served.

I haven't tried this yet but the idea has always intrigued me.
post #9 of 14
Wow, that does sound intriguing- but maybe also unsafe. Would the bird reach and maintain enough heat to avoid causing food poisoning in 2 hours? I thought of it because that's the maximum of time for a cooked bird to sit out after cooking (as in Thanksgiving dinner).
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post #10 of 14
I don't remember the timing exactly, but it does cook on the slow side.

The danger zone is 40-140 and chicken is done between 160 and 170 so I would think it should be OK as it will probably be above 140 for the last half hour or so.
post #11 of 14
Whether it works or not, whether it's safe or not, this strikes me as more of a stunt than a practical technique.

Look at it this way. You're talking about the weight of a whole chicken, plus the weight of the rock---quite a bit of extra weight for a day trek.

Then there's the advanced planning so that you bring all that newspaper and clean paper to wrap it. And, I'm sure, there must be some sort of impervious layer on the outside, else all those juices will migrate into your pack.

Before setting off on a day hike, you kick off your campfire so you can heat the rock. Do all the prep work. Then haul the weight of it all around with you.

And then, when you get where you're going, and it's lunch time, you have to unwrap what is sure to be a greasy mess, break down the chicken (anybody here ever done that without a flat surface to work on?), and then either burn up all the paper or put it in a plastic bag to carry back out.

This is presented as a way of roughing it "easy?" Gimme a break!
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #12 of 14
Reminds me of a can of Radiator Chili
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #13 of 14
I sometimes heat things up on my motorcycle like that, either exhuast or the cylinder head....wrap it in foil and heat it up. Usually sandwiches, or something like that. they actually make a tool for making it easier too, i'll see if i can find the link.

or...you can get one of these!

post #14 of 14
Sweet.
Is that you in the picture Randall?
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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