Brazilian Ice Grilling Stones – The Latest in BBQ Technology
Edmonton never ceases to amaze me with its local food community. We have so many small businesses that deal with food on a daily basis; food trucks, restaurants, cafes, delis, grocery stores, butchers etc., etc. If you are willing to go exploring and a little outside of your comfort zone, it is amazing at what you will be able to find.
I don’t cook at home much due to a very hectic lifestyle. My husband and I are both very creative, artistic people and I also like to donate my time to volunteer for a couple of local charities whenever I can.
When I do have the time to cook at home, I want to make sure that it is relatively healthy and flavourful. I have been following Brazilian Ice on Twitter for quite some time. The photos that Maxine posts are mouth watering! To make a long story short, I entered a contest to win a pair of camping stones and ended up winning.
I figured that it would be a great idea to do a blog piece on the stones, so Maxine agreed to meet me for lunch and I got to learn all about my new found tools.
Brazilian Fire and Ice started on a whim. They had been using soapstone as an artist’s medium for some time. While relaxing after a long day they decided they would like to enjoy a glass of white wine. The bottle was warm. They took a small piece of frozen soap stone and put it in the glass… Brazilian Ice was born!
This is a local business that produces and ships directly from their home. A lot of time and attention goes into each piece of stone.
The pieces of stone are shipped all the way from Quebec. Grilling and chilling stones are relatively small, so Brazilian Ice is up-cycling remnants to produce the final products.
Each piece is measured and cut.
“With the Grilling Stones, we have to check the stones for size, cracks and fissures as the Steatite or soapstone, has at times heavy deposits of talc in areas that will spall or crack easily. When we first started, we did not know this and had a few that needed to be replaced.”
After the stones are trimmed, they go through several stages of sanding; rough, medium and fine. These are all done by hand! A lot of love goes into these stones.
After all of the sanding is completed, the stones are washed and laid out to dry.
The finished product is again inspected for cracks, dents and imperfections.
“We have now after almost three full years learned so much about the processes and how to use them that it is so much easier than at first. We want to ensure customers get a quality product. This does not mean it can’t have a natural chip that is tiny, as long as we have sanded the chip, it will not harm it whatsoever. What I mean by this, is that if you have a deep chip on the side, like half the stone, you could get it caught and chip it more. This makes it weak and it can eventually break.”
Lastly, packed with care, and lots of bubble wrap.
“We have had some breaks in shipping, so we increased the amount and strength of bubble wrap we use to prevent this. It is all about learning and growing.”
The Chilling Disks, Cubes and Trays are made in a similar manner.
“With discs and cubes: first we cut the discs, we rough sand, and then fine sand; all by hand. With the cubes we cut slices of the soapstone, then squares, and then tumble them in a tumbler until the edges are smooth. These processes ensure the least possible chipping of the products and the finest edging of the soft stone so that it will not scratch even your finest crystal glassware.
They are washed, dried and bagged in an environmentally safe burlap bag, then tagged with the appropriate tags which have instructions etc.”
“We have four stones on our BB!Q that are over 2.5 yrs. old and though they get black from smoke, grease and oil, they appear to get stronger the longer they are used. We believe that quality, quick and good service is the best way to get your name out there as people who honestly care about what we put out.”
I can honestly say that I am a new fan of grilling stones. I am a Scotch drinker so I already knew about the marble stones you can purchase to cool your Scotch. You store them in the freezer and use them as needed.
Soapstone maintains its temperature longer than granite or marble. The grilling stones are extremely easy to use. Of course I cheated a little bit and did my Google research. Jason of BBQFood4U is a huge fan of Brazilian Ice so there are many recipes and videos available using the grilling stones.
Basically, you use a good quality olive oil and coat the surface of the stone. Let the oil soak in for a couple of minutes. Heat your stone. Let it cool off and wipe off the excess oil. You are ready to use your new cooking surface.
They can be used on gas stoves, BBQ’s and in the oven. They are very versatile.
Clean up is a breeze… You scrape off any residue, give it a rinse under some warm water and don’t use soap. They will get blacker the more you use them.
I tried mine on my gas stove. (Please note, you should make yourself a tinfoil drip tray to wrap around the bottom of the stone to prevent grease fires!) It was still really cold outside and I didn’t feel like freezing while firing up the BBQ.
My first attempt included bacon wrapped asparagus and a couple of juicy steaks. I used a technique that I learned from one of Jason’s videos. This was the best steak I have ever made! The grilling stones allow you to sear the meat properly with the even heat of the cooking surface. This keeps all the juices in the meat as well as all the flavour. We like ours medium rare, so grilling 5 minutes per side.
The soapstone is such a versatile material that the cooking possibilities are never ending. You can expect me to be posting more tips and tricks with the stones in the future.
There is much more information available on the Brazilian Ice website regarding the different products available. At this point in time, you can only order online. If you are an Edmontonian – then you are in luck, usually the stones can be delivered.
There isn’t a wealth of information available on grilling stones out there on the interwebs, but I will let you know that Chef Ted Reader has a great new book that has just been released “Gastro Grilling” that has a lot of recipes and techniques to try out with your grilling stones.
Keep your eye on the Brazlian Ice website as well. Maxine will be doing a little bit of an overhaul soon with lots of new recipes to be posted.
Many thanks to Maxine and the rest of the family at Brazilian Ice, you have brought passion back to my cooking!