I want to explain what real soapstone can do for cooking, but you need to understand the properties, history and a bit more Information not from me, but experts and reviewers.
This is from: http://geology.com/rocks/soapstone.shtml
What is Soapstone? Soapstone is a metamorphic rock that is composed primarily of talc, with varying amounts of chlorite, micas, amphiboles, carbonates and other minerals.  Because it is composed primarily of talc it is usually very soft. Soapstone is typically gray, bluish, green or brown in color, often variegated. Its name is derived from its “soapy” feel and softness. The name “soapstone” is often used in other ways. Miners and drillers use the name for any soft rock that is soapy or slippery to the touch. In the craft marketplace, sculptures and ornamental objects made from soft rocks such as alabaster or serpentine are often said to be made from “soapstone.” Be careful when purchasing if the type of rock used in making the object is important to you.
Physical Properties of Soapstone: Soapstone is composed primarily of talc and shares many physical properties with that mineral. These physical properties make soapstone valuable for many different uses. These useful physical properties include:
- soft and very easy to carve
- low electrical conductivity
- heat resistant
- high specific heat capacity
- resistant to acids and alkalis
- Soapstone cooking pots absorb heat readily from the stove and radiate it into the soup or stew. Because their walls are thick they take a little longer to heat than a thin metal pot. However, they heat their contents evenly and retain their heat when removed from the stove – the contents of the pot keep cooking until the pot itself begins to cool. Soapstone pots are highly prized by people who learn how to use them. Stone Age people made the first cooking pots from soapstone without the aid of metal tools. The soft rock could be worked with sharp stones, antlers or bone. Skilled craftsmen carved the pots directly from the outcrop. Small soapstone pots were highly prized and traded widely. Large soapstone pots were very heavy and difficult to move. Archaeologists believe that large soapstone pots were used at sites where the residents had intentions of living for a long time.
From the Cooking Cardiologist:
Soapstone is the future of the outdoor grill. Yet it has been around for a very long time. Excavations have shown that soapstone has been used as a grilling surface for centuries. Soapstone really could be considered the first non-stick, natural surface.
A healthier grilling option
As I have discussed in previous posts, there are a few downsides to grilling. While there are many ways to reduce the negative effects, soapstone is another healthy option to make grilled foods healthier. The following properties make soapstone utensils ideal for grilling:
- Reduces carcinogens by preventing direct flame contact
- Non-porous and extremely dense
- Non-reactive to acids and chemicals
- Easy to maintain
- Excellent thermal qualities, transferring heat evenly across the surface
- Allows a variety of grilling techniques from baking bread to griddling pancakes to searing meats
- Retains moisture in food
- A natural non-stick surface
- Non-toxic, all natural
- Does not harbor bacteria
While a bit more expensive, soapstone cookware comes in many forms – roasting pans pizza pans, griddles, pots of all sizes, and sauté pans, among others. And it’s a good investment, both in terms of durability and heart health. If you get soapstone that can be used indoors and outdoors, it can keep you grilling through the fall and winter.”
Many companies try to mislead people into believing that their product is soapstone and many folks are fooled. I have seen granite cubes and the company is trying to sell them as soapstone. Granite can scratch your glasses and crystal. We have one type for our Chiller Cubes and Discs which is very soft, yet antibacterial because of its high content of talc. Water beads off. Holds heat and cold very well.
We have a harder type for our Grilling Stones. It is a bit more durable as it contains more evenly structured stone-more of an equal distribution of talc and minerals. We sand each stone feeling for unevenness which could cause spalling & for deep natural fissures that could cause a GrillingStone to split totally on its own. We hand grade each stone to ensure it good quality.
So why use soapstone for Grilling, well other than what you’ve just read:
From the Grilljunkie guys thorough review this is only a small piece of it:
- Arrived in a well packaged, eco-friendly and elegantly attractive product presentation design
- Came with articulate product care, use and maintenance instructions
- Amplified the heat of our Gas grills on average 250° F, Pellet grills by 150° F, Charcoal grills by 100° F (at peak heat)
- Reduced pre-heating time by up to 25%
- Consumed almost 15% less fuel by retaining heat longer and evenly
- Can sit on top of (but cannot completely replace due to sizing) the grates that came standard with the original grills
- Evenly distributed the heat leaving no significant hot or cold spots
- Evenly seared meat, vegetable and fruit surfaces w/o leaving darkly charred marks
- Eliminates food “fall through” and loss on delicate items such as some vegetables, fruit slices, shrimp, etc.
- Allows ample space and air flow for the use of wood smoking chips and flavor enhancement
- Captured dripping fats and juices as opposed to losing them to the heating compartment
- Was able to be transferred from gas grill to charcoal grill to pellet independent of size
- Significantly reduced hot and cold spots on our pellet grills
- Minimized dangerous flare-ups while not eliminating the occasional flame up
- Increased the inherent inefficiencies of the conductive cooking method
So doesn’t your Dad deserve a great gift for Father’s Day gift that is healthy , economical and will make BBQ dishes delicious?