The Viral Stone Stove Steak Isn't Worth The Time Or Effort

You've probably seen the primitive cooking videos on TikTok by now. They're aesthetically pleasing and often feature scenic locations that many of us daydream about. Plus, the videos appeal to our primal urge to return to nature. However, these videos should probably have a disclaimer: Don't try this at home. No, you shouldn't grill steaks on a stone stove in your backyard. 

For instance, take one viral TikTok video in which the cook removes a flat stone from a pile before washing it in the river, heating it on a log stove, and grilling a steak on top. To build an outdoor stove, you first need to painstakingly drill holes in the top and sides of a log, then fill it with kindling. Once this is done, you must build a fire inside and carefully set your flat stone on top. Not only does this seem like a lot of work, but it's also situational. Coming across a flat enough rock and a ready-to-go log isn't guaranteed in nature. 

Ultimately, as long as you avoid the common mistakes when grilling a steak, this method won't change the outcome. Cooking a steak on a rock won't differ from cooking a sirloin or ribeye on a grill or frying pan, despite what primitive cooking experts tell you. Beyond the time requirement, this cooking method could also be hazardous to your health. 

Why you shouldn't try making a stone oven at home

While cooking a steak in nature may look simple in the TikTok video, you must be careful about which rocks you use, as certain types can explode or crack from heat. For example, non-volcanic rocks can become ticking time bombs under the right heating conditions due to their porous nature. Primitive cooking experts only recommend lava stone or granite for outdoor cooking. You should also consider a thin stone for the best effect, but why take the risk? Not everyone has an encyclopedia's worth of geology in their heads, so it's better to be cautious.


Tenderloin on Stone Stove 😍🔥 #cooking #nature #asmr #survival #beef #meat

♬ original sound – The Nikos Knife

Even if you're using the correct type of stone, it isn't necessarily sanitary. According to Oxford Academic, rocks can be havens for an ecosystem of bacteria and fungi, especially in cold environments. While the heat from the fire may kill some bacteria, the last thing you want is to risk having your T-bone steak contaminated before you get the chance to dig in. Likewise, rinsing the stone in the river may not sanitize it properly. According to the National Library of Medicine, rivers contain risks of pollutants and sewage. If you truly want the experience of cooking a steak on a stone, consider buying a steak stone instead.