I have been asked to make serving trays for a nice restaurant in town. The trays are for a dish they serve called The Rock Fillet (itís fantastic, but I digress). Basically it's a tray (12Ē x 18Ē) that receives a 450 F flat rock. A raw steak fillet is placed off to the side of the rock and you cook your own steak at your table. They have some that were made 10 years ago and the company who made them is long gone. My challenge is to find a product that will hold up to the temperature and allow the diner to cut the steak on one half of the tray and cook it on the rock on the other half.
I found this product, Richlite, that I think will work, but it costs about $1000.00 for a 3/4Ē x 4í x 8í sheet. I havenít given the owner a cost yet, as Iím just doing the research now. Any ideas to help me lower my material costs?
(Laminate and Solid Surface Forum)
From contributor R:
Think about wood handles on cast iron pans. This is done all the time. What you need is an intermediate material between the rock and the wood, preferably an insulator rather than a conductor like metal. The change in material will dissipate the heat and allow the wood to act as an insulator rather than just burning.
A few ideas: glass, silicone, cork, sacrificial piece of wood (like when you order fajitas), ceramic. Glass would probably be the best as it is an insulator and has a very high melting point.
If you are making a wood tray, why not just inlay some metal strips that stick up above the wood to set the rock on so that there is an air space between it and the wood? You could also inlay a ceramic floor tile into the wood. Look for a porcelain tile with a little texture to keep the stone from sliding around (floor tiles).
I wonder what kind of liability issues this restaurant has when they are sending 450 degree rocks out to their customers. Do they have a children's plate?