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How to Boil Water with Hot Stones

In the absence of modern kitchens, some Native American tribes made use of heated stones to boil water. The procedure is both simple and effective.


  • Step 1: Collect stones Collect stones, taking care to remove debris. The stones should be about the size of a tennis ball.
  • TIP: Avoid stones that are porous and likely to fracture or crack when heated.
  • Step 2: Build a fire Build a fire and wait for the coals to get white-hot.
  • Step 3: Place the stones in the fire Place the stones on the hot coals.
  • Step 4: Place some of the heated stones in the water Remove some stones from the fire using tongs and place them in the container of water.
  • TIP: Tap the stones several times against each other to remove ashes before placing them in the water.
  • Step 5: Replace the stones as they cool Replace the cooled stones in the water with fresh hot stones from the fire. Continue doing this until the water comes to a boil.
  • FACT: Some Native American tribes used heated stones to boil water in special water-tight baskets coated with gruel.

You Will Need

  • Stones
  • A fire
  • Tongs
  • A container of water

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