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How To Cook With Lava
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Important Note:
It is illegal to cook food in lava or remove lava from the Hawaii Volcanos National Park. All the activities shown on this page were done outside of the park boundries on the Puna side.


Step 1: Preparation
1Game Hen or Pork Loin
8Ti or Banana Leaves
1Shovel and Gloves
12000° F fresh Lava
Spice the Game Hen to individual taste and wrap it in leaves, one leaf at a time.
Step 2: Prepare Oven
With a shovel you don't plan on using again... gather a good amount of 2000° F Lava. Try to find Lava from a recent breakout, where the Lava is fairly fluid.

Once you have a shovel full, place it on the ground far enough away from the Lava field that you won't worry about having to move it.

Step 3: Position Food
Once you place the Lava on the ground have your assistant position the leaf-wrapped food in the center of the Lava blob. They will want to wear gloves for this operation as the Lava is VERY hot.

While your assistant is positioning the food, prepare another shovel full of Lava for the next step.

Step 4: Seal Oven
While your assistant holds the food against the oven base, drop a second blob of Lava on top of the food.

Try to leave a very small opening in the lava for steam to escape from the food. This helps avoid bubbles and steam explosions while cooking.

Step 5: Start Cooking
The Game Hen is now cooking nicely, at 2000°. In this view of our Game Hen... you can see the opening we left for the steam to escape.

This is a good point to sit back, have a drink and watch the beautiful Lava as it flows in front of you.

Step 6: Cook 45 Minutes
Cooking on Lava takes about as much time as cooking in an oven, even though we're using such high heat.

Keep the Game Hen cooking for about 45 minutes. The rock oven will cool down to about 800° F fairly quickly, and then down to 450° F within about 20 minutes. The Ti leaves help protect the food from burning.

Step 7: Break and Eat
To get at the food simply hit the rock oven with the shovel and it will easily break open.

Most of the Ti leaves will have burnt off by the cooking process... flake their charred remains aside and dig into the moist and tasty food.

Be sure to give some to the Goddess Pele -- after all, it is her volcano kitchen we're using!

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