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In "The Price," after Hudson escapes Xanatos's dungeon, Xanatos bitterly comments that he now has no one to test the Cauldron of Life's magic on. Ever the good servant, Owen volunteers and sticks his hand into the cauldron without a second thought.
Now, I know Xanatos isn't the most practical being on Earth, but couldn't he have just dipped one of his little lab animals into the brew, or even one of his lower-level lackeys?
Owen didn't give him the chance. I think Owen was feeling a little jealous of Xanatos' praise of the Macbeth robot. He dived right in, so to speak.
Of course, both men knew that "Owen" really had nothing to lose by dipping his hand. That's why both had such mild reactions to Owen's hand turning into stone.