Small Himalayan salt cooking block
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Small Himalayan Salt Cooking block,
Suitable for grilling, chopping and serving.
How to Temper a Salt Block:
- Place block in the oven on a low rack
- Turn oven on to lowest setting (usually 170 degrees)
- Leave it for 30 minutes at this temperature
- Increase temperature by 50 degrees and leave another 30 minutes
- Repeat this process, raising 50 degrees every 30 minutes, until it reaches a temp over 500 degrees
- Turn the oven off and leave the saltblock there, with the door closed, until it completely cools to room temperature
- My salt block made some crazy cracking sounds and developed visible lines when I tempered it. Apparently, this is normal.
Congrats! Now your salt block is ready to use!
How to Heat a Salt Block on the Stove
- Make sure it is completely clean and dry and that it has been at least 24 hours since it was wet.
- Place the salt block over a gas burner (or over an electric range, but place a metal ring or grate of some kind in between to allow air to flow between).
- Turn the heat on low and set a timer for 15-20 minutes (depending on size- larger blocks take longer).
- Increase the heat to medium and leave for another 15-20 minutes.
- Turn up again to medium/high for another 10-15 minutes.
- If you have one, use a laser thermometer to make sure the block is around 500 degrees. Don’t have one? Splatter a few drops of water on the salt and make sure they dance and evaporate immediately. Be careful not to touch it (seems obvious, but very important as it will maintain heat for a long time).
- At this point it is ready to use. See instructions below for cooking instructions for various foods.
How to Heat a Salt Block on the Grill
- Salt blocks can be used on gas and charcoal grills.
- On gas grills, start with low heat just as you would on a gas stove and work up slowly.
- With a charcoal grill, put all the charcoal on one side and the salt block on the other.
- Watch the temperature carefully to ensure it doesn’t heat up too fast.
The thickness and strength of a salt block make it an amazing surface to cook on and once heated, it will hold temperature for quite a while without a heat source. When you use it on a grill, it adds a delicious smoky and mildly salty flavor to vegetables and meats.
How to Cook on a Himalayan Salt Block
Once the block is preheated, you’re ready to cook! The long pre-heating time is a great time to prepare any meat, vegetables, seafood, or other foods you are cooking on your salt block.
The most important things to know when cooking on a salt block are:
- The block must be fully heated before using– A block that is not hot enough will actually over-salt and under cook food (not a good combination).
- Fast-cooking foods are best– You wouldn’t want to make a roast or any foods that take a long time to cook on a salt block. Typically, the faster the food cooks, the better it works on a salt block. Steak and thin cuts of meat work well. Seafood is another good option and quicker cooking vegetables like asparagus and zucchini are also great.
- Don’t use oil on the block– The oil will work itself into cracks in the salt and eventually go rancid if it doesn’t catch fire first while you are grilling/cooking.
- Keep on cooking– Once you preheat the block, you can cook on it for several hours. Plan to cook your whole meal and dessert on the salt block to maximize its use. Create a hibachi night on the salt block or grill steaks and veggies.
- See the recipes in the bottom of this post for specific suggestions.
How to Care for Your Salt Block
The first rule of salt blocks is that you don’t talk about salt blocks:
The first rule of caring for a himalayan salt block is let all temperature changes happen slowly. And DO NOT put it in a dishwasher. Ever.
This rule applies to all salt products you may use in your kitchen including salt glasses, etc. Guess what happens when you put a big piece of salt in constantly moving water (dishwasher) for an hour?
That’s right… no more block and a really salty dishwasher. Just don’t do it.
Now that we got that out of the way, remember these simple steps in caring for a salt block:
- Let it cool naturally and completely after cooking. It must be completely cool before cleaning.
- Salt is naturally antibacterial and easy to clean. Do not use soap and use as little water as possible. The more water you use the faster the salt block will wear away since each washing takes away a tiny layer of salt.
- Scrub down with a scouring pad or sponge to remove any food residue.
- Do a final wipe with a clean, slightly wet sponge.
- Towel dry with a clean towel and allow to air-dry for 24 hours before use.