How to cook on a Himalayan salt block

How to cook on a Himalayan salt block

A block of pink Himalayan salt
Image used with permission of the copyright holder

If you’ve spent any time on our site, you should know by now that we love a good cast iron skillet. The reasons for this are many – their extreme versatility, their even cooking temperature, and the beautiful golden crust they generously give to almost anything cooked inside. The list goes on and on.

What if we told you there’s something else that can work the same magic? Not only can it do what a cast iron skillet can, but the brag factor of cooking this way is absolutely amazing. Let us introduce the Himalayan salt block.

If you’ve never heard of a Himalayan salt block, you’ve probably seen at least one before. Made from pink salt harvested from a mine in Pakistan, Himalayan salt blocks have been around for thousands of years, though they’ve only risen in popularity in the United States in the past few decades because, as mentioned, you can cook pretty much whatever you can think of. Need to bake something? The salt block got you. Do you have a desire to barbecue? And also the salt block.

Learning to cook on a salt block is not difficult either. Taking a little time to make sure you’re prepared will ensure you can prepare something delicious And Do not damage or destroy your salt block in the process. Below you’ll find everything you need to know to get started.

Heat a Himalayan salt block

Cooking with a salt block is a unique experience, so you’ll need to use some caution at first, but once you have a couple of meals under your belt, the method becomes fairly straightforward: Slowly heat up the salt block, then simply drop whatever you’re cooking on top and watch. It buzzes. Because of the unique composition of the block, it gives your food a subtle touch of mineral saltiness that is very nice.

It is normal for your salt block to form small cracks or turn white when heated, but if the temperature changes too quickly, this can shorten the life of the block or lead to breakage. Before you start heating the Himalayan salt block, make sure Completely Dry – Heating it while wet can result in a poor break and a much shorter lifespan for your salty companion. Follow these simple steps to ensure your salt bar reaches the ideal temperature without any damage.

Himalayan salt block slabs
Image used with permission of the copyright holder

On the stove

Heating the block on a gas stove is one of the easiest ways to do this, so it’s a good place to start if you’re new to cooking on a salt board:

  • Place the salt block on the stove.
  • Set the heat to low and let the mass heat at this temperature for 15 minutes.
  • Switch the heat to medium and let the mass heat up for another 15 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to high and let the mass heat for another 15 minutes.
  • Check the block temperature – you want the final temperature to be around 500 degrees. If you have an infrared thermometer on hand, you can easily use it to track the temperature as the block heats up. Otherwise, just sprinkle a few drops of water on the block. Once it sizzles and instantly steams, you’re ready to start cooking.

advice: You can still heat a salt slab properly if you have an electric stove, you’ll just need another tool. Place a metal ring (such as a pastry ring or pan) over the burner and then place the salt block over the ring. Then you can heat it slowly, just as you would in a gas range.

Himalayan rock salt blocks with meat
Image used with permission of the copyright holder

On interrogation

Grilling on a salt board will fill out your culinary hostess profile, and it’s not difficult. Just as in the stove, the key to heating the block safely is to do so slowly.

  • Place your salt slab on the grid.
  • If you are using a charcoal grill, stack the charcoal on one side and heat the block on the other side, to prevent it from heating up too quickly.
  • If you’re using a gas grill, start with low heat and gradually increase it, cooking in 15-minute increments just as you would on the stove.

in the Oven

Hopefully we’re not bursting any bubbles here, but it’s not recommended to heat a Himalayan salt block to oven temperature – not only is there a much greater risk of the block breaking, there’s a good chance your oven will crack it. It suffers some damage too (imagine cleaning up a tattered wasteland of formerly official saltware from a now-defunct kiln and don’t say we didn’t warn you). Don’t worry, that old kitchen oven can still get in on the action – just heat the block to temperature on a grill or stovetop, place the soon-to-be-baked goods on top, and place them in the hot oven.

advice: Salt blocks get very hot when cooking, so placing the block on a metal pan will make it easier and safer.

Himalayan salt block for vegetarian cooking
Image used with permission of the copyright holder

Cooking Himalayan salt block

Once heated, a Himalayan salt block can cook for hours, so don’t waste it by only cooking part of your meal on it. Salt adds something different to every type of food you put on it.

We’re not sure if it’s just our brains playing tricks on us, but the sirloin we seared on this thing definitely looked juicier than usual. It could be a placebo effect, but the science actually makes sense on some level. In a way, cooking on salt is a lot like immersing meat in a brine. When sodium and chloride ions enter meat tissue, their electrical charges tamper with the proteins and change them in such a way that they are able to retain moisture more effectively and lose less of it during the cooking process.

You didn’t think you’d get a science lesson, did you? We are full of surprises here in the guide.

But it’s not just good for meat. Almost everything tastes better with a little salt burned into it – eggs cooked on the block are next-level delicious, and the subtle salt flavor provides the perfect balance to sweet fruits like watermelon, strawberries, and peaches. As a general rule, smaller pieces of food cook better on Himalayan salt slabs, so your kitchen time will speed up if you chop fruits and vegetables before cooking, and stick to thin cuts of meat.

Caring for your Himalayan salt block

Himalayan salt blocks can last through dozens of cooking sessions, but as with any proper tool, maintenance goes a long way in extending the life of your salt block. Always cooking on the same side of your salt dish will prevent cracks from forming or getting worse, and will also maintain a delicious, ever-developing layer of seasoning on the cooking surface. Don’t mistake the seasoning layer for a free pass without scrubbing – you should dampen the salt block with a damp sponge after each use and scrub stubborn areas with a soft brush or scouring pad.

Your goal is to clean the block using as little plain water as possible – never immerse the block in water, put it in the dishwasher, or use soap on the surface, as this may damage the delicate surface of the board. Don’t worry, a lack of soap won’t make your Himalayan salt block funky—the salt is naturally antimicrobial. Once your salt block is clean, dry it gently with a clean cloth and let it dry for 24 hours before cooking it again.

When cooking on a Himalayan salt block, stay away from plastic utensils—the intense heat of the plate is likely to damage the plastic, and metal works better on the salt surface anyway. When your salt block is not in use, you can store it almost anywhere, as long as it is safe from moisture and humidity. If you live in a particularly humid area, wrapping the block in a towel and storing it in a closet or pantry can add some extra protection against unwanted moisture.

Finding a local store that sells these blocks is easier said than done, but you can get a board online at a reasonable price if you Poke around Amazon for a few minutes. With a quick learning curve, a dash of metallic deliciousness, and the insurmountable appeal of paint, we highly suggest you give it a go.

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    (Tags for translation)Food and Drink

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