Your Himalayan salt block will take on a life of its own once you start using it and sometimes even before then). While it might be nice for slat to offer all the stability of stainless steel, this is simply not the case. Salt is a natural, sometimes unpredictable mineral.
Disclaimer: If you wish to cook on your salt block, please understand that you assume all responsibility. The staff is not responsible of damages, injury or loss due to heating of Himalayan Salt products.
Moist foods like radishes, fruits, mozzarella, steak Tartare, and sashimi take on seasoning the moment they touch the block. Fanning out, or otherwise arranging the food to reduce the surface area contacting the salt block is a good way to limit how much salt it takes on. Brushing the block with olive oil will also reduce the amount of salt that dissolves form the block.
Salt blocks turn opaque when heated, and may develop fissures or even large cracks. They may also take on colour from the proteins cooked on it. Don’t get upset by the behaviour of your salt block. Salt is a complicated, wily, unpredictable substance. That is what gives it much of its charm.
Heating Instructions: (requires ~40 minutes)
Be sure the salt block is rated “cookware” at the front of this guide. You will need a gas stove top. If using electric, place a circular ring of metal such as a tart pan with a pop-out bottom to create a small air gap between the heating element and the block. Do not heat your salt block in the oven, as damage to your salt block and/or your oven may result. Make sure the block is completely dry. If wet, dry thoroughly with a paper towel before heating.
Place your salt block on the burner over low flame. After 15 minutes (allow more time for blocks larger than 9″ X 9″ X 2″), increase heat to low-medium. After another 15 minutes, increase heat up to medium-high. After another 10 minutes, your slat plate will be hot enough to cook on. If extremely hot saute temperatures are desired, increase flame to full high for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Caring for Your Salt Block
If hot, allow to cool completely first. After each use, moisten salt block with a sponge (do not use soap), scrub with a scouring pad to remove any stuck matter, and wipe with clean wet sponge. Repeat until block is free of any cooked on food. Tamp dry with a paper towel or clean cloth. Set o a drying rack. This process removes only a very thin later of the salt and preserves a relatively smooth surface. Treated with care, a salt block can provide many uses.
Check out the book, Salt Block Cooking: 70 Recipes for Grilling, Chilling, Searing and Serving on Himalayan Salt Blocks for more information and recipes on Himalayan Salt Blocks. Also, visit the Bitterman Salt Co blog – www.saltnews.org.
Recipe & Cooking Ideas
- Arrange thinly sliced Carpaccio or sashimi on a cool slat platter and serve. Watch (and taste) as the food literally salt-cures while at the table.
- Fry and egg! The magic is that the bottom of the egg gets slightly crispy and is still barely salted so you can even add a pinch of black truffle salt!
- Impress your Jewish grandma with Gravlax. Rub a sashimi-grade salmon filet with brown sugar and arrange with some fresh dill on a salt block. Wrap in paper bag and refrigerate for two or three days. Slice, serve with creme fraiche, and melba toast – or just eat plain.
- Getting back to basics, use as a platter for serving cheeses, cured meats, fruits, and chutneys. Moist foods like pear slices and mozzarella takes on an enhanced minerally flavour.
- Heat on the stove and then put in a hot oven to bake pizza or dinner rolls or chocolate chip cookies!
- Crack up an old salt block to fashion some edible jewelry for your sweetheart. Draw a bath and drop in the rest of the salt and relax, with or without the jewelry. Himalayan pink salt contains 84 trace minerals treasured for their therapeutic powers.