Himalayan Salt Cooking Tile-Blcoks generally have low porosity, and virtually no residual moisture. This is what makes them a great way to cook and grill. The lack of porosity of these blocks means that the surface area touching the food is minimal, hence they will only make the food moderately salty. Also, the high amount of trace minerals (approx. 1.2% sulfur, .4% calcium, .35% potassium, .16% magnesium, and 80 other trace minerals) deliver a mild and full taste to the salt, which adds more flavor to the food.
Different foods react differently to the salt block and the effect of the salt on the food depends on various factors including moisture, fat content, thickness, and the temperature of the block. Foods cut to appropriate thickness, cook quickly on heated salt blocks and deliver best results. However, the blocks are not recommended for oven use.
As a Himalayan Salt Cooking Block is slowly heated on a grill or cooktop, it soaks up the heat, so the can be used effectively for cooking on. The moisture in the food dissolves some of the salt, which then penetrates the food, creating a delicate balanced saltiness that feels more evenly distributed in the mouth than sprinkled salt crystals on the food.
Heating a Himalayan Salt Block
The block must be warmed in stages, first on low heat, then medium, then high in 15-minute increments. It is especially important to heat a salt block carefully, especially the first few times it is used. This ensures the strength of the salt block over the long term and improves it as a cooking surface
Heating the salt block on a 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 stove 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.
Heating the salt block on a 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.
Cooking on a salt block
The thickness and strength of a salt block makes it great for cooking as it will hold the temperature for a long time. When you use it on a grill, it adds a delicious smoky and mildly salty flavor to vegetables and meats.
Once the block is preheated, it is ready to prepare any meat, vegetables or seafood. Steak and thin cuts of meat work very well. Seafood is another good option and quicker cooking vegetables like asparagus and zucchini are also great. Once the block is preheated, it can be used for cooking for several hours.
More ways to use a Himalayan Salt Block
- Making delicious grilled vegetables. The salt block helps perfectly season the vegetables and the high heat creates delicious flavor.
- Grilling a perfect steak indoors. On those rainy summer days, salt blocks are a great way to grill a perfect steak indoors.
- Adding flavor to baking. Himalayan Salt cooking blocks can be used creatively for baking as it gives a delicious mild salt flavor to baked cookies and snacks.
- Keeping foods cold. A thick Himalayan salt block will also stay cold for hours. This makes it perfect for serving cold foods. Serve cold foods like fruit, salmon, or cheeses on a chilled salt block to keep them cold for hours.
- Make amazing seafood. Salt blocks don’t just make great steaks, they also make amazing seafood. Use use salt blocks to marinade fish, scallops or shrimp in lemon juice, fresh ginger and coconut aminos overnight and grill on a Himalayan salt block for perfection.
- Fancy way to serve food. No doubt the salt block makes a fancy serving platter and conversation piece as it adds a delicious flavor to food even at room temperature. Serve chocolate and strawberries or cover with cured meats and cheeses.
Care Tips for Himalayan Salt Cooking Block
- Preheat salt block slowly and in stages. Start with the burner on low, preheat for 15 minutes, then increase to medium and preheat another 15 minutes. Repeat the process one more time with another 15 minutes preheating on high flame if high heat is needed.
- Do not use soap to clean the salt block. Salt blocks are naturally sterile due to their mineral makeup so soap isn’t necessary. Simply use damp sponge to clean as required.
- Avoid dropping your salt block as they are heavy and may break if dropped. Use a salt plate holder or carry case for better handling.
- Store your block in a cool, dry place. Salt blocks are hydroscopic and can draw moisture, which can accelerate the rate at which they dissolve.