What is a Himalyan Salt Block?
If you are looking for a new way to grill and serve food, you should consider Himalayan salt blocks. As the name would suggest, a Himalayan salt block is actually just a large block of pink salt. These salt blocks confer a subtle salt flavor onto your food without being too overbearing, and they are easy to use and maintain as well. Additionally, they are great for serving purposes, as they make nice looking serving platters.
How to prepare a Himalayan Salt Block for grilling
Himalayan salt blocks can be brought to extremely cold and extremely hot temperatures and are very versatile in this way. It is important to heat or cool them very slowly though, considering that they are natural products that have natural lines and imperfections. If you heat a salt block too quickly, it can actually crack or break. If you care for it the right way, however, it can last for a very long time. It is very import you heat a salt block correctly, particularly the first few times you are using it. This will ensure that it stays strong in the long term, and it will become a better cooking surface for you.
This process is referred to as tempering, and the following is a simple way to do it.
- Place the block in your oven on a low rack and turn your oven on to its lowest heat setting. Leave the block at this heat setting for 30 minutes
- Increase the temperature by 50 degrees and leave it for another 30 minutes
- Continue to raise the temperature by 50 degrees every 30 minutes until it is at a temperature over 500 degrees.
- Turn the oven off and leave the block inside with the door closed until it goes back to room temperature.
- Once you have done this, your salt block will be ready to use.
When you are ready to use your Himalayan salt block for grilling, you should make sure you heat it up correctly. Make sure it is completely dry and has not been used for a minimum of 24 hours. You can use a Himalayan salt block on gas and charcoal grills. On a gas grill, start out with low heat and work up slowly. On a charcoal grill, you will want to put all of the charcoal on one side of the grill and place the salt block on the other side. Keep track of the temperature to make sure that the block does not heat up too quickly.
How to use a Himalayan Salt Block when grilling
Once you have preheated your Himalayan salt block, you will be ready to use it to cook. You should make sure it is completely heated before you use it, because a block that is not hot enough will actually end up over-salting the food and leaving it undercooked as well. You should keep in mind that foods that cook more quickly are the best ones to use with a Himalayan salt block, such as thin cuts of meat and steak. Quicker cooking vegetables, such as zucchini and asparagus, also work very well, as does seafood.
Do not use oil on your block while you are cooking, as the oil will end up penetrating the cracks of the salt and eventually end up going rancid or catching fire while you are grilling. You can use the block for cooking for several hours once you have preheated it.
How to care for a Himalayan Salt Block
There are a few things that you should keep in mind when you are caring for a Himalayan salt block. The most important thing to remember is that any temperature change should happen slowly with one of these blocks. Additionally, you should never put it in the dishwasher; you should keep in mind what it really is, which is a large block of salt. If you put it in the dishwasher, it will disintegrate, and your entire dishwasher will be very salty.
When using a Himalayan Salt Block for cooking, you should allow it to cool completely and naturally after you cook it, and you should only clean it once it has completely cooled down. Do not use soap when you are cleaning it, and make sure to minimize your use of water. Scrub it down with a sponge or scouring pad in order to take away any food residue, and then do a final wipe with a clean sponge that is just slightly wet. Use a clean towel to towel dry your block, and let it air dry for about 24 hours before you use it again.
As you can see, a Himalayan salt block can be very useful during the grilling process. You should make sure you know how to take care of it properly, so that you can get everything out of it that you can for as long as possible.