We’re walking you through how to use a salt block that actually makes grilling easier!
Salt can help make food taste awesome, which is why so many chefs have a heavy hand when cooking with it. But like all good things, too much can be harmful to your health. If you are trying to stick to your New Year’s resolutions, then maybe cutting your sodium intake is on the list. I’m here to tell you that you that learning how to use a salt block when preparing your food is actually much healthier and more flavorful than when using table salt and doesn’t necessarily have to break your 2017 resolutions. Plus, cooking on a salt block surface is easy and looks super sophisticated as a serving platter. You want to look sophisticated, right?
Before I lead you too deep into how to use a salt block to impress your friends, let’s learn a bit more about what the salt block is and why it’s become a household cooking name.
What’s a salt block?
When I say salt block, I generally am referring to the Himalayan salt block. This mineral isn’t necessarily from the Himalayas, but it comes from a neighboring Pakistan salt mine about 300 miles away. The salt block can vary from pink to opaque, the pink color lending itself to the presence of iron oxide. It actually shares 96% of the same sodium chloride property as table salt. Where it sets itself apart, however, is the remaining 4% of its mineral properties which include potassium, magnesium, as well as trace minerals. Himalayan salt does not go through any additional processing like its table salt counterpart. If you believe what the internet says, consuming processed foods is kinda bad.
This is starting to feel too much like chemistry class. No more talk about elements.
Why use a salt block?
Adding minerals to food
I already spoke to this a bit before, but cooking with a salt block can impart some of its natural minerals into the food you are cooking. These minerals have multiple health benefits compared to table salt, like healthier respiratory function and better sleep.
Antimicrobial cooking surface
The antimicrobial properties of the salt means that you can use this slab several times in cooking. A simple scrub with a soft brush and wipe down between uses and it can outlast several cooking sessions.
Learning how to use a salt block while cooking means your food results in a delicate, but not overpowering, salt flavor that brings out the best in whatever you are making.
Can undergo extreme temperatures
Grilling is one of the best methods for learning how to use a salt block because the salt slab can undergo extreme temperatures and also provides very even heat distribution. If you were looking to date a salt block, it’s pretty much a perfect catch.
How To Grill With A Salt Block
Once you learn how to grill with a salt block, you will be pleased with the smoky and mildly salty flavor it can lend to meats and veggies.
Before we cook with the Himalayan salt brick, we must first temper it so that it is strong enough to be used several times in the future. To do this, you must heat it up slowly. This can be done by placing the brick in the oven and then setting the oven to 250 degrees. We want the salt brick to heat up slowly, so don’t preheat the oven first. Once the oven reaches 250 degrees, you can take out the brick and turn off the oven. After 30 minutes has passed, put the brick back into the oven and repeat the process. Now we’re ready and the salt brick can withstand up to 500 degrees of heat every time.
Heat It Up
Each time you cook with the himalayan salt brick, you must first take a bit of care heating up the brick. To heat your salt block on the grill, simply place the brick on the grill and adjust the grill to low heat. If you are using a charcoal grill, use an indirect cooking method by putting all the charcoal on one side and the salt slab on the other.
You will want to begin increasing the heat slowly, turning up the heat every 15 minutes while also keeping a watchful eye that the brick is not heating up too quickly and cracking. You will know the salt slab heat is appropriate when you sprinkle water on it and the water sizzles and disappears.
Congratulations. You are past the prep and ready to learn how to use a salt block on your grill.
When getting the foods ready for the slab, do not use oil. This oil slips into the cracks of the slab and will eventually spoil over time.
We recommend foods that cook quickly to be used on the salt slab to insure that nothing gets too salty. All you need to do is place the foods that you want to cook on the surface of the block and then wait until it is finished. The slab can be used for hours of cooking at a time.
What To Cook
Again, the faster the food cooks, the less salty it will become. A great place to start when learning how to use a salt block on the grill is with steaks, thin cuts of meat, seafood, and quick-cooking veggies. You can refer here for some salt block recipes to try.
You must care for your salt block between cooking to insure that it can be used many times in the future. Thankfully, clean-up is quite easy to do. Once the block has cooled, moisten the block with a damp sponge then scrub with a soft brush and dry it clean. It’s best to use as little water as possible, as moisture tends to cause greater wear and tear on the block.
What are your favorite foods to grill on a salt block? Let us know by sending us a tweet @CAPPEC_Official or by commenting below.