How and what to cook on a Himalayan Salt Block?
December 25, 2010 9:39 PM   Subscribe

How and what to cook on a Himalayan Salt Block?

I received a Himalayan Salt Block for Christmas today. I check food blogs somewhat regularly, but am unfamiliar with cooking on one of these. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to treat/season this? Recipes? Storage? Anyone have experience with one of these?
posted by fyrebelley to Food & Drink (3 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
We got one of these a while back. We mostly use it by putting raw meat or fish on it for about 5 minutes per side. The meat absorbs the salt in a uniform way and the slab takes out some of the surface moisture, which aids in the browning process.

We've never cooked on ours, but it's supposed to be pretty easy. Here are some recipes
posted by udeups at 11:58 PM on December 25, 2010

Wow, it's been a while. Forgot that MF doesn't autolink. Salt block recipes.
posted by udeups at 11:59 PM on December 25, 2010

The Meadow in Portland, OR sells the hell out of these, and has lots of ideas on how to use them on their website. You can also call them, they're very helpful over the phone.

I would call the shop that it was purchased from to check to see if it's considered 'cooking grade' or just 'serving grade.' If there are deep fissures or cracks in it, you'll not want to submit it to high temperatures, as it can crack into chunks (you can still use it after that, but it doesn't work too well to cook on.

To season one of these little buddies, start slow: keep it on "low" on your gas range (or electric if you have some sort of spacer, like a wok ring) for about 20 minutes, then turn it up to low/medium for another 15-20, then medium for another 15-20, then high for another 15-20. Basically, the slower you go the first time you use it, it will prevent cracks from forming, and extend the life of the block. Blocks under about 2inches thick or so don't last for cooking long, but will stick around forever as serving ware.

As for storage, just keep it in a cool, dry place. If it gets moisture on or around it, it will absorb a little bit of it, and crystals of salt will form on the block (feel free to scrape that off and use it as table salt...there's nothing wrong with it). Salt is a natural sterilizing agent, so for cleaning and the like, just wipe it with a damp rag, and let it dry naturally.

If it breaks, or a chunk falls off, use a microplane as a salt shaver to reduce the salt into a powder, so you can dust your food with it. Works pretty darn well.

One thing to avoid for certain: do not put them in the oven. Again, do not put them inside your oven. I don't know why this is (something to do with condensation/moisture with no outlet and extremely high temperatures?) but if a salt block is put in the oven, it can explode, damaging your oven.
posted by furnace.heart at 12:49 PM on December 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

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