Himalayan Salt Blocks are making rounds in the gourmet food industry for being amazing culinary items. They’re versatile kitchen tools made of pure Himalayan salt that enhance the flavor of anything cooked on them. These blocks are not just cooking tools but also alluring serving plates.
Because of their temperature retaining property, you can heat and cool salt blocks for serving hot and cold dishes. These salt blocks also add an aesthetic touch to the décor of your kitchen because of their attractive color and shape.
If you are also planning to buy these cooking and serving platters for your kitchen or already have one, then you need to read this article as we are going to share a complete guide for using these salt blocks.
Tips For Using Cooking Blocks
If you have got your pink Himalayan salt block and looking for ideas and tips to use it properly then this user guide will help you do so.
Tempering is the process of treating your salt block before using it for the first time. This process helps to remove any moisture in the block, increases longevity, and avoids the risk of cracking your salt block. Tempering is a simple process and you can use an oven or stove for this. Keep in mind that the salt block must be “slow-baked/heated.”
When using the oven, simply place the block in the oven at the low rack and the low-temperature setting (100-125°C). Continue to raise the temperature by 50 degrees every 30 minutes until it achieves 500 degrees.
This whole process will take about 2 to 3 hours. Remove the block from the oven and allow it to cool completely to room temperature. Now your block is ready to use.
Every time you want to cook on these salt blocks just make sure to preheat the block for good results. Just like tempering, the heating process is also simple. You can slowly and gradually heat these salt blocks on a stove.
Even if you want to place these blocks in the oven, we suggest pre-heating them on the stove for about 15 minutes and then place in the oven with the starting temperature of 100-150°C.
Place the salt block on the stove with a metal ring in between for air passage. Preheat it slowly for about 15 minutes at low heat to remove any moisture. Continue to increase the heat after every 15 minutes until you attain the desired temperature of about 400-500°C.
Note: You can use a laser thermometer to check the temperature or splatter water drops on the block. If the water sizzles and evaporates quickly then the block is perfectly heated and ready to be used. It will take about 40-50 minutes for the Himalayan salt block to thoroughly heat up.
Raise the bar of your cooking with the Himalayan salt plate. You can cook or grill all kinds of meats, veggies, and seafood on this amazing salt crockery. Every food requires a different cooking time. Veggies would take less time for cooking while meat would take more time. Seafood and fish can be cooked in 2-3 minutes.
Make sure to check the temperature of the block because an under-heated block might make your food uncooked while the overheated block might burn your food. Slow cooking is recommended, with a gas or electric oven set to 100 to 150 degrees.
Avoid moist and oily foods as they can seep into the cracks of the salt block and decrease its performance and life. If you want to use oil then make sure to use a small amount of oil on the food you wish to cook, not directly on the salt block. The juices of meat get infused with the salt of the block and enhance the flavor of the dish.
You also do not need to add more salt as the salt block adds natural saltiness to the food while cooking.
When using this block for grilling, place it on the grate. Place the coals on one side of the charcoal grill and heat the grilling salt plate on the other side. This will ensure slow heating and keep the block from overheating. When using a gas grill, again follow the slow heating process until you get the desired temperature.
The temperature retaining property of these blocks makes them so versatile. Cooking on salt blocks enhances the flavor of the dishes while serving your food on these blocks increases the aesthetics of the food.
You can heat or cool these salt plates at the required temperatures and then use them as serving plates for various types of cold and hot dishes. The food served will retain its temperature for a long time.
It’s a good idea to serve food right away so that you can experience the aroma and visual aspect of serving on a salt block. Avoid touching it without wearing cooking gloves because the block will be quite hot. Also, use a wooden mat or salt block holder to avoid burning the table.
You need to follow the given tricks to clean the salt blocks.
- First of all, allow the salt block to cool down at room temperature before cleaning it.
- Never place the salt block under running water, otherwise, the salt block will melt down leaving wet powdered salt behind.
- A Himalayan salt block is antimicrobial which is why it does not require any dishwashing agent.
- Change in color or texture of the salt block is quite normal. It happens with the frequent use of the block.
- When you cook food on a Himalayan salt cooking plate, the juices and food residue tend to stick to its surface. This could be tricky to clean food crush and residue from the surface of the block.
- Before washing the block, scrape off all the residue using a brush with smooth bristles. Make sure to dampen the block before scraping the block.
- Then, rub a soft sponge on the surface of the block to wipe off any left food particles.
- Rinse with water and air dry immediately.
Make sure the block is completely dry before storing it. Always air dry the salt block immediately after cleaning. Store the block in a cool and dry place. You can wrap it in a plastic bag and place it in a dry place.