Salt Slab Cooking
A Himalayan Crystal Salt Slab imparts a wonderful flavour to the food and has health benefits too.
Once heated the slab will hold its temperature for a while and has excellent heat distribution. Salt blocks can be used in temperatures ranging from -18°C to 370°C, which is definitely hot enough to perfectly sear a good steak!
You may think that the food will be too salty, but the blocks are not very porous and they have very little moisture, so the salt imparts very moderate levels of saltiness. The extra flavour comes from the more than 80 trace minerals found in the Himalayan pink salt. It is these minerals that also make this type of salt healthier than regular salt, and which are responsible for the pink hue. Himalayan salt is unrefined and hand-mined from caves in northern Pakistan.
There are a few tricks to using a salt block, so read further before jumping in.
- You need to cure your salt block just as you would a potjie pot or cast-iron pan. Be especially careful the first few times you use the block. Fissure and cracks may appear at first and the colour may become whiter.
- Make sure the block is completely dry.
- Start off on a low heat. The golden rule is:
- 20 minutes on low heat;
- 20 minutes on medium heat;
- 20 minutes on high heat.
- For a gas grill, place your block on the grill and turn the gas on as low as you can. For a charcoal grill, move the coals to one side and place the block on the opposite side so that you have less direct heat. Move a few coals over after the initial 20 minutes and increase that after another 20 minutes until the slab is hot enough to use.
- Test if the block is ready to cook by sprinkling a few drops of water on the surface. If the water sizzles and dissipates instantly, the block is ready to cook on.
- Rest for 24 hours before using the salt block again.
- Use the same side for cooking each time.
- When finished cooking, let the salt slab cool completely.
- Use as little water as possible when cleaning. In fact, some say not to use water at all. The less water the longer the slab will last. Also, salt has natural antimicrobial properties, so there is no need for any cleaning solutions. If you want to clean with water use a little and scrub with a soft scouring brush to remove any food matter. Dry immediately with a paper towel or a dry, clean dishcloth.
- Store your block in a dry place. If in a humid area, wrap it in a towel and store in a cupboard.
What to cook on a salt slab.
There are many things you can cook on your slab, from seafood and vegetables to meats and eggs. The key is to cook something that does not require a long cooking time. See one of our favourites below!
Bacon and eggs
Take a simple bacon and egg breakfast to a new level by cooking them on a salt block. Heat the salt block and add the bacon, cooking it until crispy. Cut large onion or sweet pepper rings to hold the eggs. Crack a few eggs into the rings on the block and cook until they are done as you like them, and serve.