What if the food I have cooked on my block comes out too salty?

It will not; provided you heat the block to the right temperature. Remember, salt bricks are a perfect match for foods that need a quick pump of intense heat energy. If the surface is not hot enough, the exposure will be longer than necessary. If you are doing things right, you will find a salty glaze on the side of the food that is exposed to the salt surface and the food will be seasoned to perfection. Yes, it may take a few attempts to get your salt slab cooking skills right. But, once you do, there will be no keeping you away from your salt block.

When using the block for cold serving, say for instance, you intend you intend to throw on some pieces of green apple, water melon with some mozzarella on top, ensure that all the cfruit slices and the cheese is spread out on the surface in such a way that all of them or at least a part of all slices is in contact with the salty surface.

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What is this talk about the versatility of salt blocks as cook ware?

Salt has a number of unique properties that make the Himalayan salt block an ideal surface for cooking. For one the block has a significant amount of weight because it is carved out by our artisans from single large pieces of the salt rock. So, the slab is heavy enough to be used for compressing meat. For instance, if you are cooking chicken breast on the grill, place the salt slab on top of it, sandwiching the meat between the grill and the piping hot salt surface.

The meat will get seared and cooked faster and both surfaces will have an extraordinary glaze. Another way to use the salt slab is to cure foods. Simply place a piece of salmon in between two salt blocks and with the weight, you will have gravlax in no time at all.

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How do I clean the Himalayan salt cooking slab?

If cooking on the block is simple, cleaning and maintaining the brick is even simpler. Given the fact that the surface is non porous, the juices from the food do not penetrate it. This means that you won’t have to clean the slab as much. Also, salt being a strong anti bacterial and anti fungal agent, you do not have to worry about the surface of the cooking brick getting contaminated.

However, you do need to remove any pieces of food that may be stuck to the surface. For this, all you have to do is use a metal sponge and scrub down the surface to dislodge charred food and particles of burnt salt. Follow, this with a round of wiping with a damp cloth and that is all there is to cleaning the block. If you feel that some of the food odor lingers, use a slice of lemon on the slab or a few drops of lemon juice. Rub it all over the cooking surface and then scrub it with the metal sponge.

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OK, I am done cooking, now what?

Once done, do not rush to clean the block immediately. Instead, let it just stay on the counter, away from the sink and any source of moisture. Allow it enough time to cool down. This will take a couple of hours. The best way is to leave the salt block alone for the night. By next morning, it will be at room temperature and that is when you can start cleaning it.

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What do I need to know about cooking on Himalayan Salt blocks?

To begin with, it is crucial to understand that every type of food will react differently to the salt block. The impact of the salt will vary based on a range of factors such as the content of fat, the moisture, the thickness of the slices of food and the temperature of the salt slab. For instance, if the food has high moisture content, it will pick up a greater amount of salt and faster. On the other hand, if the food is oily, it will absorb the saltiness slower.

So, if you are cooking a food item that is particularly moist, coat it with some oil, before placing it on the salt slab. This way only a limited amount of salt will be absorbed by it. Also, ensure that the slices of the food are of medium thickness, whether it is fish or poultry. Finally, heating the slab to the right temperature is crucial. If the brick is not hot enough, not only will the food have to stay on the slab too long and will be saltier by extension of this bit also, the cooking slab will degrade faster, as it gets exposed to moisture for a longer period of time than required.

As you continue cooking on the salt block, the crystals will pick up the color of the food and the spices and marinades. Also, the surface will develop cracks. Make sure that the surfaces are kept constant; that is the cooking surface and the side of the slab which actually faces the heart of the flame should be the same each time. Salt is an unpredictable substance and that is what makes cooking on it a unique experience.

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What can I expect when using the salt block for cooking?

For starters, before you heat the block, make sure it is completely dry. Also, between cooking sessions, the slab should be allowed to rest for 24 hours. Initially, just like with cast iron pots and pans that have to be seasoned, you will need to prepare the salt block with a bit of pampering. So, as a thumb rule, go slow on the heating, controlling the temperature and increasing the heat gradually.

You will see cracks and fissures developing on both surfaces. But, there is no need to be alarmed; this is just the normal process that the salt crystals go through as they are subjected to heat for the first time. Over subsequent uses, the block will stop cracking. Also, at first, the salt may lose its color and go from pink/orange to a distinct opaque white. This again is the normal reaction of halite to the heat. Over time, some blocks will regain a hint of the color they once had as you cook on them and clean them.

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Himalayan Salt blocks, how and why should you be using them?

Of course, you cannot use the salt slab like a regular stove. It is more like an iron skillet just one that is flatter, made of salt and it holds and distributes heat like no skillet can. So, direct contact cooking food works best for the salt slab. Generally, foods that cook quickly and are seared on high heat for a few minutes will be perfect for Himalayan Salt slab cooking.

So butter coated prawns or lobster meat or even white meat can be cooked to perfection on the Salt slab. In fact, we guarantee that once you cook on the Himalayan salt slab, your trusty old iron skillet will seem like a tinfoil. As far as the temperature gradient of exposure goes, no other material performs as superlatively as Himalayan pink salt.

The slabs can be heated to a searing 700 degree F and you can cool it right down to 0 degrees. It will melt above 800 degree F. The salt has no residual moisture and given their low porosity, only a limited area of the block actually touches the food, so the vegetables and meat cooked only pick up a light amount of saltiness. Then, there are the trace minerals which offer a fuller taste and more complex flavors to the food.

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How to get the salt plate to the right temperature?

When freezing the salt plate, simply put it in a plastic bag to prevent exposure to moisture and place it in the freezer. For cooking, you can heat the salt block to the desired temperature on a gas stove, in the oven or on an electric stove.

Oven heating: Increase the temperature gradually by starting at 250 degrees and maintaining it for about 12 minutes. Then, increase the heat to 400 degrees and heat the plate for another 15 minutes before removing and using as desired. Remember, for best performance, you will have to ensure that the salt plate is hot enough.

Gas grill or stove: Place the plate on the burner directly but like with the oven start with a low flame setting and gradually increase to medium, working your way up to the highest flame setting. Hold at every level for about 7-8 minutes. So, it should take you about 20 minutes to get the plate hot.

Electric stove: Since you cannot place the slab directly on the burner, use aflame tamer. Once again start at the lowest heat setting and gradually increase the heat till you reach the max setting. You should not need more than 15-20 minutes to get the right temperature for cooking.

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Cooking with a Salt block… really?

Move aside pots and pans, the Himalayan Salt Block is here! Yes, you heard it right and it is all the rage in gourmet restaurants and even Michelin star establishments. It is the latest and by far the trendiest way to cook foods right in front of the guests, right on the table. Restaurants that don’t want to get all that adventurous use Himalayan salt blocks for serving and the effect is just as awe inspiring. And, there is absolutely no reason why you cannot enthrall your friends and family by serving the food on Himalayan salt plates, bowls and blocks at the next soiree you host.

The cooking and serving slabs are available in a range of dimension, so you are bound to find one that will suit, the type of food you want to serve and the method of cooking you want to follow. In inches, the sizes start at 8x4x2 and can go right up to 16x8x2. These artisan salt blocks are meticulously hand crafted to make them an ideal surface for cooking. The nonporous nature of Himalayan salt and the fact that the crystals retain the temperature that they are exposed to, turn the block into a cold, almost refrigerated serving platter or even a flatiron stove that can be used to sear delicious morsels of sea food and meats.

Heating and cooling the blocks is quite easy and so is cooking on them. And, no you will not be running to the over every 30 minutes to heat up the plate again. In fact, once heated, you will need to leave the serving block alone for the night so that it can cool down before it can be cleaned; that is how well the salt maintains the temperature. The food served on the salt blocks develops a complex taste as the macronutrients absorb the minerals in the salt.

When cooked on the Himalayan blocks, the meats and vegetables take on a mild saltiness that is unparalleled and simply cannot be replicated by adding the regular dash of salt to your food. Meat cooked on salt blocks has a unique texture as the proteins do not get overcooked and retain a surprisingly juicy texture. An ideal; addition to the kitchen of any person who enjoys to experiment with his/her food, salt bricks offer one of the healthiest way of cooking.

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Where should I keep the salt block when not in use?

As long as the salt block is kept in a dry area, you should have no problem. Just remember that the block is all salt and salt has an affinity for moisture. It will quickly pick up the moisture from the air and degrade. So, if you leave the salt block out in the open for long periods, you will begin to notice the first signs of damage in the form of a liquid on the surface.

As the moisture level in the air goes down, the liquid coating the surface of the slab will evaporate and in its place, you will see a layer of white crystals but this does not mean that the damage has been undone. This is a physical change that cannot be reversed. So, do not leave the salt block on the counter on the window sill or even the BBQ. Use a large zip lock pouch or any other plastic bag. Place the salt block in it and seal securely to prevent exposure to moisture. A trick is to place some uncooked rice inside the bag; the grains will absorb the moisture.

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