Amazing Reasons for Using Himalayan Salt Block and How to Use It

Amazing Reasons for using Himalayan salt block

You may have heard about the health benefits of pink Himalayan salt and about the health benefits of using a Himalayan salt lamp. But did you know that you can also use a Himalayan pink salt block for cooking and for serving food?

The Himalayan pink salt block is becoming very popular nowadays and there are good reasons for that. Cooking on these salt slabs can make your food taste better, they are easy to clean and can also add healthy minerals to your food.

I want to share with you my top reasons for using pink Himalayan pink salt slab for cooking as well as for serving food. But before I share with you all this information, I think that it’s important to quickly discuss all the pros and cons of salt consumption.

Salt Consumption – Advantages and Disadvantages

Usually, when food and salt are mentioned in the same sentence it’s about the problems that come from using too much of it in our food. It is, of course, true that too much salt in a person’s diet can lead to problems like high blood pressure and heart disease. And I’ve already mentioned the warning signs of consuming too much salt (that most people ignore).

However, all of us need salt in our diet. The U.S National Library of Medicine states that our bodies need sodium (which salt contains) in order to function properly.1 Unfortunately, not all salt is the same and most of the salt we find in supermarkets (i.e. table salt) contains very little, if any, nutritional value.

On the other hand, Himalayan salt contains many nutrients and minerals that the body needs to function properly. In fact, it contains around 84 minerals which are essential for a healthy body.2  Some of these are calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. Himalayan salt does contain trace amounts of iodine, but you might want to look for other sources of it to meet your body’s demands.

While pink Himalayan salt is a better alternative for adding to food than traditional white table salt, it is also possible to cook on a Himalayan salt block, or slab. Let’s have a look at all the fantastic reasons why a Himalayan salt block should be in everyone’s kitchen.

What is a Himalayan Salt Block?

Himalayan salt blocks are cut from salt rocks which are mined in the Himalayan mountains. The rock is cut by stone masons into many different shapes that are then used for cooking. The salt block is sometimes called a salt slab or salt brick. The colors of a Himalayan salt block range from light pink to deep red.

Here is one example of a Himalayan salt block.

The Benefits of Cooking on Himalayan Salt Block

Himalayan salt block is very good at keeping its temperature for a long time. So whether you want to use it to cook and serve hot food, or use it to serve chilled food, it doesn’t lose its initial temperature quickly. Also, you don’t have to worry that food will be too salty, even if it’s placed on the salt block.

So, why should you start cooking with a Himalayan salt block?

Adds Healthy Minerals to Food

Using a Himalayan salt block to cook food lets the food absorb the many minerals contained in the block. These minerals help the body to naturally regulate blood pressure, support a healthy heart, balance the body’s pH, help control the level of water in the body, and it has many more health benefits.

The amount of salt and minerals which the food absorbs depends on factors like:

  • How moist the food it – Moisture in the food will pick up salt faster.
  • The fat content of the food – Fat in the food will pick up salt slower.
  • The thickness of the food – It’s best to use foods that are cut to an appropriate thickness and that cook quickly.
  • The temperature of the block – Cooking on a salt block that hasn’t been heated high enough will over-salt your food.

Gives Food a Unique Taste

Food that is prepared using a Himalayan salt block has a unique taste that you can never replicate using ordinary table salt. All the 80 or so different minerals all add something special to the taste of the food. Remember that ordinary table salt contains mostly sodium chloride with no other trace elements.

There is also a unique chemical reaction that happens with food. Mark Bitterman, award-winning food book author who regularly cooks on a salt slab, said that you can get a crispy texture on food that can’t be replicated with other cooking methods. He describes it as a superior way to cook.

Easy to Clean

Salt blocks are extremely easy to clean and maintain. Because salt kills microbes naturally, you don’t have to worry about using soap to clean it. In fact, soap should never be used on a salt block. To clean a salt block, you just have to wipe it with a moist sponge or towel.

Use Heated or Chilled

As I’ve already mentioned that a salt block keeps its temperature extremely well. When heating it, care should be taken the first few times to heat it gradually until it reaches the desired temperature. When frying food, it should be sizzling hot before you put the food on. This ensures that it sears the food and keeps in the moisture.

It can also be placed in a fridge if you want to serve chilled foods.

Naturally Antimicrobial

A salt block is probably one of the safest cooking utensils that you can have in your kitchen. Salt is an antimicrobial agent that has been used since the start of time for killing off microbes and preserving food.

Extreme Temperature Resistance

Another benefit of a Himalayan salt block is that it withstands extreme temperatures. So, you can chill it in the fridge to serve cold food, or you can place it on a grill or gas stove to heat up for frying food. It is said that it can withstand temperatures between 0°F and 900°F (-17°C to 482°C).

You shouldn’t, however, expose the salt block to sudden temperature changes and you should let it rest for 24 hours between uses.

Use it for Cooking and Serving

Himalayan salt blocks also make for amazing serving platters. You can place it on a wooden board and present hot food on it at a table, like sizzling steak or fajitas. Or you can serve cold meats or fruits on it, like prosciutto or watermelon. The uniqueness of the salt block also makes for a great conversation starter at the table.

How to Use Your Himalayan Salt Block for Cooking?

The Himalayan salt block is best used on a grill or a gas stove. It is not recommended for use in an oven.

To use it on a gas stove, you should start at a low temperature and gradually increase the temperature. It will take around 30-40 minutes to reach a temperature of 300°F (149°C).

To use the salt block on a grill, you should place the block on the grill and close the lid while heating. Once the salt block has reached its desired temperature, you can continue to cook on the grill, or take the block off the grill and cook just on the block.

Here are the 3 golden rules to follow when using your Himalayan salt block for cooking:

  • Set the heat to low, and give the salt block 20 minutes to warm up on a low heat
  • then 20 minutes on medium heat
  • and 20 minutes on high heat

How to test if the salt block is hot enough:
Sprinkle Test: Sprinkle a few drops of water on the block. If they sizzle vigorously and disappear immediately, the block is ready.
Hand Test: Hold your hand two or three inches above the block. If you can’t keep it there more than 5 seconds, it’s hot enough!
Use an infrared thermometer. It reads the temperature of your block for you. You’re looking for about 500°F (260°C).

Another piece of advice if you are cooking with a salt block is to make sure and always cook on the same side and heat on the same side, don’t keep flipping it over.

What You Should Never do with a Salt Block

In order to get the best out of your salt block and make sure it lasts a long time, there are certain things that you should never do with a salt block. These are:

  • Immerse it in or place it under running water
  • Use soaps or detergents to clean it
  • Heat it up too quickly

Himalayan Salt Block – Precautions

It important to know that some salt blocks are not worth the investment. That’s because they have substantial cracks or mineral deposits that will cause the block to shatter when subjected to high heat. Usually the poor quality block will self-destruct during its initial burn in, although it may last a couple of times.

But sometimes even good-looking blocks have flaws and they break apart during burn-in. It is also possible that a block contains a small amount of water. If this is the case the block may literally explode.

Initially when you start using your Himalayan salt block for cooking, it’s important to heat it up to a temperature of 500°F (260°C) slowly and then let it cool down, this may take a few hours.

Once the block has been successfully cured, it can be heated to operating temperature much more quickly. Still, it is a good idea to start on a low temperature to get it warmed up. Then you can turn up the throttle. Wait until the block is fully heated before tossing on the fish or meat.

Where To Buy a Himalayan Salt Block

You can purchase a Himalayan salt block in certain high end kitchen shops as well as in some retail shops. But you can also easily purchase them online, and here is one example of a large Himalayan salt slab which is available on Amazon.

Read these related articles:
1. The Amazing Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamp
2. The Health Benefits of Pink Himalayan Salt
3. Different Types of Salt and Their Benefits

1. Sodium in diet.

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