Do you have any tips for cooking on a Salt Block? Especially heating it up for the first time.
I received a Himalayan salt block as gift. It's a rather study looking one, about 1 1/2 inches thick.
Tonight I want to use it for shrimp. Some websites say don't use an oven...which is frankly my only option. Others say use a oven but only for thicker blocks.
And 'season' the block by heating a couple of times to 250 with heating and cooling and heating again, then heating slowly to 500 for 45 mins.
My block came with two smaller bricks that I assume are 'legs' to rest the hot block on. Should those be heated also, to keep any thermal diffrence from resting a hot block on cold blocks?
this is so funny. i thought it was a joke at first but that's because this product and technique were unknown to me.what's supposed to be the appeal, sam?
They are just another device for tabletop type cooking. They also do had a bit of salt flavor to the things cooked.
They'd also used chilled to serve sushi, fruit, and other things and add a slight bit of salt to those items.
However once you use it for cooking it discolors it so it's not as pretty for serving chilled things.
I'm not an expert here, but since your dinner is probably past, I'll weigh in, and maybe some others can help you for future dinners. My understanding about the prohibition on cooking in the oven is a suggestion that you first heat the salt block on your stove, that you not heat it in the oven. (I'm not sure what they're worried about, but explosion comes to mind.) If you're heating it on an electric range, use a wok ring or something to keep it from direct contact. It can go right on the grate of a gas range.
Then, I have not seen little feet, but I'd think that they don't have to be heated as well. Perhaps they're sufficient for elevating the block above the electric stove. Assuredly, they'll be good for the long (and I mean long) cooling period.
Have fun! I've thought of giving them as gifts, but they are a bit of a commitment.
Thought from an uninitiated:
"What, deer have to have their salt COOKED now?" :-}
I recall Mark Bittman did an interview about using a salt block. Try google.
I have seen the mark bittman book.
Okay my impression from first use; I probably should have just keept it as a serving peice for serving cold things like fruit, or sushi, or chocolates..etc. The heating did change the color of the rose colored brick into a more 'white' color and bubbled up some imperfections--I might be able to sand it down again tho.
For the flavor it was 'meh' the shrimp where a bit more flavorfull and salty but they were not really that spectacular.
IMHO...for table top cooking I have a Korean or Japaneese Green Granite stone in a round insert that fits over a Asain table top gas burner that does better job---and you can add more flavors with mirin and bogoli sauces for table side cooking.
So, I'd give it a plus for using it as a serving block for chilled things, and a 'why bother' for cooking.