Using a Himalayan Salt Block: Once Around the Block - Himalayan Salt Block.org
< />

Using a Himalayan Salt Block: Once Around the Block

By  |  0 Comments

Use and Care of your Himalayan Salt Block:

Using a Himalayan salt block is a powerful thing. It can store an enormous amount of heat energy. This allows it to impart a high temperature heat to the foods placed upon it. This can be used to sear the food and  flavor it. It also means that at this high temperature it isn’t something to fool with or to use carelessly. By owning it, you have chosen to treat it appropriately regardless of what you find on this site or written anywhere else. Though we would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the care needed to put it to good use, you should put it into good practice.

Don’t move the block unless you have to

…and if you have to, then you must insulate yourself from its immense heat. At 40o˚f it will heat up most oven hot pads and begin to cook your hands within a couple of seconds, well before you get it to where you want to. You must use an oven mitt that will resist the temperature safely. Take a look at what is out there and a lot of the mitts for sale only go up to 200˚f. I recommend the  San Jamar KT0115K Kool-Tek Nomex Puppet Temperature Protection Oven Mitt with Kevlar, 15″ Length, Red. The reason for the recommendation is that they are NSF certified, have Nomex and Kevlar in them. The Folks at NSF have certification programs for products that are oriented toward safety standards. A lot of culinary items found in commercial kitchens are NSF certified. Your hands are worth it. The ‘puppet’ style allows you to grip the block better than than the ‘claw’ grip type.

Decide where the block will go

It’s not uncommon to get all excited about cooking something and then not realize you haven’t pulled something out to plate it. It’s the same if you decide to cook your food on the block and then put it close to where your eating. You’ll need something heavy duty enough to withstand the heat of the block so you don’t burn your counter or your table or both. A cast iron trivet or metal stand will still transfer heat so you’ll have to try out what you have so you’ll know in advance before trying to move a hot salt block around the house. I just use mine outside and move the food to plates and bring them back in for service, the block stays outside till it is cool enough to handle.  If you use it at the stove top then it can stay right there as well. If you heat in the oven, then transferring the block or food will be something to consider.  Pulling out the block and placing it on a burner is pretty easy, but other than that will require some consideration.

A high surface temperature is what we are after, the higher the better. With high heat you have searing power! Searing is the quick rendering and caramelization of fats and sugars at the surface of the food. This is delicious way to impart flavor quickly to your food. In other cooking methods, you can sear food for coloration and looks and then place it in the oven and cook it another way.  With the himalayan salt block, we sear the food and season it at the same time. You can of course leave it on the block and cook it all the way through.

Using a laser thermometer you can quickly tell the surface temperature of the block. I think at first it also allows you to realize the differences in temperature in other parts of the block. The bottom of the block is quite a bit hotter than the top. You’ll also get a feel for how much your block drops in temperature when you place something on it. The Etekcity® DT-8550 Instant-read, Infrared Thermometer is good choice. It isn’t necessary to have one to enjoy your block but if you’re interested or have one already, try it out and observe the temperatures.

IMG_4521sm

Most of time the laser won’t tell you much about the doneness of your food, you should use an internal thermometer for that, and the faster reading the better. Get an instant read thermometer if you don’t have one already.  This is an awesome instant thermometer that is ‘instant’ as opposed to many of those on the market that get an instant reading over a fairly long time (3-5secs or longer). 

Thermapen, is great little thermometer that I use all the time. I couldn’t recommend it higher. It reads fast and is easy to turn on and off. The handle is long and keeps you away from the source of the heat. I don’t like waiting around to get the temp when my fingers are burning off in the grill or oven so I keep it handy.

Using a small about of oil on the surface of the food or sprayed onto the block will help cook the food better and more uniformly. Also it keeps food items from sticking to the surface of the block, which is common when cooking at really high temperatures.

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

%d bloggers like this: