Himalayan salt blocks or slabs are chunks of salt harvested from the Himalayan ranges in Pakistan. These blocks of rock salt are then sliced and cut, and given different desired shapes. Salt has been of great value since olden times owing to the plethora of benefits it holds.
Using Himalayan salt block in the kitchen isn’t a novel idea. It has been very common since ages but technology had us drifted away from the natural methods.
Why Himalayan Salt Blocks?
Natural salt blocks might not be a great idea to be swapped with your state of the art cooking range or serving platters in the kitchen in daily routine, however, they are a great choice when you want to try something different and healthy.
There are a number of reasons getting hold of these beautiful pieces before the next gathering at your place might be a wise choice.
- Himalayan salt blocks have a crystal lattice with high specific energy. This makes them hold their temperatures for long periods of time hence making them ideal for cooking or serving.
- The salt blocks have a low porosity with almost negligible moisture trapped in them. This lets the blocks reach extreme temperatures without any damage. This is yet another characteristic which makes them ideal for use in the kitchen.
- The melting point of this salt touches a whopping 800.8 degrees Celsius.
- The salt slabs are structured in such a manner that their contact with food is minimal. This ensures the food doesn’t get too salty.
- These salt blocks contain trace minerals. These minerals are already present in the human body and are necessary for the functioning of the body. Food cooked or served on the salt blocks gets infused with these minerals along with the extra salty ‘kick’.
Ideas In The Kitchen:
Himalayan salt blocks are versatile in the kitchen. They can be heated, cooled, cooked upon and used as serving platters.
Apart from the myriad of benefits of Himalayan salt blocks, these are also a treat to the eyes. These blocks give out a rustic look which can be a great complement to many decors.
Before using for the first time, you need to treat your salt block, this is called tempering. This improves the durability of the salt block. The process of tempering is very simple. You have to ‘slow bake’ the salt slab. Just put the slab in the oven at the lowest temperature. Now keep increasing 50 degrees of temperature after every 30 minutes until it reaches 500 degrees. Turn off the oven and let the slab cool on its own. Your slab is now ready to be used.
The heating process of the salt slabs is simple with a few technicalities. These slabs can be heated on a grill, on a stove and even in an oven. Just make sure the heating process is carried out slowly and gradually.
Start off with a low temperature and gradually keep on increasing the temperature with time. Give the slab some time to reach the desired temperature before increasing the heat.
Heating the blocks can be used for two purposes; cooking and serving.
Cooking on a salt slab can be fun and a different experience. Since the salt slabs can retain a particular temperature for long periods, you can cook on it for several hours once the slab is heated.
It is best to check and confirm the temperature. An under heated slab might make uncooked and salty food while an overheated might burn the food.
Avoid food with too much moisture or oil. It may seep into the cracks of the slab and lessen its life.
Serving your food on a Himalayan salt block is a fabulous idea. The salt slabs can be heated or cooled to desired temperatures and then used as serving platters. The food served will retain its temperature for long because of the slab.
Keep in mind that wet foods may get infused with the salt and get a salty edge to their flavor.
Handle With Care :
Pampering and caring go a long way. Same is the case with these salt slabs. No matter how much robust these beauties appear to be, they need some extra care to last long.
- Avoid moisture as much as possible. Make sure the slab is completely rested and dry prior to heating it.
- Do not put your salt slab in a dishwasher. You will be left empty handed with a dishwasher that needs to be serviced and fixed.
- Wipe clean the surface. Scrub with a sponge if absolutely necessary.
- Towel dry and keep in a dry place.
These salt blocks are nothing less but small bounties of nature.