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How To: Cook on a Salt Slab

Himalayan salt slabs are solid crystal salt hand-cut by local stonemasons in Pakistan’s Himalayas, over 600 million years old and with more than 80 trace elements.

These Himalayan salt blocks are primarily used for curing, cooking, freezing and food presentation. But they're not like any other cookware: salt blacks are very dense, conducting heat slowly but efficiently allowing them to retain heat and evenly season food. When cooking on them, they impart a salty flavour to foods, especially moist foods, on impact.

Beyond cooking, Himalayan salt blocks are ideal as serving platters or nut bowls.

How do I use salt slabs?

Use the large, thick salt slabs and bowls only for heating; if they are too thin, their cooking life will be greatly reduced due to increased risk of cracks. Individual-serve-sized salt slabs and bowls are excellent for freezing and room temperature uses, such as curing.

Your salt slabs and bowls can be lightly oiled or buttered for foods that are likely to stick.

How to heat your salt slab

  1. Heat your completely-dry salt slab or bowl slowly on your gas stove on lowest heat for 15 minutes.
  2. Turn up the heat to LOW - MED for a further 15 minutes.
  3. Increase heat to medium for 10 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle a few drops of water on your salt. If they sizzle, you are ready to go. If not, turn the heat up some more. It can take all the way to high heat, as long as you do this slowly.

How to care for your salt slab with heat

If you're using an electric stove, place a trivet between the slab and element – they should never touch. Heat in the same way as for gas stove.

Although you can heat your slab or bowl in the oven, any trapped moisture in the oven may cause the block to crack or, at worst, to explode. Salt is hydroscopic, meaning it attracts water. Residual water on or in your block, or in the oven, won’t be able to escape through evaporation, like it can on a stovetop or BBQ, which in turn, can cause potential cracks or ruptures. For this reason, avoid the oven.

If your food is becoming too salty, you most likely need to increase the temperature of the salt before cooking on it. This will not only improve your food but also preserve your salt product for longer.

Reserve one block for heating and one for freezing. Heated blocks may change colour. Although tested in a range of temperature from -17°C to 480°C, salt slabs are more likely to split outside 0 to 230°C. You can test the temperature of your salt slab or bowl using an infrared food thermometer (which you simply point at the salt and it reads its temperature).

How do I clean a salt slab?

After every use, let your salt slab cool completely to room temperature before cleaning. Trying to keep the salt slab or bowl as dry as possible, scrub it with a damp scouring pad (using no detergent) until all the food residue is removed. There is no need to use detergent as salt slabs are antimicrobial and antifungal.

Wipe it clean with a damp cloth. Dry with a tea towel and store in a low moisture area, e.g. the lowest shelf of your pantry.

Make sure your salt slab is completely dry before you use it again. Antimicrobial properties means germs won’t survive.

Where can I buy Himalayan salt blocks?

Find a range of salt slabs and bowls in varying sizes and colours at our Gewürzhaus stores. We are unable to ship these items, so please visit your local store to purchase.

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