I’ve just bought a salt block from Williams Sonoma after looking online at a few. It comes from Pakistan. You can use it as a platter, cool it for cheeses or desserts, or heat it and cook at the table.
I chose the Williams Sonoma one because of the size and the metal holder. For $42 it’s not unreasonable just as a fancy platter. But I want to cook with it!
I hunted around online to see how you use these and find some recipes. I’ve started a Pinterest salt block page here.
So how did we go?
First up, the salt block is supposed to be heated on a burner and not in the oven. Well, these were these instructions, although some sources say that an oven is OK. I don’t understand this, as surely it would produce an even temperature across the whole block.
As instructed, I gently heated the block over gas for 90 minutes, increasing the heat every half hour. At the end, it was 200C in the middle but the edges were cooler (120-140C). So I spread it across two burners, one at each, but the temperature of the whole block dropped, and even when I put it back on one burner in the centre, I couldn’t get it back up to 200C.
So it was cooler than I’d hoped when we cooked at the table.
The rainbow trout cooked perfectly. Likewise the asparagus which were brushed with macadamia oil.
The prawn recipe came from here.
The prawn skewers didn’t work well as the prawns weren’t in direct contact with the block. Whatever you cook needs to be in direct contact with the block.
The food definitely gained some nice saltiness from the block. Tasty, not overpowering.
Of course, you need to care for your block. A wipe with a damp cloth. I used steel wool to scrub off the fish. The main thing is t0 use minimal water and then dry it off.
The packaging recommended a ceramic trivet which we don’t have. I used our cork mats and they were slightly charred by the metal. Next time we could just heat the salt block and put it in the metal holder at the end (although hot metal would keep the block hot.)
Now that we’re over our initial salt block anxiety, we’ll try some more seafood next.