Best Himalayan salt blocks & holders for grilling & cooking

What are Himalayan salt blocks?

Gathered deep from inside the beautiful Himalayas mountains, Himalayan salt blocks are stunning pink slabs of culinary delicacy. Mined from deep within the Himalayan mountain range in Pakistan, it is found untouched by worldly impurities. And this pink brick is rich in 84 trace minerals:

Himalayan Salt Block & Steel Stand
  • potassium
  • magnesium
  • calcium
  • iron
  • and sulfur, to name just a few known ones.

What’s more? The slab that produces the cleanest salt in the world when finely ground has low levels of porosity and close to no residual moisture when in solid form. It makes it excellent for withstanding extreme hot or cold temperatures. Food is often placed on top of these salt blocks for cooking, curing, chilling, or serving purposes.

What is salt block cooking?

Salt block cooking is the process of cooking food on top of a salt. And by all means, with versatility too. We’re talking about grilling, baking, sauteing, and curing foods with the heated block. The rock’s unique capabilities don’t just evenly distribute heat to the food. It also adds a zing of natural seasoning and spice to the fish, meat, or vegetables that are being cooked. What better way to derive some raw minerals along with an authentic flavor from your food?

Himalayan salt benefits

Cooking on a big block of salt may seem absurd and is a recent concept to many. Nevertheless, it has an array of benefits that are difficult to ignore. So here’s how getting yourself a block of pink Himalayan salt could be of benefit to you:

It’s a healthy addition to meals.

Though quite a small one, Himalayan salt is a wonderful addition to your meals. It’s rich in essential minerals that could help your body balance its natural PH levels and maintain the balance of fluid and blood pressure. Many argue that the portion of salt in the food is too little to make any significant changes. Nonetheless, pink salt has quickly become a great alternative to regular salt for those with high blood pressure.

Consuming too much table salt can result in high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. It remains a major dietary source of iodine for many. So while you alternate to Himalayan pink salt, you can always vary in using some table salt once in a while. Or you can get your iodine from elsewhere, such as:

  • seaweed
  • dairy
  • tuna
  • shrimp
  • or eggs.

Get the perfect flavor every time.

Himalayan pink salt comprises many more minerals than regular table salt. It is exactly why food cooked on a slab block is often relished with a unique and interesting flavor. A flavor that table salt cannot deliver alone.

Plus, it’s great for people who end up seasoning with too much salt or too little and struggle with salt measurements overall. Cooking on a Himalayan block ensures that it integrates into the food with just the right amount of flavor and never too much.

Rest assured of even distribution of heat

Now that we think about it cooking on a solid salt slab solves many common kitchen problems. Unlike cooking on a pan or skillet, the crystalline-looking block distributes heat evenly throughout its entire surface. And not extremely hot from the center and gradually cooler towards the edges. It is when cooking with a regular kitchen utensil. So, cooking on a salt block ensures that all your foods are also cooked evenly.

Doubles as a serving plate

It has an innate quality of retaining the temperature for longer periods – hot or cold. For this reason, it doubles as a serving plate. You can plate your cooked food on the salt block, garnish it and present it to your guests. Not only does it keep the food warm or hot (whichever one you’re going for), but it also makes for an authentic aesthetic. We bet your guests wouldn’t have seen a serving plate like this one.

Preps both hot and cold meals

You’re mistaken if you thought that’s all the Himalayan salt block has to offer. We didn’t even talk about all the cool things you can pull off using the chilled Himalayan salt block. The block can be chilled to serve:

  • sashimi
  • sake
  • hamachi
  • sushi
  • and other meats or cheeses.

A remarkable way to cure foods

That’s right. They begin to cure as soon as you throw on some meat, fish, or vegetables on the block. Often people cure with the addition of salt to draw out moisture and preserve the edibles for longer. But here, you’ve just got to slap some meat or fish on the rock of salt (quite literally). The curing has begun.

It’s an anti-microbial surface.

Himalayan salt blocks are naturally not very porous and have low moisture retention levels. So, it discourages the growth of any bacteria. It makes it a great anti-microbial surface to cook your food. You never have to worry about germs and cleaning utensils when cooking on top of this block.

A broad spectrum of temperature tolerance

If you weren’t convinced that salt blocks could take on heavy-duty heat and complicated recipes, then you will be now. Himalayan pink salt has a melting point of 800° C which is almost 1500° in Fahrenheit. It means it has a high heat tolerance when it comes to cooking.

However, it can only tolerate so much heat if it is gradually built up. Heating too fast can cause the block to crack, which you don’t want! The slab of rock shouldn’t be heated any more than 100° F every 15 minutes.

You’ll also want to get your hands on a block holder to carry the block with care when it’s hot. Luckily, we’ve gone through some good ones and shortlisted some recommendations for you:

Best salt block holders

Umaid Natural Himalyan Set and Cooking Plate (12 x 8 x 1.5)

Conveniently enough, this salt block and its respective holder come in a set. The 100% natural Himalayan product is 12 inches in length, 8 inches in width, and 1.5 inches in thickness and weighs around 12 pounds. When it comes to the surface area where your food will be cooked, this Himalayan salt block is as large as it gets. 

The holder is made of high-quality, sturdy steel and gives full exposure to the block. This type of holder can be transported to a high-heat flame. It gives full exposure to the salt block with only steel handles on the edge to grasp the block. That, too, while the block remains on the holder. And because it’s steel, it doesn’t get quite as hot as you’d assume it to get. However, we suggest you always use mittens when in doubt.

Oh, and we almost forgot to mention it comes with a complimentary recipe book!

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Umaid Natural Himalayan Set and Cooking Plate (8 x 8 x 1.5)

This Umaid’s Himalayan plate is practically the same as the one recommended above, just smaller in size. Instead of being rectangular, it’s square that 8 inches on all sides, 1.5 inches thick, and weighs 7.5 pounds. It also has the same rust-proof steel holder that fits perfectly around the blocks’ dimensions. This product, as well as the one above, can hold temperatures up to 500° in Fahrenheit without changing composition.

This one comes with Umaid’s complimentary recipe book as well.

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Zenware Natural Himalayan Set and Holder Set (12 x 8 x 2)

This Zenware Natural Himalayan product is 12 inches in length, 8 inches in width, 2 inches thick and weighs approximately 17 pounds. It’s heavier than any of the blocks recommended above because it added 0.5 inches more thickness, which is great in the long run. The holder that comes with it isn’t made of steel but a heavy-duty metal that also happens to cover far more surface area than any of Umaid’s holders. Although this may seem like just another asset, it’s a great one to have. The thick frame will support the block of salt even when it naturally disintegrates (which it probably will) into different pieces or cracks. Although it’s not recommended that you place this in the oven, the holder will offer great support directly on top of a stovetop or grill.

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Himalayan Secrets with Stainless Steel holder (12 x 8 x 2)

It is the heaviest block on this list of recommendations. It is 12 inches in length, 8 inches in width, 2 inches thick, and weighs close to 18 pounds. It is also a heavy-duty block with a heavy-duty stainless steel holder. The holder is extremely sturdy. If you click on the link above, you will notice that this is the chunkiest one on this list too. The tray covers the entire surface area of the block from the bottom. So, you can only use your hands to hold the block over a flame or stove if you wish to.

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Best Himalayan salt cooking blocks

Suppose you’re confused about the holder, or you happen to have a neat and safe alternative to the trays that are available online. In such a case, here are some trusted places you can get your hands on an authentic and natural Himalayan Salt block straight from Khewra salt mines in Pakistan.

Spantik’s Himalayan Set (12 x 8 x 1.5)

This large option is 12 inches in length, 8 inches in width, 1.5 inches thick, and weighs just under 12 pounds. The ‘Gourmet’ Himalayan salt block is a high-quality crystalline structure that can range from pink to a paler whiter pink once delivered to your doorstep. The color variations confirm that it is mined from beneath the Himalayan mountain ranges. No two blocks will be of the same color.

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If you have the holder already, here's what you need.

Himalaid’s Himalayan Pink Cooking Stone (12 x 8 x 1.5)

This Himalaid’s Pink Salt Cooking Stone is 12 inches long, 8 inches wide, and 1.5 inches thick and is one of the most affordable pieces on this recommendations list. This brand has ‘constructed’ the slab of rock-solid pink salt with pure pink Himalayan salt. However, it works just as well as any other Himalayan slab. Plus, the salt is anyhow derived from the same place as well.

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Himalayan Chef Cooking Plate (8 X 8 X 2)

Himalayan Salt Block for Cooking

Suppose you’re looking for a small, quick, affordable experiment. Then this Himalayan Chef Cooking Salt Plate is for you. We say that given it’s a small 8-inch square and pretty thick (2 inches), it is fairly easy for beginners to handle. It also comes with a heat-resistant coating for long-term durability. With the coating, easy handling design, and affordability, Himalayan Chef’s plate only hints at exploring new cooking experiments!

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What to cook on a salt block?

You can cook practically anything you’d like on a salt block – given that it tastes well seasoned with the salt. Because inevitably, the mineral-rich flavor will rub off on whatever you’re cooking on top. Starting with some protein is a great way to embark on your cooking journey. For starters, proteins like chicken, fish fillets, steak, all kinds of poultry, and pork chops would be great.

Later you could start sticking in some vegetables, seafood, or eggs which would lead to making you full-fledged meals!

But don’t forget that cooking isn’t the only thing you can do with a salt block. You can also cure meats, fish, vegetables, and seafood. It also makes for a great chilled plate. Imagine how great some good old vegetable or fruit salad would taste all crunchy and slightly salted.

Using a salt block for the first time

Himalayan salt block

Planning on ordering your first slab of Himalayan pink salt right after you finish reading this article? Well, you should know a few things if you’re cooking on a slab of Himalayan pink salt. Nothing surprising, but here are things you might want to be wary of:

  1. Consider buying high heat-resistant gloves

Let’s put some things in perspective. If the slab can cook your food, it’s as hot as the stove. You wouldn’t want to touch a flame on the stove, would you? So if you don’t want to accidentally get your fingers on the Himalayan salt block while cooking, consider getting some high heat-resistant gloves. Sure, you can carry the block with holders and trays. However, at times even those can heat up.

  1. Avoid using fat

Vegetable oil, butter, or any other fat you use to cook your food should be avoided. Not only will it mess with the flavors you’re trying to retrieve from the salt block. But, it’ll also slow wither away the lifespan of your block.

  1. Keep it away from water.

Water dissolves the salt, so it’s usually kept away from the salt as much as possible. Of course, you will occasionally have to clean the block. However, use as little water as possible. Don’t even think of immersing the slab in water.

  1. Cook on the same side

Cracks and color changes are normal, so don’t be surprised when it happens. However, remember to heat or cool the salt block gradually and slowly to prevent cracks. Cook on the same side so that the cracks don’t get too bad over time.

  1. Always start cooking with a dry block.

Heating it while it may be damp from cleaning or any other water can impact its composition and cause it to crack.

  1. Temper the block on its first use

The last but most important thing you should know is that ‘ tempering’ is important for the salt block on its first use. ‘Tempering’ is a process that must be performed to get rid of any moisture (no matter how little) that may be present in the block. It lengthens the shelf life and prevents cracks from forming. The correct way to do this is to place the salt block in a low-temperature setting in an oven (100°c). After 30 minutes, crank up the heat by 50 degrees every 30 minutes till it reaches 500 degrees. The entire process will take 2-3 hours to complete.

How to cook on a salt block

cooking with a salt block

Now that you’re familiar with the composition of a salt block and the type of care needed for it, we can jump to business. Here’s how you cook with it on a stove:

  1. Place a salt-block holder on the stove; a metal ring will also work. Then place the salt block on top.
  2. Turn the heat to the lowest possible setting and let the block heat up for about 15 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes, crank up the heat a little bit. Repeat this step every 15 minutes until you reach the desired temperature or feel that the block is hot enough to start cooking.
  4. Cook your desired food on top as you would normally cook your food on the stove.
  5. When you’re food is cooked, you can turn off the heat. Remember, it retains the temperature for a long time. You can switch it off even 10-20 minutes before your food is fully cooked.

How to clean Himalayan salt block?

Water dissolved the salt. So we want to use as little water as possible. And absolutely no soap. So using a damp sponge to wipe the block is a great solution. You can also use a clean, soft brush or scrubbing pad for scratching away any stuck food. Lastly, just wipe all the residue with the damp sponge.

FAQ

How long does a Himalayan salt block last?

It is all-natural, so it doesn’t have an expiration date. However, suppose that you were to ask how long it would hold its rock-solid composition. In this case, it totally depends on how often you use it and the care you give it (allowing it to gradually cool and gradually heat up). It will last you approximately a year or two before it needs to be replaced or ground down to a smoother surface.

Can you put a salt block in the oven?

Yes, you can. It’s the best way to ensure that the heat is cranked up gradually, thanks to all the numbers and degrees mentioned in the oven.

Can you use oil on a salt block?

You can do it ever so slightly, but it will shorten the lifespan of your salt block over time. If you have to, use only enough to be absorbed by all the food you’re cooking.

Are salt blocks good for grilling?

Yes, they are perfect for grilling. They are dense, and their heat is distributed evenly throughout their edges. Thus, it ensures that all your food is grilled evenly and with just the right amount of spice!