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Himalayan Salt Block cooking?

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    Himalayan Salt Block cooking?

    I saw a guy using one of these to cook a Mediterranean type of beef skewers on a Triple D re-run last night.

    http://www.amazon.com/Sur-La-Table-H...+block+cooking

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    Has anyone ever used one of these things? I'm not sure if they replace brining / salting in general or what.

    Looks cool though....

    #2
    I haven't used one. Read up on them a couple of months ago and they seem pretty cool though. They can't replace brining, but they'll get a nice balance of salt on food while cooking. Meathead likes them too, but hasn't officially written anything on them.

    Some of them have problems with cracking, so make sure you read the owner reviews. If you get one we want pics!

    Comment


    • HC in SC
      HC in SC commented
      Editing a comment
      Cracking / breaking was the first thing I thought about!

    #3
    No, they don't replace brining. They add salt flavor during the cooking process. This is (roughly) the same as when I cook meat covered in flaked sea salt. It also reminds me of a method of cooking seafood or potatoes on an oven tray covered with a thick salt bed. You cover the oven tray with 2/8 - 3/8 inch thick layer of really coarse salt, then place either potatoes or a full salmon side on it (skin side down), and bake it in the oven.

    I don't think the salt block will crack, as there is a metal tray to hold it together. Or if it cracks, at least the food won't fall through.

    Comment


    • HC in SC
      HC in SC commented
      Editing a comment
      Ok - makes sense.

      I just seems weird to cook on a hot slab of pure salt; but then again a little eatery we like in Mukilteo, WA (Diamond Knot Tavern) cooks cold cuts, etc on hot stones - similar principle w/o the salt flavor I suppose.

    #4
    I had a round piece of this (10" diameter, 1.5" thick). I put it over my range top burner to get it hot then cooked thin pieces of beef fillet on it. It holds heat pretty well. It added salt flavor but not too much. Mine cracked after a few times.

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    • HC in SC
      HC in SC commented
      Editing a comment
      So maybe it is just a novelty way of cooking - I had never seen it before!

      I think I'll stick with dry brining or coarse kosher salt at this point.

    #5
    I bought into the novelty and tried searing scallops a few months ago. Turned out pretty tasty. Easy cleanup. It gets plenty hot for sure. Haven't had time to try anything else on it though.

    Comment


      #6
      I had one and never used it. I wondered about cleanliness and wasn't unhappy with my current cooking techniques and styles.

      I gave it to my Daughter in law at Christmas. I will have to get here feedback on what she thinks of it.

      Comment


        #7
        Like Zman, we've used it for cooking thin slices of beef & fish at the table. Fun, and probably at least as healthy as fondue:-) Managing the heat source has been the hardest part. Too much, too quickly and they will crack. Then you need to keep them hot enough while you are eating/cooking, for which we used a hot plate.

        Comment


          #8
          HC,
          I have one and I use it all the time man. They are great you just have to make sure you take care of them. Heat them up sloooowly. Heating them up quickly or just throwing them on the grill is what causes a majority of the cracks that people talk about. And allow the block to cool down a bit before you clean it. They are naturally anti-bacterial (so I've read) and so I just wipe them with a damp cloth and thats it.
          After a lot of cooks they will crack. No question. But if properly taken care of, they can last a while. And they are fun to cook on!!! And the flavor is really good too.

          -John

          Comment


            #9
            Thanks for the schooling guys - info noted!

            Comment


              #10
              I was watching a Food Paradise (rerun) episode from 2008. It was season 1 episode 12 and was titled "Steak Paradise, A Second Helping". One of the steak houses they featured was David Burke's Primehouse in Chicago. They do dry aged steaks and they have a wall of Himalayan sea salt that they claim helps during the dry aging process. Was a fascinating episode

              Comment


                #11
                I have a 12 x 12 and I have used it on the gas grill and the gas stovetop. I have worked with it extensively and learned that to really get it down you need very dry meat and an infrared gun thermometer. Marinated meat just dumps water and never browns. But dry meat browns beautifully. The gun lets you discover what is the optimum temp. For me 1/4-1/2" slices work best. And the salt gets deep into the meat. It tastes very different than meat that has been salted on the surface. I use it to get a "true" taste of a new meat when I get one, like a heritage hog or grassfed beef, when I want to taste it without anything but salt.

                As far as Burkle's Primehouse, I adore the steaks there, but I am skeptical that the salt on the wall has anything to do with their quality.

                Comment


                • FLBuckeye
                  FLBuckeye commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I just bought an infrared thermometer from Thermoworks. What temp to you go for?

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