Barbecuing with Himalayan and Persian Salt Blocks

Barbecuing with Himalayan and Persian Salt Blocks

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Cooking with Himalayan and Persian Salt Blocks

Cooking on a Himalayan/ Persian Salt BlockI have been wanting to try barbecuing on salt blocks for years. I remember seeing it done back in the states and I thought it looked so interesting. Also, I love preparing my meats with a salt crust, so I thought this would be a cool alternative and less waste of all that salt each time.

How hard can it be…

I looked around everywhere for salt blocks at local stores and online shops.

Himalayan salt blocks are popular in the US, and I found them everywhere online there, but the shipping was crazy expensive.   My girlfriend, Fernanda, found them in the UK, branded as Persian salt blocks, which for all extensive purposes are the same product.  But that particular store has a very expensive price point and then add the shipping costs…Nope.
After a week of searching – and asking friends to carry them back from the states…ok, I know, it does look like C-4 explosives when you are going through airport securityfinally, on page 14 of the Google search I found a local Barcelona company that has them. Yes!

Barbecuing with Himalayan and Persian Salt Blocks

Barbecuing with Himalayan and Persian Salt Blocks

How easy was that!

But it was not clear where the store was located, and for how much, so I emailed them. Turns out, they are the wholesaler for the products and they do not sell them directly, BUT they asked my address to mail me a couple to try.  Amazing. Such great service. Thank you Manolo.

But what are they?

At this point, if you may be asking what are these Salt Blocks.  Take a look this presentation from Manolo´s company  Salt&More  – it will make you hungry!   I found out that Salt&More actually does sell them at stores in Barcelona and the price is below 10€ – amazing price compared to the UK and US stores.

A week later, I had my two new salt blocks and the adventure began.

Generally, salt is sprinkled over the grilled and roasted meals and thus these are only seasoned selectively. This means that a single bite may be over salted and the next one tastes blend. On the contrary, the Persian Block of Salt allows extraordinarily well-seasoned taste adventures. Meat, fish, vegetables or sea food absorb little salt over the entire surface during the cooking time on the Persian Block of Salt, which is rich in trace elements such as calcium, potassium and magnesium. The effect of this moderately dosed seasoning: The natural intrinsic flavour is harmonically emphasized and each bite tastes equally delicious – a culinary experience!

Always read the fine print…twice

That night I started to use them on my barbecue. I followed all the videos online that talked about how to warm the salt blocks over the fire or in the oven slowly and then how to clean the salt blocks afterwards, but I was a little too excited to start using the blocks and made a few mistakes.

Salt blocks do not mean salty food unless…

The salt blocks do not make the food very salty as you would suspect – IF – you allow the salt blocks to heat up completely as instructed.  As the blocks warm up, the salt block crystallizes to sear the food when it hits the salt and this searing prevents the salt from entering into the meat.  The idea is a coat of salt and minerals outside of what you are cooking.  If the blocks are not hot enough, your food slowly absorbs salt from the blocks and leaves it tasting overly salty.  My first mistake was to add my veggies onto the blocks before they were really hot, so they tasted too salty.

Salt dissolves in water, duh

When washing the blocks, do not use the dishwasher or alot of water.  This was my biggest mistake.  After using the salt blocks a few times, they got very black from my sauces (Mistake #3).  I tried to put the salt blocks into water for a couple minutes hoping to remove just the outside layer of salt.  This did not work, the water entered deeper into the blocks at different points and not at all at other points, so I have some large holes throughout the blocks.  In hindsight, this was stupid of me but I could not get them any cleaner.

Stick to the light sauces that do not stickCooking on a Himalayan/ Persian Salt Block

Using thick, heavy sauces -especially sugar based – as marinade on the meats when using the blocks will make them very hard to clean.  I used the blocks with my soy and hoisin BBQ recipe – tasted amazing, BUT the sauce left the blocks very tarred and black – almost impossible to clean.   Use only olive oil when using the salt blocks.

Overall, I have enjoyed using the salt blocks and I love the reaction of people that have never seen a barbecue with salt blocks before.  For the price, it is worth the adventure.

How to prepare the Salt Blocks for the BBQ
Print Recipe
  • CourseCarne/ Beef, Fish, Mariscoes/ Shellfish, Veggies
Prep Time
45 mins
Prep Time
45 mins
How to prepare the Salt Blocks for the BBQ
Print Recipe
  • CourseCarne/ Beef, Fish, Mariscoes/ Shellfish, Veggies
Prep Time
45 mins
Prep Time
45 mins
Instructions
  1. 15mins at 50-100ºC or away from the main flame of your BBQ
  2. 15 more minutes at 100-150ºC or closer to the main flame but not directly over the fire
  3. 15 mins directly over the heat before you add your meats and/ or vegetables
Recipe Notes

**Make sure the salt blocks are completely dry blocks (important they are dry so the water does not cause the blocks to crack when the water heats up)

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