Grilling on a Salt Rack
Innovative pitmasters aren’t satisfied with sticking to the status quo. They’re always open to pushing the envelope when it comes to grilling and smoking meats, produce and other ingredients. And that means investigating how to use salt blocks so they can add some more magic to their grill tips.
If you’ve seen big hunks of pink salt for sale online or in-person, you’re probably wondering if they’re worth the hype or the investment. The answer is yes, especially if you’re into testing new seasonings, textures and cooking methods with your Grilla grill.
A Bit About Salt Racks and Slabs
Before you buy a salt slab and toss it onto your grill, you should first have a basic understanding of what it is. Salt blocks are pieces of legitimate salt mined in the Himalayas. They’re taken from the earth and cut down so people can use them in their ovens and grills.
Although salt blocks are mostly salt, they contain other minerals, too. Consequently, they infuse your food with a slightly salty taste and hints of additional flavors. If you want to experiment big-time, prepare two steaks in your smoker grill. Go traditional for one and use a salt block for the other. Your taste buds should be able to spot the differences.
Heating Up a Salt Block
A huge advantage to using a salt slab is that it distributes heat evenly. It can also handle temperatures into the 400-degree Fahrenheit range. However, you have to know how to heat it correctly or else it will crack.
Start by putting your salt rack on your grill grates. Then, slowly fire up the pellet grill. Start at a low temperature and gradually increase it every 10 minutes or so. Have patience during this process. The last thing you want is for your salt slab to break because of a sudden temperature change. Just go steady until it’s nice and hot.
Grilling Food on a Slab of Salt
When your salt slab is ready for food, place your items right on the block. You don’t need to worry about flare-ups or drips catching fire because the salt will stand between your food and the flames. In general, you’ll want to keep the lid open for grilling, but close it if you’re using the salt slab to smoke your item.
Just as you would with any grilled meat, poultry, seafood, veggie, fruit or kebab, you may want to turn your food once. When it reaches the appropriate internal temperature, take it off the salt. But don’t remove the salt slab from the grill until it has cooled, which can take more than an hour.
Cleaning and Caring for Salt Blocks
When it’s safe to take your salt rack from the smoker, use a brush or towel to brush off food particles. Run the salt block briefly under cool or tepid water. Do not use cleansers, though. Salt has antimicrobial properties and requires no soap to stay clean. In fact, soap will render it unusable. After rinsing the salt slab, dry it immediately with a clean dishrag or paper towel. Store the block in low humidity so it stays dry.
You can expect a salt rack to get smaller over time, but that’s okay. As a pitmaster, you’ll get plenty of use out of it, not to mention kudos from everyone who tastes your salt-grilled masterpieces.
Looking for other ways to spice up your grilling? Why not explore the many ways that coffee can enhance the BBQing experience?