Best Salt Blocks

Updated June 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

17 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
145 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Salt blocks are slabs of pure pink Himalayan salt that are heated on a stovetop or outdoor grill and used as a cooking surface. The block will retain heat for hours, so it is ideal for cooking a multi-part meal or using for a cookout. Food cooked on the block becomes infused with the flavor of the salt and minerals, so it is especially popular for cooking savory dishes like meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables, but it also adds a hint of saltiness to sweet fruits, balancing their flavors. Look for one that will fit on your stovetop burners if you plan to use it inside. Some models come with accessories like a metal holder and/or a cloth sack for storage.

Buying guide for best salt blocks

Last Updated June 2019

Want to wow your guests at your next party? Consider picking up a Himalayan salt block. Harvested from boulders plucked from the Salt Range of Pakistan, these versatile blocks can be used for everything from searing thinly sliced meats to serving up chilled sushi. They add just a hint of mineral-rich saltiness to every food they touch, and they provide a number of health benefits you won’t realize from other cooking and serving methods.

Salt blocks can be a little intimidating for the uninitiated. Our guide will help you better understand this unique kitchen tool and introduce you to some of the features and other characteristics of salt blocks that you need to know to successfully use them. We also highlight some of the pitfalls to avoid when using salt blocks, and we offer up our own recommendations for some of the best salt blocks currently on the market.

With a salt block, you will realize a number of health benefits over other cooking methods, including improved digestion, reduced acid reflux, and better maintenance of your body’s pH.

Factors to consider

Quality and appearance

When shopping for a salt block, be sure that you are only considering ones made from pink Himalayan salt. These blocks are mined from deposits of salt that are hundreds of millions of years old. Free from pollutants, Himalayan pink salt is considered to be one of the purest salts in the world.

Himalayan “pink” is a bit of a misnomer, for while that color is vividly present in the majority of these blocks, the blocks can also sport shades or veins of deep red, amber, white, or even a blue/silver. Salt blocks can be streaked, opaque, translucent, or a combination of all three, often in the same block. The point is, all of these salt blocks are unique in terms of appearance, and you’re going to be buying a little blind, particularly if you order one online.

Grade

There are two general “grades” available for this product, although you may not find them labeled as such in product descriptions. The grade you end up purchasing largely determines what you are able to do with your purchase.

Tableware salt blocks are considered the more attractive type of block and are often streaked through with colorful fissures. These fissures also leave them more susceptible to cracking when heat is applied. As such, tableware salt blocks are used more for serving either cold or room-temperature foods, not for cooking. These blocks are usually less thick, lighter in weight, and less expensive than other blocks.

Cookware salt blocks are the more formidable type of salt block. As the name implies, these blocks can be used to prepare food and are able to withstand temperatures up to 500°F or higher. They are thicker than tableware blocks (at least 1.5 inches), free from deep fissures, and heavier. Cookware salt blocks also cost more.

Shape

The classic salt block shape is a rectangular block, but you will also find them in squares and rounds (less popular). Salt blocks can also be carved into unique shapes, such as cups or bowls. The edges are often beveled to reduce the likelihood of chipping.

Great for grilling

This Caravel Gourmet block offers a unique 8 x 8-inch cooking surface and a 1.5-inch thickness for even heating. Perfect for grilling, this model includes an e-cookbook to start you off.

 

Size

Salt blocks are available in a variety of sizes, and this is going to be one of your primary considerations when comparing blocks.

Small salt blocks are ideal for smaller families. They are lighter, easier to use, and generally less expensive than large salt blocks. You will also be able to more easily fit them into your refrigerator or freezer for cold presentations.

Large salt blocks are generally better for large families and for those who like to frequently entertain. Notably, as a result of their size, these blocks are heavier and may be more difficult to work with. Larger salt blocks are more popular, and you’ll find plenty of them on the marketplace. A size of 12 x 8 inches is standard.

Salt block holders

For ease of use, consider purchasing a salt block that ships with a holder. Salt blocks used for cooking can get quite hot; a holder provides you an easy and safe way to move the block to the table or set it aside when you are finished with it. A holder also lends a pleasing aesthetic touch to the block. Notably, any holder you consider should be constructed from a rust-resistant material like stainless steel.

Storage bag

While not standard, storage bags do ship with some salt blocks. A storage bag gives you an easy way to safely secure your block when not in use. The bag should be crafted from a material that can absorb moisture, like cotton.

User manual

Manufacturer recommendations on care and use vary, so be sure that you receive a manual and read the documentation carefully before attempting to use your salt block. The best manuals are carefully written and easy to follow, providing a number of recipes to start you off.

DID YOU KNOW?

The melting point of a Himalayan pink salt block is 800°F.

Salt block prices

While you can find some salt blocks that cost $10, the majority start around $20 and can cost $40 to $50 or even more. The median price here is about $30. You will pay more for cookware salt blocks than tableware salt blocks, and the price tends to rise as blocks increase in size. You will also pay up for added accessories, such as a block holder.

EXPERT TIP

Due to their superior heat distribution, salt blocks are capable of maintaining heat for a considerable period of time, making them great cooking surfaces.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • A salt block should be heated to around 500°F if you are going to cook with it. A simple way to tell when it has reached this temperature is to place a few drops of water on the surface. If they quickly boil off and disappear, your block is ready for cooking.
  • Before cooking with your salt block for the first time, choose which side will be your bottom and which will be your top, or cooking surface. Adhere to these designations every time you use your block to cook with, as food should always be cooked on the same side.
  • As salt blocks can reach high temperatures and maintain them for an extended period, it is recommended that you pick up a pair of heat-resistant gloves to use with your salt block.
  • While you can use a little oil on your food to keep it from sticking to the block, never apply oil directly to a salt block. Oil on a block could not only catch fire, but it could also seep into cracks in the block and become rancid, ruining the block.
  • Using frozen meats on your heated salt block could result in thermal shock, which could cause the block to break. Using water on a heated block could also cause thermal shock.
  • Handle your salt block carefully, as it could be more fragile than it seems. Salt blocks easily break if they are dropped or hit.
  • The best way to heat a salt block is slowly. Heat the block using medium-low heat for the first 15 minutes. Follow this with medium-high heat for 15 minutes or until you have reached the desired temperature. This will reduce the risk of cracking the block.
  • Let a salt block rest for at least 24 hours between heating sessions.
  • Food that is cooked on a salt block that has not been heated enough will end up over-salted. Under-heated cooking can also speed up the breakdown of the block.
  • If you are searching for gift ideas for a foodie, consider a salt block. Some of these ship with attractive boxes, making them a great inexpensive present for those who love to cook.

Salt blocks contain over 80 trace minerals, which can add layers of complexity to the taste of the foods cooked on them.

Enhances seafood flavor

While not recommended for oven use, this 8 x 6-inch salt plate from Zenware is extra thick for use on your stovetop or grill. Store it in your refrigerator for an hour or two to use it for cold presentations, or heat it to 500°F to sear meats, seafood, or vegetables.

 

Other products we considered

In addition to the high-quality salt blocks on our shortlist, we’d to highlight a few others that drew our attention. The Charcoal Companion Himalayan Salt Plate offers a less-common square 8 x 8-inch design that can be used to cook or serve hot/cold foods. The Himalayan Salt Plate by Steven Raichlen Best of Barbecue is a larger 8 x 12 block that works great on the grill. And if you’re searching for a block more for presentation purposes, consider the Salt Skill Salt Tapas Plate. Measuring 8 x 4 inches, it is thinner, lighter, and less expensive than other options.

Due to their low moisture and low porosity, salt blocks have antimicrobial properties that limit the presence of germs and bacteria.

FAQ

Q. How should I clean my salt block?
A.
First, be sure that it is completely cool before cleaning it. Because salt blocks can retain heat for a long time, you may need to wait hours after use to clean it.

Two nevers here are: never submerge your salt block in water, and never use soap on it. If your block has food stuck to it, use a green scouring pad or soft-bristled brush to remove the food particles. Then use a damp — not wet — sponge or cloth towel to wipe down the cooking surface. To finish off the cleaning process, use a dry towel or paper towels to completely dry the block.

Q. What is the best way to heat my salt block?
A.
A salt block can be heated on a gas or electric stoves or on a charcoal or gas grill. Some can also be heated inside an oven; check your manual or with the manufacturer to verify that yours can be heated using this method.

If you are heating your block on gas, be sure that the block is not touched directly by the flames. Use a flame spreader so the heat will be more indirect.

Whichever way you choose to heat your salt block, be sure you leave yourself enough time, as it can take 30 to 45 minutes for the block to reach optimum heat for cooking.

Q. What is the proper way to store my block?
A.
After your salt block has been cleaned and dried, store it in any location where it will be shielded from humidity, heat, and moisture. If you live in a humid climate, consider wrapping your salt block in towels for storage.

The team that worked on this review
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Rich
    Rich
    Writer

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