Dad, Don’t Read This: This Is What I’m Gifting to All the Grillers I Love This Season

published Nov 21, 2022
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Let me preface by admitting the possibility of bias: I may still be riding the wave of unbelievable enthusiasm from a month ago when I first experienced Wagyu steak caramelized to rare perfection … at home. Not only did this glorious event happen indoors, but it didn’t involve any smoke alarms or the use of several different vessels or heat sources. But, trust me, this doesn’t reduce any of the thrill. This Himalayan Salt Plank (and Holder!), which was gifted to the friend who prepared the steak for me, could be the best gift for home cooks and outdoor grillers alike that I’ve ever come across — and I plan to buy a number of them for this very reason.

Blocks of Himalayan salt conduct heat evenly and quickly and retain a super-high temperature — pretty much like a cast-iron pan. But, because these salt blocks are light in color, strikingly marbled, and made entirely out of salt, cooking on one achieves an impressive spectacle and a flavor profile that’s unmatched. Sourced from natural salt deposits in the Himalayas, this block imparts a subtle minerality into ingredients that can elevate, or even replace, your seasoning.

Cooking with the salt plank is simple: Just heat it up slowly until it hits a smoking point. Then, with high-grade, heat-resistant gloves, move the block from the stove, place it into the iron holder, and set it down directly at the dining area (I recommend using a few trivets for extra protection). Then, you can sear meats and veggies right on the slab, tableside. Everyone keeps their hands to themselves, as the salt block is searing hot, unless they’re actively grilling — hibachi-style, if you will. Told you there was some thrill!

You can even chill the salt block in the freezer if you’re serving cold dishes, charcuterie, or appetizers. It’ll keep the hors d’oeuvre cool while actually looking cool, too. The Himalayan Salt Plank and Holder set from Williams Sonoma is the perfect size and thickness for my needs (and kitchen space!) and the holder it fits in seamlessly makes all the difference. All I have to say is that it may be worth the hurry to grab yours before I finish up my holiday shopping!