I was extremely excited to cook a steak on this cool salt block from The Meadow that I received as a gift from a friend.
Instructions for heating it, from the website, are as follows:
“Put the your salt block on the stove top. Set heat to low, give the block at least 15 minutes to heat up. You may notice moisture accumulating at the edges. As the salt block heats, this will evaporate off. The slower you do this, the better. Allow more time for larger plates, especially 9x9x2 inches and larger. Increase the heat slowly – low-medium for 15 minutes, and then medium-high for 15 minutes. If extremely hot sauté temperatures are desired, increase flame to full high for another 5 to 10 minutes.”
After about 10 minutes on low heat, I heard a loud pop as I was prepping the rest of dinner. I looked over and saw that a few shards of salt had broken off and fallen under the grates of my range. I wasn’t too concerned though, because I read this on their website as well:
“The first few times you heat up your salt block, fissures and cracks will appear, and the color may change from its original pink to a whiter color. This is normal.”
It was my first time using it. Did that disclaimer mean to cover what I just experienced? To be honest, I did think it was a bit off that chunks would fall off, but I figured the company was just putting it lightly on their website. I was wrong. After the requisite time on low (about 20 minutes to be safe), I turned the heat up to medium. After about eight minutes I heard a thunderous bang, almost like a gunshot or firecracker. Then there were successive loud pops afterwards, and this had occurred:
My salt block exploded. There was salt shrapnel everywhere, and it was pelting me as I made my salad. The shit literally covered my kitchen. All over the place. It took me hours to clean it all up. And nothing was salvageable from this expensive hunk of sodium to even use for curing meats or fish. I had to throw it all away. What a colossal waste. I assume this was a defective product?
I highly recommend that you avoid this product. If you must buy one for whatever reason, be sure to wear body armor when heating it.