You don’t NEED a pink salt block for cooking, but it is really fun and delicious.

And it does a few things exceptionally well.

Salt block plus a smoke box plus trout. Perfectly cooked fish with a little salt flavor and a nice smoke finish.

Salt block plus a smoke box plus trout. Perfectly cooked fish with a little salt flavor and a nice smoke finish.

Like fish–very hard to overcook fish on a salt block. Ditto thin pork chops.

We made bananas foster/flambé bananas last night. Slightly salty, buttery and caramelized. Oh yes.

Cooking on the block this spring has been a fun project. It’s a little tricky, the salt block. It requires about 40 minutes of heating before use. It can’t be heated in an oven or on a sealed-top range. Clean-up is a bear.

This block came from The Meadow, the cooking store operated by cookbook author (and former engineer) Mark Bitterman. The site has lots of very detailed info on the salt blocks themselves and on cooking with them. Salt Block Cooking, his book on the subject and the only salt block cookbook I’m aware of, has a May 2013 publication date.

Next up we plan to use the block to cure salmon. Love gravlax.

Bananas, steak, chops, fish, gravlax. Maybe a salt block is for you, and maybe it’s not. Come find out at a salt block cooking class at the Donelson Farmers Market on August 23. More details eventually.