Grilling a steak that has the perfect “steak house” crust is just got a whole lot easier. Why? Two words: salt slabs.
The key to a rich, flavorful, deep brown ‘steak house’ crust on steak, or most any other meat, is a quick sear with very high heat.
And achieving the required level of heat is easy to do IF you have a commercial grade salamander (a high-temp infrared broiler that can reach over 1,000°F) … or by cooking a steak in a cast iron skillet and constantly basting it with its juices and melted butter. But it’s extremely difficult to accomplish on an outdoor grill.
For years there have only been two reliable options:
- Salt your raw steaks really well with kosher or slightly coarse sea salt and let them age in the refrigerator for two to three days before grilling over the highest heat your grill could put out. Or,
- Take the cast iron pan out to the grill and cook the steak in it the same way you would on a stove.
Both require extra time and effort. So most backyard cooks give up on creating a succulent ‘steak house’ crust … and settle for pretty, but flavorless grill-grate cross-hatch marks on their steaks instead.
Salt slabs let you create that luscious, mouthwatering crust without any extra effort.
Simply light your grill. Place the salt slab on the cooking grate. Crank the heat as high as possible. Wait about 15 minutes. Then, when the salt slab is as hot as your grill can get it, cook your steak on the slab the same way as you would on the cooking grate.
The salt slab retains heat incredibly well, just like cast iron. So it can create a fantastic crust on steak.
And the magic of grilling on a salt slab doesn’t end there…
It also puts a fantastic crust on pork, lamb, or most any other meat.
Plus, because it’s a solid slab so there is no need to worry about flare ups.
Take a look at the gorgeous, deep golden-brown crust it put on these NY Strip steaks (with a little garlic butter brushed on):
And here is the crust it put on some pork chops:
Salt slabs are sold at many gourmet cooking stores. And they are of course available on Amazon. After trying several over the past few years though, I’ve that these slabs from SaltWorks.com last the longest.
I recommend slabs that are 1.5″ or 2″ thick. They are less likely to crack yet still heat up fairly quick.
Always put a salt slab on a cold grill and heat them together. Putting a cold salt slab on a hot grill may cause it to crack or shatter.
To clean one you simply wait for it to cool, wet it, scrub it with a wet brush (no soap!), then rinse it. Don’t let water run over it constantly though or it will dissolve away after just a few washings.