How to braai steak on a Himalayan Salt Slab
As a South African, I’m always apprehensive when I come across some newfangled braai technique that interferes with braaing directly over a wood or charcoal fire. I mean, how can one possibly improve on a good old braai?
However, in the spirit of product Research and Development, and to broaden our product offering, I thought I’d give this salt slab technique a go.
I tested the slab on my Weber 57cm One Touch by starting a fire using Sekelbos wood and QuickFire firelighters, and waited about 30 mins for some nice coals to develop. Sekelbos is fantastic stuff – The aroma brings back memories of childhood holidays, and it makes solid, long-burning coals.
The slab was put directly onto the top grid above the fire whilst there were still some flames. The salt slabs can apparently handle some serious heat.
10 minutes in, I reckoned the slab should be as hot as it could get, and popped a +/- 7cm thick slab of mature sirloin onto the slab. There was an immediate marriage of steak and slab, and the unmistakable smell of braai bombarded the air. The sizzle was incredible.
My Weber digital pocket thermometer went into the the thickest part of the meat and the wait began. At 40 C internal temp, it was time to flip the sirloin. One turn – no additional seasoning.
At 50 C the steak was held fat side onto the slab to render the fat. At 54C (Perfectly medium-rare) it came off and was put aside to rest for 5 mins. I turned the salt slab over and let it burn clean. Salt slabs don’t like moisture – never clean any other way. Salt is naturally anti-bacterial, and will be seasoned by the cooking process over time.
The steak had the most amazing brown crust and crispy fat. Cutting into it was like cutting into butter, and the natural juices exploded out in all directions.
As for me, well, I’m converted. The next day – National Braai Day 24 Sept 2013, the slab was again used, and this time, not only steak, but mushrooms were also cooked. The meal was even better than the first.
I don’t think I’ll be able to braai a steak without my salt slab at hand ever again.