8 types of salt – how to use different salts
Kosher? Iodine? Painting? Pink? Black? Red?
Salt is more than what’s in your little shaker. And the type of salt you use can affect the taste and texture of what you eat. Types of salt vary in texture, size, and salinity levels. Some are best for general uses like salting your pasta water, while others work best for finishing that salad or grilled fish. Here’s what to think about when salting.
Texture and size: Texture refers to the shape of the individual salt granules. They can be cubic, staircase-shaped, pyramid-shaped, or as irregular as snowflakes. If the salt is coarse, wide, and irregular in shape, you should probably use it as a finishing salt. Keep the price in mind too. When it is more expensive, it is best to assume that it is intended for use as a finishing salt. Stay away from coarse salt when finishing dishes – no one likes a big chunk of salt when eating a bite of steak.
Salinity: We’ll get to that when we dive into the types, but it’s important to know how salty your salt can be. For example, table salt is saltier than kosher salt. But some brands of kosher salt differ significantly in terms of salinity. Be aware of this, especially when following a recipe. Don’t be afraid to taste some salt on your own. You will really get a feel for how the different types can taste.
Uses: In the types of salt below, it is noted what each salt is best used for. If a salt is more suitable for general cooking needs, it means salting boiling water, seasoning raw meat or vegetables before cooking them, or dissolving them in a sauce or dressing. Basically anywhere the texture of the salt doesn’t matter or won’t add anything. If a salt is the best for the finish, it means using it when a dish is done. Consider sprinkling salt on sliced meat or creamy pasta. You want to be able to appreciate the taste and texture of salt, allowing it to add variation to a dish.
Here is a breakdown of the different types of salt and their optimal use.
Advertising – Continue Reading Below
Table salt (AKA iodized salt)
This is the salt you know. It’s in every little salt shaker in every restaurant and in the kitchen cabinets of most moms and dads. Do you know the round container with the metal slot that pulls out? It’s your table salt. It is also called iodized salt because it contains potassium iodide. The taste is more metallic due to the anti-caking agent and potassium iodide. It is best to use it for general cooking needs.
If you want to give it a try, we recommend Morton’s iodized salt.
This is the culinary industry standard. When reading a test kitchen recipe with salt listed as an ingredient, it is most likely Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt. It is one-size-fits-all salt. It has a perfect mid-road texture which is easily soluble. Salinity can vary by brand (Morton’s Kosher Salt is 1.5 times saltier than Diamond Kosher), so always taste. It is best to use it for general cooking needs.
If you want to give it a try, we recommend Diamond Crystal Casher Salt.
It is salt made from the salinity of the ocean. At a very basic level, seawater is boiled until all that is left is salt. It can come in a number of different textures and salinities. It is like wine in that the flavor can come from the environment or the region in which it is harvested. We will enter two specific types below (gray salt and fleur de sel). This is best used for finishing or general baking needs depending on the texture.
If you want to give it a try, we recommend SaltWorks Premium Sea Salt.
Okay, let’s be fancy. Flaky salt can be sea salt or kosher salt. The name is determined by the texture. If the individual pieces of salt are large, not uniform in size, and have a flat shape, then you have flaked salt. If you look closely enough, you can see that each flake is shaped like a pyramid, but like snowflakes, all flakes are also different. It is best to use it as a finishing salt.
If you want to give it a try, we recommend the Maldon Sea Salt Flakes.
Shape: large and small irregular pieces
Harvested on the Atlantic coast of France, the name of this type of salt translates to “gray salt”. It gets its grays from specific minerals in the water that come from a coating of clay. It tends to be expensive because it is picked up by hand using wooden tools. The taste leans on the brackish side with a softer texture. It is best to use it as a finishing salt.
If you want to try, we recommend Le Guerandais Gros Sel Gros Sel.
Shape: stacked layers
When the name of the salt is in French, you know it’s going to be chic. Native to the Breton coast of France, fleur de sel translates to “fleur de sel” and is made only from “young” crystals. Salt is collected in the same way as gray salt with wooden tools because crystal forms naturally on the surface of the salt evaporation ponds. The collection takes place only once a year in summer when the weather is perfect. Best to use as a finishing salt (it’s expensive, guys!).
If you want to try, we recommend Le Saunier De Camargue Fleur De Sel.
Himalayan pink salt
It’s a trendy salt. You see it all over the place, even in people’s homes as a backdrop. It comes from the Himilayan mountains of Pakistan and its iconic color comes from natural minerals that vary from deep red to light pink. The uses are versatile; you can use it in salads, on meat, on vegetables, or even for the rim of the cocktail glass. Basically you can use it for finishing or general baking needs depending on the texture.
If you want to give it a try, we recommend the Himalayan Salt from Spice Lab.
Smoked or flavored salt
Infusing different flavors in salt is a great way to add variety to a dish. Smoked salt is perfect for the grill or for fish. Avoid buying smoked salt made from liquid smoke, as it tends to be bitter. Other flavored salts can come from herbs or spices. Think rosemary salt, truffle salt, or chipotle salt. Things can get even more sophisticated with black garlic salt or wine salt. It’s best to use it as a finishing salt (you don’t want to lose the flavor in the cooking process).
If you want to give it a try, we recommend Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt from the San Francisco Salt Company.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and uploaded to this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and other similar content on piano.io
Advertising – Continue Reading Below