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5 Types of Salt and How to Use Them

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Salt is the single most important seasoning in your cooking arsenal. So it's important to get it right.

While you might think "salt is salt is salt," there are a few subtle — and in some cases more dramatic — differences in the various salts you might encounter in your cooking adventures. These are some of the most common types of salt you'll interact with.


5 Types of Salt and How to Use Them

1. Table Salt

This do-it-all salt is the one with which you're probably the most familiar. Just like the name implies, this is the kind of salt you'd see on the table at a restaurant. The granules are small, and iodine is a common ingredient added to it in many parts of the world as a public health initiative to battle iodine deficiency; iodine helps combat thyroid issues. Use this salt while baking, to season food after it's cooked, and to salt pasta water.

2. Kosher Salt

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As the name implies, the original use for kosher salt was to blood-let animal meat during the kosher cooking process in Jewish communities. These days, it's also beloved by professional chefs, who prefer the flaky texture, making it easy to pick up with your fingers. It's also lighter than table salt, so often less needs to be used in recipes. Plus, it doesn't have the additives of table salt. Many prefer the Diamond Crystal brand.

As a side note, kosher salt doesn't need to be certified kosher (ironically enough). You can certainly seek out kosher-certified kosher salt if it appeals to you.


3. Sea Salt

While many of the salts listed here come from underground salt mines, this one comes from — you guessed it — the sea. Some brands might make it less refined, so sea salt can have traces of other stuff you might find in seawater like zinc, potassium, and iron. Overall, the main noticeable difference is the coarse texture, which leads to more flavor when it's sprinkled on food.

4. Pink Salt

Sourced from the Kherwa Salt Mine in Pakistan, this salt gets its distinct hue from trace amounts of iron oxide or rust. Its popularity has grown in recent years in tandem with more interest in general wellness as it is a bit lower in sodium than table salt.


5. Flaky Salt

This type of salt is best known for its texture — which gives a delicate crunch — and as a touch of salinity to enhance certain flavors. It's the perfect way to finish off any number of foods, from steaks to roasted vegetables to chocolate chip cookies.

Those are 5 types of salt and how to use them. With any luck you shouldn't be too... salty... to go into your kitchen and experiment with them all!

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