Sorting Out Salt

Information to help you choose the right salt for the right application.

With all the various types of salt on the market and called for in recipes, it gets a little confusing as to which salt you should use and how salts differ. Basically, there are two kinds of salt: Rock salt is mined or evaporated from underground deposits; sea salt is evaporated from salt water in shallow beds or ponds.


Iodized
Characteristics:

  • Rock salt.
  • Fine, dry granules that dissolve slowly.
  • Iodide added to prevent goiter and other iodine-deficiency problems.
  • Anti-caking agent often added.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Unremarkable flavor that sometimes has slight metallic taste.

Uses:
  • General cooking, baking and table.


Non-Iodized
Characteristics:

  • Rock salt.
  • Fine, dry granules that dissolve slowly.
  • Anti-caking agent often added.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Unremarkable flavor that sometimes has slight metallic taste.

Uses:
  • General cooking, baking and table.


Kosher
Characteristics:

  • Rock salt.
  • Flakes or pyramid-shaped crystals that are larger than iodized and non-iodized.
  • May contain anti-caking agent.
  • Never iodized.
  • Less salt per volume measure.
  • Dissolves evenly.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Clean salt flavor

Uses:
  • General cooking, baking, brining and preserving.


Pickling
Characteristics:

  • Rock salt.
  • Very fine granules that dissolve quickly.
  • No iodide or anti-caking agents.
  • Inexpensive.

Uses:
  • Preserving, canning, pickling and cooking.


Sea Salt
Characteristics:

  • Evaporated from sea water.
  • Fine, medium and coarse crystals.
  • Color ranges from white to light gray.
  • Moderately expensive.
  • Coarse crystals can be used in mills.
  • Contains trace minerals that contribute subtle flavors.

Uses:
  • General cooking, baking and table.


Fleur de sel
Characteristics:

  • Moist, slightly gray crystals carefully raked by hand from top of evaporation ponds.
  • Expensive.
  • Delicate salt flavor balanced with sea water minerals.

Uses:
  • Table and finishing (add just before serving).


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