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11 Types of Salt for Cooking and When Should They Be Used?

types of salt

Salt is an essential ingredient in every kitchen, adding flavor and enhancing dishes with its distinct taste. knowing the different types of salts and their porpuses are important.

When it comes to cooking, there is no shortage of salt options. In this article, we will deep dive into the various types of salt available for cooking, exploring their unique characteristics and applications.

Types of Salt and Their Use

Below you will see a list of all the salt types and their use. Some salts are great for seasoning and searing the perfect steak while others are more suitable for garnishing and decorating dishes.

1. Table Salt

Table salt is the most common type of salt found in households. It is highly refined, processed to remove impurities, and contains additives like “anti-caking” to prevent clumping and easy flowing. With its fine granules, table salt dissolves quickly, making it an excellent choice for everyday cooking and baking.

However, as its name suggests, table salt is generally used in small shakers at the table to bring the dish to a person’s salt taste preference.

2. Kosher Salt

Kosher salt gets its name because it is used in the koshering process due to its unique ability to extract blood and cure meat through the process of “koshering”. This method, deeply rooted in traditional Jewish cuisine, requires the removal of blood from meat before it is cooked or preserved. With its coarse texture, kosher salt stands out as the most effective option among different types of salts for curing or “koshering”

Its versatility knows no bounds, as it finds its place in every corner of the culinary world, whether it’s used for cooking, baking, finishing, or curing. The large coarse crystals of kosher salt add a very noticeable burst of flavor to your dishes.

Chefs often prefer kosher salt due to its clean, mild flavor and its ability to nicely garnish meat cuts like steak and even vegetables.

So again, Kosher salt gets its name from the “koshering” process but is not to be confused with kosher-certified salt, which is a type of salt that is manufactured under very specific circumstances to meet the kosher certification. Unlike sea salt, kosher salt comes from salt deposits.

3. Sea Salt

Sea salt is harvested through evaporation of seawater. It is available in various forms, including coarse or fine grains, and offers a distinct, briny flavor. Sea salt, in most cases, is less processed than table salt. With its unique texture and natural minerals, sea salt adds complexity to dishes and is commonly used as a seasoning component, in seasoning blends like our Gypsy Rub, and as a finishing salt.

4. Himalayan Pink Salt

Himalayan pink salt, mined from the Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan, is renowned for its distinctive pink hue. This unrefined salt contains trace minerals that contribute to both its color and flavor. Its large crystals and mild, balanced taste make it a popular choice among chefs and health enthusiasts alike.

Himalayan pink salt is known for being the purest salt available.

5. Fleur de Sel

Considered a “high-end” salt, fleur de sel is a hand-harvested sea salt with a delicate flavor and texture. Fleur de Sel is often used as a finishing salt, sprinkled on top of dishes just before serving to enhance flavors and add a touch of sophistication. It is considered a delicacy and is often used in pastry dishes including chocolate.

This salt is expensive mainly because its extraction process is labor intensive.

6. Smoked Salt

Smoked salt is created by smoking salt crystals over a fire, infusing them with a unique smoky flavor. This type of salt can vary in intensity, depending on the duration and type of wood used for smoking. It adds depth and complexity to dishes, lending a smoky aroma reminiscent of outdoor grilling.

7. Black Salt

Also known as Kala Namak is harvested from volcanic rock found in the Himalayas. Black salt has a pungent and sulfurous flavor profile commonly used in Indian cuisine. Despite its name, black salt is actually pinkish-gray in color. It adds a distinct aroma, reminiscent of boiled eggs, making it a popular ingredient in vegan dishes that require an “eggy” flavor.

This salt is rich in iron, magnesium, calcium, and other minerals.

8. Red Hawaiian Salt ( Red Salt )

Red Hawaiian Alaea salt, also known as Red salt, gets its vibrant red color and over 80 minerals from the iron-rich volcanic clay native to the Hawaiian Islands. This coarse salt is traditionally used in Hawaiian cuisine, particularly in dishes like kalua pig and poke. Its earthy flavor and striking appearance make it a delightful addition to both savory and sweet dishes.

Red salt has mild saltiness and adds vibrant red color to dishes.

9. Celtic Sea Salt

Celtic sea salt originates from the coastal regions of Brittany, France. It is hand-harvested using traditional methods that involve raking the salt from shallow pools and allowing it to evaporate in the sun and wind. This process retains the salt’s moisture and minerals, resulting in a flavorful and slightly moist salt that beautifully enhances both sweet and savory dishes.

10. Flake Salt

Flake salt, as the name suggests, consists of thin, delicate flakes with a light and crunchy texture. The flakes are formed by evaporating seawater and are often used as a finishing salt due to their quick dissolving properties. They add a delightful burst of salinity and a touch of visual appeal when sprinkled over dishes like salads or grilled meats.

This is a great salt for garnishing large steaks like tomahawks and ribeyes.

11. Seasoned or Flavored Salt

Seasoned salt is not a specific type of salt but rather a combination of salt with various herbs, spices, and other flavorings. This versatile salt blend can be used to enhance the taste of everything from grilled meats to roasted vegetables. Popular variations include garlic salt, onion salt, and lemon pepper salt, among others.

Our salt-based seasoning, Gypsy is a great flavored salt packed with amazing spices and herbs for great aromatics but even better flavor.

The world of salts is incredibly diverse, and we have explored some of the most popular and intriguing options. Each type of salt has its own unique characteristics and can greatly impact the taste and texture of your culinary creations.

Experiment with different varieties to discover your favorites and elevate your dishes to new heights. Remember, a little salt can go a long way, so use it judiciously and enjoy the flavorful results!

So, go ahead and explore the world of salts, and let your culinary creativity soar!

Picture of Writen By: Hector

Writen By: Hector

Hector is the CEO and Founder of Stella On Fire Co. As a self-taught chef and entrepreneur at heart, he set out to create amazing seasonings and rub flavors everyone can enjoy. Hector is also our Food Safety and Protection Manager for Stella On Fire Co.

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