12 Different Types Of Salt For Cooking and When To Use Them

Raw steaks on cutting board with salt, garlic, and onions

When cooking with salt, you will come across a variety of different types, each with its unique flavor and texture. Whether you’re preparing a meal for a large group of friends, or cooking for your family, you’ll want to know which salt to use in which situation.

A Guide to Different Types of Salt For Cooking

Salt is an essential ingredient in cooking and preserving food, and the exact types of salt for cooking that you use can have a major impact on the flavor and texture of your food. The following guide will help you choose which salt best fits your meals.

1. Kosher Salt

Kosher salt is a type of coarse-grained salt that is less refined, which means that it is almost pure sodium chloride and is not ionized. Because of its large grains, kosher salt is good for seasoning meats, poultry, and salad, so basically everything besides baking.

This salt comes from rock salt deposits, and it is harvested in many different countries around the world.

2. Table Salt

Table salt is the most common type of salt for cooking sold in grocery stores, and most people think of it as the default salt. However, table salt is a less natural variety of salt, as it is processed and loses its minerals, it also contains iodine and anticaking agents.

Table salt comes from mining salt deposits, which means that it is not as rich in minerals as different types of salt for cooking. It is a great choice for seasoning, cooking, and baking foods.

3. Fleur De Sel

Fleur de Sel means “Flower of the Sea” and it is one of the most precious ingredients in the world. This is because it’s made by hand, by harvesting it from the top of the salt ponds. This salt is originally from the coast of France in Brittany, but you can find its replicates all over North America.

Fleur De Sel is a great choice for “finishing” the plate right before eating it.

4. Sea Salt

Sea salt is harvested by evaporating seawater. Generally, it is less processed than table salt and it may keep its traces of minerals.

This salt is good for “finishing” or sprinkling because of its irregular flakes, as it provides a good contrast to the dish you’re making.

5. Celtic Sea Salt

Celtic sea salt is also known as “Sel Gris” (grey salt) is a type of sea salt that is produced off the coast of France and crop up from the clay found in the salt flats. The minerals and trace elements of this salt are naturally balanced and it promises some health benefits such as lowering blood pressure.

This salt has an irregular chunky texture so it is perfect for seasoning meats and pickling.

6. Flake Salt

Flake salt is a type of salt for cooking that is a very common seasoning for many dishes. To make flake salt they grind salt crystals into smaller pieces and then it is flaked.  This process can be very simple or very complex, depending on the manufacturer.

Use this salt in a variety of applications, including koshering the meat or adding crunchiness to the food.

7. Pink Salt

Pink salt comes from rock crystals of salt that are extracted from areas close to the Himalayas. It is composed mainly of sodium and other trace elements, including iron and zinc. Pink salt is attractive because of its pink color and it has a saltier flavor compared to table salt.

This salt is great for any recipe that calls for a small amount of salt such as sauces, marinades, or as a decorative addition.

8. Black Salt

Black salt is also referred to as Kala Namak salt, which is a type of rock salt that is harvested from volcanic rock salt from the Himalayas, usually Pakistan. This salt is rich in iron, magnesium, and calcium, as well as a few other trace elements.

Black salt has a very pungent odor and flavor and is therefore used in small quantities. This salt is a great flavor enhancer and it is best used in dishes that have a strong flavor and aroma, such as curry, spicy dishes, pickles, and salads.

9. Red Salt

Red salt or “Alaea salt” is a Hawaiian salt that is made from ground red volcanic clay from the island of Hawaii and it is constituted of over 80 minerals and is rich in iron oxide.

It has a mild saltiness and a delicate flavor, which makes it a great choice for seasoning and preserving meats and fish. This salt is great for adding a bit of color to dishes, especially when paired with a white-colored dish. It is also a great flavoring ingredient, and it is great for sautéing and roasting.

10. Black Lava Salt

Black lava salt is harvested in Hawaii and Cyprus, it is then inundated with activated charcoal from lava found in those regions giving the salt a specific dark hue. The charcoal acts as a great body cleanser and improves digestion.

This salt is great for drizzling on foods. Use it for both flavoring and decoration. 

11. Brining Salts

Brining salts add a distinct flavor to foods in combination with water and it allows to retain more moisture and tenderize the meat.

Good examples of brining salts are kosher salt, sea salt, and pink salt.

12. Flavored Salts

Flavored salts are a combination of flaky salt and a dry spice or herb that are designed to enhance the flavor of a dish. They are very convenient when you want to add a bit of flavor to a recipe. You can use them to season meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables.

Find The Best Type of Salt For Cooking

As you can see, each type of salt has its own unique texture and flavor profile. While salt is generally safe to use, you should be aware of the best type of salt for cooking and how they affect the taste of the food. If you’re looking to spice up your Gobble recipes, don’t forget to experiment with a variety of salts.

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