a year ago – by Lisa Marlin

The 7 Best Types of Cooking Salt and How to Use Each One

5 min read
If you think there’s only one type of salt, think again! These 7 different types of cooking salt will add unique flavours to any dish, from BBQ to baked goods.
  1. 7 Types of Cooking Salt and When to Use Them
  2. Explore the Many Flavours of Salt

You don’t have to be Nigella Lawson to know that salt is one of the most important ingredients in cookery. However, salt can do much more than just season your potatoes! You may be surprised to know that salt is one of the most versatile things in your pantry.

There are many different kinds of cooking salt, each with its own distinct properties and unique taste. Each type of salt can be used for different purposes and is best used in distinct ways.

If you want to really elevate your home cooking, you’ll need to explore the secrets of different types of salt. 

7 Types of Cooking Salt and When to Use Them

If you get inspired to try out these salts on the barbeque, take a look at our Cooking with Fire series. This series comes with 12 exotic salts from all over the world, as well as spices and marinades and all the tools and tips you need to make the perfect BBQ!

Table Salt

Acquired from underground salt deposits, table salt is the most common type of salt. Also known as iodized salt or common salt, this is an all-purpose salt used for cooking and seasoning alike. The presence of iodine in some table salt can give it a faintly chemical taste. 

How to use it

Table salt is highly versatile. In addition to being suitable for cooking as well as baking, table salt helps to enhance various flavours in your meals. You can bring out the taste of many other ingredients with a pinch of table salt.

Table salt is useful when baking bread, as it helps to catalyse the formation of gluten. You can also use this kind of salt to make your bread extra crusty.

Sea Salt

As the name suggests, sea salt is made by evaporating seawater. Since almost every type of salt is obtained from the sea in some way, you might be wondering what makes this type of salt different.  The main characteristic of raw sea salt is that it is relatively coarse and unrefined. It can be instantly recognised by its large and flaky granules.

How to use it

Sea salt is best used for cooking seafood, but its ability to disperse uniformly also makes it a useful ingredient in baking. This ability means that you won’t need to worry about finding uneven pockets of salt in your cakes or biscuits. You can also use sea salt to ferment food. 

Apart from these culinary uses, sea salt also works well in homemade skincare recipes.

Rock Salt

Another kind of salt made by evaporating seawater is rock salt. Also known as saindhava lavana, this cooking salt has its origins in India. 

It is in the form of a mineral composed of sodium chloride with traces of iron, zinc, copper, and manganese, giving it the name “rock salt”.

How to use it

Among the most popular types of salt in India, rock salt best serves as a preservative. It is also an excellent condiment for enriching the flavours in Indian savoury dishes. However, it can also be used for seasoning any dish. 

Rock salt is also believed to have therapeutic properties, so you can also use it as a home remedy to aid digestion. 

Kosher Salt

A coarse, flaky, iodine-free variant of salt, kosher salt is made without any additives and comes in granules that are larger than common table salt. Its coarse granules make it a good fit for koshering meat, hence the name.

How to use it

Kosher salt has multiple uses, making it one of the most versatile types of salt. You can use this variant for salting water before cooking pasta, for example, or lightly seasoning your roasted vegetables. It is also great for food preservation to add more flavour to the meat. Moreover, kosher is the best salt to garnish the rim of your margarita glass.

Black Salt

Also known as Himalayan black salt, black salt is one of the most interesting condiments you might find in your pantry. With its origins in volcanoes, black salt contains traces of sulfur, giving it a sharp smell and tangy flavour.

How to use it

One of types of salt most prized in Asian cuisine, black salt is excellent at enhancing flavours. It works with both sweet and sour dishes, delivering that famous umami taste. It is particularly well-suited to adding flavour to fried foods. It also goes extremely well with vegan proteins like tofu and chickpeas.

Fleur de Sel

One of the oldest variants of cooking salt, fleur de sel is a paper-thin speciality from France. Translated as ‘flower of salt’, this salt is flaky and delicate. The complicated process of producing fleur de sel involves collecting thin salt layers from shallow pools.

How to use it

As you can imagine, the somewhat elaborate process of collecting this delicate salt makes it quite expensive. Therefore, few people can afford to use it heavily in their cooking. However, you can sprinkle a little fleur de sel to garnish seafood, salad, and grilled foods, adding a unique texture. It is also a valuable ingredient for making sweets and desserts.

Smoked Salt

Infused with the smoke of bark-free wood, smoked salt is one of the most naturally flavourful cooking salts. The smoking process gives it a bold or sweet smoky texture, making it great for adding a unique twist to dishes.

How to use it

You may have already guessed that there’s no better combination than smoked salt and BBQ. It is the perfect type of salt for beefing up (no pun intended) your BBQ’s flavours. You can also add it to your sauces for a unique savoury taste.

Explore the Many Flavours of Salt

Salt is undoubtedly the most important element in a kitchen. It has myriad uses, from baking and BBQing to grills and salads, making it essential for almost every dish. 

Furthermore, salt comes in a variety of types to suit its many uses. Don’t feel limited to the most basic forms of salt: let your taste buds rejoice by exploring the various types of salt listed here, and more!

Take a look at our Cooking with Fire series if you want to learn more about how to cook and season the perfect meat, fish, and vegetables on the BBQ.

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