Cooking Tips: Sea Salt vs. Iodized Salt
Salt can vary in its origin and processing methods.
- Sea salt is simply salt that comes from evaporated seawater. This process leaves behind the minerals (and sometimes the coloring) from the seawater it comes from—which is why salt from Hawaii is pink and salt from France's Brittany coast is gray.
Table salt is mined from underground salt deposits. It has a sharper, more metallic taste and, because it is so fine-grained, a teaspoon measure of table salt contains more salt (and therefore sodium) than kosher or sea salt.
- Kosher salt is so named for its use in the process of koshering meats. It usually contains no additives and can come from either seawater or underground sources.
For cooking, the main difference among salts is texture.
Table salt has a very fine grain which makes it preferable for baking as the granules dissolve quickly.
- Sea salt and kosher salt are comprised of larger, irregular grains that can add a crunch and bright briny flavor when added to food at the last minute.
Here's a cooking tip: use kosher salt as your go-to salt if you're looking to do that cool trick where you pick up a pinch to season while you're cooking! Another tip? It's also useful in preserving foods because its large grains can more easily draw moisture out of meats and other foods.
Here's a final, fancy cooking tip: If you decide to splash out on spendy salt, make sure you leave it for that last-minute sprinkle of seasoning, because it can lose its distinctive flavor once it's cooked or dissolved into foods.