14 Types of Salt and When to Use Them
Food manufacturers, professional chefs, and at-home cooks all understand the importance of salt. It’s the most commonly used ingredient in the culinary world, and is absolutely essential in cooking and product development. Salt is unmatched in its ability to enhance the flavour of food.
There are several different types of salt available today. Many have unique colours, textures, and flavours. This means that different salts can (and should) be used in different ways.
As custom spice blend manufacturers, Hela Spice recognizes the importance of using salt correctly. In this article, we will cover some of the most popular types of salt and when to use them.
The Types of Fine Salt
Fine salt has extremely small salt grains, which dissolve easily and can be measured with greater accuracy. As a result, fine salt is one of the most popular types of cooking salt. It’s usually extracted from salt brines, producing a higher yield for less cost.
1. Table salt
This is the most commonly used salt for cooking, baking, and last-minute seasoning. It has a fine texture and uniform crystal size, which is great for measuring volume.
Uses: Table use, cooking, baking, and last-minute seasoning.
2. Iodized salt
Iodized salt is just table salt with iodine added. As iodine deficiency becomes more common, so does the need to fortify table salt with potassium iodide. Most iodized salt products also include an anti-caking agent to prevent the table salt from clumping. The iodine and anti-caking agent can result in a more metallic-tasting salt.
Uses: Table use, cooking, baking, and last-minute seasoning.
3. Canning and pickling salt
This kind of salt is an essential ingredient in the canning and pickling process. It has a finer salt grain, which dissolves easily and keeps the produce in tip-top condition. There are no anti-caking additives, so it doesn’t flow as freely.
Uses: Canning and pickling produce.
4. Popcorn salt
Popcorn salt is a super-fine salt that perfectly covers freshly cooked savoury snacks, like popcorn, fries, and corn on the cob. It gets into all the nooks and crannies for a consistent and delicious salty flavour.
Uses: Last-minute seasoning.
The Types of Sea Salt
Sea salt is made from evaporated seawater. It comes in a variety of colours, coarseness, and flavours depending on where in the world it was gathered.
Additionally, it has a more complex flavour profile than other types of salt due to the presence of minerals and nutrients and creates bigger bursts of flavour. For these reasons, sea salt often has gourmet applications.
1. Flake salt
Flake salt is a sea salt variety defined by its ultra-flaky, pyramid-like crystals. These flakes stick to food better, dissolve more quickly, and impart flavour without changing the texture. It’s often used as a finishing salt.
Uses: Finishing for meats, seafood, baked goods, and creating spice blinds.
3. Fleur de sel
Fleur de sel comes from coastal Brittany in France. It’s harvested with traditional wooden rakes from the top layer of salt evaporation ponds on sunny and dry days. These conditions result in paper-thin, extremely fine, and delicate salt crystals. Since it can only be gathered when the weather is perfect, fleur de sel comes with a higher price tag. It’s typically off-white or blue-grey in colour and has a light, briny flavour.
Uses: Table use, finishing for meats and desserts.
3. Celtic grey sea salt (sel gris)
Celtic grey sea salt, also known as sel gris, is harvested using the same techniques as fleur de sel. Sel gris is just taken from a lower depth in the evaporation pool. It sinks towards the bottom of the pool and collects on the clay lining. As a result, this grey salt has a higher mineral content. It’s also slightly moist and has a salty flavour.
Uses: Table use, cooking, finishing for meats and seafood.
The Types of Rock Salt
Rock salt originates within the layers of the Earth’s surface, so it has to be extracted from underground salt mines. This salt type is rich in minerals and imparts exciting new flavour dimensions.
1. Himalayan pink salt
Himalayan pink salt has a complex, bold, and slightly sweet flavour due to the presence of 84 different minerals. Its distinctive colour comes from traces of iron oxide and magnesium. Finer versions can be used in cooking, whereas coarser types can be used as a finishing salt.
Uses: Table use, cooking, baking, finishing.
2. Kosher salt
Traditionally, kosher salt was used in Jewish cuisine to extract moisture from meat. It is now used across cuisines due to its versatility and texture. The salt grains are large, coarse, and easy to pick up and sprinkle over food. Kosher salt adds a strong, briny flavour and crunchy texture to meals.
Uses: Table use, cooking, baking, finishing, curing, and last-minute seasoning.
3. Kala namak salt
Kala namak salt (or black Himalayan salt) has a unique and pungent aroma and flavour. Its high sulphur content means that kala namak tastes and smells a bit like eggs. Consequently, it’s often used in vegan recipes to add an eggy flavour.
Uses: Cooking, particularly for vegan dishes.
4. Curing salt
Curing salt is used to remove toxins from certain types of meat before cooking. It has large, coarse grains. Additionally, curing salt is often dyed pink to ensure it won’t be mistaken for table salt.
Uses: Curing meats.
The Types of Flavoured Salt
Flavoured salts are simply salts that have been infused with different ingredients to create new, interesting flavours. For example, salts can be flavoured with herbs, spices, citrus zest, or smoke. They’re a great way to add variety to recipes.
1. Seasoning salt
Seasoning salt is any type of spice blend made from salt and other spices. As a result, it is highly customizable and varies greatly between brands. Hela Spice can help you develop your own unique and delicious seasoning salt blend
Uses: Cooking, last-minute seasoning.
2. Garlic salt
Garlic salt is made by combining garlic powder with table salt or kosher salt. The most desirable ratio is 3 parts salt and 1 part garlic powder. It usually contains an anti-caking agent, as well.
3. Smoked salt
Smoked salt is made from slowly smoking salt crystals over a wood fire. This creates a distinctive smoky and woody flavour. The taste varies depending on what kind of wood was burned.
Uses: Table use, cooking, finishing.
Custom Spice Blending With Hela Spice
Hela Spice is North America’s top custom spice blend manufacturer. We specialize in creating flavourful and aromatic seasoning and spice blends that consumers love. Whether you’re looking to develop a brand-new seasoning salt or simply add classic sea salt to your product line, the experts at Hela Spice can help.
Have a product idea? Tell us all about it and your search for the perfect ingredients. Find it all at Hela Spice. Let’s talk about your next best-seller.