Sorting Out Salt

Many hounds use sea salt or kosher salt in cooking, preferring it to iodized table salt, and use still other salts to finish dishes. Most cooks salt to taste, but it is important to note that the same volumes of fine sea salt and kosher salt don't impart the same level of saltiness, due to the large size of kosher salt's grains. Also, different brands of kosher salt measure differently.

Specialty salts, with unique flavors, textures, or colors, are meant to be added to finished dishes, where those qualities can be appreciated. "That's usually, IMO, half the reason for trying a fancy-smancy salt, that its flaky or crunchy texture adds to your dish," says Mandymac.

"I absolutely love fleur de sel," says foiegras. "I use it at the table only. My preference used to be to get the salt perfect while cooking, as I didn't like the texture of added table salt. But with fleur de sel, the texture is a plus. It's lovely on boiled eggs—or anything else."

Scott D likes smoked salts, and uses different smoked salts on eggs, grilled meats, and fish and vegetables, depending on their flavors. "A few grains go a long, long way," he says. "You do really get a hit of smoke."

Discuss: What are the uses for specialty salts? And what are the differences between common salts?

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