Here are the salts you need in your kitchen and why

Originally published at: Here are the salts you need in your kitchen and why | Boing Boing


Basically every conceivable combination of a Group 1 or 2 metal and a halogen would like to know if they are a joke to you; most of them are, however, not advised for consumption in any quantity.


Smells like a category debate to me! To @pesco’s credit, basically 100% of what we refer to as “salt” in the culinary arts (which is presumably the context here) is NaCl. If this were an inorganic chemistry textbook you might have grounds for fightin’ words.

That said, the fact that he follows up “All salt is NaCl” with “but in the kitchen” weakens that position.

If I were a copyeditor, I might suggest revising to something like “In the kitchen, all salt is NaCl, but not all salt is the same.” This would satisfy both pedants and others.



Missing lithium salts and bath salts


I have to disagree with you. Baking soda (Sodium bicarbonate) and MSG (monosodium glutamate) are both salts.

I’d support saying, “In the kitchen, the majority of salts are NaCl” but “basically 100%” is pushing it.

However, I’m an analytical chemist so my mind goes somewhere very different when I hear the term “a salt.”


At this point, Diamond Kosher salt is the only salt in my kitchen. No additives, no caking and works great in the kitchen (just add about 1.25x the amount you would for table salt; this also makes it harder to overdo salt).

Maldon is nice, but I’m not sure it’s worth it. The flakes are very large and have to be broken up a bit at which point they’re basically the size of kosher salt. It’s good for crusting, but the expense is a bit hard to justify for nominal advantage over Kosher.

I’m absolutely done with pink or other various exotic salts that only seem to add sand to your meal and clump up on humid days. The purported health benefits are too woo-adjacent for my money.


You’re misunderstanding me. I am not saying that there are no other salts in the kitchen. I am saying that when someone refers to “salt” in a culinary context, they are almost universally referring to NaCl. If you were cooking with someone and they said “hand me the salt”, an appropriate point of clarification might be, “Table salt or kosher salt?” On the other hand, asking “Baking soda or sodium chloride?” would most certainly not be an appropriate followup.


I’m all about the sea salt. I find something like La Baleine meets 99% of my needs. I only use kosher salts for very specific recipes.

I agree with the other exotic salts.


I pretty much only use Morton Lite Salt for everyday cooking anymore because the difference in salts is pretty slim in 99% of dishes and having the majority of the salt content provide potassium is better for me without sacrificing anything. However, if I am making something taste the best is can I keep a variety of salts and have stopped using kosher salt almost entirely.

  1. Talking to Hispanic home cooks around here I found out a lot of people use chicken bouillon instead of salt for a lot of foods, and I have adopted it myself. Squeezing extra meaty flavor with seasoning and a little fat for richness deepens the flavors of dishes dramatically in a way that kosher salt can’t touch without adding more and more dry ingredients to the mix.
  2. I keep season salt around for when I’m keeping things vegetarian/vegan for the same reason, instead of just a condiment it’s great for broadening savory food flavors without adding a lot of extra seasonings to the meal directly.
  3. Maldon. This is what I use for a little extra salt sprinkled on at the last minute to enjoy the crunch and texture it gives on things that need a little boost in saltiness. I also use it for simple an clean things that the savory flavor messes up. Since I’m not making a lot of dishes like this it mostly gets sprinkled on salads or steak.

These four salts solutions get used for everything I make and my cooking tastes better than ever, and it’s reduced how much sodium I’m taking in so it’s a win all around.


I get where you’re coming from. I don’t ask someone to “pass the salt” and expect them to pass the sodium citrate either.


That’s fair, I can get behind you on that.


We mostly use sea salt, in europe at least, the italian stuff is cheap and cheerful, £1 a kilo more or less.

Maldon is nice for things where you want the salt to be seen, like a steak or similar (IMHO)



Had to stop the video when he started sprinkling salt on the tomatoes. If that’s what you do to make your tomatoes palatable, you’re buying the wrong tomatoes.


Take your table salt and grow some enormous crystals with it. How to Grow Sodium Chloride Crystals at Home


Wouldn’t you consider Baking soda to be a metal carbonate though? Then the reaction is Acid + Metal Carbonate = CO2 + H2O + (salt)


It’s fun. Primarily as a finishing thing. Or for seasoning meats when you let them sit for a good long time for the salt to do it’s thing. It is pricey though.

I’ve been using Korean coarse sea salt meant for making kimchi instead for a while. A 5kg/11ish lbs bag was $10, as opposed to ~$20 for 3lb/1.4kg bucket on the Maldon.

The shape is different but accomplishes a lot of the same thing. It’s sort of hollow cube as opposed to a pyramid shaped flake. Almost like a smaller mirror image of the Maldon.


I feel my chakras aligning just looking at that


I just use regular iodized table salt. I’m just vanilla weird that way. I don’t care to spend extra on fancy flakey salt (I mean it looks pretty but it’s salt so why bother with extra?) or whatever.