Different types of salt explained

Salt is considered the most commonly used ingredient in the culinary industry. It’s the affordable wonder that elevates any dish to the next level. Different salts come from different sources, each unique flavours, colours, textures and uses. There are so many salts to choose from, so it is important to be familiar with the various salt types and their uses.

What is Salt?

Salt is mainly made up of sodium chloride and chemical compounds. It can be found in seawater and different rock formations. Salt is a naturally occurring mineral found almost anywhere globally, including the ponds and caves of France and Pakistan.

Salt is a highly sought-after substance in the world. It’s delicious and because the brain needs to transmit vital electrical signals throughout the body. Salt is so sought-after by humans that it was used as a payment method in Ancient Roman times. This is how we got the term “salary”.

Salt is used most often to enhance the flavour of foods. Salt is great for cleaning and food preservation due to its antibacterial qualities. Different salts can have different effects on foods, so make sure you choose the right salt for you. It is important to remember that the salt grains’ size will affect the taste and amount of salt required in a recipe. It would be best not to mix salt types because it can affect your final results.

Sea Salt

What is Sea Salt?

Sea salt is salt that has been extracted from seawater. It can be found in bays or ponds and is usually obtained naturally. The salt crystals that are large and clearest form when water evaporates from salt. The most diverse range of sea salt colours is available. This salt is considered a gourmet salt and is used for special applications.

There are many benefits to sea salt. It:

  • Retains minerals, nutrients and vitamins from the sea that have been lost in refined salts
  • Foods with a stronger taste will be more enjoyable
  • Bigger flavour explosions
  • Zinc, potassium, and iron are all naturally found in nature. This results in a complex flavour profile with mineral notes.

Different types of sea salt:

Smoked salt

Smoked salt is slow-smoked over a fire for two weeks. It gives meats and vegetables a woody, smoky flavour. Each smoked salt will vary depending on what wood it was smoked with.

Table use recommended? Yes


For baking, Not Recommended

Common uses: You can cook or finish meats and hearty veggies for a smokey flavour.

Hawaiian Salt

This salt was originally used to bless homes, tools and canoes on the Hawaiian Islands. It is used today to give a final touch to seafood and meats and traditional island dishes such as poke and pipikaula. The salt’s coarse grains have a slightly bitter taste. There are two types of this salt:

Lava salt: This is sea salt that has been seasoned with charcoal, which gives it a dark colour and a hint of sulfur flavour. Also known as Hawaiian black salt or Hiwa Kai.

Alaea Salt is a sea salt combined with alaea Clay, which gives it a bright red colour and a mild taste. Also known as Hawaiian red salt.

Table use recommended? Yes

Recommended for cooking

For baking, Not Recommended

Common uses Finishing seafood, barbecue meats

Fleur de Sel

This salt, known as the “Caviar salts”, is only available off Brittany, France’s coast, from May to September. Fleur de sel is only possible to extract with a traditional wooden wood rake on sunny, dry and slightly breezy days because of its delicate crystals. This salt can be used as a finishing salt to savour dishes and sweets like chocolate and caramel. It has a mild, salty taste and a desirable blue-grey tint.

Table use recommended? Yes

Recommended for cooking

Recommended for baking

Common uses Finishing meat and seafood, vegetables, and baked goods.

Celtic Salt

Celtic salt, also known as “sel gris”, is a mineral-rich salt mined from France’s coast. After it has sunk, the salt is raked from the bottom of the tidepools using traditional Celtic methods. This slightly moist artisanal salt has a mild salty flavour and a grey colour that’s great for cooking or using meats and fish.

Table use recommended? Yes

For baking: Not Recommended

Common uses: Fish and meat finishing

Flake Salt

Flake salt is typically taken from the coastal regions of England and made into a pyramid-shaped crystal. Flake salt dissolves faster than other sea salts and adds dynamic flavour to your dishes. You can use it as a finishing salt for meats or blend it with spices and herbs to make a unique spice mix.

Table use recommended

Recommend for cooking?

For baking, Not Recommended.

Common uses Finishing meats and seafood, baking goods, or making spice blends.

Fine salt

What is Fine Salt?

Fine salt is salt that has very fine salt grains. It is extracted from salt brines. This method produces a cleaner, higher-quality product and is usually more affordable. Salt brines formed by submerging water below the Earth’s surface. The salt brine is then brought to the Earth’s surface, evaporating to make salt. Fine salt is the most widely used type of cooking salt.

Fine salt offers many benefits. It:

  • Dissolves faster
  • Accurater measurements of volume
  • Ideal for seasoning and sprinkling last-minute

Different types of fine salt:

Table Salt

Table salt is considered the best all-purpose salt. It can be used in many cooking and baking recipes as an ingredient. Because iodine deficiencies are common in many places around the globe, table salt will often contain additional iodine. To prevent salt from clumping, anti-caking agents are often added to table salt. Table salt is uniform in crystal size, making it easy to measure volume and make consistent recipes.

Table use recommended? Yes

Not recommended for cooking?

Recommended for baking

Common uses baking, cooking, and last-minute seasoning.

Salt Powder

Salt powder, also known as flour salt, is a finer grain than table salt. The salt powder blends easily in recipes and gives off a consistent taste. It is great for coating snacks and sprinkled on salads.

Table use recommended? Yes

Recommended for cooking

For baking, Not Recommended

Common uses Last-minute and cooking

Pickling and Canning Salt

The type of salt that you use is crucial for canning and Pickling. This salt is made from a smaller grain and preserves the product’s quality. This salt is free from additives, minerals or iodine and is much more concentrated than regular salt. It will not discolour your produce.

Table use recommended

Recommend for cooking?

For baking, Not Recommended

Common uses Pickling or fresh canning produce

Popcorn Salt

Popcorn salt can add flavour to popcorn, fries and other savoury dishes. This salt is extremely fine and sticks well to freshly cooked foods. It’s especially useful for getting into the popcorn’s nooks and crevices. This versatile flavouring can make your snack more delicious by adding different flavours such as butter, sour cream, onion, garlic and jalapeno.

Table use recommended No

Good for cooking

For baking, Not Recommended

Common uses: Last-minute seasoning of snacks

Cleaning salt

What is Cleaning Salt?

Cleansing salt is sodium chloride that has been mixed with other chemicals and minerals to increase its antibacterial properties and reduce calcium and magnesium. It can be used to clean all surfaces, from bathrooms to kitchens, and prolongs the life of appliances.

There are many benefits to cleaning salt. It:

  • Soften water to prevent calcium buildup and hard water stains
  • Polishes and deodorizes different appliances
  • Remove rust
  • Shines brass and copper

Different types of cleaning salt:

Water Softener Salt

Water softening salt is available in crystal, cube and pellet forms. It works with your water softener to remove calcium and magnesium that can cause hard water. Hard water can be removed from your flatware, dinnerware and glassware. It also helps to reduce the appearance of stains on towels, sheets and clothing.

Table use recommended

Not recommended for cooking

For baking, Not Recommended

Common uses: Softening water for effective cleaning

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