Questions about the use of culinary salt in the kitchen.

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93
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9answers
41k views

Why add salt to the water when cooking pasta?

What is the effect of adding salt to the water when cooking pasta?
30
votes
10answers
76k views

How to fix food that got extra salty?

I imagine this depends on what the food is. With spaghetti, you can add water or change water if you detect it on time. But what about grilled meat? Or a tomato sauce?
29
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there any truth to the idea that you shouldn't multiply seasonings when multiplying a recipe?

I often hear cooks discuss that idea that if you are multiplying, say, a recipe for 4 to be a for 32, that you shouldn't multiply some herbs, spices, or salt. I've never understood any reason why this ...
28
votes
6answers
35k views

How long do you let a steak from the fridge come up to temperature, and when do you salt it?

Before cooking a steak, you're supposed to let it sit out at room temperature. You're also supposed to salt it. What is the proper timing for these steps? How long do you let the steak come up to ...
27
votes
9answers
4k views

What is the point of a salt mill?

Salt mills and pepper mills often come in pairs. I understand the purpose of the pepper mill: It breaks open the pepper corn and releases the aroma. But there is, to my knowledge, no such thing as a ...
27
votes
5answers
6k views

What is the difference between sea salt and regular table salt?

I often sea sea salt sold in grinders to be used at the table, with comments about how it tastes better. What sort of taste differences would I notice using sea salt vs table salt, and what other ...
26
votes
2answers
717 views

Why are salt and pepper the “classic” dinner table seasoning?

Is there a reason we use salt and pepper on so many dishes and they can be found in any kitchen table at dinner time? Does it have to do with their flavor synergies, or were they just more available ...
24
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do some recipes recommend Kosher salt?

Is it healthy or more tasty?
23
votes
7answers
21k views

What are some good substitutes for salt for those on low sodium diets?

I try to keep my sodium intake fairly low to ensure that my blood pressure doesn't get too high. Salt is such a common part of cooking, and it's especially difficult to cook Asian-style food without ...
19
votes
4answers
72k views

Substituting garlic powder for garlic salt?

I love using garlic powder but I also see recipes call for garlic salt. I thought that you could just add garlic powder instead of garlic salt (which of course is sold separately!) and then just add ...
19
votes
3answers
29k views

How much to reduce salt when using salted butter in place of unsalted butter

I normally don't keep unsalted butter on hand since I use it so seldom. So when a recipe calls for salt and unsalted butter among its ingredients would it be alright to use salted butter and reduce ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

How much salt can I safely add to bread dough?

I recently made ciabatta, which turned out very well, with a good crust and nice open crumb. However, I felt it could use more salt to give extra flavour. I'm aware that salt and yeast do not make ...
17
votes
8answers
14k views

Why is it important to add salt during cooking?

This may seem like a silly question, but given that each persons' tastes are different why is it that salt is added during cooking? It seems better to just allow the person eating the food to add ...
17
votes
5answers
8k views

Why did my grandfather-in-law salt his beer?

My grandfather-in-law was born in England in the 1920s and fought in WW2. Somewhere along the line he acquired the habit of salting his beer before drinking it, which persisted for the rest of his ...
16
votes
7answers
14k views

Rinse the salt off a steak before cooking?

I've been trying to perfect my technique for cooking a steak indoors. It was recommended to salt the steak about 30 minutes before cooking. I used kosher salt, and cooked the steak on cast iron. ...
16
votes
3answers
6k views

Does adding salt when soaking dry beans toughen or soften the skin of the bean?

I have heard opinions on both sides of this. The the latest answer on this site, says salt softens bean skins quoted Cooks Illustrated (I can't see the article, but I trust CI), while another answer ...
16
votes
3answers
851 views

What makes fleur de sel different from regular salt?

Fleur de sel is the salt from the top of the pot when you heat salted water. But what makes it different from the rest of the salt in the pot?
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Does putting salt in coffee really remove bitterness?

I have seen people claim that putting salt in coffee enhances the flavour or removes bitterness. Example. Does this really work? If it does, how does it work? Is there something chemical going on, or ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do so many desert/biscuit recipes have salt in them?

Whilst I can understand salt in the majority of recipes, I never really understood why it is in so many deserts or biscuits. When I have asked a few friends or family who do a lot of cookery, the ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

What different uses do we assign to salted butter vs. unsalted butter?

What different uses do we assign to salted butter versus unsalted butter?
13
votes
6answers
812 views

What foods/preparations demonstrate the flavor difference between sea salt and table salt?

Related to What is the difference between sea salt and regular table salt? What can I prepare that will work really well for a side-by-side comparison to demonstrate the difference between sea salt ...
12
votes
3answers
544 views

What are some things to consider when choosing a salt?

What attributes are important when selecting salt for a dish? Specifically where you would use sea salt, kosher salt or plain table salt? I can often find sea salt (iodized and non-iodized) in ...
12
votes
4answers
13k views

Why add salt to the water when cooking rice?

Given the great answer to the question on adding salt to water when cooking pasta, I am curious whether the same explanation holds for rice as it does for pasta (flavor and starch gelation)? Is there ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

Rubbing eggplants in salt

I saw somewhere they rubbed sliced eggplants in salt and leaving them out up to an hour before putting them in the oven. From what I understood it had to do something with the eggplant's bitter ...
11
votes
4answers
6k views

When cooking pasta in salted water how much of the salt is absorbed?

Most chefs recommend that you should add quite a bit of salt to boiling water which you cook pasta in (sometimes 1 teaspoon). For those watching their sodium intake, how much of this salt will ...
10
votes
12answers
24k views

Is there any way to “Salt” unsalted cashew pieces?

I picked up a bag of cashew pieces from the bulk bin last night got home and realized they were of the unsalted variety. Which are good but for a snack not quite what I was looking for. Is there ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Boiling things using salt

Since recently i have to cook for myself and a lot of products mention i should boil some water with salt and when it boils add the product. Why on earth do you have to add salt to the water?
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there an authoritative source on whether salt affects pasta stickiness?

The Seasoned Advice answer to Why add salt to the water when cooking pasta? is that it makes the pasta less sticky by inhibiting starch gelation. This seems to be a controversial question, with lots ...
10
votes
1answer
4k views

Should you add some salt to flour when baking?

I was always taught to add a pinch of salt to flour when baking (mainly cakes / muffins and puddings). I have recipes that specifically mention adding salt and others that don't. Is there a ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Can the bacon in homemade “Bacon Salt” be made shelf stable?

After success making several fancy salts including Sriracha, smoked, and green chili I've decided to try to move in to stranger and tastier territories. As such I want to make a bacon salt. The ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

How much salt should I add to a dish?

I find it hard to figure out how much salt to add to dishes. I'm always afraid I'll make it too salty. Recipes always call for salt to taste, but what does that mean? Is there a good rule of thumb?
9
votes
6answers
1k views

Why throw salt over a barbecue before cooking?

At a recent barbecue in Chile, I watched the chef throw large handfuls of salt over the charcoal a few minutes before placing on the meat. What would be the reason for this?
9
votes
1answer
1k views

What determines the 'saltiness' of salt?

I've bought two brands of salt that are completely different in terms of 'salt' concentration(not sure if this is the correct terminology). I realized this because I needed three or four times more ...
9
votes
4answers
12k views

Is it okay to salt beef before or while cooking it?

I recall reading that you should not salt beef until after it is cooked or it will dry the beef. Yet I see recipes that call for salt in a beef marinade. Is it true that you should only salt beef ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

Will hard boiled eggs absorb salt through the shell?

In this America's Test Kitchen video they add salt to the cold water when hard boiling eggs. Would the salt actually permeate the shell and flavor the egg? That seems unlikely to me and is just a ...
8
votes
7answers
7k views

Soup is too salty!

I made a mistake with my lastest batch of chicken soup, and it's too salty to eat. Is there any way to save it?
8
votes
3answers
105k views

Substituting table salt or sea salt for kosher salt?

The roasted chicken recipe I'm following of course calls for kosher salt, but I don't have any, and getting some is out of the question. I have sea salt and table salt on hand. Can I substitute one ...
8
votes
3answers
234 views

Can you candy salt? (Experiment Results)

Bear with me... I'm working on a pretty amazing ice cream. It's Dulce de Leche, made the kind of scary traditional way of boiling cans of sweetened condensed milk, then mixing that with a custard and ...
8
votes
1answer
452 views

Can the amount of salt in the recipe be right?

I made sushi for the first time at the weekend. the seasoning for the rice had this recipe: 125 ml rice vinegar 30 ml mirin 3 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons salt This was for 460g rice (dry ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Homemade Truffle Salt

How do you make truffle salt at home? I tried with just a jarred black truffle I got at the stores. I finely grated it over a microplane and then mixed it with salt and let it sit for a while. It ...
7
votes
5answers
5k views

What does it mean to 'salt' a steak prior to frying?

I see some references on this site to 'salting' a steak before frying it. What does this mean? Should I coat the steak in salt? I can imagine that would result in a very salty steak!
7
votes
5answers
3k views

Advantages of using vinegar as a salt substitute for enhancing flavor?

I read a short blurb in Cooking for Geeks that said vinegar can be used as a substitute for salt, as a flavor enhancer, to make food less bland. I plan on experimenting, but I don't know where to ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

In a recipe, how much is “to taste”?

A lot of recipes I've been preparing lately often list salt and black pepper as "to taste" in terms of quantity. I get that the general idea is to make the food taste good, but I'm not sure that I ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

Does adding salt before cooking toughen scrambled eggs?

I have been told by two different cooks who's opinions I trust that adding salt to a beaten egg mixture before cooking will dry out and/or toughen the eggs, but also that adding salt at this stage ...
7
votes
3answers
51k views

What's Fruit Salt?

A recipe I am trying out (for khaman dhokla) requires fruit salt. What is it? What can I use as a suitable substitute?
7
votes
2answers
701 views

Does using flaked salt make a difference when using it in cooking?

I have a few recipes that call for flaked salt, I can only seem to buy it in bulk 1kg bags here. I want to know that if you use "salt" in a recipe does it really matter to the final taste what kind of ...
7
votes
10answers
45k views

Pink salt vs regular salt

What is the difference between pink salt and more typical coarse salt (e.g. sea salt)? I know it is pink due to mineral deposits, but culinarily is it any different? e.g. does it taste different, is ...
7
votes
2answers
724 views

How can I recreate the flavour of instant ramen without the salt?

I am looking to make my own instant ramen soup - nothing complicated, but there must be a way to duplicate the instant variety without all the salt. I've played with combinations of dried onions + no ...
7
votes
1answer
155 views

Is salt needed for a souffle to rise?

I made a crab pudding/souffle (lots of egg whites) last night and it didn't rise at all. I've made it before successfully, but this time I didn't put any salt in because I felt the result had been ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a method for desalinating bacon?

Bacon contains a rather large amount of salt which can pose problems for people who are trying to find ways to reduce salt in their diet. Is there some method that can be used to reduce the amount of ...