This change was prompted by several factors. The most important was consistency. We want readers to make our recipes and have the same results — or very close to the same — as we did. We’ve long since stopped calling for generic “salt,” but based on justified feedback from readers, our frequent use of “kosher salt” was not terribly helpful either, because the two big names, Diamond Crystal and Morton, are very different in terms of shape and size.
The amount of salt can make or break a dish, and we don’t want to leave anything to chance.
Fine sea salt and table salt boast a similar texture of small grains so that they are about equivalent in volume. They are also very close in terms of the amount of sodium. That makes them largely interchangeable, a flexibility we think will be helpful to readers, as iodized table salt continues to be the salt of choice for a lot of home cooks.
If you have a favorite type or brand of salt, you may choose to stick with it so long as you know the equivalencies. This is particularly true when jumping not only between fine salt and kosher salt, but also brands. Here are the numbers:
- 1 tablespoon fine sea or table salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Morton kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
With those numbers in hand, you can switch as you see fit. When used for finishing or as a garnish on top of, say, cookies, caramels or crackers, we will continue to specify when to pull out the flaky salt, such as maldon or fleur de sel.
The salt preferred by many people in the food industry is Diamond Crystal Kosher, which is less commonly available than Morton Kosher or finer-grained salt. (I order Diamond Crystal in 9-pound batches online.) Fine sea salt is a great alternative to Diamond Crystal, favored by plenty of cookbook authors and chefs, too. It has some of the same characteristics that fans of Diamond Crystal appreciate: It dissolves easily and lacks the kind of harsh flavor that some can detect with iodized table salt. Fine sea salt works equally well in savory and sweet recipes.
One of the drawbacks of fine sea and table salt is that they can be slightly harder to pick up and sprinkle, whether that’s seasoning a piece of meat to taste or balancing out the flavor of sauces and stews. I recommend you keep a small salt cellar for these purposes so you can pinch smaller amounts between your fingers rather than risking pouring too much out of a canister or box. Some come with a small spoon, which can be useful for portioning.
If the grain size is something you need to get used to, feel free to practice! You can even put down a dark piece of paper or dish towel to check how evenly (or not) you’re distributing the salt. That being said, seasoning to taste is so variable anyway that if you prefer using a coarser salt in those scenarios, by all means continue using it.
We hope these changes will further our goal to make our recipes accessible and consistent for all. Questions? Comments? Don’t hesitate to reach out.
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