If you have ever been to a fine dining restaurant, you’ve probably experienced sea salt cooking.
Sea salt is an excellent way to add intense flavor to food, making it great for dishes like steaks and seafood.
Although sea salt can be slightly more expensive than table salt or other kinds of salt, there are several reasons why it is worth the cost.
When added to food, Sea Salt in cooking will add the perfect amount of saltiness without overpowering the dish’s flavor.
Most chefs would agree that sea salt tastes far superior to table salt or other salts (not including Kosher salt) because it has a more mild and purer flavor.
That being said, there are several substitutes for sea salt that can be used when it is not available or if you are trying to save on costs.
What is Sea Salt?
Sea salt is a type of salt that comes from the sea.
It is a common and popular ingredient in the kitchen.
Chefs like to use it because its coarse granules make it easy to pinch and sprinkle on food while cooking.
It has a stronger taste than regular table salt, so adding too much can ruin a meal.
It’s important to note that not all sea salts are created equal.
The color and taste of the salt depend on where it’s harvested from, how much moisture is in the air, and what time of year it was collected.
It can range in texture from fine to coarse and light tan to deep purple.
Some people prefer one type to another; it comes down to personal taste.
Sea salt is typically added to food during the last few minutes or just before serving.
Salting too early can result in a tough exterior with undercooked insides, especially in meats, so be mindful when you add this ingredient.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Sea Salt
When a recipe calls for sea salt, does that mean you should run out to the store and buy a big old box of it? Sometimes – but not always.
If you’re keeping your meal sodium-free or sodium-restricted, then no, go ahead and skip the extra salt.
But if you don’t mind that little bit of extra sodium, then there are a few salt substitutes that can work just as well in your kitchen.
1 – Kosher Salt
Kosher salt is a variety of coarse salt made from either seawater or rock salt.
It has been traditionally used in Jewish cuisine, hence “kosher”.
The granules are larger than table salt.
This coarse salt is typically used to remove surface blood on meat to not thicken during cooking.
However, the flavor of kosher salt can also enhance dishes because of its texture and shape.
It’s important to note that many chefs prefer this type of coarse salt over table salt for its even distribution on all types of food.
You can also add saltiness and enhance flavors to food without adding too much sodium.
2 – Pink Himalayan Salt
Himalayan salt is an unrefined and rich variety of salt.
Its pink color comes from the trace minerals and nutrients found within it.
It is harvested from salt mines in Pakistan, containing fossilized sea salt deposits.
This unprocessed and unrefined salt has a stronger taste than table or kosher varieties.
It is commonly used in cooking and baking, but it can also be used for cosmetic purposes.
Some people prefer to use it instead of table salt for all-around seasoning because of its health benefits.
Its large crystals are great when sprinkling on the top of foods just before serving.
Himalayan salt contains natural elements known to have anti-inflammatory properties, such as magnesium and calcium.
These trace minerals can also help reduce blood pressure, detoxify the body, and improve electrolyte balance.
3 – Pickling Salt
Pickling salt is the best substitute when the goal is to add flavor, not sodium.
Table salt has additives that can impart a weird flavor to pickles and other foods.
When pickling or brining food, look for this type of salt instead of table or kosher varieties.
It allows you to season your vegetables without worrying about bad food.
This salt is also great for curing olives, making pickles, and canning vegetables.
Make sure to read the label before using it, though.
Certain brands do contain a small amount of iodide or anti-caking agents.
4 – Rock Salt
Rock salt is mined from underground deposits.
It can either be chiseled out by hand or blasted with explosives to break it up.
Although rock salt has been used for centuries, modern mining techniques are now more effective at removing the larger chunks of this variety of coarse salt.
With its large crystals, rock salt works best when adding a burst of sea flavor to foods.
Although not as mild-tasting as a table or kosher varieties, rock salt is still preferred for its texture and shape on top of food.
Although some people prefer using this type over regular salt for health purposes, such as regulating insulin levels and electrolyte balance, most people just use it for its flavor.
5 – Iodized Table Salt
If your goal is to add sodium and not much else to a dish, then iodized table salt is the best substitute for sea salt.
Iodine and other additives in this type of salt helps protect against goiter and hypothyroidism.
This coarse salt has a strong taste that can be overpowering if used in excess, so use it to season dishes sparingly.
When combined with other types of salt, you can create your signature blend for flavor and texture.
To avoid over-seasoning your food, just remember that iodized table salt is about 10% stronger than sea salt.
When using sea salt in place of table or kosher varieties, it’s important to note the differences in texture and flavor.
This guide lists the best substitution for each variety depending on what product you are using.
Each type of salt has its unique properties that can affect how foods taste.
So, make sure to try out each option when you are cooking for better results.