Why is regular table salt the only salt you need for cooking, and kosher and sea salt are a waste of money

When it comes to everyday cooking, don’t forget about all the fancy and expensive salt pans that have been popping up on shelves in recent years. Good old fashioned table salt is the only thing you need to season almost any meal you prepare. In many cases, it is not only the least expensive option, but also the most effective.

Almost every recipe you read that doesn’t ask for a specific type of salt has been written with table salt in mind. Unlike coarse kosher salt or unstable sea salt, small crystals of table salt are remarkably uniform in size and weight, making it easy to standardize measurements for consistent results.

Basic table salt is generally processed in such a way that it produces finely ground crystals that are usually mixed with an anti-caking agent to maintain the free flow. Iodine is a micronutrient essential for thyroid health and brain development, and has been a standard supplement in the United States since the 1920s.

These small table salt crystals also dissolve more quickly, making them easier to incorporate into salad dressings, sauces, bread dough, dough, or anything else where stuck chunks of thick salt crystals might be undesirable.

Inexpensive table salt is often the right choice in many culinary applications.

Peter Dazely / Getty Images

Kosher salt is more coarse and does not contain iodine or anti-caking agents. Sea salt crystals form as the salty ocean water evaporates.

So if you are using kosher or sea salt in a recipe that calls for the regular stuff. You will need an easy to use conversion chart. As a general rule, 1 tablespoon of table salt equals 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon of kosher salt or 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon of sea salt. Find the full salt conversion chart at morton.com.

This does not mean that kosher or sea salts are not worth keeping.

Kosher salt is slightly more expensive than table salt, and it dissolves quickly in any type of cooked dish. For people who are sensitive to the taste of iodine, kosher salt may have a more satisfying flavor. It’s also a powerful kitchen cleaner when used to scrub dirt off pans and cutting boards. It’s also great for rimming a cocktail glass.

While unstable sea salt is pretty pricey at $5 to $10 or more per pound, it can add a crunchy texture and great flavor when sprinkled over a finished dish, although all that nuance will be lost. In a saucepan of chili, bolognese sauce, chicken broth or other recipe cooked over low heat. Save your money and use it in moderation.

pstephen@express-news.net | Twitter: @pjbites | Instagram: @pjstephen

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