Salt

 

Top 10 Reasons you should stop investing in bitcoin, and start investing in salt.

Just kidding, but let’s talk about salt.

 Hello, my name is Kirk. I'm a salt-aholic.

Hello, my name is Kirk. I'm a salt-aholic.

Recently, I made steak, mashed potatoes, and broccolini for a family meal. I pushed the line of salinity to the point where my sister-in-law said: "You know how in Top Chef, they always have a theme to the meal? I think this meals theme is sodium!". Although slightly oversalted, the meal was none the less tasty and left our lips feeling like we just swam in the ocean for an hour or two.

Salt is bae. It is essential to all cooking. It helps bring out big flavors, tastes amazing, and can make or break a dish. One of the first things I realized when I started cooking was that I wasn’t using enough salt, or the right kind. 

Before we get into how much, let's talk about what type of salt you need in your arsenal. First thing’s first: Ditch the table salt. The table salt crystals don't allow you to pinch and feel how much salt you are adding to a dish. You should be using Kosher Salt, not just because many recipes call for kosher salt, but because it’s easier to work with. Plus, it makes you seem like you know what you're doing. Fake it till you make it. ✊

The shape changes how much salt is actually in a particular volume. For example, every cup of table salt packs two times more than a cup of kosher salt. "Well why not use less table salt?". Kosher is less concentrated (by volume), so its harder to oversalt stuff. This makes it much easier to gauge how much you are using.

I also recommend having a salt cellar (fancy name for any container of salt). I have a little bowl I keep by the stove filled with kosher, and one on the table with finishing salt.

 My salt cellar I keep next to the stove. My sister-in-law made it for me! Thanks Shosh!

My salt cellar I keep next to the stove. My sister-in-law made it for me! Thanks Shosh!


How to pinch: Using your index, and middle finger (for a larger pinch use your ring finger as well),  pinch a large amount of salt with your thumb. Then with each movement of your fingers, you can sprinkle it over your food, forearm banking optional.


You are probably not using enough salt currently. Unless you are following a recipe that calls for a specific amount, try using a little more than you normally would, and keep ramping up until you figure out how much is enough salt. The more time you spend in the kitchen, the more you will realize recipes are just recommendations, and you can make them better. That’s how all recipes are created anyways. Again, fake it till you make it. 

I like to think about how much salt I would add to a serving, and guess how many servings I have in my dish, and salt accordingly. I have done my fair share of oversalting, and undersalting. Learning how to taste your food is key, and is one of the first things chefs teach to new cooks. Undersalting is much easier to correct than oversalting. Obviously, just add more.

salt-3.jpg

Now for finishing salts. This is that special flair that will make your guests think Gordon Ramsey is hiding under the sink. Always add finishing salts right before serving, unlike kosher salt that would be dissolved in the dish during cooking. I always keep a couple different kinds of finishing salts on hand. My personal favorite is Maldon Salt Flakes. They are tiny, 3D printed (not really) salt pyramids (yes really). I have both regular and smoked and use them on eggs, toast, pasta, steak etc. They bring a nice crunch and burst of saltiness to each bite and add depth to your dish. As you can see above, I have all kinds of other salts too.

I would recommend practicing how much to use the next time you make eggs, rice, steak or another simple dish where the saltiness is easy to single out.

Using the right type, and amount of salt will take your dishes from good to freaking delicious.

Open your home, serve people, and keep cooking.