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Sea Salt for Cooking and Baking

Created January 10, 2017
Cooking with sea salts—red salt, gray salt, black salt or fleur de sel—is a great way to give recipes added texture and flavor over table salt.


Sea salt is a great ingredient to sprinkle on top of dishes as a way to give recipes added color, flavor and crunch. Sea salt may have the same nutritional value as table salt, but it has a very different taste and texture.

Sea salt, which comes from the evaporation of sea water, is known for its large, course grains and briny flavor. Table salt, on the other hand, comes from rock salt and is called for in most recipes because its fine grains dissolve easily.

There is a variety of sea salts—red salt, gray salt, black salt and fleur de sel—for all your cooking needs. But remember, sea salt has larger crystals than table salt, so if you’re substituting, use 1 ½ tsp of sea salt for every 1 tsp of table salt required.

Red Salt
This salt from Hawaii contains a red clay called “Alaea,” which is high in the natural mineral iron oxide. The red clay from Kauai gives the salt a pinkish color and a more mellow flavor, ideal for prime rib and pork recipes. Try red salt with grilled peach- and mustard-glazed pork tenderloin.

Gray Salt
This moist, unrefined salt from coastal France has a light gray color with a tinge of light purple from the clay of the salt flats where it is collected. Considered a high-quality salt in the culinary world, gray salt is collected by hand, a traditional Celtic method.

Black Salt
This unrefined mineral salt has a strong sulfur odor and a pinkish grey color. Black salt is very popular in Indian cuisine. Try it in our recipe for coconut chutney.

Fleur de Sel
“Flower of salt,” considered a great condiment salt, comes from the natural crystals that form on the surface of salt evaporation ponds in the Guerande region in France. It is often used for salads, vegetables and grilled meats.

For the sweet tooth
Looking for a treat that’s salty and sweet? Sea salt provides an easy and delicious solution for that craving. Because of its larger crystals, sea salt is great for sprinkling on top of various baked goods. Try it on top of chocolate fudge, “healthified” chocolate lovers’ brownies or caramels.