Cooking with Salt and Salt Measures

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Kosher salt, table salt, and sea salt. © 2008 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone

Cooking with Salt

Salt is a natural preservative which inhibits the growth of molds and bacteria. It literally pulls the life-sustaining moisture from those harmful bodies, making them unable to grow or reproduce. When used as a condiment or ingredient, it brightens food flavors and facilitates a balance between sweetness and acidity by decreasing the sourness of acid and increasing the sweetness of sugar.


You will find that some recipes call for a specific type or grind of salt beyond ordinary table salt. In some cases, it will not matter if you use table salt, but in others, it can make or break the dish. Your best bet is to follow the recommendation of the recipe author to achieve the desired result.

It may seem strange to think of salt being used as a fat-free method of cooking, but it works. Encase meat in a crust of salt and the salt will draw out and absorb the fat, while sealing in moisture and flavor -- very much like old classic dishes using clay. The salt casing also reduces cooking time anywhere from one-third to one-half.

How much salt do you need?

Here are some general guidelines:

• 1 teaspoon per quart for soups and sauces.
• 2 teaspoons per pound for boneless raw meat.
• 1 teaspoon per 4 cups flour for dough.
• 1 teaspoon per two cups liquid for cooked cereal.
• 1 teaspoon per 3 cups water for boiled vegetables.

• 1 Tablespoon per 2 quarts water for pasta.
• 1 Tablespoon coarse or kosher salt = 2 teaspoons table salt.

More About Salt and Salt Recipes:

Salt Cooking Tips
Salt Varieties and Types
How much salt do you need? Salt Measure Guidelines

Salt Recipes
 

Cookbooks

Herbs & Spices: The Cook's Reference
The Contemporary Encyclopedia of Herbs and Spices: Seasonings for the Global Kitchen
The Spice Lover's Guide to Herbs and Spices
Herb Mixtures & Spicy Blends
More Cookbooks