Here are the salts we use to season and finish our meals at home.
It may seem like "salt" and "sodium" are blacklisted words here at Cooking Light—but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Our test kitchens are chock full of different salts, and we know all too well that a generous sprinkle of the stuff can take a dish from good to great in a few seconds.
It's important to shop for products that aren't completely saturated in sodium (like these 8 packaged foods) and also try to keep your meals within appropriate sodium levels—remember, you're supposed to keep daily intake to 2,300mg or less, according to federal guidelines.
That’s why when you do add salt into your recipes, you should make it count! There are a few bottled salts that are head and shoulders above the rest, according to Cooking Light editors. These brands are far superior to the generic stuff when it comes to taste and consistency.
Here, the salts that are special enough to earn a coveted place in our spice racks.
1) Bitterman Large Flake Salt
"The Large Flake Salt is probably my favorite for finishing dishes. It’s got a really big crunch, and goes great on everything from desserts to avocado toast." — Chris Michel, Editor
Shop Now:Bitterman Large Flake Salt, $15.95
2) Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
"The thing about Maldon is the shape: These kinda pyramid-like flakes of salt are just what you want for finishing a dish. The crunch of the flakes, combined with what some people say is a milder salinity than other finishing salts, instantly elevates even something simple like avocado toast into new territory. And it's the only way to finish chocolate chip cookies." — Kaylee Hammonds, Social Media Editor
Shop Now: Maldon Sea Salt Flakes, $5.49
3) Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
"This is definitely denser than Morton salt, and contains less crystals that are tighter than other varieties. There is also a very hefty mineral taste to it. I use it primarily to finish meals: Anything from a sliced tomato salad, to a grilled ribeye, to a pinch on fresh French fries. It's a great finishing salt because it sticks to food much better than a larger salt would." — Robin Bashinsky, Recipe Developer
Shop Now: Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, $8
4) Whole Foods' 365 Sea Salt
"Diamond Crystal kosher salt is a great all-purpose salt you should definitely buy in bulk—but I've been using this fine crystal sea salt from Whole Foods as an alternative, and it's fantastic in my vinaigrette recipes." — Elizabeth Laseter, SEO Writer
Shop Now: 365 Sea Salt, $5
5) Baliene Sea Salt
"I'm a huge fan of kosher salt when it comes to most of my kitchen work. This brand produces both fine and coarse options, but I enjoy this [fine] variety because I find that it doesn't overpower any of the dishes with what many call too 'salty' of a flavor." — Julia Levy, Recipe Developer
Shop Now: Baliene Sea Salt, $6
6) Jacobsen Finishing Sea Salt
"This is always a special request from our test kitchen developers. It's a flaky finishing salt, similar to Maldon, but it's absolutely beautiful and should be used to impress. Jacobsen is a smaller brand, and many chefs love to support them. Maybe they're the 'hipster' brand of salts? Either way, we like 'em." — Rishon Hanners, Recipe Developer
Shop Now: Jacobsen Finishing Sea Salt, $19.99
7) Louis Sel Marin
"Louis Sel's Sel Marin is a mix of sel gris and provencal herbs, and it adds a refined flavor to even the most ordinary dishes. Maybe I'm just a sucker for marketing, but I love that the salt is harvested manually and never undergoes any chemical or whitening treatments. It makes scrambled eggs and roasted veggies feel much more special." — Jaime Ritter, Associate Editor
Shop Now: Louis Sel Set, $25
8) Trader Joe's Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
"Well, I love pink, duh. But I also like that this salt is somewhat toothy, if you know what I mean. It adds a new bite or texture to some of the dishes that I dust lightly with the salt grinder. And even though it doesn't dissolve super easily, you'll notice that it's not as salty as you'd think it would be." — Zee Krstic, Assistant Editor
Shop Now: Trader Joe's Pink Sea Salt, $6