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Food

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More than table salt

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Use a salt cellar near your cooking area.

We asked the pros for techniques to help home cooks season with salt more efficiently. Warning: You won’t find total consensus, but the experts we spoke with do agree that proper use of salt results in food that tastes more like itself, not food that tastes salty.

From Serious Eats managing editor J. Kenji Lopez-Alt:

•Get a salt cellar and fill it with coarse kosher salt. Keep it where you cook. Practice pinches, the feel of how many grains you need.

•To salt a steak in advance, sprinkle on just enough to resemble a light dusting of snow, akin to a flurry’s effect on an empty parking lot.

From Rutgers University nutrition professor Paul Breslin:

•We can best taste sodium (ions) when dissolved in water.

•A fine salt will yield greater salty flavor on your tongue than larger salt crystals.

From cookbook author Dorie Greenspan:

•Before you can learn to season with salt, it’s good to taste and see whether you have preferences. Taste as many salts as you can, either by sprinkling the salt over a piece of bread spread with unsalted butter or over slices of raw cucumber, carrot or celery.

From chemistry professor emeritus Robert L. Wolke:

•Bake with kosher salt or sea salt instead of iodized table salt; the ions in some potassium iodide (in table salt) can be oxidized to form iodine, and that can create an acrid flavor.

– Bonnie S. Benwick, Washington Post

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