5 Ways You Might Not Be Using Your Salt -- and Why You Should Start

January 30, 2015

This article is brought to you by our friends at Electrolux as part of an ongoing series focusing on seasonal ingredients. This month we're talking salt.

Today: If your salt intake is limited to a few taps from the dining room shaker, you might be missing out on its full potential -- here are 5 unexpected ways to use it.

Salt is one of our closest friends in the kitchen -- it makes our food taste more complex, more like itself. And because it does, we don't think twice about adding it to our pasta watervegetables, or polenta. But there are so many more places we can be putting it to work. Here are 5 of our favorites -- if you haven't been doing these all along, we suggest you start now. 

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1. Salt your shakes and smoothies. 

Take a cue from this avocado shake and balance the sweetness of your blended drinks with a generous pinch of salt. Want a boozier option? Go for this genius Grasshopper.

2. Shower your sweets.

Reach for your finishing salt -- we're talking big, delicate flakes -- and sprinkle some on your next batch of brownies, cookies, caramels, or anything that could benefit from a little pep. If you're unsure, try one first -- just call it a cook's treat. 

3. Blanket your fish. 

Baking whole fish in salt is a great way to season as you cook. Hint: You can use a similar, if adapted, method for your potatoes

4. Make a confit or a dry-brine.

Salt can play a huge role in your food before you even begin to cook. Dry-brine your poultry and pork, or salt duck legs as the first step of a confit. Your next meal will thank you. 

5. Step up your hot chocolate.

Hot chocolate benefits from salt the same way your brownies do -- the rich, velvety drink is just asking to be woken up. Next time you make a cup, sprinkle a small pinch of flaky salt over the top and taste the flavors as they open up.

This article was brought to you by Electrolux, who's all about great taste and the appliances to help you make beautiful meals in your own kitchen. Learn more here.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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  • Jan Weber
    Jan Weber
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SabrinaLVH January 31, 2015
I wonder why no articles talk about salting as you go. I think the secret to my family's cooking is that instead of adding all the salt in one step, we add a little salt to every step. In this way, you make sure the flavors of every ingredient you add "open up" at the right time with the addition of salt. I swear this is why my mom's guests rave about her cooking, and why mine do, too. Or also why when we hand out the recipe, they can never quite get that je ne sais quoi that doing this step provides.
Sam1148 January 30, 2015
I was surprised to learn that their are people that have never heard of putting salt and a watermelon. I also put salt on plums.
Jan W. January 31, 2015
You must be from the Southeast because my family comes from South Carolina, and they definitely do this with watermelon. Also with other melons, like Crenshaws. It really does make the flavor pop more, and sometimes brings out more sweetness, but you have to be quite light-handed with the salt.
Jen L. March 17, 2015
Salting plums is a Japanese delicacy also!
bbmoe January 30, 2015
I like to salt my grapefruit, especially if it's the classic sour/bitter white grapefruit. It mellows out the rough tang.

A friend of mine is a fan of salting her watermelon. I won't really go that far.
Sam1148 January 30, 2015
Do try it...there are many watermelon salads that call for feta cheese; which is salty. Salt and watermelon pare very well.
laurenlocally February 3, 2015
I love the feta/salt/watermelon combo! Especially with mint.
Millie |. January 30, 2015
What a great idea to put salt in soothies - will try it tomorrow!