This post is part of our 'This Is Fire' series, where our editors and writers tell you about the products they can't live without in the kitchen.
I grasp the small glass bowl and pinch the Diamond Crystal salt between my fingers, feeling the grains press against my thumb. Like so many times before, I am again at the stove, hovering over a pot of water, wishing it would boil. When it's time, I let the salt fall from my hand and watch it dissolve in a cloud—a necessity for the final dish.
As I learned to cook, I discovered how important it was to use different types of salt to bring out flavors and avoid the dreaded bland meal. I stocked various ones: coarse sea salt, kosher salt, and flake salt; each with their own uses. Coarse sea salt works well for salting meats before cooking but I didn’t enjoy the large, crunchy crystals at the table. Flake salt is lovely on top of brownies and cookies, but not practical for salting pasta water or evenly seasoning vegetables for roasting. And kosher salt is used for cooking but brands such as Morton’s are dense and salty, which isn’t great for baking.
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, 3-Pound Box
Versatile in the kitchen
A box lasts for months
Might need to increase amount in recipes
It sounds impossible, but I was in my 20s before I tried salting my food. Salt was never on the table growing up and my mom omitted it from every recipe. She was under the impression that salt was unnecessary and bad for your health and I can understand why. Spaghetti still cooks whether you salt the water or not and the FDA’s nutrition guidelines do recommend limiting sodium. It was the total opposite for my husband’s family where table salt is used liberally at every meal. I gave it a try and was surprised by how it enhanced the food on my plate.
As I explored the (surprisingly large) world of salt, what I wanted was one salt to rule them all. I wanted something I could use for seasoning meats, pasta, cakes and cookies, as well as a salt I could put on the table and use as needed. This is a big ask for one salt.
But you know what? I found it. Diamond Crystal salt is touted as the superior kosher salt in a number of cookbooks so I gave it a try. I jumped in with two feet and bought the widely available 48-ounce size. Thankfully, I have a cabinet right next to the oven with a shelf tall enough to fit the large box, which can last for months and months. As I began using it, I was pleasantly surprised by how much easier it was for me to season my food correctly. The granules dissolve quicker due to their unique design, which makes it less likely to accidentally oversalt. Shaped like upside down pyramids using a patented method, the crystals are less saline and more subtle than other kosher salts.
Diamond Crystal salt crystals are the perfect size—large enough to pick up with my fingers for easy seasoning while cooking. They dissolve quickly on the tongue, and have a clean, rather than super salty, flavor. They adhere to vegetables while roasting and balance the sweetness in buttercream without changing the texture. I found myself reaching for it all the time and finally decided to keep a small bowl of Diamond Crystal on the counter and another one at the table. Best of all, I love how delicate Diamond Crystal salt is. It doesn’t add any crunchiness or additional flavors to my food, but instead allows the food to shine and we can all “salt to taste” with ease.
It’s not easy finding a salt that works for cooking, baking, and at the table, but Diamond Crystal does it. Now, it's dinner time. Can someone pass the salt?
Type: Kosher salt | Sizes Available: 26 ounces, 48 ounces | Uses: Cooking, canning, preserving
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Rachel Knecht is a recipe developer, food writer, and recipe tester based in Seattle. Her recipes and writing have appeared on Simply Recipes and she began writing for Spruce Eats in 2022.