The Trio Of Salts That Ina Garten Always Stocks Her Pantry With

A pantry is not complete without salt. Whether you're making a salted caramel sauce, salted peanut butter bars, or adding salt to your fruit, veggies, and proteins, it will transform a ho-hum taste into one you don't want to stop experiencing. This flavor enhancer is the King Kong of seasonings and the Barefoot Contessa concurs. But if you are going to attempt Ina Garten's favorite meal to make every year, AKA Thanksgiving dinner, you want to make certain you have the right salts in your cabinets. 

The celebrity chef spoke to Bon Appetit and shared that there are three salts she always has on hand, and unsurprisingly, it doesn't include table salt. "It's really important in every dish, both sweet and savory," Garten says. "You also have to use the right one for the right occasion. For cooking, I use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, and it's always perfect. But when I want to finish with salt, I use Fleur de Sel, which is a French sea salt, and it's just the kind of briny, or Maldon English flake salt. When I'm brushing the top of a pot pie with egg wash, a little sprinkle of that flaky salt gives it a little crunch. It's absolutely delicious."

The art of salting

Why so many different forms of the same ingredient? Kosher salt is a go-to for everyday cooking. It has a superior texture compared to table salt with its coarse consistency and it easily dissolves. It is perfect for everything from baking to salting pasta water to seasoning a roast before popping it into the oven. But remember, not all Kosher salts are created equal. Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, which is Ina Garten's kosher salt of choice, is less salty than Morton's. This is largely due to the lighter and flatter shape of the crystals. 

Fleur de Sel and Maldon English flake salt are each finishing salts with a crunch that makes them a savory sensory experience. Fleur de Sel is expensive. It is perfect for everything from grilled meats to homemade caramels. If you are going to splurge on Fleur de Sel, here's the brand Garten recommends: Le Saunier De Camargue Fleur De Sel. Maldon English flake is also a beautiful flaky salt and is called for when making everything from scrambled eggs to sourdough bread. Add a sprinkle after you are finished cooking and let your taste buds experience how the consistency of your dish becomes next level.