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How to Salt Food like a Chef

It may sound simple, but pay attention to this seasoned advice
Salting Steak Correctly
Photo: Tasting Table

Salting food isn’t rocket science, but do you know what “a pinch of salt” actually looks like? How about the right way to sprinkle those crystals or flakes? When a cooking step is as straightforward as “just add salt,” it’s easy to gloss over. But since salt is arguably the most important ingredient in the kitchen, it’s worth being 100 percent sure you know exactly how to use it.

Here are three things you need to know:

① A “pinch of salt” is actually a three-finger pinch. Go big or go home.

② Season from up high—about a foot above the plate or pot. This ensures the food will be evenly covered.

③ Use more salt than you think. If there’s anything to learn from a restaurant kitchen, it’s that salt is your best friend, and you should embrace it with wild abandon.

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Salt enhances flavor and also cuts bitterness, which allows sweet and subtle notes to sing. It can awaken an entire dish, so don’t hold back. Add in increments, so that you don’t overdo it (it’s harder to fix an oversalted plate than an under-salted one, although it can be done).

Salt often. Taste often. And use more than you think you should. Chef’s orders.

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