If I get an angry email or comment from a reader, nine times out of ten, it's because the recipe turned out too salty.
I try to remember to specify in all my recipes that I use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, and if you use any other salt, you should use half the amount listed in the recipe card.
Recently, I realized that many readers interpret that to say, "If you use salt that isn't kosher salt, you should use half."
That's not the case.
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt is unique, even compared to other kosher salts. It's a favorite of chefs and, for years, was sold mainly to restaurants. Professionally trained chefs and self-taught high-profile cooks such as Ina Garten use it exclusively.
They like it for three main reasons.
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt has salt crystals that are hollow, lightweight, and can be easily crushed with your fingers and evenly sprinkled on food. This makes it easier to salt food correctly without overdoing it.
Morton Kosher salt has large, dense crystals.
Table salt crystals are tiny and difficult to pinch and distribute with your fingers.
Diamond Salt is pure and delicious, containing no additives. Its ingredient list includes one ingredient: salt. In contrast, Morton table salt and kosher salt have an anti-caking agent.
It's Less Salty
Diamond Salt is half as salty as table salt and nearly half as salty as Morton Coarse Kosher Salt. While Diamond Crystal has 280 mg of sodium in each ¼ teaspoon, Morton Kosher Salt has 480 mg, and Morton table salt has 590 mg.
The same is true for most brands of sea salt. Redmond's Real Salt, for example, has 530 mg of sodium in each ¼ teaspoon. At 458 mg per ¼ teaspoon, Celtic Sea Salt is less salty but still more than 1.5 times saltier than Diamond.
If you look at the labels, you can see why - Diamond Crystal is not as dense as Morton or as tiny as table salt. Its crystals are light and fluffy. So, a teaspoon of it weighs far less than a teaspoon of other salts.
These Salts Are Not Interchangeable
The bottom line: If you use table salt, sea salt, or even Morton Kosher Salt, you should use about half the amount of salt listed in any of my recipes that use Diamond Crystal salt.
I realize that most home cooks use table salt or Morton Kosher Salt (Diamond Crystal is working on changing that). I'm not trying to be difficult. It's just that I'd gotten used to Diamond Crystal; I genuinely enjoy using it in my cooking.