The number 1 thing I could suggest to improve one's cooking is to learn to add the proper amount of salt. Most of the time food is bland because it isn't salted enough. Salt has a flavor, but it actually intensifies other flavors. The key is to add enough salt to bring out other flavors but just short of becoming "salty"

It's not easy coming up with a standardized amount for salt because people have different preferences and sensitivities as well as many other factors; however, there are some guidelines you can use.

2% salt is often considered the threshold of what the tongue considers palatable. I use this as my upper limit, but what's the sweet spot? If you look at many salty, savory snacks like chips you see about 1% salt. That's where I began and I found that I like about 1% (5g salt/lb). That means about 1 teaspoon of salt per pound of meat. I use this only as a guideline and always add 1/2 of it first and slowly add the rest and stop when just right (I trust my senses more than formulas).

Application: Usually I take about 3/4 teaspoon salt per pound and rub it into the surface of steaks and roasts about 2-3 hours before cooking. Use it when making mashed potatoes, grilled veggies, marinara...whatever dish where "add salt to taste" is written, use this as a guideline

There are many other factors, usually dish specific, so sometimes you need more or less than 1 teaspoon salt/lb to get 1% salt.


eileen said…
also note that there are different kinds of salt..and they have different flavors, purposes and have varying degrees of saltiness.

so if you're using something other than table salt for the first time, do some homework online and in the kitchen.
Daniel Kim said…
This is absolutely correct. I have cooked good steaks simply by doing absolutely nothing except by putting on salt. No montereal steak seasoning, just sea salt. Coarse sea salt is excellent for steak grilling.
ray wong said…
wow, thats a great guideline. i always wondered how much salt to add!
Unknown said…
This is really helpful. I will try it!
Anonymous said…
came across this post and found it be really helpful.

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