Want to transform humdrum dinners into mealtime magic? It's easy! Hit the kitchen armed with these genius tips and simple recipes from our Every Day experts, and your friends and family will wonder if you went to cooking school on your lunch break!

Lesson 7: Shake Up Your Salt

Salt is essential to a dish. It highlights flavors and brings them into sharper focus. But not all salt is created equal. Step away from the iodized table salt and stock the three below. Your food (and everyone who eats it) will thank you.

chocolate ice cream scoops in bowl topped with sea salt
Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

Sprinkle dark chocolate ice cream with flaky sea salt to make the flavor

really pop and add an enticing crunch.

kosher salt
Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

Kosher Salt

Slightly coarser than table salt, these craggy crystals are the workhorse of your salt stable. Use them for seasoning steak before searing, salting pasta water and perking up corn on the cob. Kosher salt's jagged texture makes it easier to pick up and sprinkle for more accurate seasoning, and it has a clean, neutral flavor that goes with any food.

fine sea salt
Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

Fine Sea Salt

Because it's made by evaporating sea water, sea salt tastes different depending on the source, but for the most part, its flavor is bolder and brinier than kosher salt. Use it in baking (it accentuates sweetness, and the fine crystals make it a straight swap measurement-wise for table salt) or to season salads or soups, where it dissolves instantly.

flaky sea salt
Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

Flaky Sea Salt

Maldon, fleur de sel, gray sea salt—use these earthy, minerally seasonings as special-occasion salts. The large, irregularly shaped flakes dissolve slowly in food and on your tongue. Sprinkle them over crostini, melon, buttered bread or cut tomatoes right before serving—or caramels and other desserts as they cool. But sprinkle sparingly: Because of its pronounced flavor, a little goes a long way.

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