Are you searching for a salt that will elevate your culinary creations to a whole new level? Look no further than Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt! Renowned for its exceptional quality and unique texture, this kosher salt is a staple in both professional kitchens and home cook’s pantries.
I’ve been using Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt—famously known as the ‘red box’—to season my food since I got married and started cooking for my family. It is absolutely the best salt and my go-to in everyday cooking.
And I believe I am not alone. Many professional chefs and avid home cooks are also vowed by its superiority and exceptional performance in flavoring food. The most famous advocate of Diamond Crystal has to be chef and author Samin Nosrat who said “It has a greater impact on flavor than any other ingredient.” in her best-selling book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.
Yes, it is only salt, but like I’ve said many times, quality ingredients—including salt—make a difference.
Since I get asked by readers why I use this kosher salt, I thought it is worth dedicating a post on Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt and exploring what sets it apart.
What is Kosher Salt?
Kosher salt is coarse edible salt without common additives like anti-clumping or anti-caking agents. It’s often preferred for cooking because its large grains are easy to pick up and sprinkle over dishes. Just like many chefs and home cooks, I love using Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt.
What’s So Special about Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt?
Balanced Flavor and Most Forgiving
Unlike standard table salt, Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt is not solid crystals, so it’s less salty by volume. It strikes the perfect balance between enhancing flavors and not overpowering them. This is definitely the main difference you’ll notice once you switch from regular table salt to Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt.
The kosher salt enhances the natural flavors of ingredients (very important for Japanese food), rather than dominating them. This versatility also allows you to use it across various cuisines, from savory dishes to sweet confections. You don’t have to worry about over-salting your food when you use Diamond Crystal.
Exceptional Purity and Quality
I really like that the salt is additive free. Unlike some other brands, Diamond Crystal consists of pure kosher salt. Made by the evaporation of seawater, it is produced without any form of mechanical compaction. The salt is carefully harvested, cleaned, and purified, resulting in a quality product that adds pure flavor to your dishes. You can read more about the patented method here.
Unique Flake Texture
One of the key characteristics of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt is its distinctive flake texture. The salt crystals are irregularly shaped, delicate, and dissolve quickly, allowing for an even distribution of flavor. The smaller crystals mean the salt sticks to food much better and it won’t just fall off in the pan.
I find the flake texture particularly helpful for baking as it allows for precise seasoning. Also, you can easily control the amount of salt when you are cooking without following a recipe. That’s what most chefs and seasoned cooks do: taste and season. So Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt makes an ideal choice as you don’t have to worry about accidentally dumping in too much salt and ruining the dish.
Ways Use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
This kosher salt is really a dynamic salt for cooking, and it’s particularly helpful when roasting vegetables, blanching vegetables, making quick pickles, oven-baking meat, brining, seasoning fish or chicken wings, and salting pasta water. The adhesiveness of the salt also means it’s ideal for making your own dry rub or for flavoring your popcorn, too!
How to Substitute with Table Salt or Sea Salt
Diamond Crystal contains 53% less sodium by volume compared to table salt. I use Diamond Crystal for all my recipes unless specified.
- Table Salt: Use half as much by volume compared to what my recipe says
- Sea Salt: Use two-thirds by volume compared to what my recipe says
American recipes also typically call for kosher salt and that applies to Diamond Crystal. Unless a recipe calls for table salt or sea salt, then you’d follow the amount.
It’s also important to note that the choice of salt and saltiness can be personal, so always taste your food and adjust the salt (and seasonings) to your preference. If unsure, start small as you can always increase the salt later.
Where to Buy Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
I get my Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt from my local grocery stores (Whole Foods, Lundari’s Market, Piazza’s Fine Foods, and Bianchini’s Market). If you can’t find it at your local stores, you can always try Amazon.
Q: What’s the difference between Diamond Crystal and Morton kosher salt?
Both Diamond Crystal and Morton are two popular brands of kosher salt. Most people are probably more familiar with Morton’s as it is readily available (it’s also cheaper), but it contains an anti-caking agent. Diamond Crystal may not be available everywhere, but you can find it online or even at select Trader Joe’s these days.
Diamond Crystal is less salty in taste and more crumbly in texture, whereas Morton is much saltier and denser. I personally find that Diamond Crystal dissolves much quicker than Morton, so you don’t have to worry about over-seasoning.
Both salts also have different shapes! The salt crystals for Diamond Crystal are lighter and have a hollow structure, allowing you to crush the salt easily with your fingers.
Q: How about table salt? How does it differ from kosher salt?
There are two main visible differences. First, kosher salt has larger flakes than table salt, which is made of many fine salt granules. Second, kosher salt is pure sodium chloride, whereas most table salt is “iodized,” which means it has added iodine. Table salt also typically contains anti-caking agents.
Q: Do you use the kosher salt for finishing too?
I use it mainly as my cooking salt, which means I add it to cook dishes. For sprinkling or finishing at the table, I use Maldon salt, pink salt, or other flavored salt.
What kind of salt do you use in your cooking? Are you also a Diamond Crystal fan? Or do you use Morton or other table salt? Tell us in the comments below.