This Is How Much Salt You Really Need To Add To Meat

There's is such a thing as too much and too little salt.

IMAGE Rupert Kittinger-Sereinig from Pixabay

Did you know that the closest salt we have to the much-touted kosher salt is our rock salt? The similarities are striking. Both kosher salt and rock salt are unrefined and (usually) are not iodized. Unrefined salts such as these usually retain the flavors, smells, and even the colors from where these salts were harvested from which is why sometimes, rock salt granules have a greyish hue and are not entirely white or clear in color.

Both salts are coarsely ground, resulting in granules that are irregular as well as having both large and small crystalline sizes. These large granules which are much more easily felt by our fingertips are the reason why many chefs prefer kosher salt over table salt. 

However, whatever salt you prefer to use in your cooking, do you know how much salt you are supposed to be adding to your food, especially meats? 

Many recipes, including the majority of our recipes, instruct you to "season to taste" when it comes to salt as well as ground black pepper. The reason behind this instruction is because everyone has their own sense of taste. What may be salty to one person may be perfectly seasoned to another and may even be underseasoned to another.

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That's perfect for when you're cooking at home. "Seasoning to taste" becomes entirely different when you're eating out. Chefs, therefore, rely on their palate to determine what is the right amount of seasoning for their dishes and offer their version of what is perfectly seasoned to you. 

According to Cook's Illustrated, this is the right amount of kosher salt or rock salt you should sprinkle over meat: 

Cut of Meat Weight of Meat Amount of Salt
Pork chops 
Beef steaks 
Chicken parts
per 1/2 kilogram 1 1/2 teaspoons
Pork cuts, whole
Beef cuts, whole
per 1 kilogram 2 teaspoons
Chicken, whole per 1 kilogram 1 teaspoon

These estimates are all based on kosher salt, so you should use less when using table salt since this kind of salt is finer in texture. Your meats may end up tasting saltier than you intended. 

However, while this is great advice so you don't underseason your meats, we do suggest that when you try this method, give these a taste when cooked so that you can determine, on your own, if the seasoning is actually just right for you. After all, only you can taste and say that it's perfectly seasoned or not. 

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