HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


"Gourmet" salt and pepper

I always use kosher salt when grilling, but wonder what results others have had with the sea salts. Also, any peppercorns worth buying beyond the grocery store variet?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have an alder smoked sea salt that i love. i'm a big fan of smoked flavours.

    I also have a sea salt blend with herbs and a bit of lemon peel, which i like to use with fish dishes.

    pink peppercorns can be very nice. I keep meaning to try something like this

    1. So funny that this post is here. I just took a 3 hour cooking class called "it's not just salt and pepper" where we used all different kinds of salts and peppers that made the food amazing. There is a tahitian salt that infuses vanilla into it that we seared scallops with and a very smoky pepper that we crusted onto pork before searing it. Go into a specialty store....they are worth experimenting with.

      1. I prefer Maldon sea salt. It's not puffed up like kosher, of course, so you'll use less of it. It's an excellent quality sea salt, in my opinion, and you can get it at higher-quality stores and groceries.

        1 Reply
        1. re: foodiesf

          As we all know everything tastes better with bacon, one of the basic food groups.

        2. I never knew pepper actually had taste (I thought it just gave off heat) until I bought Penzey's India Tellicherry peppercorns and a grinder. I was absolutely amazed that it had a taste and is a spice! By all means, go try the good stuff.

            1. Since the salt dissolves before you grill the meat (assuming it's meat) and the Maillard reaction carmelizes the exterior, infusing it with flavor, the generally subtle flavor notes in sea salt are lost.

              1 Reply
              1. re: C. Hamster

                I've often wondered about this and have usually opted for my bulk-scoop-it-up sea salt from my co-op versus using something more toney and pricey when grilling or even everyday stovetop cooking. I agree with the loss of subtlety. I think the more flavorful salts are better for finishing.

              2. I use sea salt from the Isle of Anglesey.

                1. YES! Most are not really meant to be used in cooking, but added to the finished plate. Such a wonderful world. We often dine at a restaurant, that prides itself in the selection of salts and peppers. I usually spend much of my time sampling these. Luckily, the food is very good, or I'd not leave the salt and pepper tray.

                  For the Holidays, M-I-L gave me a set of 12 salts and 12 peppers, and all were ones, that we had not seen/had at the Ventana Room. Last two times that we dined at Alan Wong's (Honolulu, HI), the staff presented my wife with some wonderful Hawaiian salts.

                  Use Kosher to cook, but the others as final elements.