25 Salt Uses for Better Cooking, Easier Cleanup

Posted by on Feb 7, 2016 in Common Products - Uncommon Uses | 26 comments

Salt has received a bad rep which it really doesn’t deserve. There are many salt uses that make food taste better and cleanup easier. It has only been our overuse that has lead us to think salt is bad for us. It isn’t. As a matter of fact, we need to have some salt in our diet. Salt has belonged in the kitchen for centuries and still plays an important role in the kitchen of today.

All salt, from old-fashioned table salt to the latest gourmet salts, contain the same amount of sodium. The big difference in the salts is the texture.

salt uses

25 Salt Uses for Better Cooking and Easier Cleanup:

  1. Great Tip # 1. Pour salt into a small muslin bag and tie closed. When you want to fry foods, first rub the pan with this salt bag and food won’t stick. This works well for fish, potato patties, and pancakes.
  2. Great Tip # 2.  Add salt at the end of the cooking time – last 5 minutes or so – and you will need only about 1/2 of what you would otherwise use.
  3. Apples, freshening. Refresh tired looking apples by placing them in a bowl of cold, slightly salted water for a little while and they will plump up nice and smooth again.
  4. Breadboards, cleaning. Soak a dishcloth in a strong saltwater solution. Wash the breadboard with warm, soapy water. Wring out the dishcloth and use it to rub the breadboard on both sides.
  5. Cake, frosting. Add a pinch of salt to frosting and it won’t turn sugary.
  6. Cheese, preventing mold. Soak a napkin in a cup of water to which a Tbsp. of salt has been added. Wring out and wrap the moist napkin around the cheese, then store the cheese in the refrigerator.
  7. Coffee percolator, removing bitterness. Brew up a pot of coffee using salt in place of coffee grounds. Use the same proportion salt as you would normally use for coffee.
  8. Cream, whipping. Cream will whip up faster and higher if you first add a pinch of salt to the cream before whipping.
  9. Drains, kitchen sink. Keep drains running clear by a once-a-week cleaning with a solution of 1 Tbsp. salt, 1 Tbsp. baking soda and ¼ cup vinegar. Pour this down the drain, leave it to work for a few minutes then follow up with a kettle of boiling water.
  10. Eggs, freshness. To test an egg for freshness, add a scant Tbsp. salt to a cup of cold water. Carefully place the egg in the water. A fresh egg will sink to bottom of the cup. An older egg will float – the higher it floats the older it is. If it bobs on the surface throw it out.
  11. Eggs, hardboiled. A teaspoon salt added to the cooking water before adding the eggs will make it easier to peel the hardboiled eggs.
  12. Eggs for omelets. Add a pinch of salt to eggs when beating for omelets and they will cook up smooth and firm.
  13. Eggs, poached. To keep the whites from spreading, add ½ tsp. salt and 1 tsp. vinegar to the water before adding your eggs.
  14. Eggs, spills. If you happen to drop an egg, cover it with salt. This makes it much easier to clean up the mess with a paper towel.
  15. Fruit, browning. Cut peeled fruit – apples, pears and peaches into a bowl of lightly salted water. Remove the fruit when done – don’t keep them sitting in the water.
  16. Fruit, stains. As soon as the stain happens, remove the garment, sprinkle the stain with salt, leave it sit for an hour then throw it in the wash.
  17. Greens, boiling. Do not add salt to the greens until the very end of cooking and they’ll keep their colour better. (No salt at all is even better.)
  18. Greens, washing. Wash fresh kale, lettuce, spinach and other greens in cold salted water. This easily removes the dirt and undesirables.
  19. Milk, making it last. Keep milk better tasting and fresh longer by adding just a pinch of salt to the milk container when it is first opened. This also applies to cream.
  20. Milk, burned on pan. Wet the pan and sprinkle with salt. Leave for a little bit, then scrub the pan. Rinse and wash in warm water. This will also remove the burnt milk smell.
  21. Pans, cast iron. Cast iron pans can be kept clean by boiling saltwater in them. When done, dry them with paper towel, then rub in a very thin layer of lard or shortening.
  22. Potatoes, boiled. Improve the texture of potatoes by boiling them without salt, when done, drain them, add the salt, return to heat and shake pan over the heat to get rid of leftover moisture. You’ll also need way less salt this way.
  23. Poultry, flavour. Before roasting rub salt all over the poultry, inside and out and under the skin. This will greatly enhance the flavour.
  24. Salad, crisp. Sprinkle salt on the salad to keep it crisp for hours – great idea for when you need to prepare things ahead of time.
  25. Wine stains. Spilling red wine on a tablecloth (or favourite shirt) need not be a disaster. Pour white wine(or water) on the stain to dilute the stain, then pour salt on it, leave for an hour or so and finally throw the item in the wash.

Have fun applying these salt uses to enhance your cooking and especially for easier cleanup.

Talk to you again next week,


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  1. Hello Lenie, as usual I always learn something new from your posts. Oh wow, what great ways to use salt. I rarely use salt to cook, I use knorr cubes. Thanks for sharing and I will be bookmarking this post for future reference.

  2. Page 6 of my Mr. Coffee User Manual (yes, I am a pack rat who holds onto these kinds of things) recommends either undiluted white household vinegar or a special Mr. Coffee Cleaner to clean a coffee maker. How do the salt and vinegar treatments compare?

    • Andy, stick with the vinegar because Mr. Coffee maker is a drip machine and I don’t think salt would do it much good. The salt treatment is used for percolators where it works really well. I hold onto all the manuals, unfortunately never seem to be able to find the right one when I need it. I keep wanting to set up a binder to keep them in but somehow other things always seem to come first. Have a great week.

  3. Great tips. I have used salt with coffee before, but most of the rest of the tips I never heard of.
    Thanks for sharing this with us, I will try them.

  4. I never knew you could keep milk fresh longer by adding salt to it. How fascinating. It is sad that salt now has such a bad reputation. It is really the salt in processed foods that is so horrible.

  5. I’ll definitely remember the tip about using lightly salted water to plump up apples. I eat an apple a day and it’s always a bummer when I end up with a batch that’s past its prime.

  6. Hi Lenie, I haven’t heard of that first one. But if that works to keep fried food from sticking in all over that idea! Pretty cool. Reminds me of the rubbing the hot grill with half an onion to keep the food from sticking to the grill. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that work. 🙂

    • Hi Susan, now there you go – I didn’t know about the onion thing. Great to learn something new right? I do believe it often is the simplest things that work best and longest.

  7. Oh how I love your lists, Lenie! I learned so many new things from this one! On the coffee tip, do you brew the salt, then dump it, clean it and brew your coffee normally?

    • Hi Meredith, you do just perc the coffee as normal with the salt, then empty it, wash as normal and continue to use as you normally would. Does a good job of removing bitter taste and keeping the pot clean.
      I have a glass coffee percolator that I only use a couple of times a year and I do this to remove the musty smell it picks up from just sitting there.

  8. I like a little bit of salt, mostly just on eggs. Salt lasts a long time around my place. I figure I get enough salt in the food I buy. IE I bought some chicken breasts a couple of weeks ago and they taste so salty to me I can barely eat them! I didn’t put any salt on them when I cooked them, but they are salty anyway. I use a salt, vinegar and dish soap weed killer for my yard, but have to be careful when I spray it, as it will kill all the plants, not just the weeds that I want to be gone. I will put old newspaper around the weed I want to get rid of and then spray. It does a great job up the curb on my driveway that keeps sprouting weeds!

  9. Here you are again, making me go: Wow, really?
    Great ideas–I wonder if #1 will keep eggs from sticking to a non-teflon skillet? I’m giving it a whirl this week!

    • To think I make you go Wow – that I like. You know, I haven’t tried it with eggs and I was going to try it before getting back to you. We usually have eggs once a week for supper so I think I’ll try it tonight and let you know if it works or not. You’ll be hearing from me.

      • Rose, here’s me getting back to you.
        I tried the salt bag thing with eggs and it worked only so-so. Here is what I did. I used my cast iron pan, rubbed it with the salt bag, and added the eggs (no fats at all). I had no problem lifting the eggs with a spatula but it did leave a layer on the pan. Would I do it again? Probably not unless I added a little coconut oil. Cheers!!!!!

  10. Wow you never cease to amaze me Lenie! Like many others I’m watching my salt intake, plus I’ve switched to using sea salt which is very popular and easy to get where I live in the Islands. This is a great reminder that salt it good for many more things that just seasoning. Thanks!

    • Marquita, this is actually only the beginning of salt uses but there were too many to list so I thought I would just stick to the cooking and cleanup. I know living in Hawaii you wouldn’t be having icy roads but I was just saying this morning I need to take the car through the car wash – it’s disgusting and covered with road de-icing salt.

  11. I am a big fan of salt and use it in cooking pretty much anything that is savory. So I was happy to see what is a rare pro-salt post. Some of the uses you listed are fascinating. I was especially surposed by the first one, about rubbing a pan with salt in a msuuslin bag to keep food from sticking. I’ll have to try that.

    • Hi Ken, Salt does have a bad name, doesn’t it? I have a sister-in-law who is on a salt-free diet and she’s sticking to it but I don’t think she’ll ever enjoy it. Salt has loads of good uses – we have just abused it, that’s all.

  12. What a great list of how to use salt, Lenie. Love the one about how to remove fruit stains in particular.

    • Catarina, that is a dandy, isn’t it? It seems to me that I remember my mother using the same method to get out blood stains so that particular use has been around for many years.

  13. Lenie comes again with her “100 ways to use” tips. I knew salt had it’s uses but perhaps not by how much. I will try your tip of adding salt to vegetables towards the end of the cooking time.

    I cannot tell you how many of my children’s tops have been ruined by fruit stains that just would not shift. Oranges and tomatoes are the worst culprits.

    • Hi Phoenicia, next time try the salt solution on the fruit stains. I do the end of cooking thing and it really works. Something else I learned is that it’s better for stainless steel pans to add the salt at the end when the water is at a full boil – apparently it protects against pitting.

  14. Hi, Lenie

    Do you know you are so awesome? We can have 25 total uses of salt which I only know to make food tastier.

    The tips are not known to me or may be to many others too. They make our life in kitchen easier from your information.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Have a nice week ahead!

    – Stella Chiu

    • Stella, you are pretty awesome yourself – you always make me feel so good – lovely way to start the week.
      Hope you enjoy and can make use of some of the tips.
      You have a great week too. 🙂

  15. What great ways to use salt! I never heard of the Apple tip, I’m going to try that one soon. Thanks for sharing, Lenie! I am going to bookmark this one for future reference too. 🙂

    • We hear so much about salt being bad for you that it’s kind of nice to know it has some pretty good benefits. Thanks for the comment.

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