Coarse-grain kosher salt is typically flaky crystals, originally used for koshering meat. Not all kosher salts are created equal. Diamond Crystal kosher salt is one that features multi-faceted crystals that cling well to food, the only one of its kind in the United States. Also, unlike most other kosher salts, this one has no additives.
How We Use It: Kosher salt is our top choice for seasoning meat. The large grains distribute easily and cling well to the meat's surfaces.
Shopping Tip: The crystal sizes of kosher salt differ considerably, and this makes a difference when measuring by volume.
Sea salt is the product of seawater evaporation--a time-consuming, expensive process that yields irregularly shaped, mineral-rich flakes that vary widely in color but only slightly in flavor.
How We Use It: Don't bother cooking with pricey sea salt; we've found that when mixed into food, it doesn't taste any different from table salt. Instead, we use it as a "finishing salt," where its delicate crunch stands out.
Shopping Tip: Texture--not exotic provenance--is the main consideration. Look for brands boasting large, flaky crystals.