Sea Salt vs Regular Salt: What's the Difference?

For most people, salt is just salt. It's something that adds flavor to their meals. In the salt aisle, however, there's "salt" and then there's "sea salt". Let's ignore for now the ton of other variations and figure out: What's the difference between the two? Why is sea salt more expensive? And is it worth the premium?


Land vs Sea

First and foremost, both types of salt come from the land or the sea. Regular table salt is harvested underground and is highly processed to strip it of any impurities. It is then supplemented with iodine since it is mostly iodine-deficient. Sea salt, on the other hand, is produced by evaporating seawater, which results in a crystalline form of salt with trace minerals and elements.

Mineral content

Since sea salt is obtained naturally, it usually retains more trace minerals than regular salt. These minerals include zinc, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and they contribute to the salt's characteristic flavor. In comparison, regular salt is stripped of the minerals during the refining process.


When you compare the two salts, you’ll notice that sea salt is composed of larger, coarser grains. Regular salt has a fine texture texture which makes it more compact. Due to the shape of their granules, you may use less sea salt in a recipe, and it might make the dish saltier in comparison to regular salt.




Due to the impurities and minerals in sea salt, it carries more flavor in contrast to table salt. Regular salt often has a more “chemical” taste due to the manufacturing and refining processes it undergoes. With sea salt, there's also a higher chance for experiencing specific bitterness and bitterness, depending on the place of origin.


Sea salt is more expensive than regular salt. This is due to the labor-intensive process involved in producing it as well as its higher mineral content. Additionally, it is often marketed as a premium product, emphasizing its natural source and trace elements.

  Sea Salt Regular Salt
Origins Sea Land
Natural or Processed 100% Natural Highly processed
Mineral Content +++ None
Texture / Grain Larger, Coarser Smaller, Finer
Taste Complex, Rich Simple, One-dimensional
Cost $$$ $

There are several differences between sea salt and regular Salt - from the way they are produced, to mineral content, grain texture, taste, and cost. However, both have their benefits. Table salt is more widely available, iodine-fortified, and affordable, while sea salt is considered to be a healthier option with a more complex flavor. Choose the one which suits your need and preference. For us, we use regular salt for salting pasta water, or where tons of salt is involved (and later removed). For everything else, we'll pick sea salt any day.


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